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Open Space in High-density Living Environment The Case Study of Hong Kong

By Siu Kwan CHOY

Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Architectural Studies

Department of Building and Construction City University of Hong Kong November 2007

DECLARATION

I declare that this thesis represents my own work, except where due acknowledgement is made, and that it has not been previously included in a thesis, dissertation or report submitted to this University or any other institution for a degree, diploma or other qualification.

Signed _____________________________ Siu Kwan CHOY

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Abstract

Open Space, an essential component of urban, should be highly considered in urban planning. It is important for each city or region to formulate its own standards to reflect local needs. However, in Hong Kong, the existing condition revealed that some open spaces fail to fulfill the local desire. To understand the public interests in depth, this thesis examines the usability and attractiveness of open space in high density living environment. After studying the case study in Belcher Bay Park, public attitude towards open space can be revealed. Recommendations for open space design would be suggested. Moreover, the integration between open space and urban is less in Hong Kong. This thesis intends to fill this void and proposes orientation of open space development in future.

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Acknowledgements

I would like to acknowledge the help and encouragement I have received from a number of people. My supervisor Dr. Xue Qui Li Charlie, gave unstintingly time and expertise to encourage me conducting this study and writing this thesis in my final year of Bachelor Degree of Science in Architectural Studies. Thanks to his encouragement, I overcame the difficulties of study and completed my first thesis.

I would also like to thank my classmate Chu Po Hei and Lau On On, who gave me valuable suggestions on my study.

Special thanks to my friend Lui Kar Yee for helping me proof-reading work and I believe she has spent extra patience and effort on it.

Finally, a special gratitude must be given to my parents who actively support my study. Also, I would like to sincerely thank people who have extended their helping hands and given me supports throughout the preparation of this thesis. If I have inadvertently used material without permission or acknowledgement, I sincerely apologize and hope that any oversight will be excused.

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Table of Contents

Abstract Acknowledgements Table of Contents List of Tables List of Figures List of Abbreviation

iii iv v vii viii x

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1.1. Background 1.2. 1.3. 1.4. 1.5. Aims and Objectives Definition of terms Methodology Study Procedure

2 2 3 4 5 6

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1. The Role of Open Space in Urban 2.2. Benefit of Open Space 2.3. Design Theory of Open Space 2.4. Definition of Good Open Space

8 8 11 15 19

CHAPTER THREE: PLANNING AND DESIGN OF OPEN SPACE 3.1. Factors of Open Space Planning and Design 3.1.1. Social Factors 3.1.2. Sensory Factors 3.1.3. Environmental Factors 3.2. Problems of Open Space Planning in Hong Kong

22 22 22 25 29 31

CHAPTER FOUR: CASE STUDY 4.1. Introduction 4.2. Background 4.3. Profile of Case Study Area

37 37 38 41

4.4. 4.5. 4.6. 4.7.

Methodology Research Finding and Analysis Comparison of Case Study Open Space of Kennedy Town in Future 4.7.1. Existing Problems of Open Space 4.7.2. Suggestions for Open Space Development

46 48 57 65 66 68

CHAPTER FIVE: RECOMMENDATION AND CONCLUSION 5.1. Recommendation 5.2. Conclusion 5.3. Further Study

75 75 80 81

REFERENCES

APPENDIX A1 Map of Kennedy Town APPENDIX A2 Map of Wah Fu APPENDIX A3 Tertiary Planning Unit Boundary APPENDIX A4 Projected Hong Kong Population by Tertiary Planning Unit, 2005-2011 APPENDIX A5 Basic Tables for Tertiary Planning Units APPENDIX A6 Major Recreation and Amenity Facilities of Hong Kong

87 88 89

90 92

96

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List of Tables

Table 1: Table 2: Table 3: Table 4:

Table: Major public open spaces in Kennedy Town Major Activities in Different Study Area Household Characteristics of the Case Study Areas Comparison between the Performance of Belcher Bay Park and Waterfall Bay Park

45 49 58

64

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List of Figure

Figure 1: Figure-ground plan show a negative Open space in Sheung Wan, the open space is left over between buildings Figure 2: Figure-ground plan show a Positive open space in Ap Lei Chau Figure 3: Layout Plan of Belcher Bay Park Figure 4: The Seven Study Areas for Participant Observation Figure 5: No. of Person in Different Study Areas at Different Time on Monday (8th October 2007) Figure 6: No. of Person in Different Study Areas at Different Time on Sunday (7th October 2007) Figure 7: People practicing Tai Chi on pathway Figure 8: People dancing on the north entrance. Figure 9: The lawn is enclosed by railing for whole day Figure 10: A narrow running path and railing separate the lawn from main path Figure 11: People practicing Tai Chi on lawn in morning Figure 12: Age of People in the Park at Different Time on Monday (8th October 2007) Figure 13: Age of People in the Park at Different Time on Sunday (7th October 2007) Figure 14: Many elderly walk on the running path in morning. Figure 15: Although the running path is so long, elderly with wheel chair still want to rest in there Figure 16: Gender of People in the Park at Different Time on Monday (8th October 2007) Figure 17: Gender of People in the Park at Different Time on Sunday (7th October 2007) Figure 18: Female users practicing Tai Chi in the stage and lawn Figure 19: Two groups of male users enjoying inChinese Chess in sunset looking pavilion Figure 20: Figure-ground Plan of Kennedy Town 56 59 54 55 54 53 52 53 52 48 49 50 51 51 51 48 16 16 40 46

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Figure 21: Figure-ground Plan of Wah Fu Figure 22: Total Number of User at Different Time in the Study Parks Figure 23: Exit of the park without welcoming gateway or notice Figure 24: User exercising in front of the waterfront, the visual linkage between waterfront and the park is weak. Figure 25: The waterfront is the unique feature of Waterfall Bay. However, the design of park has not take advantage of it. Figure 26: Benches are separated too far from each other which discourage social interaction. Figure 27: Path is too long and narrow without lighting device Figure 28: Buildings and car park are location at the centre of the park which obstructs the access. People should pass from the south to the north thougha narrow pathway. Figure 29: Path without facilities Figure 30: Void without facilities which discourage social interaction Figure 31: Due to the dogs masters and other residents, Western District Public Cargo Working Area become lively at night Figure 32: As Kennedy Town is lack of open space, some people would go to Western District Public Cargo Working Area Figure 33: Accessibility of waterfall in Kennedy Town Figure 34: Proposed Plan of Western District Development Strategy (Planning Department, 2000) Figure 35: Birds Eye View of Western District Development Strategy (Planning Department, 2000) Figure 36: Make Use of Unused Land for Open Space Development in Kennedy Town

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62 63

63 64 64

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67 68

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List of Abbreviation

ArchSD CPLD CUPEM

Architectural Services Department Committee on Planning and Land Development Hong Kong University's Centre of Urban Planning and Environmental Management Development Permission Area Hong Kong Institute of Architects Hong Kong Outline Plan Hong Kong Planning Standard and Guideline Outline Zoning Plan Planning Standards Sub-Committee Town Planning Ordinance

DPA HKIA HKOP HKPSG OZP PSSC TPO

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER ONE:

INTRODUCTION

1.1. Background

The population and building density of Hong Kong keep on increasing, the government has put more effort on the urban planning and renewal. Open Space, as an essential land use, should be highly considered in the urban planning. Up to 2006, there are about 6.7 million people living in Hong Kong. The population density is about 6,100 persons per km2 1 . Due to the high population density, most of the developable lands in urban area are used for high-rise development. Open space and greenery become a rarely property in the city. As open space provides a lot of obvious benefits and opportunities to the public 2 , the availability of more open space is significant in the urban development.

Public open space is not just a place for people gathering, it has a symbolic meaning to society 3 . Each culture has its own explanation on open space. For example, open space is a platform for goods exchange or religious activities in some countries. In Hong Kong, open space is a crucial feature to against the overcrowding situation.

Fung. C.K. (2001), Planning for High-Density Development in Hong Kong, Planning

Department, Hong Kong


2 3

Helen Wooley (2003), Urban Open Spaces, Spon Press Clare Cooper Marcus & Carolyn A. Francis (1990), People Places, Van Nostrand Reinhold

Open space is important in peoples daily life. To public, it is a place for social interaction and resting both physically and mentally. To our environment, it improves the overall environment by greenery. However, it do not meaning that open space equals to better life quality. Some open spaces in Hong Kong are not user friendly, even some of them aggravate commission of crime. The efficiency of open space depends on many factors such as provision, facilities provided, accessibility, user quality and management.

To examine urban open space in deep, this thesis would undergo a series of study on theories and existing open space.

1.2. Aims and Objectives

Aims The aim of this thesis is to examine the usability of open space in high density living environment. By analyzing the existing urban open space, improvements are suggested for open space design. The orientation of open space development in future is proposed.

Objectives To develop a theoretical understanding of quality open space by reviewing the local and overseas literatures To investigate planning and design factors of open space in Hong Kong

To define good open space based on the theoretical understanding To find out the existing problems of open space in Hong Kong To evaluate the effectiveness of open space by studying the existing urban open space and compare the performances of different open spaces To analyze overall open space development in urban, suggest ways to improve the urban in term of open space To apply the researched knowledge of planning and design of open space, provide recommendations for open space design in Hong Kong

1.3. Definition of terms

Open space has many definitions. A variety of different authors and thinkers have used a range of definitions relating to open space 4 . Some definitions touching on the different aspects of open spaces are as the followings: Land and water in an urban area that is not covered by cars or buildings, or as any undeveloped land in an urban area 5 . Land with non-development or minimum development types of uses (for examples: golf courses, agricultural uses, parks) or land left

4 5

Helen Wooley (2003), Urban Open Spaces, Spon Press Gold S.M. (1980), Recreation Planning and Development, McGraw-Hill

undeveloped for aesthetic or environmental, health, welfare, or safety reasons (for examples, steep unstable slopes, or wetlands) 6 . In Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Planning Standard and Guideline (HKPSG) define open space as follow: A statutory land use zone for the provision of open space and recreation facilities for the enjoyment of the general public. Under HKPSG, there are certain types of public open space in Hong Kong.

1.4. Methodology

Theoretical exposition This study was carried out literature review on the topic of open space to review the planning and design of open space and recognize the roles and functions of open space in urban.

Case Study Case study of urban open space would be carried out in order to analyse the effectiveness of open space and find out the relationship between open space and high-density living area. The detail of study methodology would be described in the Chapter Four.

Montgomery County Department of Planning & Inspections (2001), Open Space Planning,

http://www.montva.com/departments/plan/cpfiles/EXISTING_PLANS/OPENSPACEPLA N/preface.php

1.5. Study Procedure


Stage 1

Literature Review

Setting Theoretical Framework

Analyze the Planning and Design Factors

Define a Good Open Space

Found out the Existing Problems of Open Space Planning and Design

Stage 2 Open Space Case Study (Belcher Bay Park)

Comparison Case Study (Belcher Bay Park and Waterfall Bay Park)

Analysis of the Results

Suggest Ways to Improve Open Space

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW

CHAPTER TWO:

LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1. The Role of Open Space in Urban

Open space is an essential element in urban. In an urban view, open space is external, unobstructed space that enhance air movement, with different privacy and hierarchy 7 . It has significance in improving urban environment and providing the needs of citizen. So, optimization of open space and social facilities is a common urban policy to support family, maintain the green area of city as well as to improve the city.

Open Space Enhance the Goodness of City Lynch (1981) indicated five dimensions and two meta-criteria to measure the goodness of city. The five dimensions namely vitality, sense, fit, access and control 8 . A good city should perform well in these five dimensions. Vitality refers to the environmental health of a city, it is the fit between environment and human. Vitality regards all aspects that related to health such as supply of food, ventilation and air quality. Sense refers to how well the citizens know their city, their sense of orientation inside city and their sense of belonging. Fit refers to how the form, capacity of spaces match with the existing environment. It is about the coordination between different urban elements. Access is the ability to reach with other persons, locations,
7 8

Rob Krier (1979), Urban Space, Random House Lnc. Kevin Lynch (1981), Good City Form, MIT Press

activities, services, information, or diversity of the elements which can be reached. Control refers to the efficiency of management and maintenance of a city.

When considering the contribution of open space in urban, it is no doubt that open space would at least ameliorate the vitality, sense and access, while the fit is depended on the design and planning of open space and landscaping. Open space is a place that people can easily recall, which helped them to build up the sense of belonging. also it is a place for people to reach each other. As open space has above contribution to a city, a good city should not lack of open space.

Open Space Enhance the Legibility of City As an urban element, open space plays an important part on the legibility of city. Legibility is the ease which people recognize the features of city. To study the legibility, Lynch (1960) collected mental maps of different people in a city. The result revealed that people mainly have five key dimensions to construct their mental map: paths, edges, districts, nodes and landmarks 9 . Paths are routes along the movement of people, such as street and walkway. Edges are liner elements that separate different environment and district, such as river and highway. Districts are a medium to large section of a city that has its feature and identity. Nodes are strategic points inside city that people used to have gathering, or check points for traveling from place to place, such as junction of road, bus terminus and public square. Landmarks

Kevin Lynch (1960), The Image of the City, MIT Press

are physical object that have primary characteristics in city, it is unique, prominent and easily recalled by people, which may help to maintain the sense of belonging of people.

To consider the open space by the legibility, open space can be one of the five dimensions: Circulation of some open space would act as a path for people to pass through. An example is Cornwall Street Park in Kowloon Tong, which provides a path for resident to come and leave. Some open space is an edge of a district, such as Tsim Sha Tsui East Promenade, where is a shape edge that separate the Victoria Harbour to Kowloon. Although open space would seldom be a district, it is a part of district and shows the districts characteristics, such as the Kowloon Walled City Park. As open space is a place for people gathering, some open space with high occupancy would be developed into a node. An example is Victoria Park in Causeway Bay. Open space sometime is a landmark. For example, the Status Square in Central is a prominent plaza that likely to be recognized by people.

Open Space forms the basic elements of peoples mental map 10 . It appeared in urban with different forms such as path and landmark. Therefore, it is an urban element that people would easily recognize. It would facilitate people to recall the image of city.

10

Xue Q.L. & Kevin K.K. Manuel (1997), The Public Space of Urban Hong Kong A

Quest for Cultural Heritage and Developmental Strategies, The Second International Symposium on Asia Pacific Architecture

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2.2. Benefit of Open Space

It is generally agreed that open space being a lot of benefits and opportunities to citizens. These advantages may be obvious or imperceptible. The benefits of open space can be classified into four main categories: personal, social, economic and environmental benefit.

Personal Open space have been proved to have benefit for both physical and mental health of people. Law Olmsted, pioneer of landscape architect, revealed that large open space would reduce the level of plague, improve general health of people and increase the length of life 11 . It is because open space is a place for exercises and activities. Obesity is a problem that persecutes many people in Hong Kong and other high density cities. Childhood obesity is likely to continue into adult life, while exercise is an effective way to get rid of it when children grow. Hence, open space is especially important to them. The provision of safe and clean open space would enhance people intention to exercise.

In high density city, peoples daily life is stressful, they disturbed by many stimulants such as noise, crowding and high temperature, which cause their sensory system overloaded 12 . To recover their mind, open space is a
11

Beveridge, C.E. and Rocheleau P. (1995), Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing the

American Landscape, Rizzoli


12

Francis T. McAndraw (1993), Environmental Psychology, Brooks/Cole Publishing

Company

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stress-free area that they should go. It is proved that natural landscape in open space has restorative effect to human 13 . Peoples stress and uneasy emotion can be diminished after having a break in green open space.

Social Open space is a place for different generations and social groups to meet and interact. Relationship between people is built up by different social activities. There are many studies proving that open space would enhance social interaction. Whyte (1980) shows that if recreational facilities are provided in an urban park, a range of activities in different times would become a part of urban life 14 . Beside the social interaction, open space has the importance on community focus, it is a place for people to meet informally. Especially for open space that provided a range of activities and events, which would increase the sense of community. Such as the activities in mid-autumn festival, families and friends would gather in park for playing games or eating moon-cake. Sense of community is then fostered.

Open space is effective in connecting people. Although residential units are very close in high density living environment, neighbours still keep a great social distance. Psychologically, the architecture of building would create a great functional distance between people 15 . Functional distance between people refers to the possibility that people contact with each other, which is
13

Ulrich R.S. (1979), Visual Landscape and Psychological Well Being, Landscape Research,

Vol. 4, Taylor & Francis Group


14 15

Whyte W.H. (1980), The Social Life of Small Urban Space, Conservation Foundation Francis T. McAndraw (1993), Environmental Psychology, Brooks/Cole Publishing

Company

12

affected by architectural design. Such as the architectural decisions of placement of door and elevators in a building. Mostly in Hong Kong, neighbours have no space to communicate inside a residential building, provide open space in residential area is a way to deal with the insufficient of residential housing design.

It has been considered that active open space would reduce incivilities. Turner (1996) pointed out that sport would diminish youth crime and improve physical health 16 . Sport has been considered to contribute the reduction of antisocial behaviour such as destruction and drug taking.

Economic Mostly, people would like to live in residential area that near leisure and recreational park. It is the reason that property near open space would have higher economic value and potential. In Hong Kong, park and recreational facilities near residential development is always a selling point of property. People would care about the park nearby if they decide to own a flat.

Some open space has positive effect on tourism. Such as the Nan Lian Garden in Diamond Hill, it is not only a park for local resident, but a Chinese garden that attracts many foreign tourists. However, most domestic open space has less attraction for tourists, since it is open for residents but not visitors.

16

Turner T. (1996), City as Landscape: A Post-modern View of Design and Planning, F.N.

Spon

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Environmental Open space with adequate greenery and landscape would affect the micro climate. It plays a vital role in air quality improvement in urban environment. A well planned and managed open space would benefit the environment nearby. Morcos (1978) point out that landscape and open space would provide a successful building solution to building group 17 . Tree and green plant in open space would improve the air quality in a neighbourhood. A large open space would enhance air circulation, which would help to remove hot and polluted air.

Green open space is a buffer zone to filter noise. Some studies pointed out that tree has high capacity to reduce noise significantly. But Heisler (1977) has realized tree cannot reduce a high level of noise unless a wide barrier of tree is used 18 . The barrier effect is depended on the type of noise and type of tree. Although there is a reservation on noise insulation, tree can still act as a psychological barrier in open space.

Large tract of green open space has a significant impact on temperature reduction. Heisler (1977) pointed out that small green area would not reduce temperature significantly, but a large group of trees would really maintain air temperature and humidity 19 . The cooling effect of open space is especially

17

Morcos A.F. (1978), Design and Building for a Tropical Environment, The Built

Environment, Environment and Man, Vol. 8, Blackie


18

Gordon M. Heisler (1977), Trees Modify Metropolitan Climate and Noise, Journal of

Arboriculture, Vol. 3, Arboriculture & Urban Forestry


19

Gordon M. Heisler (1977), Trees Modify Metropolitan Climate and Noise, Journal of

Arboriculture, Vol. 3, Arboriculture & Urban Forestry

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important in high density city, urban green space would be effective in resisting the urban heat island effect.

2.3. Design Theory of Open Space

Positive Open Space Indoor space is opposed to open space. When analyzing the relationship between indoor space and outdoor open space, figure-ground analysis is a common method to distinguish the two extremes. In a figure-ground diagram, the height and complexity of buildings are ignored. Instead, we can only recognize which is solid and which is void, the solid described as figure while the void described as ground. Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter (1978) had described the differences between the figure and ground. They represent two extremes and fundamental elements in figure-ground plan as well as two profound meanings in people mind 20 . Figure is a solid mass that appeared as a black object, while ground is an open void that appeared as a white field. For a deep meaning, figure is matter that resists the liberation of spirit but ground enhances it. Hence, open space has an essential meaning which is more then a place for relax and play, it compensates the deficiency and impact due to the excessive solid in an urban area.

20

Colin Rown and Fred Koetter (1978), Collage City, The MIT Press

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In a figure-ground plan, we can recognize which open space is positive and which is negative. Open space is negative when it is sharpness or its sharp is not well defined. Such open space may be formed by residue space left behind buildings. This kind of open space is vague and amorphous. People cannot realize the boundary of open space. In opposition to negative open space, positive open space has a distinct and clear shape. It is partly enclosed and convex. Although it is not necessary to define a substantial boundary for positive open space, the visual boundary should be clear enough for people to observe. People can feel the existence of open space when they use it.

Although ground or open space can neutralize the impact of massive buildings, negative open space that merely left over between buildings is not effective or useful 21 . People would feel uncomfortable in negative open space. Negative open space tends to have less occupancy. Therefore, when designing open space, positive space should be maximized by providing some degree of enclosure, and prevent the space spill out around corners.
Facing a developing open space and sea view

Figure 1:

Figure-ground plan show a

Figure 2:

Figure-ground plan show a

negative Open space in Sheung Wan, the open space is left over between buildings

Positive open space in Ap Lei Chau

21

Christopher Alexander (1977), A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction,

Oxford University Press

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Hierarchy of Open Space In an open space, people tend to sit facing a large view and with their back protected. Otherwise people would feel uncomfortable. It is because people can only observe the objects in front of them but not behind them. People would feel safe if they know nobody in their back and they would feel ease when they can see a great view 22 . A back and a view into a larger space are always welcomed by people.

For an open space with small scale, the corner can act as a back. So people can sit in front of the corner and look out to small landscape. For an open space with larger scale that facing street or large space, boundary of open space should be clearly defined. A front stoop is effective in defining a clear enclosure and a back, which separate the open space from street. For the largest open space, public square and greens to a grand vista could be opened up. The square of the open space can act as a back, people sit on square can look on a larger view. In sum, when designing an open space, at least one pocket space should be provided to form a natural back. Then place the opening of the pocket space to an appropriate position, so people can look into a larger space or large distant view from the pocket space.

Enhance Activities by well designed Open Space Interesting open space would attract people to visit and stay for a period of time. Actually, attractiveness of open space is not only depends on its size. A

22

Christopher Alexander (1977), A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction,

Oxford University Press

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path inside a small open space can be very interesting. It depends on the planning of the path. Nowadays, path is just a place for people to pass through but not stay in, except Filipino using open space on Sunday. But for local people, they would just go to their destination without take rest in path.

To increase the attractiveness of a path, Christopher Alexander (1977) suggested a bulge space in the middle of the path with facilities such as benches provided, the two ends of the path become narrowed. So the path forms an enclosure at the centre where activities are enhanced 23 . Mostly, the most important part of an open space is square or plaza. Well designed square would benefit the whole open space. Naturally, people move towards the edge of square but not the centre. If the edge of square is insipid, it would just become a space to pass through but not stay in, the square would not lively. In other words, space for activities such as displays area, benches area and landscapes should be provided at the edge of square. Those areas could be pocket shape which is partly enclosed. So people would gather in such pocket space, and then move towards the square. Finally the square would become full of activities.

23

Christopher Alexander (1977), A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction,

Oxford University Press

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2.4. Definition of Good Open Space

Based on the open space design theories in the previous section, good open space should have following characteristics:

Attract people to stay in A good open space should attract people to stay for a period of time. People willing to stay in open space means that they feel comfortable and safe, which reflected that they are satisfied with the open space. Due to a number of users, open space would become fill of vitality. In addition, once people used to play and rest in the open space near their home, they would build up a sense of belonging.

Enhance Social Interaction Social interaction can be enhanced by good open space. Though various activities in open space, relationship of people is built up. It allows people to make strong connection.

The overall planning of open space is critical in enhancing social interaction. The followings are the design approaches that can achieve a better social environment: provide pocket space and generate hierarchy in open space.

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Serve People with Different Backgrounds Public open space is a place for all, people with different age, cultural and background are welcomed. Therefore, for a good open space, facilities provided should fulfill everyone needs. Generally, popular open space facilities such as childrens playground and fitness path can serve either children or adult only, but less facilities can serve both of them at the same time. For an integrated open space, it is important to provide facilities that can serve people of different age group and cultural at the same time, such as lawn and barbecues court. Thus, the communication between different age groups can be enhanced. People with different background can be consolidated.

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CHAPTER THREE: PLANNING AND DESIGN OF OPEN SPACE

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CHAPTER THREE: OF OPEN SPACE

PLANNING AND DESIGN

3.1. Factors of Open Space Planning and Design

There are many factors that control the open space planning and design in Hong Kong. In this section, major factors would be classicized into three categories: social factors, sensory factors and environmental factors

3.1.1. Social Factors

Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines (HKPSG) is published by Planning Standards Sub-Committee (PSSC) in 1982 and renamed from the Part II of Hong Kong Outline Plan (HKOP). It is a non-statutory guideline document that control the requirement and planning of various land uses and facilities in Hong Kong. The purpose of this guideline is to regulate different developments, allocate of land resources equitably, and provide appropriate and adequate public facilities to meet the public needs.

The standards of open space in Hong Kong is controlled by the Chapter Four Recreation, Open Space and Greening of HKPSG. The Chapter Four clearly stated the definition, typology, principle and provision of open space.

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The guidelines ensure a high quality as well as sufficient quantity of open space. It focus on the accessibility, safety, environmental impact, compatibility of open space.

Under the Chapter Four of HKPSG, three scales of open space are defined, namely Regional Open Space, District Open Space and Local Open Space. The classification of open space is based on the size, population served, location and function. Regional Open Space should be located in urban area and close to public transport route. Special feature and prominent view should be considered so as to attract visitors and enhance tourism. District Open Space should be located in urban area or rural area, adequate flat land is preferred for open space to support the core activities. Area for Core activities and passive recreation should be provided in proportion of 3:2 The purpose of Local Open Space is to serve the local residents. Therefore, short walking distance between open space and residential buildings is recommended. Preferably the distance is not more than 0.4 km. There is no guideline for the active to passive open space ratio, but passive recreation is the main activities in Local Open Space. In some cases, open space can be located in podium of public housing and residential developments.

These three open spaces are mostly related to public daily life. Especially for the District Open Space and Local Open Space, which purpose is to serve the local population and support the residential development. So the provision is

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based on the population. Generally, for urban area including new town and metro area, at least 20 ha of open space should be provided for 100,000 persons. In the 20ha, half area should be provided in District Open Space and the other half should be provided in Local Open Space. As a result, each person can share 2m2 of open space. However, there is no standard for the Regional Open Space provision. It provided as a bonus in the urban area.

Active game and recreation is essential in citizens daily life. In the Chapter Four of HKPSG, the standards of indoor and outdoor core activities are stated in detail. Similar as open space provision, the provision of active recreation facilities is based on either population or district. For example, a badminton court should be provided for every 8,000 persons, each district should have at least one leisure swimming pool.

Town Planning Ordinance The Town Planning Ordinance (TPO, Chapter 131, sections 3(1)(a) and 4(1)) indicated that the Town Planning Board has the right to prepare and publish the Outline Zoning Plan (OZP) and Development Permission Area (DPA) Plan for the area of Hong Kong. These statutory plans control the urban planning and the use of land. Areas zoned for residential, commercial, industrial, government use, open space and other special purpose are shown in OZP. The integrated planning system ensures the health, safety, convenience and general welfare of the community.

The OZP control the urban planning in Hong Kong. In other words, it controls the quantity and location of open space in different districts. The

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Section Four of TPO emphasizes the significance of parks, open space and recreation space. In the OZP, the symbol O represent the area reserved for park or open space while the symbol G/IC represent government, institution or community such as government complex, recreation and sport centre. The detail of land use is referred to the note attachment of OZP, shown in either Column I always permitted or Column II Permitted with or without conditions in the Schedule of Uses. Usually, the Column I uses of open space including park, garden, beach, playground, zoo and structure that support the open space. The Column II uses have a high variety, some of the uses are not in cooperate with open space, such as flat, office, retail and restaurant.

Area zoned for open space is shown on OZP. Nevertheless, OZP cannot reflect the actual amount of open space. OZP only show the proposed land use of open space, but not the open space area. Under OZP, land marked with O sometime includes non-confirmed land use or vacant land. The amount of open space is thus inaccurate. In addition, if the land use reserved for open space is being changed under the column II, the original proposed area for open space would be diminished or left out. It undoubtedly deprives the public right of enjoying open space.

3.1.2. Sensory Factors

Distance between Users Open space is a platform for users interaction. Inside an open space, we can observe that different users have different face to face distances, it is a

25

physical distance which reflecting the social dimension and the familiarity between users. The study of such distance is referred to the personal space, which means an area with invisible boundaries surrounding a persons body that intruders may not come 24 . To analyze the personal space, Edward Hall (1959) suggested four distances for different interpersonal relationship and social groups: they are Intimate distance, personal distance, social distance and public distance 25 . Intimate distance (0.15m) is the communicational distance for people who have close relationship. People interact at this distance are either intimate or emotionally active, such as lovemaking and fighting respectively. Personal distance (0.75m) is the distance between friends or couple. Usually they would keep in this distance when they talking. Social distance (2m) is the distance between businessman when they transacting business, which have little sense of friendship. Public distance (7m) is the distance between speaker and their audiences. As the distance is too far, it is difficult to have normal conversation.

Public open space serves various social groups, so the distance for different social groups and people should be considered in designing open space. Groups with different gender and age require different personal space 26 . Children would play closer in playground than young adult. Distance between female is closer than male. In general, people communicated to each other with intimate, personal and social distance in park. To facilitate their communication and interaction, the distance between different facilities such

24 25 26

Sommer Robert (1969), Personal Space: The Behavioral Basis of Design, Prentice-Hall Edward T. Hall (1959), The Silent Language, Knopf Publishing Group Paul A. Bell, Thomas C. Greene, Jeffery D. Fisher, Andrew Baum (1978), Environment

Psychology, Harcourt College Publishers

26

as benches, tables and planters should be carefully planned and keep in an appropriate distance. The inappropriate placement of facilities such as too far between each bench or concentrated placement of benches would affect their communication even block the social interaction.

Setting of Facilities The distance between facilities would affect the personal space, while the arrangement of facilities would affect the sociability of people. Inside an open space, the sociability of people can be enhanced or inhibited by appropriate architectural planning. The term socio-architecture is regarded to the planning that related to social impact. sociopetal setting is to encourage social interaction while sociofugal setting is to discourage social interaction 27 . For example, a sociopetal setting can be a round dining table with seat surrounded, which form a good communication environment. A sociofugal setting can be a set of benches facing outward from one another, users should face in different directions, which block the chance for communication.

Undoubtedly, most people would likely prefer sociopetal setting in open space. However, in some cases, users of open space would require space with sociofugal setting. Especially in high density living environment, sensory system of citizen is overloaded due to intensive work. Some users would prefer a quiet open space with higher privacy. They would like to have rest in

27

Robert Gifford (1997), Environment Psychology, Allyn and Bacon

27

open space instead of talking with others. In this situation, sociofugal setting of open space become a tool to recover their sense.

Therefore, both sociopetal and sociofugal settings are important in open space planning. Facilities (especially seat and table) arrangement with both approaches should be provided for different users 28 .

Attractiveness In Hong Kong, the occupancy of some parks or sitting-out areas is low even in public holiday, while some parks is full of people all the week. The occupancy of open space is affected by many factors such as the accessibility, usability, identity and vitality. In sum, those factors are related to the attractiveness of the open space. Although attractiveness is an ambiguous term, the attractiveness of a space can be explained by the community environmental psychology. It is about the person-environment relationship in different places. To enlivening the city, Sideny Brower (1988) point out a list of guidelines for communities space design 29 . He suggested every part of public space should have a legitimate use. People can visit all areas routinely and there is no dead place along the route. Once users enjoy their activities inside an open space, people outside would feel safe doing so, then they go hand in hand. In designing sidewalks, facilities such as benches, planters and vendors should put along the walkway, so people would enjoy walking or watching when they using the sidewalks. In some citizens mind, park is a

28 29

Robert Gifford (1997), Environment Psychology, Allyn and Bacon Brower S. (1988), Design in Familiar Places: What Makes Home Environments Look

Good, Praeger

28

place for children to frolic only. Actually, park is open for all. But most facilities of open space serve either children (such as playground) or adult (such as fitness path), but not serve both of them (such as barbecues court). If possible, incorporate all age groups in all activities.

3.1.3. Environmental Factors

It is no doubt that open space can improve the microclimate of a city, especially for high density city. The efficiency of environmental improvement depends on the overall open space planning and greenery provision. When designing an open space for a high density living environment, the following factors should be considered.

Sunlight Sunlight would bring vitality into an open space, if possible, plaza of an open space should be located in an area that can receive much sunlight 30 . So it can maintain a higher temperature in winter. On the other hand, shading should be preserved in at least a part of the plaza so as to prevent excessive sunlight in summer. Ideally, building and massing are effective to control the sunlight in an open space, but in high density city such as Hong Kong, high-rise buildings usually prevents sunlight to reach any parts of open space. Beside, there are no guidelines for the sunlight control, while tall buildings are frequently placed on a site before the development of open space. Those insufficiencies result in lack of sunlight. Unlike Hong Kong, Zoning

30

Clare Cooper Marcus & Carolyn A. Francis (1990), People Places, Van Nostrand Reinhold

29

Ordinance is legislated in San Francisco, which prohibits development that would shade an open space at any time. By the Zoning Ordinance, buildings should at least allow sunlight to enter public open space between 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 31 Although Hong Kong has no such ordinance, to improve the sunlight condition, planner should consider the orientation of open space, or induce indirect sunlight to open space in case of less direct sun exposure.

Temperature Open space would improve the surrounding environment by its cooling effect. But for open space itself, the temperature may be too high and unpleased for users in summer. The high temperature can be contributed by several factors such as direct and indirect sunlight, heat reflected from surrounding building or ground as well as air heated by road and pavement surface. Those factors would cause the significant increase in temperature of open space, thus increase the cooling load. To deal with this problem, passive cooling system such as vegetation for evapotranspiration, using fountains, pools and ponds for evaporation can be applied in open space design. It is proved that the vegetation can reduce 2 oC to 3oC of temperature, depends on the area of greenery 32 .

31 32

Clare Cooper Marcus & Carolyn A. Francis (1990), People Places, Van Nostrand Reinhold John R. Goulding, J. Owen Lewis, Theo C. Steemers (1993), Energy in Architecture,

Commission of the European Communities, B T Batsford Ltd.

30

Overall comfort The overall comfort of an open space depends on the integration of sunlight, temperature, humidity, airflow and etc. Comfort is a vague term that is difficult to measure, it has different meaning to different people. But it is sure that greening would help to enhance the overall comfort of people, as well as the overall environment 33 . It is proved that green open space can mitigate the heat island effect by its cooling effect 34 . As green plant is effective in absorbing solar radiation and release heat by evaporation, it would improve the microclimate of a district. Therefore, vegetation is especially important for open space in high density city.

3.2. Problems of Open Space Planning in Hong Kong

Population-based Open Space Provision Refer to the Chapter Four of HKPSG, the provision requirement of district open space is the same as local open space, both are at least 10 ha for 100,000 persons. It ensures each resident having a minimum of 2m2 open space. Although this provision system can fulfil the demand of population of each district, it has not considered the needs of different age groups and people with different backgrounds. In some districts that have similar population but different age group distribution, their provision of open space is the same

33 34

Wong W.S. (2000), Building Hong Kong Environment Consideration, HKU Press John R. Goulding, J. Owen Lewis, Theo C. Steemers (1993), Energy in Architecture,

Commission of the European Communities, B T Batsford Ltd.

31

under HKPSG. For example, according to Planning Department (2006), the population of Wong Tai Sin is 434,000 persons and that of Sai Kung is 407,100 persons 35 . These two districts have similar population. Nevertheless, population aged over 65 in Wong Tai Sin is 71,400, which is a double of Sai Kung. Under HKPSG, the provision of open space is similar for these two districts. It ignored the different requirements of various age groups. As children need more active open space and larger activities area than elderly 36 , the provision of open space should not be the same for different districts. Each district has its unique demographic structures, character and needs, so it is inappropriate to apply the same measurement in all districts.

The provision of core activities is based on population as well. Under the table 6 of Chapter Four of HKPSG, a list of core activities is stated with population standards. For example, a 400m2 of childrens playground should be provided for every 5000 persons. This provision is based on how many people in a district but not the number of children. In the provision of activities space, the HKPSG solely considered the population, but not gives consideration to the public needs.

Formulation of the Standard The formulation and review is processed by PSSC (Planning Standards Sub-Committee), a sub-committee of the Committee on Planning and Land Development (CPLD). The formulation and review of standards and

35

Data up to the mid of 2005, refer to Planning Department (2006), Projections of

Population Distribution, Planning Department, Hong Kong


36

Helen Wooley (2003), Urban Open Spaces, Spon Press

32

guidelines is a continuing process, this process based on Governments policies and development requirements. Once the policy authorities or committees (such as Executive Council and CPLD) have revised a Government policy which is implicated the land use, the review of the standards and guidelines would be started. In the process, either the policy authorities requests the PSSC to formulate the standards and guidelines or the PSSC actively start the formulation on its own. Public consultation would be conducted only if the review implicated major policy.

In each review, an inter-departmental working group would be set up under the PSSC. The working group would conduct research and produce discussion papers if necessary. Newly proposed planning standards and guidelines would be submitted to the PSSC. The PSSC also monitors the implementation of the HKPSG through feedback from the relevant departments and policy bodies.

Throughout the formulation process, public only take part on it if the review involved major planning policy. For some particular amendments such as sport facilities provision, public have no way to express their interests through the review process. Also the intention of review is only based on Governments policies or individual policy departments. This formulation has a lack of public participation. In Hong Kong such a high density city, government usually put the priority on residential development rather than open space development. The conflict between high-rise buildings and open spaces is a problem for many years. So people should have high aspiration on open space and better living environment. It is better to increase the openness

33

of the formulation and review system, provide more channels for public to express their interests on open space.

Open Spaces that are difficult to use In Hong Kong, many open spaces are difficult to use even unwelcome to public, but those negative open space are fully counted as local open space or district open space. Unlike slope problem, slope correction factor is used to discount the open space provision for slope site under HKPSG 37 . However, similar measurement is not applicable in negative open space. Negative open space including space under highway intersection, roadside strips, small area that facing main road, area that left behind buildings. Those areas are difficult to access and have a higher risk. It is dangerous for children to play in such area. It seems that the purpose of those negative open spaces is to fill the remnant land that remained by building development and infrastructure. Those spaces are not ideal to be a part of local open space.

Lack of Hierarchy Open space is composed by different layers, such as plants, sitting area, paths, activities space, etc. These layers overlap and interrelate to form an open space. The hierarchy of open space is depended on how landscape architect deal with those layers appropriately. Open space with hierarchy is always preferred and welcome to public.

37

According to the Chapter Four of HKPSG, only 60% of land would be counted as standard

if the slope gradient is lower than 1:5. Only 30% of land would be counted as standard if the slope gradient is between 1:5 and 1:3. Land would not be counted as standard if the slope gradient is greater than 1:3

34

In Hong Kong, some open spaces are unpleasant. It can be imputed to the lack of hierarchy. Once people cannot find a view inside the open space or cannot find a seat with back protected, they would feel uncomfortable even unsafe. Those open space become unwelcome.

Actually, in some cases, lack of hierarchy is due to negative open space. As negative space is left behind buildings, it is not suitable for rest or play. This space usually has no view and potential to develop into an open space with hierarchy. So it is difficult for planners to generate hierarchy in such space.

35

CHAPTER FOUR: CASE STUDY

36

CHAPTER FOUR: CASE STUDY

4.1. Introduction

To examine the quality of open space in high density living environment, two case studies would be hold based on the theoretical framework in Chapter Two. For the selected parks, one is the Belcher Bay Park in Kennedy Town, Central and Western District. Another one is the Waterfall Bay Park in Wah Fu, Southern District.

The case study is divided into three parts. The first part is a detail study of Belcher Bay Park in Kennedy Town. Users behavior, users attitude and the social interaction would be examined. The second part is a comparison between the Belcher Bay Park and Waterfall Bay Park. Based on the comparison, successful factors of open space could be revealed. In the third part, open space would be examined in term of urban. The existing problems of open spaces in Kennedy Town and the solutions would be discussed.

For the two selected parks, the site context is similar. Both parks are in front of the coast and facing high-rise residential buildings. However, number of user of Belcher Bay Park is much higher than that of Waterfall Bay Park. To find out the reason that why Belcher Bay Park is more user-friendly than Waterfall Bay Park, a series of studies would be conducted in this two open spaces.

37

4.2. Background

History of Belcher Bay Park Belcher Bay Park, the former of Belcher Bay Temporary Park, was established in 1998
38

. The park was developed on part of the Belcher Bay

reclaimed area. The area of the park is about 16,600 m2, with some fitness facilities and childrens playgrounds. Belcher Bay Park is the largest open space in Kennedy Town. Before the establishment of Belcher Bay Park, resident in Kennedy Town had no chance to enjoy variety of park facilities in their district.

In 1998, Belcher Bay Temporary Park is a temporary district open space. After several years, the government planed to propose residential development after the settlement of this reclaimed site. Most residents were opposed to the government proposal. To uphold residents right of permanently enjoying the park, Central & Western District Council had requested for formally renaming of Belcher Bay Temporary Park as Belcher Bay Park 39 . Finally, the Belcher Bay Temporary Park was renamed to Belcher Bay Park in 2002. The event showed the residents yearning of public open space in their district. Also, it reflected that the government gives way to economic factors rather than public interests in urban development.

38

Territory Development Department (1998), Central & Western District Works Programme

1998 Edition, Territory Development Department, Hong Kong


39

The request of renaming is proposed at the 7th Meeting of the Food, Environment Hygiene

& Works Committee in 21 December 2000

38

Theme To attract visitors and enrich the park, Belcher Bay Park was built on the concept of "sea navigation". Users can see a lot of classic navigation apparatus in different areas of the park. Along the running path, 4 decorative lighthouses are installed which are converted from genuine acetylene gas operated lanterns in service in Tathong Channel area for more than 25 years 40 .

Site Context The site is a prominent site with high accessibility, it is an island site that tend to rectangular shape. The whole area is surrounded by roads (Kennedy Town Praya, Sai Cheung Street North) and highway (Shing Sai Road). The south and west of the park is facing a row of high rise residential buildings, while the north side is facing the Western District Public Cargo Working Area and Belcher Bay.

40

Film Services Office (2007), Location Library, http://www.fso-tela.gov.hk/accessibility/

eng/locations.cfm, Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority, Hong Kong

39

Overall Site Layout

Figure 3:

Layout Plan of Belcher Bay Park

The park has totally five entrances, four of them including the main entrance are located at the south since there is facing the main road, bus stops and buildings. Visually, people outside cannot notice the activities inside the park since a row of trees act as a boundary to separate the road from the park. They can get a full picture of the park only if they step into the entrance. Main facilities such as lawn, stage and fitness centre are located at the centre of the park, surrounded by pathway and the circular running path. The lawn is the most largest and spacious landscape in the park. At the western end there is a sunset looking pavilion, but the sunset view is blocked by buildings and trees for whole year.

40

Facilities of Belcher Bay Park: The major facilities of the park are as follows: entrance plaza, fitness station, foot massage path, seating area, plaza with seating area, central lawn, childrens playground, sunset looking pavilion, toilet, management office, running path and snack kiosk (not in service)

4.3. Profile of Case Study Area

Background of Kennedy Town Belcher Bay Park is the largest district open space in Kennedy Town. Kennedy Town is located at the western end of Central and Western District. It is a part of the Victoria City, which is one of the first urban settlements in Hong Kong after it became a British colony in 1842. The history of Kennedy Town can date back to the four Wans and nine Yeuks(neighbourhood) in 1857 41 . Kennedy Town is the first Yeuk where located at Sai Wan. At that time, Kennedy Town is a place for Chinese to live and work. The living condition of Kennedy Town is poor. As some undesirable buildings such as incinerator, slaughterhouse, mortuary, concrete plant are built in Kennedy Town. The impression of Kennedy Town in people mind is negative. With narrow road system, poor network, limited open space and crowded living environment, Kennedy Town is a dirty place that most people would not like

41

Joseph S.P. Ting, Wong. N. K. (1994), City of Victoria, The Urban Council of Hong Kong

41

to live 42 . Until 1990s, the land demand is largely increased. 10.3 hectares of Belcher Bay was reclaimed 43 , undesirable industries including incinerator, slaughterhouse and concrete plant were relocated to other district. With these contributions, the living environment of Kennedy Town was much improved.

Population Central and Western district has an area of 1,240 ha, with a residential population of about 248,200 plus a transient population of about 300,000 Over 90% of the people are living in private housing. In detail, Belcher Bay Park is located at the Tertiary Planning Unit (TPU) 1.1.1 of Central and Western district 45 . The east side of the park is touching the boundary of TPU 1.1.6. According to Planning Department (2006), total current population in the TPU 1.1.1 and 1.1.6 is 71,903, it will rise to 77,600 till 2011 46 .
44

42

Leung. P. W. (2003), Legends of the Central & Western District Hong Kong, Central &

Western District Council


43

Territory Development Department (1998), Central & Western District Works Programme

1998 Edition, Territory Development Department, Hong Kong


44

Data up to mid-2005. Refer to Planning Department (2006), Projections of Population

Distribution, Planning Department, Hong Kong


45

Tertiary Planning Unit (TPU) is a common geographical demarcation system used by the

Government for town planning and census purpose. Under this system, Hong Kong is divided into 282 TPUs.
46

Planning Department (2006), Projections of Population Distribution, Planning Department,

Hong Kong

42

Household Characteristics The average domestic household size for the study area (Kennedy Town, TPU 1.1.1 and 1.1.6) is 2.7 person per household which is lower than the average of Hong Kong (3.0 person per household) 47 . There are 25,338 families live in this area, less than one quarter are living alone (5,672 families), while more than three quarters are nuclear families (18,028 families).The number of person in households would affect the users pattern of public open space. As open space is being used as free living rooms by people who live alone, those people would stay in open space for a longer time 48 .

For the tenure of accommodation, about two third of the families are owner-occupier, while the others are tenant. Generally, owner-occupier would have higher social interaction and sense of belonging as they treat themselves as permanent resident in their district. They would be more active in improving the district and fighting for more urban facilities.

Averagely, the monthly household domestic income in the study area is higher than the whole territory of Hong Kong. Only 62.89% of families have a monthly domestic income less than 30,000, which percentage is lower than the whole territory (73.07%) 49 . The domestic household income in the study area is a bit above the medium. As two third of families in the study area have
47

Census and Statistics Department (2007), 2006 Population By-census Basic Tables for

Tertiary Planning Units, Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong


48 49

Clare Cooper Marcus & Carolyn A. Francis (1990), People Places, Van Nostrand Reinhold Census and Statistics Department (2007), 2006 Population By-census Basic Tables for

Tertiary Planning Units, Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong

43

their own flats, some of they should have substantial economic ability. In practice, open space design would reflect the household income of families. Take the study area as an example: The open spaces are located in densely populated urban areas, the income of families is medium and not many of them have cars and willing to enjoy open space far away from their home. So the open spaces in the study area tend to be limited size and heavily used 50 . As open space is limited, active open space such as courts and playing fields may not be provided, but there usually are play areas for children and benches and paths for talking and walking.

Age Group Distribution Amount the 71,903 persons in the study area, 12.37% of them aged under 15, 73.72% of them aged between 15 and 64 and 13.94% of them aged over 64 51 . This age group distribution is similar as the whole territory of Hong Kong. Although the study area is an old residential town, the proportion of people aged above 65 is medium. It is because there are redevelopments in the past few years, some of the old buildings were demolished. For open space design, more attention should be paid on the very young and the very old, as they are the least mobile age group and they may have difficulty to reach open space far from their home 52 .

50 51

Clare Cooper Marcus & Carolyn A. Francis (1990), People Places, Van Nostrand Reinhold Census and Statistics Department (2007), 2006 Population By-census Basic Tables for

Tertiary Planning Units, Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong


52

Clare Cooper Marcus & Carolyn A. Francis (1990), People Places, Van Nostrand Reinhold

44

Open Space Provision The followings are the major public open spaces located at Kennedy Town. Beside these major open spaces, there are some small gardens and sitting out areas in this area 53 .
Open Space Approx. Area(m2) Belcher Bay Park 16,600
54

Major Facilities

Lawn, stage childrens playground, running path, fitness station, seating area

Cadogan Street Temporary Garden Catchick Street Garden Forbes Street Temporary Playground Ka Wai Man Road Garden Kennedy Town Temporary Recreation Ground Table 1:

5,000

Lawn, seating area

2,400 6,700

Childrens playground, seating area Football field, basketball count, childrens playground, seating area

1,600 6,800

Seating area Football field, basketball count, seating area

Major public open spaces in Kennedy Town

In Kennedy Town, only one park can be found, while the other open spaces are in form of gardens, playground and recreation ground. Also, Nearly half of these open spaces are temporary. Lack of open space is a serious problem in Kennedy Town for many years. Since the urban planning in the early period is not integrated 55 , there is not enough land reserved for open space.

53

According to Leisure and Culture Service Department, area of open space larger than 1 ha

defined as park, area of open space less than 1 ha with passive facilities mainly defined as garden, area of open space less than 1 ha with active facilities mainly defined as playground or recreation ground, area of open space less than 0.5 ha with passive facilities mainly defined as sitting-out area
54 55

By measuring existing open space using digital survey map Leung. P. W. (2003), Legends of the Central & Western District Hong Kong, Central &

Western District Council

45

The population of Kennedy Town is 71,903

56

, while the open space

provision for this area is 3.94 ha 57 . It means that each person can enjoy 0.55 m2 of open space. The provision is much lesser than the standard of HKPSG. In the HKPSG, each person should share 1 m2 of local open space and 1 m2 of district open space as a minimum.

4.4. Methodology

The park would be divided into 7 study areas for participant observation and behavior mapping. These study areas are: 1. Main Entrance, 2. Sunset Looking Pavilion, 3. Childrens Playground, 4. Lawn, 5. Pathway, 6. Stage and 7. Fitness Station. Study areas are divided based on their functions and locations.

Figure 4:

The Seven Study Areas for Participant Observation

56

Census and Statistics Department (2007), 2006 Population By-census Basic Tables for

Tertiary Planning Units, Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong


57

By measuring existing open space using digital survey map

46

Participant Observation Belcher Bay Park is open for public. People of different ages, gender, nation and culture are welcomed to enjoy the facilities of the park. By collecting the background of user, we can find out which kind of people would use the park facilities most frequently. Also, the distribution of user background can be examined.

Behavior Mapping Behavior mapping is a study method to find out who is doing what at which location. Those data are based on observations at different time. By studying the time, frequency and habit of using park facilities, the habit and preference of different users can be realized.

The behavior mapping study is started on a weekday and a holiday. There are seven time slots for the study: morning section (08:00, 10:00), afternoon section (12:00, 14:00, 16:00) and evening section (18:00, 20:00). In the study period, the user pattern in different time slots would be recorded. Users with different backgrounds should have different responses and feelings to the parks. Therefore, each user should have a unique habit in using the park facilities.

47

4.5. Research Finding and Analysis

Analysis on Different Study Areas

Figure 5:

No. of Person in Different Study Areas at Different Time on Monday (8th

October 2007)

Figure 6:

No. of Person in Different Study Areas at Different Time on Sunday (7th

October 2007)

48

The following table shows the activities in different study areas that users frequently undergo. Beside the major activities stated below, other activities such as lunch, listening radio and sleeping can be found in the park.

Study Area 1. Main Entrance 2. Sunset Looking Pavilion 3. Childrens Playground 4. Lawn 5. Pathway 6. Stage 7. Fitness Station

Major activities Sitting, talking, reading newspaper Playing Chinese Chess, reading newspaper Playing, exercise, sitting, talking Tai Chi Sitting, walking, running, talking, Tai Chi, dancing, Tai Chi, dancing, exercise, sitting, talking Tai Chi, Exercise, dancing, shuttlecock, walking, sitting, talking

Table 2:

Major Activities in Different Study Areas

Generally, morning and nightfall are the peak hours that most users would enjoy the park. Especially in morning, lot of people used to enjoy the park around 8:00 which cause the park crowing. Since everywhere of the park are too busy at that time, some users would occupy the pathway even the entrance to do exercise, result in many inconveniences to other users.

Figure 7:

People practicing Tai Chi on pathway

49

Figure 8:

People dancing on the north entrance.

The lawn is the largest and the most spacious area that located at the centre of the park. Unexpectedly, no matter in weekday and holiday, number of users in lawn keep the lowest in the whole day. People would play and exercise in a crowded area such as fitness centre, rather than shift their activities to the lawn. The occupancy is only acceptable in morning, some people would practice Tai Chi in there. There are several reasons for the low occupancy of the lawn. Firstly, the lawn itself is a void, a large landscape without other facilities such as bench and table at its edge. If the edge of lawn is insipid, it would become a place for people to pass though but not stay in, the area would not lively 58 . To improve this situation, space for activities such as benches should be provided in some areas of the edge. So people would have gathering in such small area, and then move forward into the lawn. As a result, the square would become full of activities. Secondly, the connection between the lawn and pathway is broke up by the running path and railing. The lawn is enclosed by railing even it is not under maintenance. Only a small opening is

58

Christopher Alexander (1977), A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction,

Oxford University Press

50

provided for entrance. Normally people should pass though the railing in order to enjoy the lawn which is inconvenient.

Figure 9:

The lawn is enclosed by railing for whole day

Figure 10: A narrow running path and railing separate the lawn from main path

Figure 11: People practicing Tai Chi on lawn in morning

51

Analysis Based on the Age Group Distribution

Figure 12: Age of People in the Park at Different Time on Monday (8th October 2007)

Figure 13: Age of People in the Park at Different Time on Sunday (7th October 2007)

The result of research indicated that number of elderly user is the highest in the whole day except evening, while most adult around 30 to 65 would use

52

the park in evening. This is an expected result since most elderly are retired. Some of them would not like to stay at their small flat and want to enjoy a large open space. So the open space design should highly consider for these people. More passive recreation facilities should be provided. In the overall view, the park is fit for elderly as it provides adequate notice, landscape and seating along the pathway. But some of the facilities are not elderly friendly, such as the running path. The running path at the north section is too narrow and too long without a break point. Although running path is not designed for elderly users, by observation, elderly would use the running path more than young and adult. One of the reasons is that the north section is located at the highest position of the park, which attracts people to reach there and look over the park. Another reason is that the park is too crowded in the morning which forces some elderly users to the running path. The north section of running path is longer than 100 meters without a connection to the main path, it is better to provide at least one break point at the centre of the running path in order to facilitate elderly users who dont want to walk though the whole section.

Figure 14: Many elderly walk on the running path in morning.

Figure 15: Although the running path is so long, elderly with wheel chair still want to rest in there

53

Analysis Based on Gender of People in the Park

Figure 16: Gender of People in the Park at Different Time on Monday (8th October 2007)

Figure 17: Gender of People in the Park at Different Time on Sunday (7th October 2007)

Although the number of users on Sunday is higher than Monday, the two days show the same trend. In the morning, more female users would use the park.

54

Along the time line, number of female users is decreasing, while the trend of male users is opposite. After morning section, number of male users is higher than female users. One of the reasons is that most users of the park are retired elderly. For this age group, traditionally, female would look after their grandson or prepare lunch and dinner, which exploit their time to go outside. So that most female elderly would use the park in morning only.

By observation, the user pattern of male is quite different from female. According to Bell P.A.(1988), groups with different gender require different personal space. So that male and female need different space for activities 59 . Male and female have different gathering points in the park. Usually, male users would like to gather in sunset looking pavilion since chess table is provided in there. Female users would like to gather in stage for dancing or practicing Tai Chi. It is good that the park facilities can serve both groups of user.

Figure 18: Female users practicing Tai Chi in the stage and lawn

59

Paul A. Bell, Thomas C. Greene, Jeffery D. Fisher, Andrew Baum (1978), Environment

Psychology, Harcourt College Publishers

55

Figure 19: Two groups of male users enjoying in Chinese Chess in sunset looking pavilion

Overall Performance of the Park Although several problems are stated in the above analysis, the performance of the park is satisfied in general. Based on the theoretical framework in Chapter Two, Belcher Bay Park is a good open space. The park successfully attracts people to stay for a long time. Most users would enjoy their activities everywhere in the park, different social groups are thus generated. Also, various facilities are provided to serve people with different backgrounds.

56

4.6. Comparison of Case Study

This section is a comparison studies between Belcher Bay Park and Waterfall Bay Park. By comparison of the performance of the two parks, successful factors of the parks would be demonstrated.

Background of Waterfall Bay Park Following the development of Wah Fu Estate in 1970, Waterfall Bay Park was established to serve the resident in the estate. The park is located at a strip site facing the Waterfall Bay Road. Waterfall is located at the most northern side of the park. Starting from the waterfall, several facilities including barbeque area, seating area and childrens playground are located alone the main pathway. Same as Belcher Bay Park, Waterfall Bay Park is the largest open space in Wah Fu. Other than Waterfall Bay Park, resident should go far away in order to enjoy such open space.

Designing the Waterfall Bay Park is a great challenge as the site is too hilly. Most area of the park is inaccessible. Due to the continuous slope, level difference inside the park is high, the space become difficult to connect.

Facilities of Waterfall Bay Park: The facilities of the parks are as follows: barbeque area, seating area, childrens playground, toilet and management office

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Comparison of Case Studies Profile Waterfall Bay Park is located at the Tertiary Planning Unit (TPU) 1.7.2 of Southern District 60 . According to Planning Department (2006), total current population in the TPU 1.7.2 is 62,956, which is lower than Kennedy Town (TPU 1.1.1 and 1.1.6), and it will drop to 59,500 till 2011 61 .

Hong Kong TPU no. Current Population (person) Average domestic household size (person) Proportion of Populationaged under 15 aged 15-64 aged above 65 Median monthly domestic household income (HK$) Table 3: 13.7% 73.9% 12.4% $17,250

Kennedy Town

Wah Fu

6,864,346 3.0

1.1.1 & 1.1.6


71,903 2.7

1.7.2
62,956 3.1

12.4% 73.7% 13.9% $21,746

11.7% 71.8% 16.5% $16,100

Household Characteristics of the Case Study Areas

The table above showed that the domestic household size of Wah Fu is larger than Kennedy Town, which means more family members would share a flat. As most resident of Wah Fu are living in public rental flats, some of them may not satisfied with the crowded living environment, thus spend more time on open space. Beside, the proportion of population aged above 65 in Wah Fu

60

Census and Statistics Department (2007), 2006 Population By-census - Basic Tables for

Tertiary Planning Units, Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong


61

Planning Department (2006), Projections of Population Distribution, Planning Department,

Hong Kong

58

is higher than Kennedy Town. Elderly would use the open space more frequently than other age group 62 .

Figure-Ground Analysis

Figure 20: Figure-ground Plan of Kennedy Town

Figure 21: Figure-ground Plan of Wah Fu

From the figure ground of Wah Fu, some buildings are located at the centre of the Waterfall Bay Park. The park is separated into two parts by buildings. It
62

Clare Cooper Marcus & Carolyn A. Francis (1990), People Places, Van Nostrand Reinhold

59

resulted in loose shape of the park without a clear boundary. It seems that the park is left over between buildings and slope. According to Alexander Christopher (1977), the park is tended to be a negative open space, which is not useful and ineffective 63 . Compared with Waterfall Bay Park, the shape of Belcher Bay Park is more regular. It is an open site alone the city grid. The boundary is clear.

Research Finding and Analysis The result showed that the number of user in Waterfall Bay Park is much lesser than Belcher Park Bay in the whole day. Although population of Kennedy Town is higher than Wah Fu, this result is unexpected as the aging population of Wah Fu is larger.

Figure 22: Total Number of User at Different Time in the Study Parks

63

Christopher Alexander (1977), A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction,

Oxford University Press

60

The entrance and boundary of park is ambiguous, the starting point and the ending point of open space are not emphasized. Especially for the ending point, the park ended without welcoming gateway or notice. If the entrance or exit of park is not well defined, elderly may feel unsafe as they have to spend more time to look for the exit.

Figure 23: Exit of the park without welcoming gateway or notice

The park is not centralized, the most important space of the park is not defined. This makes the park have no distinguishing feature. So the park is difficult to form clear mental map in people mind. Unlike Waterfall Bay Park, Belcher Bay Park has emphasized the lawn as the most important space at the centre of the park.

In fact, waterfall at the northern end is the unique feature of the park. However, it is not open for public due to security concern. To take advantage of the waterfall, the design of the park can be focus on the north part, increase the accessibility to the edge of waterfall. Thus, user can close to the waterfall visually.

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Figure 24: User exercising in front of the waterfront, the visual linkage between waterfront and the park is weak.

Figure 25: The waterfront is the unique feature of Waterfall Bay. However, the design of park has not take advantage of it.

Benches in the south area of the park are separated too far from each others. Those seats seem independent, people on one seat cannot participate the activities beside them. The arranged is said to be sociofugal setting, which block the chance for communication and social interaction. Beside, no shading device is provided for benches in the south area, which is not user-friendly in raining or bright day.

Figure 26: Benches are separated too far from each other which discourage social interaction.

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Most accessible areas of the park are in form of circulation rather than node or plaza. The two ends of the park are linked together by a narrow path. The path is too long and narrow, which result in lacking attractiveness and vitality. Especially in the middle section of the path, no lighting is provided at night which is dangerous. To encourage people to stay in the path, bulge spaces with facilities can be placed in some points of the path, so nodes are form alone the path where activities are enhanced 64 .

Figure 27: Path is too long and narrow without lighting device

Figure 28: Buildings and car park are location at the centre of the park which obstructs the access. People should pass from the south to the north though a narrow pathway.

The park provided insufficient facilities for user. As less facilities are found in the park, a lot of large voids are created with no use. People would not like to stay in those voids result in no vitality. Beside, most facilities are too far from each others, which would discourage social interaction.

64

Christopher Alexander (1977), A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction,

Oxford University Press

63

Figure 29: Path without facilities

Figure 30: Void without facilities which discourage social interaction

Successful Factors of Open Space The findings of above case study showed that the usability of Waterfall Bay Park is much lower than Belcher Bay Park. Result in the great difference in the number of user. In sum, the performance of the two parks is compared as below.

Belcher Bay Park Accessibility Linkage to Waterfront Definition of boundary Theme of the park Emphasized space of the park Variety of paving pattern Variety of facility Seating arrangement Table 4: Park Higher Weaker Clearly defined Sea navigation Lawn Higher Higher Tend to sociopetal setting

Waterfall Bay Park Lower Stronger Vague None None Lower Lower Tend to sociofugal setting

Comparison between the Performance of Belcher Bay Park and Waterfall Bay

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By combining the results of the two case studies, successful factors can be concluded as follows:

Open space should be highly accessible, the entrance should be easily detected by people. Open space should be positive with a clear boundary, user can feel the existence of it. Safety is important in open space, tortuous path or corridor should be avoided. Every part of open space should not be planned with the same tone. Instead, provide a feature space as the most important part in the design. Once the open space has a centre, people would likely to remember the open space. If possible, link the open space to the natural scene or resource nearby, so the hierarchy of the open space can be generated. Sufficient park facilities should be provided for public, otherwise, the open space would become void which is not attractive for people to use.

4.7. Open Space of Kennedy Town in Future

After studying of individual cases of open space, this section would analyze the open space of Kennedy Town in a macroscopic viewpoint. The study would cover the urban planning and future open space development of Kennedy Town.

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4.7.1. Existing Problems of Open Space

Lack of Open Space Lack of open space is a serious problem that concerned by residents for many years. After the largest park in Kennedy Town Belcher Bay Park had established, the quantity of open space still cannot fulfil the HKPSG and residents need. As the MTR extension to Kennedy Town will be completed in 2013, more people would visit Kennedy Town which causes the increase in transient population. Also it is estimated that the population of Kennedy Town would increase 9% until the mid of 2011
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. If the government dont

propose new open space, existing open space would become overloaded.

Weak linkage between Open Space and Waterfront The Belcher Bay Park is located at the prominent site. However, the Western District Public Cargo Working Area separated the park from the seacoast. People in Belcher Bay Park cannot reach the waterfront. In order to enjoy larger open space, some people would go to the Western District Public Cargo Working Area after the working hours. Although the area is not for public recreation, provides no facilities and security, it is a rare place that people can reach the sea and enjoy slight wind. A lot of residents still go to there for walking or running at night. Beside, dog is not allowed to enter the Belcher Bay Park, some masters would bring their dogs to the working area. Due to the high amount of people shift to the working area, social groups are

65

Planning Department (2006), Projections of Population Distribution, Planning Department,

Hong Kong

66

generated. As a result, the working area is no longer a dangerous place at night, but an unauthorized open space for residents. It showed the people pursuit of open space, also reflected that the linkage between open space and waterfront is weak, people should enjoy the waterfront in an abnormal way.

Figure 31: Due to the dogs masters and other residents, Western District Public Cargo Working Area become lively at night

Figure 32: As Kennedy Town is lack of open space, some people would go to Western District Public Cargo Working Area

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Figure 33: Accessibility of waterfall in Kennedy Town

Lack of Consolidation In the whole area of Kennedy Town, all open spaces including Belcher Bay Park are lack of consolidation. Unlike Sha Tin and Tai Po, open space design is more integrated. Most parks and gardens are linked with each others to form continuous open space and promenade. It allows people to pass from one estate to another though green corridor instead of road. For Kennedy Town, the lack of continuous open space can be imputed to the early planning of Sai Wan, which have less consideration on open space 66 .

4.7.2. Suggestions for Open Space Development

To solve the existing problems of open space, both government department and non-government organization have different proposals. The pros and

66

Leung. P. W. (2003), Legends of the Central & Westerm District Hong Kong, Central &

Westerm District Council

68

cons of their suggestions would be discussed in this section. In addition, other suggestions, remedial measures of open space development would also be discussed.

Analysis of Current Proposals To restructure the urban, Planning Department (2000) had proposed a Western District Development Strategy 67 . Problem of open space is being respected in the proposal, the consultation digest mentioned that the new planning should optimize the waterfront location to provide more opportunities for recreational use. A long waterfront promenade was proposed surrounding the whole seacoast of Kennedy Town. It may be a good news for resident. Nevertheless, the overall planning ignored the original city grid and the history of Kennedy Town. It totally changed the image of Kennedy Town. Compared the draft proposal of Planning Department with the proposal done by Hong Kong University's Centre of Urban Planning and Environmental Management (CUPEM, 2006), CUPEMs proposal would cause much lesser disturbance to the environment, also it put more afford on improving the life quality of resident instead of proposing high quantity of residential and mage-structure development. In the draft proposal, promenade without large area of reclaim is suggested.

67

Planning Department (2000), Western District Development Strategy Consultation

Digest, Planning Department, Hong Kong

69

Figure 34: Proposed Plan of Western District Development Strategy (Planning Department, 2000)

Figure 35: Birds Eye View of Western District Development Strategy (Planning Department, 2000)

By analyzing the Belcher Bay Park and other open spaces in Kennedy Town, suggestions for open space planning would be discussed as follows:

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Increase the Accessibility to Waterfront Waterfront is a valuable resource. However, most parts of waterfront are not open for public in Kennedy Town. To facilities people to enjoy waterfront, more access to seacoast should be provided. The Western District Public Cargo Working Area has been operating for many years. From 2001 to 2004, the freight handling capacity was decreased 13%
68

. So it is possible to

redevelop part of the working area into public open space. As the west part of the working area has higher accessibility and it is facing the Belcher Bay Park, The west part is the most suitable site for developing promenade.

Make Use of Unused Land for Open Space Development Until 1990, as required by public, undesirable industries including incinerator, slaughterhouse and concrete plant were closed or relocated to other districts. Although the industries are removed, factory buildings still remaining on the site, where are located at the sea front of the western end of Kennedy Town. If the government allows high-rise residential development on the site, buildings would block the sea view and exploit the public right to enjoy the waterfront. In order to provide quality open space that can reach the waterfront, the original site for those factories can be redeveloped into promenade. The promenade can directly link to the Cadogan Street Temporary Garden nearby to form a larger park. Thus, resident lived in the western end of Kennedy Town can enjoy a large open space nearby without spend too much time to walk to Belcher Bay Park.

68

(2006),

71

Figure 36: Make Use of Unused Land for Open Space Development in Kennedy Town

Connect Different Open Spaces by Visual Corridor Open spaces in Kennedy Town have a lack of consolidation. To link the main open spaces together, it is worth to develop visual corridor in the sea front. As the Belcher Bay Park and Cadogan Street Temporary Garden is the largest open space of Kennedy Town, visual corridor in waterfront can be developed to link the two open spaces. So people can walk around Kennedy Town by visual corridor. Also, the visual corridor can act as a welcoming gateway of Victoria Harbour, which welcomes visitors on the sea.

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Provide Park for Dog Having pet is more and more common in Hong Kong. Up to 2005, 138,000 household families owned dogs in Hong Kong 69 , but there are only 6 parks available for dog. As Kennedy Town has no such facility for dog, most masters would bring their dogs to Western District Public Cargo Working Area at night. However, the working area is not for such purpose. To facilitate those masters, park for pet is practicable in Kennedy Town.

69

Planning Department (2006), Projections of Population Distribution, Planning Department,

Hong Kong

73

CHAPTER FIVE: RECOMMENDATION AND COLUSION

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CHAPTER FIVE: CONCLUSION

RECOMMENDATION AND

5.1. Recommendation

After a series of analysis, recommendations would be suggested in order to improve the open space quality for future. The recommendations would be focus on the overall open space planning in Hong Kong.

Provide Open Space Based on User Background The Chapter Four of HKPSG is a framework for open space planning and provision. It principle is to provide sufficient quantity and high quality open space. However, the standards of HKPSG are focused on the quantity much more than the quality. Open space provision is totally based on the population of a district. It is a population-based approach of open space provision which ignore the background of population. The demographic structure of population would not be considered. Although this approach can fulfill the demand of open space, the quality of open space is not guaranteed. As the result showed in the case study, people of different age group request different types of open space. Elderly would spend more time on passive recreation area than young. So the active to passive open space ratio should not simply based on the population. Instead, the provision should consider the age group distribution of the district.

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To response the demographic structure in open space planning, HKPSG should focus on the needs of different social groups. For example, provide more passive open space and greenery to deal with aging population, provide park for dog according to the district needs. It is important to fulfill the needs of different groups as they are the end user of open space.

Every district has its unique demographic structure, HKPSG is better to take account of the demand of different communities and resident background, thus open space would be more ideal for society.

Increase the Openness of HKPSG by Public Participation In the formulation or amendment of HKPSG, the government is the only planner, public can only take part on it if the review involved major planning policy. For most cases, public have no channel to express their view to the government. It is a top down formulation process that ignores the public interest. However, public is the end user of open space, they would know much more about their communities and what they want. So it is important for planner of HKPSG the Planning Standards Sub-Committee (PSSC) to listen the public. Although public may not feminized with the planning system, PSSC can provide communication channel for them. For example, interview or meeting can be provided for public to talk about their opinions. PSSC can analyze and integrate their view points for the guideline formulation. By encouraging public participation on the planning process, the openness of the formulation and review system can be increased.

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Encourage Public Input in Open Space Design In Hong Kong, Architectural Services Department (ArchSD) takes up major open space and park projects and works with client 70 . The open space design is planner and designer-centred. As those professionals many not know the resident needs in depth. It is necessary for public to participate on the design process. However, under the formal design process, public have no chance to express their ideas.

Compared with New York, the openness of open space design process in New York is much higher. They respect much for the public interests. In the local open space design, public would contribute to the design by Planning Charettes 71 , which is an interactive meeting between public and planner. Members of the public and key people would be discussed with planners in form of small groups for a few hours. In the meanwhile, public members would present their ideas by graphic and drawing. They would create rough planning proposals with the planners. Then the planners would reorganize the rough proposal and turn it into more polished representations for later review and refinement.

For the open space design process in Hong Kong, planners can take reference to the Planning Charettes. Although it would spend more time in the design process, the outcome would reflect the public needs which is precious and substantial. Planning Charettes is a valuable lesson for both planner and

70 71

Wong W.S. (2000), Building Hong Kong Environment Consideration, HKU Press Department of Environmental Conservation (2004), Local Open Space Planning Guide,

Department of Environmental Conservation, New York

77

public, planner would know more about the public interests during discussion, at the same time, public would build up a social responsibility to improve their communities.

Give Higher Priority for Open Space in Urban Planning Open space provide many benefits and opportunities in urban area. However, open space is not highly considered in the urban planning of Hong Kong. Especially for Hong Kong Island, locations for high-rise development and highway always have a higher priority than open space in urban planning. For example, the Island Eastern Corridor was built over the waterfront of Eastern District. It is not only blocking the sea view of residential buildings, but also hindering people to use the waterfront open space. Due to the long highway, the whole waterfront becomes disconnected, spiritless and dark. Waterfront is a valuable resource in urban, it is the governments responsibility to maintain the usability of waterfront.

The open space under Island Eastern Corridor is a bad example. For the urban planning in future, it is significant for planner to think of the possible location of open space. Open space should not be exploited due to other development such as commercial development and highway. If possible, other developments should give way to open space. As every one is the potential users of open space, it is necessary to consider open space planning first.

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Corrective Factor for Unwelcome Open Space In Hong Kong, many open spaces are not user friendly. Many small gardens and sitting-out areas are built on site where left behind tall buildings, while some of them are built under highway and roadside strips. An election of favoured and undesired small public urban scene is done by the Hong Kong Institute of Architects (HKIA). The result reflected that space under footbridge, or located along road with fast traffic are undesired. Those areas are not very accessible and have a higher risk 72 . Actually, space discarded by buildings and highways is common and unavoidable. It is not ideal for those open spaces to be fully counted as local open space. Instead, a corrective factor can be applied for those unwelcome open spaces. Similar as the slope correction factors that mentioned in HKPSG 73 , not all the slope open space would be counted as standard. For open space that defined as not useful, only a percentage of the area should be count as local or district open space.

72

Hong Kong Institute of Architects (2007), Election of Favoured and Undesired Small

Public Urban Scene, HKIA Journal, No. 49, Pace Publishing Ltd.
73

According to the Chapter Four of HKPSG, only 60% of land would be counted as standard

if the slope gradient is lower than 1:5. Only 30% of land would be counted as standard if the slope gradient is between 1:5 and 1:3. Land would not be counted as standard if the slope gradient is greater than 1:3

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5.2. Conclusion

Undoubtedly, open space is an essential element in urban. The significance of open space is stated in the beginning of this thesis. After analyzing the planning and performance of existing open spaces, problems of open spaces are pointed out. A case study on Belcher Bay Park is used to demonstrate those insufficiencies of open space. After a series of case studies and comparison between the performance of different parks, recommendations are suggested for the improvement of open space.

Open space is not an independent unit in urban, it is interrelated to urban and peoples life. The goodness of city can be enhanced by providing quality open space. Thus, the decision made by open space planner and landscape architect is not only affecting the open space design, but also the livability of a city. So, it is important for them to provide good design of every open space, thereby improving the whole environment of urban.

In fact, open space design should not only depend on planner. The government should encourage open space development. Maintain the economic growth by real estate without depriving public right to use open space. It is necessary for government to think of open space related polity in a sustainable way.

In sum, everyone have the responsibility to create a good living environment. Everyone can help a little bit by reflecting his/her opinion to district council or related organization. If all of us keeping good habit in using open space

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and put more afford on improving open space, the living environment would be much better. And our next generation can enjoy this valuable resource continuously, which is the ultimate achievement of open space planning.

5.3. Further Study

Open space planning is not an easy topic, this thesis only covered a part of it. Although the thesis is completed, there are many open space design factors and theories which have not mentioned in the thesis. To deepen this thesis, further study can be carried out in future.

The case study of this thesis is focused on particular open spaces, which analyzing open spaces in a micro view point. So the further case study can be emphasized on the overall open space planning in Hong Kong, examine open space from a far view point.

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REFERENCES

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REFERENCES

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Ulrich R.S. (1979), Visual Landscape and Psychological Well Being, Landscape Research, Vol. 4, Taylor & Francis Group Wong W.S. (2000), Building Hong Kong Environment Consideration, HKU Press Wong. K.K (2006), Park Visiting Patterns and the Likeability Appraisal Rating of Kowloon Park Scenes by Park Visitors, HKBU Press Wong. K.K. and Mantred Domries (2002), The emerging urban open space system in northern Kowloon, Hong Kong : preliminary analysis, HKBU Press Xue Q.L. & Kevin K.K. Manuel (1997), The Public Space of Urban Hong Kong A Quest for Cultural Heritage and Developmental Strategies, The Second International Symposium on Asia Pacific Architecture (2006), ,

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APPENDIX

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APPENDIX 1A

87 Scale 1:7500

Map of Kennedy Town

APPENDIX 2A

88 Scale 1:7500

Map of Wah Fu

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APPENDIX 4A

90

91

APPENDIX 5A

92

93

94

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APPENDIX 6A

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