Town Planning Review

Planning strategies to overcome constraints on greenspace provision in urban Hong Kong

Town Planning Review (2002), 73, (2), 127–152.

Abstract

Hong Kong carries a legacy of an excessively compact urban form with scant room for amenity vegetation. Topographical restrictions and development configuration have nurtured a mentality of apathy towards city greening. Public greenspaces are concentrated in a few urban parks with limited plant coverage and few roads have trees. Woodlands are not preserved in the urbanised areas. Private developers have little statutory obligation or willingness to provide public open spaces. Natural vegetation is often poorly protected or obliterated in new developments and redevelopment schemes. Existing planning measures are ineffective in creating or keeping greenspace. The planning authority has limited means or will to restructure restricted town plans to introduce greenery. Statutory and administrative frameworks need to be overhauled to facilitate greenspaces of appropriate pattern, distribution and quality. Planning could play a proactive role to help formulate and coordinate a 'green-city' action plan to bring long-term improvement.

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Jim, C.