Open Space Opinion Survey Press Conference
24 October 2018
Civic Exchange conducted a public opinion survey of 3,600 Hong Kong residents across 18 districts on the quality of open space between January and February 2018. The goal is to develop evidence-based recommendations to inform policies on the planning, design, and management of open space as envisioned in “Hong Kong 2030+: Towards a Planning Vision and Strategy Transcending 2030”.
Here are some of the key findings from the survey:
- About 85% of Hong Kong residents visit open spaces at least once a month. An overwhelming 97 per cent of respondents use open spaces near their homes. Only 15 per cent go to open spaces near their workplaces.
- Sha Tin and Southern residents are the most satisfied with the quality of open spaces in their communities, while Wan Chai and Yau Tsim Mong residents are the least satisfied.
- Southern District has the highest level of waterfront usage in Hong Kong, with about half of the respondents making a visit at least once a month.
- Almost half of all respondents want more shared cycling and jogging paths, shade, places to sit and chat, and lawns in their neighbourhoods.
- Three in four parents want more open spaces for their children to ride bicycles and scooters; about half of them ask for interactive natural environments and adventure playgrounds.
- More than 50 per cent of 16 to 29-year-olds ask for more barbecue pits and multipurpose exercise spaces in their neighbourhoods. There is a noticeable demand for photogenic and comfortable hang-out areas as well.
- About 58 per cent of the elderly want better safety features such as hand rails, non-slip paving, and better lighting to make open spaces more elder-friendly.
A companion study combining geospatial analysis with data from the opinion survey found that people who live closer to parks and open spaces smaller than 1 hectare are more likely to report less anxiety. The findings also revealed that proximity is more relevant to usage than the total amount of open space available near people’s homes. Survey respondents who visited open space more frequently reported feeling happy more in the two weeks preceding the survey, although it was unclear if they were happier people to begin with, or whether frequent visits made them happier.
English Press Coverage
25 October 2018 — South China Morning Post — Hongkongers who live close to a park ‘suffer less anxiety’
25 October 2018 — RTHK Hong Kong Today — Interview with Senior Researcher Carine Lai (at 37:57-44:19)
25 October 2018 — RTHK Backchat — Interview with Senior Researcher Carine Lai
25 October 2018 — The Standard — Promenades give Sha Tin the edge on open space
25 October 2018 — Hong Kong Free Press — Hongkongers’ proximity to open spaces likely lowers anxiety, says think tank
30 October 2018 — Harbour Times — Hong Kongers say: Give us room to breathe (and play!)
12 November 2018 — South China Morning Post — Parks should be fun
Chinese Press Coverage
24 October 2018 — Apple Daily — 港休憩場地貧乏限制多 團體促放寬增港人快樂感
25 October 2018 — Ming Pao — 沙田人最滿意休憩設施 思匯倡准玩飛碟放風箏
24 October 2018 — Hong Kong Economic Times — 最愛用海濱設施 南區人冠全港
25 October 2018 — Hong Kong Economic Journal — 云爾錄 :85%市民愛逛公園 智庫促用途寬限
24 October 2018 — HK01 — 調查：近八成五港人常前往休憩用地 倡政府做好規劃以符各區需求
24 October 2018 — Oriental Daily News — 85%人會用休憩用地 團體促訂指引善用空間
25 October 2018 — Sky Post — 常到休憩用地較快樂 南區人最愛用海濱設施冠全港