Community Design Adaptability for Aging in Place in Hong Kong

香港社區設計的適老性研究

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

View graph of relations

Author(s)

Detail(s)

Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Award date27 Feb 2017

Abstract

Hong Kong and many other global societies are facing the challenges of aging population, with one being an increased demand for elderly housing. There are some strategies to address this issue. For example, the United Nations has given principles for successful aging for older persons and encouraged care in the community, which could serve as guiding principles. Every country has its own exploration and solution; Singapore and Japan may have similar ones as the same high-density cities as Hong Kong. The research starts with reviewing different types of housing for the elderly within urbanism forms in history, and the analysis of their formation and development, followed by an investigation of the current environment for the elderly in Hong Kong. Hong Kong government and non-government organizations are keen in launching priority schemes in public rental housing and building houses for the elderly. However, the study of end-user response and satisfaction is a lack of quality and quantity. The priority scheme guaranteed the quantity of public housing in Hong Kong, but the emphasis has been transferred from “basic needs” to “quality with choice.” This area is also a lack of research, which motivates this study. One of the objectives of this study is to review different kinds of community in Hong Kong and all over the world, especially the countries with the high-density population as in Hong Kong.

The methodologies include reviewing different types of housing for the elderly within urbanism forms in history, and the analysis of their formation and development, followed by an investigation of the current environment for the elderly in Hong Kong. By applying Grounded Theory, which is carried out through on-site investigations together with surveys and interviews, most important factors involved in elderly environment and existing problems will be discovered. Also, environmental behavior theory and environmental psychology theory will also be adopted in the study. Environmental behavior theory pays more attention to the engagement of social interactions, aesthetic perception, human contacts and interactions between buildings and persons, from the human dimension, instead of only to the building’s forms, texts, typologies. It stresses the fit of environment and person, which is of particular importance for the elderly, as the elders went through the character transfer from work to retirement and spent most of their time in communities and the quality of community design and adaptability for aging decides their quality of life. As aging becomes an international issue, in Hong Kong’s circumstance, environmental behavior studies also need to be conducted. GIS and SPSS are adopted to analyze the data.

And the results indicate the relationship between factors in the environment and the activities of elders in Hong Kong, which are used to give suggestions for codes and regulations in macro, meso and micro level of urban and architecture design. The spirit of places including the architecture itself and the surrounding urban environment was learned together.

Environment attributes such as entertainment, commercial, land use mix, street connectivity, transportation and aesthetic are discussed and concluded that Hong Kong’s destination-rich nature, easy access to well-developed public transportation networks, as well as cultural factors may contribute to the much higher levels of physical activity of the elders if comparing with Western counterparts. The results are used to measure the availability of aging in place in Hong Kong, the post-occupancy evaluation of different kinds of community and the possibility of “universal design”. This thesis hopes to provide suggestions and design guidelines and contributes to the high-quality housing with care for the elderly in Hong Kong.

    Research areas

  • Aging, Environmental behavior, Community design, Hong Kong