HK govt focuses on enhancing liveability by increasing average living space per person


29th March 2023 – (Hong Kong) “Hong Kong 2030+: Towards a Planning Vision and Strategy Transcending 2030” indicates an average living space per person of 215 to 237 square feet. However, this is not a standard set by the government. Rather, it is a forecasted outcome assuming that the average sizes of new flats under planning increase by 10 to 20 per cent and the gross floor area (GFA) is shared among a forecast intake into those flats.

To enhance Hong Kong’s liveability as a compact high-density city and meet the public’s aspirations for larger living spaces, the Hong Kong 2030+ report considers home space enhancement in assessing Hong Kong’s future land requirements. The report assumes an enhancement of 10 to 20 per cent in the average sizes of new flats (55 to 60 square metres and 83 to 90 sq m for public and private housing units, respectively) based on the situations in well-developed countries/cities such as Shanghai, Shenzhen, Singapore, and Tokyo.

The HKHA’s minimum size requirement of 26 sq m (around 280 sq ft) in saleable area has been imposed on all Government land sale sites, railway property projects, projects of the Urban Renewal Authority (URA), and land exchange or lease modification applications for private development since late February 2022. The requirement has been included in eight sold Government land sale sites, two railway property development projects, and five URA projects.

The DEVB and the PlanD adopted the assumptions of large living space mentioned above in planning studies for new development areas, such as the Northern Metropolis, the Kau Yi Chau Artificial Islands, and Tseung Kwan O Area 137, to ensure sufficient land could be provided in the planning stage to meet the aspirations for larger living space.

The Buildings Ordinance (BO) and its regulations prescribe standards for the planning, design, and construction of buildings to ensure they are suitable for occupation and habitation from safety, health, and environmental perspectives. The BO and its regulations lay down requirements on structural safety and fire safety. The flats have to be provided with adequate means of escape, and every room used for habitation must be provided with natural lighting and ventilation by means of windows of prescribed dimensions.

To promote a quality and sustainable built environment, the Government introduced the Sustainable Building Design Guidelines (the Guidelines) in 2011.