Urban greenspace delivery in Hong Kong: Spatial-institutional limitations and solutions

Chi Yung JIM, Michael W.H. CHAN

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73 Citations (Scopus)


Hong Kong has developed an ultra-dense urban form dominated by buildings and roads with inadequate urban greenspace (UGS). Analyzing the fundamental constraints to UGS provision offers hints for improvements which are relevant to other compact cities. Twenty-five current issues regarding institutional and spatial limitations were evaluated with reference to three themes: open-space planning standards, urban-design guidelines and urban-greening governance. They were studied by interpreting relevant parts of government documents spanning the 1980s to 2015, map analysis, and field assessments. UGS standards of selected cities, and extensive research findings and practices reported in the literature specific to the respective constraints, have been enlisted for comparison and as the basis for formulating recommendations to improve delivery quantity and quality. The low local supply at merely 2.84 m²/person is tied down by outdated planning standards and policies which have remained unchanged for eight decades. UGS planning, design and management could be enhanced based on urban ecology and landscape ecology principles and best international practices, with suitable adjustments catering to local circumstances and the inordinately tight urban fabric. The package of suggested solutions in relation to the 25 institutional and spatial constraints could be considered for applications in other cities with compact precincts or undergoing densification to forestall problems and resolve difficulties. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-85
JournalUrban Forestry and Urban Greening
Early online date13 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


Jim, C. Y., & Chan, M. W. H. (2016). Urban greenspace delivery in Hong Kong: Spatial-institutional limitations and solutions. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 18, 65-85. doi: 10.1016/j.ufug.2016.03.015


  • Compact city
  • Greenspace delivery
  • Greenway and blueway
  • Precision planning standard
  • Urban greenspace infilling
  • Unsealed soil standard


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