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Towards a Volumetric City

A Critical Assessment of Hong Kong's Embryonic Conditions Towards an Efficientmulti-Level Compact City



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Towards a Volumetric City by Se-Young Hwang
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This dissertation, "Towards a Volumetric City: a Critical Assessment of Hong Kong's Embryonic Conditions Towards an Efficientmulti-level Compact City" by Se-young, Hwang, was obtained from The University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong) and is being sold pursuant to Creative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License. The content of this dissertation has not been altered in any way. We have altered the formatting in order to facilitate the ease of printing and reading of the dissertation. All rights not granted by the above license are retained by the author. Abstract: ´╗┐Hong Kong's extremely high density has mesmerised many outsiders for years. Through the devastations of the World War II to the influx of immigration from the Mainland China, Hong Kong has managed to build a remarkable city within the severely limited land mass and inhospitable topography. Hong Kong's skyscrapers sores into the sky, leaving crevasses of spaces between towers for people and vehicles to flow through. In the Central Business District, elevated walkway connections hovers and criss-crosses every major roads, moving thousands of people on a daily bases. Some people descend into the CBD by hopping on hill-side escalator from nearby residential area of Mid-Levels. Seemingly chaotic yet orderly typical scene of Hong Kong's CBD is enough to intimidate first timers to Hong Kong. Add flying cars and people in futuristic suits, it will be enough to resemble those images of future envisaged by film makers and architects from the early 20th century. The vertical city of Hong Kong has emerged as one of the first embryonic volumetric cities in the world. Hong Kong continues to defy the conventional Western beliefs in urban planning and development establishing itself as an efficient, vibrant and safe urban model with an extreme density. Yet, the city's experience remains peripheral to the mainstream debates despite many lessons to be learned from Hong Kong as more cities aspire to intensify in an attempt to establish sustainable living. The reasons for this can be attributed to the general lack of evidence-based research on Hong Kong's model, especially in vertical urbanism, as well as the reluctance to adapt higher density living in the West, shrouded by grossly misunderstood notions of density. This research begins by demystifying the (mis)understandings of density using Hong Kong as an example and attempts to decode the complexity of Hong Kong's urban model. The research does this by developing and applying a quantifiable tool - the Volumetric Study - to assess and analyse the current practice of building in Hong Kong and to identify the emerging condition of multiple ground. The complexities of vertical and/or volumetric living are assessed using readily available data and simple field work. It is hoped that the Volumetric Study offers insight into the understanding of how existing buildings operate as well as providing potential guidance for future improvements and development. DOI: 10.5353/th_b4730743 Subjects: City planning - China - Hong KongUrbanization - China - Hong Kong
Release date NZ
January 26th, 2017
Country of Publication
United States
colour illustrations
Open Dissertation Press
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