Urban Planning and Design
Research Centre: Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities Initiative
DECONSTRUCTING HONG KONG’S MTR RAIL & PROPERTY MODEL
Student Joint Studio / Workshop Proposal
Principal Investigator: Sylvie Nguyen
From an urbanistic perspective, Hong Kong’s high density Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) environment serves as a laboratory for urbanism. Learning from MTR’s Rail and Property Model, we propose to de-construct MTR’s TOD model through a series of joint studios or workshops. Multi-disciplinary approaches ranging from architecture to landscape and urban design are envisioned to study the models from different scales and perspectives, to essentially challenge the model within the built environment. The studio design-based research output could culminate into new strategic propositions for TOD in high density cities, with possibilities of formulating new TOD models to be exported and tested in high density developing countries such as Bangkok or Mumbai.
Hong Kong’s MTR development is a “Rail & Property” design model whereby MTR property owned real estate development is planned in relationship to a 500 meter catchment area to the main station, as a TOD zone. MTR’s rail-oriented community devices a number of urban design principles for a more walkable lifestyle. This includes people and vehicular segregation to promote a safe and healthy living environment.
The R & P model is characterized by different programatic breakdowns based on market projections in real estate targets and demands. HK’s TOD property development models vary between urban regions between Hong Kong islands, Kowloon and the new territories.
For Example, Taikoo Shing is one of the first major privately built residential real estate developed and operated by Swire Properties, a Hong Kong and mainland China based real estate development company. This huge new town development is centred on a large shopping mall complex only accessible to MTR by pedestrian subways. It is characterized by MTR’s Rail & Property Development’s large scale residential typologies, with 16% of the total development land allocated to commercial and mixed use, Taikoo Shing is a self sufficient neighborhood, dependent on rail transit.