The average open space for each Hong Kong resident is around 2 square meters, which is the size of a coffin or a toilet cubicle, according to the latest research by local think tank Civic Exchange.
Carine Lai, project manager of Civic Exchange, said the size is extremely small for an individual to enjoy for recreation, but it is exactly the size that government planners are recommending for Hong Kong, Apple Daily reported on Tuesday.
By comparison, Shanghai residents have an average open space of 4 square meters, which is the size of an elevator; Singaporeans have 7.5 square meters, which is equivalent to two-thirds of a parking space; and New Yorkers enjoy around 29 square meters each, the size of a small flat in Hong Kong.
Lai said most Hong Kong people are unaware of the importance of open space, although foreign studies have shown that it is positively correlated with longevity and health, especially in the case of the elderly.
Civic Exchange based its calculation of open space on official census statistics for 2011.
It found that people living in Kennedy Town have an average open space of only 0.77 square meter, which is less than half the size of a coffin.
This is expected to further narrow to 0.68 square meter because the Development Bureau plans to demolish the Cadogan Street Temporary Garden to give way to a private real estate project.
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