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Top-down Technical Urban Planning in Hong Kong

Urban planning in Hong Kong is done in a rather technical manner. For instance, although we have different types of plans, we do not have community planning (Figure 1). In other words, land use distributions are determined by standards and guidelines rather than a thorough understanding of the varying needs of people living in a particular district.

Figure 1: Hierarchy of Plans in Hong Kong

urban page01 pic04en     Territorial Development Strategy

• Provides a broad planning framework
• Latest version: Hong Kong 2030: Planning Vision and Strategy

o Sustainable development—over-arching goal
o Three board directions: providing a quality living; enhancing economic competitiveness and strengthening links with the Mainland

Statutory plans
• Only plans that are required by law to involve public participation
• Outline Zoning Plans on major land uses and road systems
• Development Permission Area Plans providing interim planning control
Departmental plans
• Outline development plans show land use and road frameworks in greater detail
• Layout plans show more detailed information of various planning or development projects
Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines 
• For the preparation of plans and to govern development applications
• 12 chapters: residential densities, community facilities, recreation, open space and greening, industry, retail facilities, utility services, internal transport facilities, environment, conservation, urban design guidelines and miscellaneous.

Source: The Information Services Department, HKSAR, Hong Kong: The Facts—Town Planning, July 2014.

 

Residential development rights in the urban areas are determined primarily according to broad brush density zoning and the Building (Planning) Regulations that specify the maximum permitted site coverage and plot ratio (Figure 2 and Table 1).


Figure 2: Density Zoning in Hong Kong

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Source: Planning Department, Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines, Chapter 2: Residential Densities, Hong Kong: Government Printer, p.28. Figure downloaded from: http://www.pland.gov.hk/pland_en/tech_doc/hkpsg/full/ch2/images/ch2_fig_2.jpg,

 

Table 1: Maximum Permitted Site Coverage and Plot Ratio in Relation to Building Height for Domestic Buildings under Building (Planning) Regulations

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Source: Planning Department, Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines, Chapter 2: Residential Densities, Hong Kong: Government Printer, p.19. Figure downloaded from: http://www.pland.gov.hk/pland_en/tech_doc/hkpsg/full/ch2/ch2_tbl_4.htm.

 

References:

    Planning Department, Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines,     http://www.pland.gov.hk/pland_en/tech_doc/hkpsg/, accessed in August 2014.

   The Information Services Department, HKSAR, Hong Kong: The Facts—Town Planning, July 2014, downloaded in   August 2014 from http://www.gov.hk/en/about/abouthk/factsheets/docs/town_planning.pdf.

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