Street furniture design for night life : case study of Hong Kong

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Street furniture design for night life : case study of Hong Kong

 

Author: Song, Hongyang
Title: Street furniture design for night life : case study of Hong Kong
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2011
Subject: Outdoor furniture -- China -- Hong Kong.
Public spaces -- Design.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: School of Design
Pages: x, 315 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2462518
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/6282
Abstract: With increasingly crowded conditions and fiercely commercial competition, urban planners and scholars have been looking for ways to alleviate these social issues in cities. Mixed-used spatial and temporal dimensions have been proposed and put into practice to confront these pressures, and extended night-life is regarded as one response to these pressures. The concept of the 24-hour society, furthermore, has been put forward to provide a round-the-clock service for urban residents. However, street furniture design has not kept up with social changes, because the default functionalities of street furniture are designed for daytime. This leads to inefficient street furniture performance at night, in terms of inclusive designs for night identity, night hygiene and night safety, resulting in frequent complaints and criticisms from urban residents and tourists. Current research into street furniture has predominantly focused on increasing the illumination of street lighting, rather than improving the all-round quality of street furniture. This inappropriate solution has further exacerbated environmental issues, such as energy consumption and lighting pollution, and has also resulted in a lack of consideration for different lighting requirements at night. Furthermore, innovative technologies have seldom been explored or utilized in street furniture design. Thus, the issues of night-street furniture are particularly complex and require comprehensive research for improvement. Based on this research gap, this study focuses on comprehensively improving the quality of street furniture to meet the various requirements of extended night-life. Four factors directly relating to street furniture form the core research concepts, represented as spatial, temporal, behavioral and individual factors. In considering and describing these four factors, two solutions have been identified and explored in a field study. First, the literature suggests that an innovative technological solution is crucial, as technology has dramatically changed lifestyles and activities in the process of urban nighttime development. The core issues around street furniture, generated from case studies in Hong Kong, have been determined to contribute to an orientation of technology. The second solution includes consideration of the fact that in high density communities, pocket public spaces can provide working-class people with opportunities for gathering, chatting, walking dogs and other recreational actives. However, the situation of pocket public spaces has been deteriorating due to lack of management and research into street furniture. Therefore, a case study was conducted in Tin Shui Wai, a high-density new town with a majority of working class people, to examine the current street furniture in terms of the four basic factors. As a result, these four factors were re-organized as spatial characteristics, temporal concentration, behavioral patterns and individual attributes to construct a comprehensive perspective on street furniture design. Design principles based on the four factors are proposed to improve street furniture designed for night life.

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