Author: Ip, Chung Man
Title: Urban living with nature : design for human-nature interactions in communal green spaces at residential high-rises
Advisors: Hasdell, Peter (SD)
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2023
Subject: Dwellings -- Environmental engineering
Sustainable buildings -- Design and construction
Architecture -- Environmental aspects
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: School of Design
Pages: 303 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: It is arguable that urban dwellers have been disconnecting from nature and witnessing an extinction of the human experience of wildlife. On the contrary, there are conflicts between the interfaces of humans and nature in a compact city. There is a research gap in human-nature interactions in urban living. Meanwhile, a new typology of sky gardens as multi-level communal green spaces has been driving the design of residential high-rises in the architectural practice.
This thesis aims to explore new biophilic designs for communal green spaces in high-density, high-rise contexts. The objectives are to investigate urban dwellers' interpretation, perception and experience of nature in urban living; analyse key substances of human-nature interactions and their inter-relationships; establish a conceptual design framework for human-nature interactions and principles of new biophilic design in high-density high-rise contexts; and examine design for human-nature interactions in communal green spaces at residential high-rises. Interpretative qualitative research methods are adopted. Photo-elicitation surveys are conducted to investigate whether urban dwellers appreciate the significance of human-nature interactions, how they interpret, perceive and experience nature in urban living, and whether their perception and experience are various from different ages in search of human-nature interactions for benefits of human and nature. Further to examining the key substances for human-nature interactions, their implications in terms of anthropocentrism, experience and space use are discussed. Case studies are carried out on the topics of co-existence with nature, urban interventions for human-nature interactions and a new typology of multi-level communal green spaces.
This thesis affirms that urban dwellers appreciate the significance of human-nature interactions in urban living. This thesis sets up the framework of human-nature interactions for the co-evolution of humans and nature in urban contexts. "Design for humans" utilises nature for the benefit of humans; "design for humans with nature" allows humans and the ecosystems to co-exist; and "design for nature" considers human intervention for the benefit of the ecosystems.
This thesis reveals the inter-relationships among nature-perceived settings, urban-nature elements and nature-based activities to facilitate human-nature interactions, and establishes the SOA (space, object and activity) model to present a new discourse on biophilic design for human-nature interactions in high-density, high-rise contexts.
This thesis contributes to architectural and urban design practice for planning urban settings, designing residential high-rises and revitalizing communal spaces with biophilic design. Purpose-led design of communal green spaces advocates socially-oriented, environmentally-driven and ecologically-friendly design considerations for different direct and indirect interactions and the co-evolution of humans and nature at residential high-rises. Further research on potential implications to the design process is suggested.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: open access

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