Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/22421
Title: Density control and the quality of living space : a case study of private housing development in Hong Kong
Authors: Chan, EHW 
Tang, BS
Wong, WS
Keywords: Housing quality
Density control
Residential development
Hong Kong
Issue Date: 2002
Publisher: Pergamon Press
Source: Habitat international, 2002, v. 26, no. 2, p. 159-175 How to cite?
Journal: Habitat international 
Abstract: The increased concentration of urban populations is a global phenomenon. Hong Kong, like many Asian cities such as Singapore, Tokyo, and Shanghai, is famous for its compactness and high-density living. This paper argues that Hong Kong's floor area control mechanism has a major adverse effect on the development potential of private housing, and more importantly on the quality of living space. Private residential buildings are built in accordance with statutory requirements imposed by the government. Under the current system, private developers attempt to maximize the usable floor area efficiency at the expense of common area. Consequently, building layouts generate the maximum number of housing units clustered around a cruciform, high-rise compact core. The built form does not take adequate consideration of living quality issues. Its undesirable impacts notwithstanding, the dense cruciform floor plate design is now widely replicated in many mainland Chinese cities. This paper argues that, although such a built form appears modern to some city dwellers, it is a direct result of an outdated density control mechanism that fails to meet present day requirements. A review of this mechanism should be undertaken, and this paper suggests some possible solutions to strike a balance between dense living and a better environment.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/22421
ISSN: 0197-3975
DOI: 10.1016/S0197-3975(01)00041-8
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