Through rapid urbanization process, Hong Kong and other cities located in the Pearl River Delta region face serious challenges in establishing effective method to overcome the deterioration of the urban living condition. The environmental problems that brought about have not only been treated as environmental science issues, but also drawn a lot of attention at the political level. One important step took by the HKSAR is to announce the Joint Practice Notes for Green and Innovative Buildings I & II (JPN I & II). China government also released her Healthy Building Design Guideline at the end of last year. Important policies and design features related to sustainable urban development have been introduced in these documents. However, there is no actual operational procedure and assessment method addressed in the guidelines to ensure the contribution of the design or planning of a project, and building professionals have treated the guidelines as a kind of "collective conceptual thinking". In this presentation, firstly, the development background and features of the JPN will be highlighted, and the discussion is given on the achievement and shortcomings on the implementation of the JPN. Since the performance-based design and planning approach has been identified as an important step to pursue the aims as defined in the JPN, pedagogy and technical issue regarding applying computational simulation in the early stage of performance-based design are investigated. Several case studies have been conducted, and the preliminary feedback from building professionals is summarized. Finally, several key areas for our future research and technical development are highlighted.