From a fishing village with only several hundred of the population to one of the most densely populated city and globally recognized economic body — Hong Kong has been transformed into a world-renowned city with a unique history and vivid lifestyle, which has deemed her a very mysterious place that is yet to be unfolded. However, with minimal effort spent in city planning since the colonial period, Hong Kong never had an accessible urban lung that allows its citizens to destress. The lack of urban planning aided real estate practice to almost abuse public space, which further encouraged the culture of materialistic living in a subtle way. It somewhat suggested that diversified, convenient and over-efficient vertical living might have become the counter-argument for wellness living, connected to the issue of our time. During the recent social movement in Hong Kong, the notion of public and private space was being challenged again, where massive street take over occurs, and infrastructure was organically re-programmed as exhibition galleries. The complexity of urbanization makes Hong Kong an ideal pedagogy to explore the intersectional tension of space use and mental health in this city. This paper studies the evolution in the perception and cognition of public space in Hong Kong and focuses on privately owned public spaces that exist in the form of a shopping mall. This transit orientated development approach indirectly impacts the mental health of the population, challenge their understanding of public space and its importance to our everyday urban life.
Judy Chu, Independent Scholar, Hong Kong
Stream: Community Development
This paper is part of the ACP2020 Conference Proceedings (View)
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