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Redevelopment of Kowloon City - playground as a mean to rehabilitate old district and tighten the bonds between the community

UPIAD19-013 2019 Word count:4679 Unit Title: Dissertation

Abstract: Playgrounds are relaxing places. It is suitable to people of all ages to visit. They are important for us so as to develop our physical and mental abilities with facilities. There are also provide safety measure such as soft ground surfaces to fit children's safe for reducing the risk. According to LCSD survey and primary research, the playground design in Kowloon City is particularly worthy of our attention, because this city is getting old, so we should renew our playground. Nowadays, there are some newly constructed and renovated playgrounds, the main aim is encourage children to use their creativity But can it really suitable for the needs of children? Based on the literature review that I have found, a playground is an institutionalized environment that supply proper facilities layout. It may support the accession of the children activity and children’s motor development. The design of the playground must provide the developmental needs to everyone. Also the most important is the playground should be provided to the whole community. It will be good for tighten the bonds between community. Keywords: Redevelopment, habitation, tighten the bonds, human needs


Contents List of Figures……………………………………………………………………………P.3 Chapter 1: Introduction………………………………………………….………..…… P.4 Chapter 2: Background - Kowloon City……………………………………………………………P.5 Background – Playground……………………………………………………………..P.6-7 Public playgrounds in Hong Kong and new style playground……………………..P.8 Local playgrounds from 1970s 1980s………………………………………………..P.9 How long should people go to playground per day/month?.................................P.10 Case Study……………………………………………………………………………..P.11 Primary research………………………………………………………………………P.12 The correlation of playground and human needs………………………………….P.13 Why Kowloon City needs the playground? ……………………………….………..P.14 Subconclusion…………………………………………………………………………P.15 Chapter 3:The Remedy for playground in Kowloon City…………………………P.16-17 Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………….P.18 Reference list…………………………………………………………………………P19-20


List of Figures Figure 1, Shek Lei Playground, HKSAR Government Figure 2, The play area of Shun Lee Estate, HKSAR Government Figure 3, City Museum exterior, St Louis, Missouri Figure 4, Tak Ku Ling Road Rest Garden [Primary source]. Figure 5, Tak Ku Ling Road Rest Garden [Primary source].


Introduction "Play is a roomy subject, broad in human experience, rich and various over time and place, and accommodating pursuits" (Eberle, Scott G, 2014) There is an essential part of any school, early childhood service and community park. It provides a lot of facilities and equipment for children. But there are still plenty of problems about Hong Kong's playground. Especially, In Hong Kong, the government are completely failed to consider the way of life of the local residents, especially a lot of inhabitants who are elderly and have lived in the old urban place for decades. also, it ignores the important social values such as historical and cultural characteristics, and not enough acknowledge the need to consult local communities. So it is necessary to redevelop the playground in the old districts. We also understand the value of the playground and the facilities. The purpose in doing this research and rehabilitate Kowloon City’s playground. Expressing the children's view of learning in the playground, in order to develop the healthy physical better and learning. Therefore, this study is to design a playground for public in Kowloon City. We can learn how to get along with each other as well as learn different skill and assume that using this policy that will be good for tighten the bonds between community. Chapter 2 is about history of playground and we need playground in our city. Also exploring how does the layout and design of a playground effect people? The chapter 3 is about how to design a playground to provide opportunities for people cooperative learning and suggest some functions and elements of a playground can let people happy and more communication while playing together in the playground.


2.1 Background - Kowloon City Kowloon city is a fascinating and fun place to live. It is a place in Kowloon in Hong Kong. It is located in the city of Kowloon. In the population by-census statistics, there is a 418 732 people in Kowloon city and a non-working population of about 6388 in 2016. people such as students, homemakers and retired people are included. There was a residential in nature and commercial and industrial activities. (Centamap, 2016) According to School Lists by District (2013), Kowloon City has 47 primary schools and 35 secondary schools. There is a lot of children and teenagers in this district. Also, this is an old city, so many elderly live in there for a long time. Kowloon City is diverse places, Kowloon City people spend a lifetime to collect the memories cause there are so many unforgettable memories surrounding Kowloon City. According to Kai Tak Airport 1925-1998 (2013), the Sung Wong Toi, the Kowloon Walled City and the old Kai Tak airport have preserved in our collective memories. Especially Kai Tak Airport a was the international airport. It was our treasure and icon in Hong Kong. Moreover, Kowloon walled city park also is a historical park. It is designed to be a traditional Chinese style Park. There was controlled by local triads from the 1950s to the 1970s. Also there is preserved many relics of historical value. Kowloon City District. (2018), there are some famous local and other countries restaurants and food shops, especially thai food. So Thai food is certainly the most popular in Kowloon city and there are many thai people to live. Kowloon City is a place with great potential place, we should rich in both its heritage, would develop another metamorphosis. And there are many elderly people, students, and many different playgrounds in this area, but they are often not fully suitable for local residents. So we should design a playground for local people to meet their needs, remind everyone that this place is not only a food paradise, but also a place of great historical value.


2.2 Background – Playground Playground can be defined as a play area with a specific equipment such as slide, seesaw, swing, seesaw. In 1894, Hull House had constructed a supervised playground in Chicago. There was sand piles, building blocks, organized sports areas, swings, and a piece of playground equipment. There was also hold some match in playground such as ice skating rinks and a race, hoop, and bicycle track. So play and playgrounds had educational value. It makes children add more effort in classes, physical health increased and on time to attend to school and decreased the lawless behavior. The Playground Association of America was found in 1906, people started to participate in civic activities in playground. Examples include dances, musical programs, dramatics, public forums, theaters, pageants, festivals, concerts and elections participating in group activities. (Bronner, S.J., 2010) In early playgrounds have some aventure and imagination playgrounds can encourage to children yet. They have many ways to play and have fun on the playground. Moreover, The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child suggests that every child should have a fundamental right under Article 31 of.1. Undoubtedly, It is essential that developing the children’s physical, cognitive and social skills. So the children have their right to play, providing outdoor place, playgrounds and some facilities to use. They can practise the social interaction, the coordination of movement etc., On the other hand, Hong Kong’s “the Housing Authority (“HA”) managed 179 housing estates, of which 158 (88%) were provided with slides, 30 (17%) with swings and 160 (89%) with climbing frames. (LAU, Samantha, 2017) Moreover, the playgrounds managed by The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (“LCSD”) and non-LCSD venues are provide the public open space, more diverse outdoor play facilities. From this, it seen that playground are surrounded us in daily life. There is a lot of playground and facilities to provide and Hong Kong government cares about the Hong Kong children’s amusement. But at the same time, the design of the 6

playground is reserved

2.2 Background – Playground What is play? "Play is a roomy subject, broad in human experience, rich and various over time and place, and accommodating pursuits" (Eberle, Scott G, 2014) Why is play important? Play is an important part of children's life because play can promote their brain development in a lot of ways. It contributes the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional of people. She recommended that there are five different types to play. Example: Onlooker behavior, Solitary independent, Parallel, Associative, Cooperative. Its good for children to maintain their independence, share and try out new ideas, have a good communication, express their thoughts and reach a goal together. it is a very effective vehicle for learning. (Piaget, Jean. 1999) Based on the literature review that I have found, children need to develop creativity, critical thinking as well as develop positive values and attitude towards life. Obviously, play impacts children's health and development. For children, they will feel free when they have enough space in playground. It develops their mind, make a new ideas, have a good communication, so it is a good tools for children's development.


Public playgrounds in Hong Kong In the “Reconnecting Open Space” programme - open space opinion survey, the small playgrounds and open spaces in public housing estates are always visited for public.“ (CARINE LAI, 2018) In addition, the survey shows that all the ages always willing visit to different public housing open space. Undoubtedly, It reflects people are willing to choose no charge for using facilities and very conveniently located. Besides, People are really needs playground to enrich in their lives and play is an essential part of everyone. Introduction

New style playground In addition, Hong Kong has a new programme of facilities to the children’s inclusive playground in Tuen Mun Park. Providing the inclusive play and barrier-free facilities to enhance the different skills and improve children’s mind, body and the spirit. (LCSD, 2014) The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects held the Inclusive Play Space Design Ideas Competition in 2015. The playground has two concepts which is water and sand. Using two elements to create the playground and giving them opportunities to play together. Unfortunately, this new playground is unable satisfy all user needs. Also a part of disabled person and elderly does not using facilities completely. It shows that Tuen Mun Park is a new idea in Hong Kong and the government are willing to build a new theme park. It is suitable for children and encourage them to participate in communities acivities.


Local playgrounds from 1970s 1980s

Figure 1, Shek Lei Playground,

Figure 2, The play area of Shun Lee Estate.

1969 HKSAR Government

1981HKSAR Government

"The ‘Tunnel Maze’ play sculpture (also named ‘Tunnel Bridge’), designed by American artist Sidney Gordin, came third in the competition and could be found in a number of Hong Kong housing estates between the 1960s and ‘80s. " (Fan, L. Y. 2019) "From the 1930s to the 1970s, numerous European and American artists and designers created abstract sculptures that doubled as play pieces, believing that these objects, which didn’t offer a prescribed way to play, could stimulate children’s creativity better than traditional equipment." (Fan, L. Y. 2019) Undoubtedly, playground can collect people's memory, also we can reappear the sculptural playground. It contributed to Hong Kong’s urban landscape and collective memory. Also, we should understand that playground should be effective to play. Play and public space can interact with each other. If there is enough space to put in large facilities, and more people can participate together.


How long should people go to playground per day/month? In the play equipment and user performance in children's playgrounds survey, 60% of parents said that children stay in playground less than 1 hour. A very few parents willing play with their children. Majority of children play alone and have no interact with other children in playground. (Man,S.M, Ng.K.Y, Yeung.S.K, 2017) It proved that parent have no interest play with their children and not encourage children spend a lot of time to play. It is because parents think that children should focus on their study and take part in extracurricular activities. In addition, playgrounds are not enough mass game to provide. Although there is an inclusive playground to provide more facilities for user and there is lack of constructive play. From the data that were gathered above, we can see that our daily life is being replaced by study and extracurricular activities. And found that the use of the playground was low. Part of the reason for the phenomenon is that playground is not very interesting which leads to children are not hooked on playground. In addition, the other factors are focus too much on grades of learning and extracurricular activities and the popularity of video games, causing of low playground utilization. Angela Hanscom is a pediatric occupational therapist, he stated that “Movement through active free play, especially outside, improves everything from creativity to academic success to emotional stability.� and he said that children spend an average of 3 hours per each day with playing outside. According to Christie and Wardle (1992), long play periods can let children practices some complexed forms of play. It trains themselves to be more patient. 30 to 60 minutes, or longer of activity every day can prompts children more productive to play. Undoubtedly, it means children should spend longer stretches and activities, using commercial toys to children. They can learn how to construct things freedom. Most importantly, mass game can make children get a high tolerance and make new friends.


Case Study

Figure 3, City Museum exterior, St Louis, Missouri City museum a 600,000 square foot museum in the Washington Avenue Loft District of St. Louis, Missouri, United States. It was a 10-story International Shoe Company before. In 1983, This factory was reconstructed as a museum. The people can walk into underground mazes, suspension bridge, castles, climbers, tunnels, slides and cave etc., All the facilities are used from the industrial objects. The Museums attract more than 700,000 visitors which including families, couples to visit. Also this museum can encouraging children to keep close to nature. Children will collect some glass bottles, insect and taxidermied animals in game. "The City Museum bills itself as an “eclectic mixture of children’s playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel.” It has also been described as “a wild, singular vision of an oddball artistic mind”. Visitors are encouraged to touch, climb on, and play in the various exhibits." (Debyemm,2015) According to case study, we found that the foreign countries provides different facilities for children. The playground as an effective approach to incorporating recycling objects and art into the creative practise of play. Also, they encourage children are using different tools to play and practices some complexed forms of play. Also, we can create a more creative playground. The most important thing is suitable for all ages and impressed by this place. Also parents can feel the fun of the game. This is more powerful to understand the importance of the game.


Primary research

Figure 4, Tak Ku Ling Road Rest Garden [Primary source].

Figure 5, Tak Ku Ling Road Rest Garden [Primary source]. This is a traditional playground in Kowloon City. It shows that there is fail to allow kids to be creative and not attract family to go playground. Because there a lot of foreign domestic helper will visit. Foreign domestic helper do likes gathering in the park on weekends. Also, there is only one slide to use and a lot of space is idle. It shows that facilities are not attracted by the local residents. The design and equipment are too monotonous. It is difficult to attract people, get fun enough and building up the social skills.


The correlation of playground and human needs According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Hong Kong users’ action are driven by this theory. It includes five stage model which is physiological needs, safety needs, love and belongingness needs, esteem needs and self-actualization needs. Maslow (1971, p. 195) point out that good education develops people’s physical competence and movement. Also, it can develop healthy living habits, positive thinking and values. “stronger, healthier, and would take their own lives into their hands to a greater extent. With increased personal responsibility for one’s personal life, and with a rational set of values to guide one’s choosing, people would begin to actively change the society in which they lived”. Maslow, Abraham H. The Farther Reaches of Human Nature. Middlesex: Penguin, 1976. Print. Moreover, we can make use of playground's facilities to build up people self-esteem, self-confidence and respect from others. Furthermore, people can make friends in playground, building up their social skills, shareing and cooperate. So, they will feel loved and taken care and giving affection and love. In the theory, people’s needs is based on the power and environment. Therefore, we can improve playground's enviroment or facilities then people can engage in play. Also, games challenge the player to achieve victory through planning. It creates personal potential, creativity and problem solving, also have a strong moral or ethical standards. Schools and entertainment centre provide game activities and safe and increased motivation to join physical activity. Equally, playgrounds should provide more function or facilities for public and should not restrict children's opportunities for play.


Why Kowloon City needs the playground? In Hong Kong, The government are completely failed to consider the way of life of local residents, especially a lot of inhabitants who are elderly and have lived in the old urban place for decades. Also, it ignores the important social values such as historical and cultural characteristics, and not enough acknowledge the need to consult local communities, especially playground. The other problem is some buildings in Kowloon City are in a poor state of dilapidation and need immediate improvement; A consensus exists that Kowloon City is on the cusp of or will soon have an acute “elderly problem”. There is a lack of entertainment in Kowloon city to offer teenagers. But It doesn’t mean the end of good times. There are many ways to have fun, boost mood, and stay engaged in the world without needing to move around too much. According to LCSD, they provided a lot of facilities and equipment for children in playgrounds, enough the chances to play games, learn how to get along with each other as well as learn different skill. LCSD have been criticized for children’s rights from public in these year, the playgrounds are unevenly distributed in 18 districts. In the survey, there is 18 200 children between the ages of 2-12 in Central and Western. In contrast, In the Kowloon City, there is a 38 600 of children aged 2-12. Compared with them, the children population of Kowloon City has 2 times higher than Central and Western. Otherwise, the average area of Central and Western 10,074 is bigger than the average area of Kowloon City is just 6609 sqm. Indicative of this, there are many children in Kowloon city district and there is not enough space for leisure. On the whole, LCSD-managed playgrounds varies widely in the 18 districts. Kowloon city is a famous place and there is a lot of children and teenagers live in Kowloon city but lack of appropriate supporting facilities to them. LAU, Samantha. “Public Playgrounds in Hong Kong.” (LAU, Samantha, 2017)


Subconclusion Local playgrounds are not attractive, the reason is the builder, designer, or user, playground’s ideas or management are ignored and it is very different from foreign countries. Firstly, when designing a playground, it would to be free from restrictions. We should rethinking the local playgrounds’ space. Also, playground is no longer a place for children to play sports but everyone including family can participate in. Secondly, Playground should be equipped with facilities to suitable for different ages and abilities. In our communities, we should provide some facilities that can challenge and develop children. At the same time, it provides maximum fun and entertainment. Thirdly, Kowloon city should be creating the healthy communities to the next generation. It reflects that Hong Kong's playground is still not achieving the “real fun”. Last but not least, we can consider that using old Kowloon City / Hong Kong elements to fit in the playground design. It is good for all ages to learn Kowloon City's history and provoked strong surges of nostalgia for the past days. In view of this, we suggest that the following improvements should be made to the playgrounds in Kowloon City, such as innovative and adventurous playground facilities, Virtual reality with video game. In order to improve the formulated and outdated facilities. The different ages and abilities of children can play through games. Find the good ways to have fun, boost mood, and stay engaged in the world without needing to move around too much and find things that suit elderly, adults, teens’ interests, also rounded up different games in experience space for them. Moreover, challenging themselves, be more creative, enrich their life. Strengthen the sensory training ability of children and do not control children’s play mode. Set up the cooperative games and activities in order to increase parent-child interaction and social life.


The Remedy for playground in Kowloon City The Kowloon Walled City Park is a historical park in Kowloon City. There is a very distinctive place for Kowloon city’s people. It created a loophole in the law and became the most densely populated place in the history of the world. There was a violent crime and drug rate in the city, no one willing dare to visit. In 1992, there was evacuated and replaced by a park. But A lot of people still want to visit the old Kowloon Walled City Park. Firstly, I suggest that recreate scenes from the old Kowloon Walled City in playground. We can enter a virtual reality world. The space provides some special effects and designs with details in a dark environment such as created different layers of oppression in dense buildings. Through the experience we are able to turn back the time and revisit dark memories from the past. We can travel between the real world and the virtual world of Old Kowloon City. We will discover Kowloon City's treasure in a whole new playground. It gives you the chance to explore real locations and search far and wide for treasure. We can find more powerful treasure and appears around the playgrounds such as some old post boxes, frayed posters, fluorescent signboards, birdcages, electric fans, period calendars. It recreates scenes from the old Kowloon Walled City. If people come to visit the playground, it makes people truly nostalgic when they visit it, also recall their memories and share shared their experiences with each other so as to establish the strong feeling of relationship. Secondly, virtual reality is a great tool to learn. It gives huge benefits in education and helps to improve people engagement. Through virtual reality, people watch movies or take virtual tours, even experience a plane landing from the Kai Tak Airport and closer view to the upper levels of the Kowloon City with neon light. It’s one of the best ways to engage and helps the students to understand the subject through virtual reality system. Thirdly, we should understand that playground should be effective to play. We should find out that the shape, geometry, color, texture, light, and other elements. Because it is the effect the psychological and people’s mood and creativity. We can find some elements that make vintage Kowloon City playground feel unique. It becomes a new face as an arts and culture destination. Using some neon bulbs, mosaic tiles, metal shutters with classic Hong Kong atmosphere of shops and restaurants or housing in playground. Not only nostalgia but it is a quest for meaning. Moreover, filling some 16

decades of vintage products and packaging to create a lot of collective memories. People can share the same collective memories. It is good for us to keep the relations good with our neighbors. So we put the people experience first of the list from the details of small objects to room layouts, routes and flow arrangements. It brings people excitement and satisfaction. Playground is divided into three zones and colors which is green, red and beige. Using green, red and beige color from the street vendors, the chop makers, shoe repair stalls. In all cultures or on all levels, people want their uniqueness back in our city. It brings a lot of historical value on it. Besides, children can explore their creativity in the playground that is add playground sculpture in the place. Also, we can hold an exhibition, DIY workshop, cafes, a gift shop and a party Space. It combines art, design, performances, films and games in a creative, interactive and educational environment. It is a world exhibition of furniture and everyday objects from old Kowloon City, including benches, lampposts, trash cans and plants. It is hoped that through a series of art activities, the history and stories of Kowloon City will be re displayed and the public understand that art is not unpredictable things. It is full of fun of art. More people can participate, more creative, play and experience together. Most importantly, mass game can let us make new friends easily and concentrate people's minds.


Conclusion We can step into another new world when you arrive Kowloon city's playground. Nowadays we evolve the traditions merge with contemporary lifestyles in playground. Because we suggest the playground should have a theme of Kowloon City’s history, showing Kowloon City’s culture and regional characteristics as its theme. It brings public art exhibitions, parent-child interactive workshops or art exhibitions. The exhibitions will show some Kowloon City’s past and future photo. It is easy to show community characteristics. The most important is people can participate, create, play, experience together and improve the connection with others through different activities. We can step into another new world when you arrive Kowloon city's playground. Nowadays we evolve the traditions merge with contemporary lifestyles in playground. Because arranging some activities and the large central square allows the local residents to meet each other through physical activity and games. It provides people the chance to practice about social skills, emotional, cognitive and physical. People also can open view of the Kowloon City and build new relationships. People also can open view of the Kowloon City and build new relationships. A playground can be a destination and become focal point in Kowloon City, creating a space for all ages and abilities. It is good for us to improve the quality of life for everyone in the community and have good communication with each other.


Bibliographic Reference list Centamap, (2016) Population By-census Statistics retrieved from website: http://census.centamap.com/hong-kong/Kowloon%20City School Lists by District. (2013, February 18). Retrieved from https://www.edb.gov.hk/en/student-parents/sch-info/sch-search/schlist-by-district/ Kai Tak Airport 1925-1998. (2013, October 4). Retrieved from https://www.cad.gov.hk/english/kaitak.html Kowloon City District. (2018, October 11). Retrieved from https://www.gohk.gov.hk/text/eng/welcome/kc_intro.html Anderson, Linnea M. (2012) “the playground of today is the republic of tomorrow’: social reform and organized recreation in the USA, 1890-1930’s.” retrieved from infed website: http://www.infed.org/playwork/organized_recreation_and_playwork_1890-1930s.htm Bronner, S.J. (2010) "A History of Children's Play and Play Environments: Toward a Contemporary Child-Saving Movement. (Brief Article) (Book Review)." CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries 47.12 (2010): 2369. Web. Eberle, Scott G. (2014) "The Elements of Play: Toward a Philosophy and a Definition of Play." American Journal of Play 6.2 (2014): 214-233. Web. Piaget, Jean. (1999) "Play, Dreams and Imitation in Childhood." 1999. Web. Lau, Kong wah. “LCQ2: Public Playgrounds for Children.” Public Playgrounds for Children, 11 July 2008,https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/201807/11/P2018071100453.htm CARINE LAI (2018) Reconnecting Open Space” Programme retrieved from website: https://civic-exchange.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Civic-Exchange-Open-SpaceOpinion-Survey-EXECUTIVE-SUMMARY-EN.pdf Leisure and Cultural Services Department (2014) Children's Play Areas retrieved 19

from website: https://www.lcsd.gov.hk/en/parks/tmp/index.html Fan, L. Y. (2019) A Brief History of Playgrounds in Hong Kong - M Stories. retrieved from website: https://stories.mplus.org.hk/en/blog/a-brief-history-of-playgrounds-inhong-kong/ Man,S.M, Ng.K.Y, Yeung.S.K (2017) Investigation Report on the Facilities and Use of Hong Kong Public Children's Playground retrieved from website: http://research.hkspc.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/playground_report_F.pdf Christie, J.F. & Wardle, F. (1992). How much time is needed for play? Young Children, 47 (93), 28-32. Debyemm (2015) City Museum – What's New in Eco-Materials. (2015, July 26). Retrieved from https://whatisnewinecomaterials.wordpress.com/tag/city-museum/ Maslow, Abraham H. The Farther Reaches of Human Nature. Middlesex: Penguin, 1976. Print. LAU, Samantha (2017) “Public Playgrounds in Hong Kong.” Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, 12 Dec. 2017, www.legco.gov.hk/research-publications/english/essentials-1718ise04-publicplaygrounds-in-hong-kong.htm.


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