World Cities and Sustainable Development

Last Updated: 16 Feb 2023
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Hong Kong has been celebrated for its sky-high belongings monetary value which has been a concern to both the policy shapers and the populace in recent old ages. Apart from the unaffordable belongings and monetary values, Hong Kong faces societal issues like the sub-divided units, accidents such as the 2011 Fa Yuen Street fire, and the prostration edifice at Ma Tau Wei Road in 2010 that have roused public consciousness towards the issue.

In this essay, I will foremost explicate the relationship between lodging and sustainable development. Then I will present the jobs of sub-divided units in Hong Kong and their influence on residents’ quality of life. Finally, I will measure the key challenges faced by the Hong Kong Housing Authority, in turn, to the lodging jobs.

Sustainable lodging dramas are an of import function in sustainable development. Harmonizing to the Sustainable Housing Policy issued by the United Nations Human Settlements Program in 2012, lodging is one of the basic standards to mensurate the quality of life of people, which connects to environmental, societal, cultural, and economic facets in the community. The construction of lodging creates a great influence on both the current and future coevals due to the life-long lastingness of edifices.

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Housing requires a considerable sum of natural resources, such as H2O, electricity, land, and edifice stuff as input, whereas lodging produces sewerage, municipal solid waste, and other sorts of pollution that create a negative impact on the natural environment. Hence, sustainable lodging is the key to travel as a measure of frontward sustainable development.

UN-Habitat defined sustainable lodging as ‘genuinely sustainable houses are those that are inclusive and low-cost for all and yet affordability is non-plenty because the alleged low-cost place can non be considered sustainable if they create negative impacts on the environment or societal life.’

Harmonizing to the US-based consultancy Demographia, Hong Kong ranks first among 360 metropolises for the ‘most unaffordable’ lodging for the 4th consecutive twelvemonth. Hong Kong’s one-year average family income is merely one-fifteenth of the average place monetary value, therefore being rated as ‘severely unaffordable’.

In the 2013 Policy Address, lodging jobs ranked foremost in the government’s precedence, particularly aimed at helping the grassroots into public lodging and in-between category households to home ownership.

However, the job could not be solved night long, the increasing figure of sub-divided units suggested that the authorities failed to help the grassroots and in-between category households run into their basic demands to alleviate the poorness job. After the Fa Yuen Street fire and the collapsed edifice incident at Ma Tau Wei Road, the safety of sub-divided units has raised public concern.

Among all lodging jobs, the state of affairs of sub-divided units is critical. The living environment of these sub-divided units is by and large little in size, but are popular because of their affordability.

Harmonizing to research conducted by the University of Hong Kong, about 63 % of sub-divided unit occupants lived in units whose country is less than 160 sq. pes, where the smallest unit is about 70 sq. pes. Respondents reviewed that they were discontented about their living environment, particularly in fire safety, air circulation, and security. Over two-thirds of the respondents stated that there were jobs such as H2O escape, home base exposure, concrete spalling, and mussy electric wires, which imposed psychological force per unit area on them as they were worried about the building’s construction of their units, particularly after the incidents.

The study stated that occupants were worried about their security in the sub-divided units, approximately 44 % reviewed that stealing occurred in their unit, followed by robbery (33 %), drugs covering (29%), incendiarism (25 %), and sex discourtesies (22 %).

In footings of societal life, merely 5 % of occupants were familiar with their neighbors and maintained a friendly relationship with each other, while 60 % of respondents were nonfamiliar or did non acknowledge their neighbors. At the same clip, approximately 77 % of occupants did non fall in or affect any community activities.

Over half of the sub-unit occupants reflected that their greatest want is to acquire a public lodging colony, and one-third wished to better their living environment. Furthermore, the greatest concern of the occupants is the sanitation job of the living environment, followed by security and the safety of the building’s construction. In footings of psychological well-being, occupants reflected that they were worried about the lifting rent and frequently felt laden due to the narrow and bantam life status. These jobs of sub-divided units have been earnestly impacting the residents’ quality of life as they struggled hard to keep a life.

Furthermore, the bulk of occupants felt detached, unhappy, and have a low sense of property toward society as they seldom communicate with each other and are rarely involved in their community, which would impact their physiological well-being. In footings of life environment, they were discontent about the sanitation and safety jobs, and the bulk wished to travel into the public lodging every bit shortly as possible.

There are three challenges faced by the Hong Kong Housing Authority in turn to the job of sub-divided units.

First, Hong Kong faces the job of limited land supply. Presently 23 % of the land has been developed, and 7 % is allocated for residential land usage. The deficit in land supply will further take to the lifting monetary value of belongings monetary values.

To turn to this job, renewal is frequently used since the 1970s. In 2013, development curate Paul Chan Mo Po even suggested constructing an estate by uncluttering a country in the state park or constructing places on the golf nine site, these steps and suggestions faced strong expostulation in society.

Second, the authorities failed to command the belonging's monetary values. Under the sky-high belongings' monetary values, the authorities eventually attempted to interfere with the market by presenting the dual cast responsibilities to relieve the state of affairs. However, the program failed to command the belonging's monetary values and the belonging's monetary values in Hong Kong reached new highs in August 2014, entering the highest belonging monetary value in Hong Kong’s history.

Third, the job of ‘sub-divided units’ jobs involved the work of different governments and the division of duties is non clearly defined. Therefore, different sections may decline to take on the duties. The job non merely related to edifice and fire safety but besides other issues such as edifice direction job, urban reclamation job, and lodging job.

Sustainable lodging should non be measured merely in footings of affordability and should mean more than a roof over one’s caput. A sustainable lodging system should be able to supply an abode with: equal basic substructure, privateness, infinite, handiness, safety, security, dependability, sanitation, and waste-management installations, suited environmental quality, accessible location to make basic installations and work topographic point, accessible and equity transit system, while all these standards should be brought with low-cost monetary value. These factors are what Hong Kong presently lacks and should be taken into history in doing lodging policies and determinations.


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World Cities and Sustainable Development. (2017, Jul 10). Retrieved from

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