Pogodzinsk land-use planning, certainty and flexibility: A study of planning control decisions on residential development in Hong Kong

Ka hung Yu, Eddie Chi man Hui

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study focuses on one of the essential, yet generally overlooked, aspects of land development in Hong Kong, its planning control system, by evaluating the decisions made by the Town Planning Board (TPB) with regard to applications for residential development in three statutory land-use zones with varying degrees of certainty and flexibility: Government, Institution and Community (GIC) zones, Comprehensive Development Area (CDA) zones, and Greenbelt (GB) zones. A total of 614 development applications are analyzed via discrete choice (probit) models. Although each application is assessed by the TPB “via its individual merits” similar to the British planning system, the findings reveal that, the TPB, since Hong Kong's re-unification with China, had taken a relatively flexible approach in the land-use planning of sites within GB zones, and especially GIC zones. By contrast, the TPB's decisions for CDA zones (with planning regulations largely similar to the Dutch planning system) had been comparatively certain, in that it is more difficult for applications to be approved despite soaring housing price, that the decisions were subject to the government's housing policy objectives; and that larger development projects are consistently preferred to smaller ones. Implications for land use policies, grounded on these findings, are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-98
Number of pages14
JournalHabitat International
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • Comprehensive development area
  • Government
  • Greenbelt
  • Hong Kong
  • Housing development
  • Institution or community
  • Land-use zoning
  • Planning control system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urban Studies

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