Urban development constructs the nation’s economy, benefits people’s daily lives and attracts visitors. Today, the speed of urban development is quicker than ever. Among all of the spaces being changed under the recent urban development, open space, such as parks and playgrounds, is one of the significant urban elements affecting people’s (including residents and visitors) quality of life. Open space is also a place promoting physical, psychological, leisure, cultural, social, economic, political and also spiritual developments and satisfactions. Therefore, in recent years, more people have put a higher expectation on the quality of open space environments and facilities. Governments of different cities have also continuously increased the amount of money allocated to establishing new and maintaining existing open space environments and facilities. It is a fact that more governments, developers, design and planning professionals, researchers and the general public have recognised the relationship between the quality of open space and the quality of everyday urban life. Then, what is good quality open space? How is the quality of open space related to the new urban lifestyles? In recent years, governments have set up more regulations for open space while, on the other hand, more people have raised their concern to have more freedom in open space. Since the late 1990s, several research projects on open space have been conducted in Asian cities. Taking the projects as case studies, this paper reviews the importance of open space. It then discusses the importance of both freedom and control in open space regarding planning, implementation and management matters. To fit the diverse and continuously changing urban lifestyles, this paper advocates a high degree of openness under the condition of a balanced consideration in freedom and control.
|Keywords:||Open Space, Openness, Freedom, Control, Lifestyle|
Professor & Public Design Lab Leader, School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hunghom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
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