World Cities and Sustainable Development
Subject: Sub-divided units in Hong Kong ( 1487 words )
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 monetary values, Hong Kong besides faces societal issues like the sub-divided units, accidents such as the 2011 Fa Yuen Street fire [ 1 ] and the prostration edifice at Ma Tau Wei Road [ 2 ] in 2010 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 its influence on residents’ quality of life. Finally, I will measure the key challenges faced by the Hong Kong Housing Authority in turn toing the lodging jobs.
Sustainable lodging dramas an of import function in sustainable development. Harmonizing to theSustainable Housing Policyissued by the United Nations Human Settlements Program ( UN-Habitat ) in 2012, lodging is one of the basic standards to mensurate the quality of life of people, which besides connect to environmental, societal, cultural and economic facets in the community [ 3 ] . The construction of lodging creates a great influence on both the current and future coevalss due to the life-long lastingness of edifices.
Housing besides requires a considerable sum of natural resources, such as H2O, electricity, land and edifice stuffs as input, where lodging produces sewerage, municipal solid waste and other sorts of pollution that create negative impact to the natural environment. Hence, sustainable lodging is the key to travel a measure 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.’ [ 4 ]
Harmonizing to the US-based consultancy Demographia, Hong Kong ranks the first among 360 metropoliss 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’ . [ 5 ]
In 2013 Policy Address [ 6 ] , 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. [ 7 ]
However, the job could non be solved nightlong, the increasing figure of sub-divided units suggested that the authorization failed to help the grassroots and in-between category households in run intoing their basic demands to alleviate the poorness job. After the Fa Yuen Street fire and the collapsed edifice incident at Ma Tau Wei Road, safety of sub-divided units has raised the public concern.
Among all lodging jobs, the state of affairs of sub-divided units is critical. The life environment of these sub-divided units are by and large little in size, but are poplar because of their affordability.
Harmonizing to a research conducted by the University of Hong Kong, about 63 % of sub-divided units occupants lived at units which country are less than 160 sq. pes, where the smallest unit is about 70 sq. pes. Respondents reviewed that they were discontented about their life environment, particularly in fire safety, air circulation and security. Over two-third 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 to them as they were worried about the building’s construction of their units particularly after the incidents. [ 8 ]
The study besides 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 neighbours and maintained a friendly relationship with each other, while 60 % of respondents were non familiar or did non acknowledge their neighbours. At the same clip, approximately 77 % of occupants did non fall in or affect in any community activities. [ 9 ]
Over half of the sub-unit occupants reflected that their greatest want is to acquire a public lodging colony, one-third wished to better their life environment. Furthermore, the greatest concern of the occupants is the sanitation job of the life 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. [ 10 ]
Furthermore, the bulk of occupants felt detached, unhappy and have low sense of properties to the society as they seldom communicate with each other and 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 toing the job of sub-divided units.
First, Hong Kong faces the job of limited land supply. Presently 23 % of land has been development, 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. [ 11 ]
To turn to this job, renewal is frequently used since the 1970s. [ 12 ] In 2013, development curate Paul Chan Mo Po even suggested constructing estate by uncluttering an country in the state park [ 13 ] or construct places on the golf nine site, [ 14 ] these steps and suggestions faced strong expostulation in the society.
Second, the authorities failed to command the belongings monetary values. Under the sky-high belongings monetary values, the authorities eventually attempted to interfere the market by presenting the dual cast responsibilities to relieve the state of affairs. [ 15 ] However, the program failed to command the belongings monetary values and the belongings monetary values in Hong Kong reached new highs in August 2014, entering the highest belongings monetary value in Hong Kong’s history. [ 16 ]
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 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. [ 17 ]
Sustainable lodging should non be measured merely in footings of affordability, and should means more than a roof over one’s caput. A sustainable lodging system should be able to supply 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. [ 18 ] These factors are what Hong Kong presently lack and should be taking into history in doing lodging policies and determinations.
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