Keynote & Plenary Speakers

Keynote Address 3

Climate change and health in urban area

Ho Kim

Dean of the Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University


Climate change has already become one of the most important global health concerns, and the results of many study indicate that if the current trend continues, the burden of the future will be nearly catastrophic. Rapid urbanization and population aging are expected to exacerbate the problem of climate change, with serious consequences for future human health. East Asia, including Hong Kong, is an area where climate change, urbanization, and population aging are taking place at the same time.


Heatwave is one of the most studied topics so far in the climate change and health research area and has been reported to be associated with mortality and morbidity in many parts of the world. Some studies report greater health effects of heat waves in urban areas, while others report the opposite trend. Therefore, more research is needed according to these regional characteristics.


This presentation examines the health effects of heat waves, especially in urban areas, and considers ways to minimize them. The effect of environmental factors such as urban greenness, socio-economic factors, and demographic factors such as population density on heat related death is also examined. It also discusses the advantages and disadvantages of urbanization in terms of adaptation to climate change, which is essential for the sustainable future.


Professor Ho Kim is the Dean of the Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University. He earned his PhD in Biostatistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the U.S.A. and joined Seoul National University in 1998. His main research interests lie in climate change, air pollution and their health effects and in methodology developments using statistical models. Professor Kim is the former President of the Korean Society for Health Informatics and Statistics, current Vice-Presidents of the Korean Society for Epidemiology and the Korean Society of Climate Change. He is also an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Medicine of Korea. Professor Kim is the Editor of International Journal of Epidemiology and on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. He has published more than 300 peer-reviewed papers on the international journals including The Lancet, Environmental Health Perspectives, Nature Planetary Health and Environment International with topics of air pollution, temperature, diurnal temperature range, mortality, kidney diseases, mental health, etc. 

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