Inclusive public open space for all: Spatial justice with health considerations

Izzy Yi Jian, Edwin H.W. Chan, Yang Xu, Emmanuel Kingsford Owusu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Public open space (POS) is often regarded as a necessity that is meant to be enjoyed by everyone, especially as we move toward a post-pandemic society. It is considered one of the most crucial public health assets that contribute tremendously to people's physical, social, and psychological wellbeing. While obliging private development projects to provide POS has become a common policy for optimizing land use, some critiques regard Public Open Space in Private Developments (POSPD) as over-controlled and exclusive spaces, which raise justice concerns about people's equal rights towards POS as health resources. However, little is known about the degree to which spatial justice can be created in POSPD. With the urban population becoming more diverse, investigating POSPD's actual spatial justice situation under a robust framework to ensure access for all is timely and vital. Through the lens of spatial justice, we first examined the current dominant critiques of POSPD based on a comprehensive literature review. Using Hong Kong as a case study, we then conducted a questionnaire survey on the spatial justice performance of three representative POSPD sites and also introduced Bayesian Network as a graphical probabilistic model to illustrate the mutual relationships among key variables. The results have identified the most sensitive issues (e.g., safety, affordability and diversity), contributing to spatial justice performance and indicated that inclusive POS requires a secure, affordable environment that supports diverse activity for everyone. The findings will guide decision-makers to put the appropriate emphasis on creating and protecting inclusive POSPD in the wake of the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102457
JournalHabitat International
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Bayesian network
  • Healthy
  • Inclusive
  • Post-pandemic
  • Public open space
  • Spatial justice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urban Studies

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