Town Planning Review

The state of planning rights in Hong Kong: a case study of ‘wall-like buildings’

Town Planning Review (2014), 85, (4), 489–511.

Abstract

Embedded within planning laws are political choices that provide differential rights to various stakeholders. In Hong Kong, planning and development control institutions grant development rights to land owners through a set of relatively simple planning and building regulations; confining the roles of urban planners and giving the lay public limited rights to city planning. The regulatory regime gives rise to ‘wall-like buildings’ at waterfront sites, producing negative socio-economic and environmental impacts to the hinterland. Hence, civil groups have organised themselves to fight for their planning rights, resulting in partial regulatory changes. The case highlights the utility of the concepts of planning rights in guiding the establishment of planning-related institutions to be a fair contesting ground for negotiating exchange and use rights among different stakeholders in the city.

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Ng, Mee