Promenades give Sha Tin the edge on open space

Local | Cissy So 25 Oct 2018

Sha Tin and Southern District residents are the most satisfied with the quality of open space in their communities, while those in Wan Chai and Yau Tsim Mong are the least pleased, Civic Exchange revealed yesterday.

The think tank conducted an opinion survey and interviewed 3,600 people across 18 districts about their thoughts on the quality of open space between January and February.

Explaining the dissatisfaction of citizens living in Wan Chai and Yau Tsim Mong, Civic Exchange senior researcher Carine Lai Man-yin said: "The reason why is because these are older districts and we can also divide these responses by housing type. We see that people living in private individual buildings are less satisfied with open spaces. These two districts had the highest percentage of people living in private individual buildings - 89 percent in Wan Chai and 65 percent in Yau Tsim Mong.

"People living in such buildings rarely have any open space downstairs, unlike those living in large estates. Therefore, I think this is affecting their satisfaction."

She said Sha Tin benefited from its cycling trails and riverfront promenades, while Southern District owed its high satisfaction rate to its waterfronts.

Respondents living in private individual buildings were least satisfied with the quality of open space in their neighborhoods and visited them less often than those living in public housing, Home Ownership Scheme flats, or large private developments.

Private individual buildings are mainly located in older urban areas and have no open space of their own. Residents in those areas had poorer perceptions of the quality of open space compared with those living in recently developed districts and towns.

Lai urged open space providers to experiment with more creative and flexible management, and added that activities like roller skating could be encouraged.

"The government should also engage the local community on the design, planning, and management of open spaces as residents in different districts have varying needs and preferences," she said.

Winnie Cheung Chi-woon, chief executive of Civic Exchange, said: "Creating high-quality, inclusive recreational open space is critically important to maintain the psychological well-being of our residents."

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