Nuevos espacios colectivos de la ciudad vertical contemporánea : el caso de Hong Kong
ColaboratorRoca, Estanislau; Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Departament d'Urbanisme i Ordenació del Territori
Document typeDoctoral thesis
PublisherUniversitat Politècnica de Catalunya
Rights accessOpen Access
The topic discussed in this dissertation is the study of the public spaces in Hong Kong. In recent decades the city has established itself as a major financial centre and production, aiming to be one of global cities of the new millennium. In particular the study focuses on the analysis of collective spaces present in the urban structure, i.e. those spaces that are neither proper public nor private, which represent a distinctive aspect of the city's form . In Hong Kong the use of public space assumes a peculiar character, functions that usually took place outdoors are moving in the interior spaces of malls, becoming one of the standard tools to attract people to the commercial spaces. In this sense one of the main problems affecting the development of the city is to control the process and the management of the public spaces, strengthening the relationship between public and private interest. Hong Kong is a city where the boundaries between public and private space fade, creating a new category of space. This introduces one of the main features that have generated the study of this research, that is to say, the lack of boundaries between public and private realm . The lack of boundaries, which does not necessarily means to the difference between open and closed spaces, but public spaces that are inside private properties, grey areas where it's difficult to understand which kind of spaces we are crossing. In fact, much of the urban structure, is used for commercial purposes, this aspect affects the use and the meaning of the public space that in general, are not sufficient to meet the expectations and needs of the population. In this regard the implementation of the open spaces in the city is one of the most recurrent topic of the Government of Hong Kong. Due to limited land resources (due to morphology only 24% of the territory is urbanized) the city has developed a vertical high density where the high cost of land has become a large business for the private sector. This study attempts to examine the main aspects of the privatization of public space, a phenomenon that in Asia is quite intense and, although less strongly, is involving the development of the European cities. During the eighties the Government of Hong Kong, in order to promote and improve the spatial quality versus high status density of the city, established the policy of POPS (Privately Owned Public Spaces) proceeding invented in New York, in 1960. The policy was created to promote the integration of public space in new developments by the private sector in exchange for bonus floor area. The property remains private, but the space is subject to the easement of public use in terms of access and use. In this case we have a space for public use that obviously is not a public domain, since it is not owned by the city. Despite his traditional role as main subject entitled to preserve the public space, the planning system in Hong Kong seems always weaker in front to the economic interest of the development of the city, losing the faculty to ensure the principals functions of the public life. The risk is that the responsibility and the management of the social life could transfer often more to private actors. This dissertation attempt to examine and evaluate this complex urban structure analysing the relationships that occur between the public spaces system, POPS and the other urban activities, through the identification of the main aspects that could improve the spatial structure of the city.
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