LONNMAN Bruce Eric

Research Projects

  • Hong Kong's New Town Urbanism: The Forgotten Ground Plane <
  • SANDERS Nancy Margaret, LONNMAN Bruce Eric
    1 March 2001
    CUHK Research Committee Funding (Direct Grants)

    The success of great urban environments around the world, both new and old, is largely based on the quality and character of pedestrian activity at the ground level. Hong Kong boasts a dynamic, and almost unparalleled sky-line in terms of design innovation, but her "ground-line," largely ignored in the design and planning process, increasingly offers little to boast about.
    High-density new town developments exhibit a particularly acute formlessness at the ground plane. Without clear and cohesive spatial definition, pedestrians are left in a placeless and chaotic diaspora where civility is ignored and culture is absent. Greater design attention and planning of this "leftover" realm is badly needed if new towns are to achieve identity and community.
    In order to improve the design of contemporary new town urban form, the researchers propose to undertake a detailed documentation and evaluation of open space systems and the design strategies that make them viable pedestrian environments. Timetested examples as well as fresh innovations within Southeast Asia will serve as the groundwork and inspiration for a set of design guidelines for achieving a more meaningful, dynamic, and humanly-scaled urban groundscape.
    The guidelines, in the form of careful, precise drawings and text, will aim to capture the character and spirit of the case studies as well as their facts and details. It is hoped that they will serve as both inspiration and reference tool for planners, architects, and students interested in obtaining greater insight into the design of the pedestrian realm in high-density new towns. (SS00575)

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