SHEUNG FUNG LANE
City Interior as Hybrid Landscape: Building urban resilience through green, blue and socio-cultural infrastructures.
Project Year: 2018
Project Length: 4 months
When considering the “interiority” of the city, in particular the city of Hong Kong, it is crucial to develop tools and methods to understand, represent, and design landscapes. As our global cities attract bigger populations, demand is increasing for materials, energy, and infrastructure. Urban migration and sprawl, post- industrial sites, informal settlements, and a rising number and intensity of disaster events endanger communities and strain financial and human resources. Issues of food security, bio-diversity, climate change, cultural heritage preservation, and waste and water management are becoming ever more urgent. Although global in scope, these issues require local, collaborative, community- based action that realizes existing resources, influences policy, and conditions municipal, regional and global plans. Designers can play key roles in these situations, engaging and educating environmentally aware residents and policy makers, creating dynamic public places, and facilitating solutions such as activated hybrid downtown neighbourhoods and streets, reclaimed rooftops, brownfields, and vacant land, and ecologically and socio-culturally resilient and efficient basic amenities, services, and landscapes.
Defining landscape as a type of public infrastructure, landscape can be understood as the totality of exterior environments that shape experience. In this “expanded field”, landscape practice endeavors to observe, analyze,
define, and design for changing typologies of public and private space, proposing strategies and tactics that engage people in the active experience of place. Context and site, materials and systems, community involvement, maintenance, and multifunction are essential factors which can maximize the potential for city “interior” exterior spaces to become places of ecological and socio-cultural value. It is through a critical and hands-on engagement with the networks of processes (ecological, socio-cultural, operational, geo-political, economic...) that compose and determine the urban, regional, and global landscape, that design action can uncover solutions, create great places, and instigate dialogue about the future of our environment and the way we live.
My main observation of Sheung Fung Lane was the monotone uninviting environment which strongly contradicted the warmth and friendliness of a busy local neighbourhood. A lack of natural sunlight and no seating should deter people from spending time in this community space but during the time I spent there many elderly people were using this space as there is a residential home for elderly nearby. My main design focus will be to acknowledge the friendliness of this community by bringing vegetation which can easily be maintained by the locals providing a communal activity where people can share interests and socialise improving health and wellbeing.
To do this I will consider how to make the space more accessible and introduce seating by taking advantage of the gradients of the stairs into my design. To make this a green area I would like to integrate certain plants that can grow around the structure of the seats. My research and design will take into consideration the lack of sunlight and colour of this space and introduce living vibrancy reflective of the community.
EXISTING PLANS AND SECTIONS
Sheung Fung Lane, Hong Kong
Sai Ying Pun is an area of the Western district in Hong Kong island.
The site is mainly a residential area, therefore this project is very much surrounding the community and the local residents. Since the addition of the MTR back in 2015, this area has been going through urban developments. Sheung Fung Lane is in between Second and Third Street. This specific lane has been chosen to be the focus in the renewal project.
The neighbourhood around Sheung Fung Lane is mainly residental. Some public services that are very important to the residents are also close to it. These services include the Centre Market, Sai Ying Pun Market and Sai Ying Pun MTR Station. The lane functions as a passageway to many commuters and students studying in the Kau Yan School nearby. There is also a small temple in the lane, making it the main place of worship for many people living in the district.
My aim for this project is to create a green area where locals can gather and use it as communal garden as they do not have the space or access to their own private one. To do this I have incorporated two garden like zones in the lane that has seating and
shelter in it where they are surrounded by green walls and vegetation. To add to the garden feel I have decided to make the stairs out of solid treated timber to add a more comfortable feel than concrete.