Temporarily Pedestrianised Street in Hong Kong: Governmental Strategy of Implementation and Tactics of Appropriation

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International organizations promote the equitable provision of open public spaces (OPS) as a strategy for healthy cities planning. In the context of high-density Asian cities, the densely built environment, constraints generated by mobility infrastructures and the limited distribution of OPS pose challenges to the implementation of equitable OPS provision. Pedestrianisation –the conversion of a vehicular street for pedestrian uses– is emerging as an effective policy to increase the supply of OPS. Nonetheless, the temporary or permanent space conversion strategy –from mobility infrastructure to OPS– lacks a comprehensive implementation framework. This paper reviews the governmental policies for the supply of pedestrianised streets (PS); it investigates the tactics of PS appropriation drawing upon the case of Hong Kong, one of the densest and more socially polarized Asian cities. The unconventional use of the short-term OPS can provide insights into tactics of informal use of OPS and it can contribute to evaluating the need for pedestrianisation and for additional planning measures. This study comprises documentary analysis and primary data collection and analysis. The method adopted for policy review is content analysis. The methods adopted in fieldwork involve unobtrusive observations. Results are presented in the forms of policy review and Structured Direct Observations.
open public space, planning, pedestrianisation, stationary activities, Hong Kong