Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy Research Collection

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Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 399
  • Publication
    Failed pedestrian street experiments in high-density urban Asia: A matter of policies?
    (Elsevier, 2023-12-15) ;
    Promoted by sustainable urban agendas and urged by global pandemic measures, street experiments (SE) are booming in Europe but remain latent in Asia. These experiments aim to reconfigure streets as more than spaces for motorized traffic movements, enabling a temporary urban paradigm shift. Such a shift involves balancing active mobility and public space uses in streets while envisioning radically different settings and uses. Recently, eminent scholars urged considering SE in connection to the system and planning framework within which SE are conceived to trace their trajectories. This article examines four decades of temporary-pedestrianization policies and planning instruments in Hong Kong, an Asian city representative of high-density urban environments with highly intensive use of road space and conservative and prescriptive planning. In doing so, the article identifies four trajectories and illustrates two emblematic cases: Chater Road, the first street temporarily pedestrianized under a commercial initiative, and Sai Yeung Choi Street South, a street pedestrianized under a government initiative, now turned back to its original function. The competing roles and practical uses that pedestrianized streets must fulfil partially determined their fate. However, the trajectories these cases followed also differ due to the contextual planning approach and decision-making process. The study contributes to scholarship on SE by shedding new light on the geographical context of high-density urban Asia, forwarding challenges that policymakers might need to address in the planning and governance of SE in similar environments.
  • Publication
    Making Vulnerability Invisible: The Impact of COVID-19 on the Use of Public Space in Hong Kong
    (SAGE Publications, 2023-09-27) ;
    Despite the growing body of work on how COVID-19 impacts the use of public space, few studies focused on vulnerable social groups. This article outlines a systematic analysis of the use of public space by migrant domestic workers before and after the pandemic outbreak in Hong Kong. The analysis reveals changes in behavioral patterns, and we discuss them as part of an ongoing conflictual renegotiation of rights and space alongside the dual nature of invisibility. The growing invisibility of migrant workers prompts unresolved questions of rights, spatial and recognitional justice, and acceptance of diversity in the global neoliberal city.
  • Publication
    The capital value of pedestrianization in Asia's commercial cityscape: Evidence from office towers and retail streets
    Asian cities have increasingly been promoting the creation of walkable built environments as a catalyst for local economic development in global competition. However, the economic influences of pedestrianization are still debatable without sufficient quantitative assessments in Asia's commercialized cityscape along with mega-rail projects, high-rise buildings, and traffic-choked streets. This research examines the net capitalization effects of skywalk network and pedestrian zone schemes on office towers and retail streets using the case of Hong Kong. The sets of hedonic regression models in a quasi-experimental research framework show mixed results. The expansion of skywalk networks produced positive capitalization effects on podium-level office units connected by footbridges near metro rail exits, while having insignificant impacts on street-level retail units. The models also reveal that the implementation of pedestrian zone schemes generated insignificant capitalization effects on street-level retail units regardless of rail proximity. The evidence gives some credence to the notion that the creation of walkable built environments in Asian cities would contribute to capital accumulation through mega-rail plus international office tower projects. However, the findings also infer that pedestrianization initiatives in global competition would lead to neither commercial revitalization nor gentrification on local retail streets around metro rail stations.
      11Scopus© Citations 8
  • Publication
    Pedestrian access to transit in evolution: unfolding the spatialization of rapid-transit planning
    (Taylor and Francis, 2022-07-07) ; ;
    This article retraces the impact of evolving hegemonic rapid transit planning and design strategies on pedestrian integration between stations and neighbourhoods, using Hong Kong as a longitudinal case. Mixed-methods research, triangulating documentary analysis, spatial analysis, and in-depth interviews, identified six typologies across three historical phases. The findings demonstrate that pedestrian access to transit is spatially heterogeneous, shaping the evolution of the station area from a connecting structure into an interconnecting infrastructure. Unfolding the historical interplay of hegemonic forces in the production of pedestrian spaces, this study innovatively bridges the research gap between planning policies and fine-grained urban design features.
      14Scopus© Citations 1
  • Publication
    Of other waterfront spaces: mixed methods to discern heterotopias
    In recent years waterfronts have progressively become the focus of local administrations, consultancy agencies, and private developers concerned with public health, city branding, and real estate development. Subsequently, they turned into central stages in which cities and societies can be represented, contested, and inverted. However, many questions remain unanswered concerning their capability to function as counter-spaces in the fast-changing dynamics of citizens’ encounters and recreation in global cities. This paper employs mixed methods to examine the context-dependent association between space and behaviours. The comparative analysis of four waterfront parks in Venice, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, and New York sheds light on heterotopic sites’ production and use. Two models emerged: transient spaces of compensation and time-accumulating spaces of illusion. Beyond the novel research design, the significance of this study lies in validating Foucauldian-Lefebvrian heterotopology as an authoritative analytical paradigm for a critical interpretation of the urban.