“Rail villages” in Hong Kong : development ratio and design factors

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97–113
Journal / PublicationUrban Design International
Issue number1
Online published9 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


Since the concept was first introduced in the 1970s, transit-oriented development (TOD) has greatly expanded in East Asian cities such as Hong Kong. Rail stations are built together with clusters of residential–commercial towers and government services to form a new style of living—a ‘rail village.’ After investigation of many metro stations and its rail villages, the authors examine the composition, scale, spatial form, organization and operation of several typical rail villages in Hong Kong. The cases range across those planned from the mid-1990s to the Twenty-first century. Based on the analysis of the rail village composition, the paper derives a development ratio to indicate the density, effectiveness and efficiency of a rail village catchment area. The ratio provides a useful and direct indicator for the comparison of different stations, cities and development modes. The paper discusses the design factors related to density and diversity of rail villages. This paper supplements the existing TOD study by highlighting the density problem and examining its relevant design and planning issues.

Research Area(s)

  • Catchment area, Development ratio, Hong Kong, Rail village, Transit-oriented development (TOD)