Public open space in high density cities: the case of Hong Kong
Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability
14 September 2023
Using a combination of empirical research methods such as spatialanalysis and on-site observation, this article aims to shed light onthe physical and social characteristics of 27 Public Open Spaces(POSs) in Central and Western Districts in Hong Kong. This study willcontribute to a better understanding of their role, function andusage, so as to help establish a broader strategy for the revitalisation and upgrading of these important public resources. The resultsof the analysis indicate that a large percentage of the POSs examined have several shortcomings that may contribute to their lowusage, and which render them unattractive. Poor accessibility, outdated design principles, the absence of active frontages and a lackof flexibility in the use of the space are some of the factors that therigid application of planning policies have produced over the years.As such, this study suggests that a revision of current urban designguidelines, in light of the shortcomings that they have inadvertently generated, could establish a new direction in the provisionand management of POSs in Hong Kong, providing new opportunities to create a more sustainable and people-friendly urbanenvironment.