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Thread: Defining open space needs (was: Questions fr a HK newby)

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    Defining open space needs (was: Questions fr a HK newby)

    I am a newby from HK in construction engineering discipline, however HK is now suffering on the Gov't performance in terms of town planning when a significant fake "public open space" are delegated to the private sector by means of certain benefit-exchange on properties development.

    In brief, take West Kowloon reclamation area as an example, it is a very big space-forming exercise in late 90's while some certain residential/commercial districts are formed now. I estimate there is approx 150,000 capita living there and a rule of 2m2 per capita is enacted in ensuring adequate open space for the citizen. Anyway it is now discovered that the open space provisioned by the Gov't is not adequate to satisfy the regulation because the Gov't (semi-public Town Planning Board) allowed the properties developers to change the neighboring industrial lots into residential development, the Borad therefore stipulated the developer to provide "Public Open Space" on the changed lot in ensuring the fulfillness to the regulation. Then the developers constructed a lot of "Public Open Space" on some 20~30m high podium that de-interesting the public to visit the space!

    Anyway I just want to ask some questions from other countries so that I may make further studies if there is any wrongful performance on the Gov't:

    1. What's the definition(s) of term "Open Space" in your country? Beside park and green areas, isn't it include highway, community facilities etc?

    2. Is there any tangible planning requirement in your country on the Open Space provision to the citizen? In HK the Twon Planning Regulation clearly require 2m2 per capita in town area.

    3. Will your gov't or relevant authorities delegates the responsibility of provision and management of Open Space to private sector like properties developer?

    4. I have a clear feeling that the greening and open space planning/provision in HK are rubbish when compare with the rest of the developed world like Singapore / Canada as examples. In what aspects you feel HK Gov't is committing failure therefore such an adverse result was achieved?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Many places have their own definition, but the narrow one I tend to use is that "open space" is land in a natural state. This typically includes wetlands, woodlands, and similar features. I would differnetiate "open space" from developed parks (recreational ball fields, etc.). For example, I would call Central Park in New York a park, while the forest preserves around Chicago would be open space.
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    thanks

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    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
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    A common requirement in Florida is for about 2o% of a new development to be in open space. Almost no areas allow roadways to be used to satisfy open space. Many do allow things like town squares or plazas to qualify.

    Go online and look at some comprehensive plans. Many cities/counties in the US have their plan on the website. Check Sumter County, Florida; Tallahassee, Florida; Gainesville, Florida. There are many others, just look at a map. Remember in the US land use control is governed by a comprehensive plan adopted by the l;ocal government, although every state is different.

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