Catching-up with Katherine Chan (Arcadis)

This week's Catching-up is with Katherine Chan, Growth Director & City Executive, Greater Bay Area of Arcadis.

Katherine Chan

Katherine, could you introduce yourself?
Following my degree in Construction from the University of South Australia, I embarked on my career journey with Arcadis, where I steadily advanced to the role of Executive Director in 2016. Initially trained as a Quantity Surveyor in our Hong Kong office, I seized a career opportunity in Macau in 2006, driving business development for Arcadis in the region.

In my current capacity as the Growth Director & City Executive of the Greater Bay Area at Arcadis Greater China, as well as the Chairlady of the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors - Macau Region, I am deeply committed to crafting winning strategies and fostering exceptional performance. I am passionate about collaborating with diverse talents across different regions within Arcadis to unlock broader opportunities for success.

Serving as the Chairlady of the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors - Macau Region fills me with pride, as I strongly believe in breaking gender biases and promoting diversity and inclusion in the traditional construction and engineering sectors. Embracing these principles, I am dedicated to driving genuine innovation and leadership within the industry.


What is your view on the Northern Metropolis and what are the opportunities for Arcadis?
From our perspective at Arcadis, the Northern Metropolis represents a pivotal driver for Hong Kong's strategic advancement, poised to propel the region to new heights. This presents a significant opportunity for us to contribute to the ongoing development through comprehensive urban planning, innovative smart building solutions, efficient transportation systems, resilient utility infrastructure, and the creation of attractive spaces to draw top domestic and international talent.

We are encouraged by the Government's efforts to solidify Hong Kong's position as the nexus linking the vibrant Chinese market and the global stage within the frameworks of the Greater Bay Area and The Belt and Road Initiative. With reference to the Northern Metropolis, Arcadis is eager to leverage our developed solutions and experiences, particularly those homed in safeguarding the Netherlands and its low-lying communities against the challenges of living below sea level, towards the creation of sustainable and thriving cities today.

Our recently launched global campaign – Arcadis Sustainable Cities Index 2024 – provides a detailed explanation of how the Netherlands has secured the top rank globally, showcasing our depth of expertise in sustainable urban development.


Can you tell us a bit more about Arcadis’ latest project?
There are a couple of interesting projects that I like to share:

Financial District and Seaport Climate Resilience Master Plan

The "Financial District and Seaport Climate Resilience Master Plan" embodies a collaborative vision for a resilient Manhattan waterfront. Arcadis led the development of this plan, aimed at protecting Lower Manhattan from tidal flooding and storms through new infrastructure while integrating climate resilience into the city. The plan also focuses on enhancing public waterfront areas, preserving existing destinations, and creating multi-level open spaces. This holistic approach not only shields the city from climate impacts but also preserves its essence for future generations. Arcadis is dedicated to delivering innovative solutions that address these challenges and create lasting value for urban environments.


Sponge city Wuhan

Arcadis serves as the principal consultant for Wuhan's innovative "Sponge City" program, bringing Dutch expertise to this pioneering initiative. The program aims to enhance urban resilience by enabling the city to absorb, infiltrate, and store rainwater, reducing flood risks. Drawing inspiration from international models, such as Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) in the UK, Water Sensitivity Design in Australia, Low Impact Development (LID) in North America, and Climate-proof concept from Netherlands, the project prioritizes ecologically friendly water management and the creation of additional green spaces. Arcadis provides technical, policy, and program management advisory services, contributing to the success of this transformative endeavour, which addresses flooding challenges and promotes sustainable urban development practices in Wuhan and beyond.



What is your vision for Arcadis and the GBA? 
Arcadis's vision for the Greater Bay Area (GBA) is rooted in our extensive history and presence in China, dating back to 1985. With established offices in Macao, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan, and Zhuhai, including notable projects in cities like Zhuhai, Jiangmen, and Huizhou within the GBA, we have cultivated a deep understanding of the region's dynamics. Furthermore, our close collaborations with leading technology firms in the GBA, such as Tencent, have provided us with valuable insights into the area's evolving technological landscape.

Recognising the immense potential of the GBA, we are committed to leveraging Arcadis's best-in-class knowledge from a global, Chinese mainland, and local context to partner with the Hong Kong government. Our goal is to contribute our expertise to major project developments in the Northern Metropolis, facilitating the realisation of a Smart, Green, and Resilient Innovative and Technology (I&T) city in Hong Kong. Our vision aligns with the ambition to transform Hong Kong into a carbon-neutral city by 2050, reflecting our dedication to sustainable and forward-thinking urban development.