About Freedom Ball

Freedom Ball questions whether the Hong Kong government controls the use of public space for the benefit of Hong Kong people.

We do this through simple and striking interventions in public spaces which encourage the public to engage directly with activities which are currently banned in the space.

The principles of our interventions are that they challenge the rules in a way that is positive and engaging and encourage the public to join in actively.

Our aim is to change the way that public spaces are managed, designed and controlled so that they meet the needs of Hong Kong people.

自由波向政府質疑: 政府控制公共空間的使用是否有利於公眾利益。


這些行動的宗旨就是: 大家用正面而又有趣的形式鼓勵公眾積極投入這類活動,挑戰僵化規條。

我們的目的在於改變公共空間的設計和管理模式, 最終能符合香港市民的需要。

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Park Problems

Freedom Ball is all about questioning how parks and other public spaces can be better regulated, managed and designed. Freedom Ball aims to stimulate this debate through our interventions. In order to further the discussion, here are what I think some of the main problems are:

1) Excessive or unnecessary rules that prevent people from taking part in harmless and enjoyable activities in the park or at the beach such as playing ball games, sitting on the grass, walking a dog on a leash etc.

2) Too much 'dead space' in park design. Public space is so limited and valuable in Hong Kong that Park designers should maximise, not minimise, the opportunities for the public to use the space. Creating areas of open space and then banning people from walking or sitting in that space is nonsensical given the limited space available, in my opinion.

3) Too much restricted, single-use space which is often under-utilised. Designers of Hong Kong parks like to create specialist, single use spaces which are often empty. It is fine to give priority to specialist users of these spaces but if they are not being used for this purpose then ways should be found to make them available to the general public.

Possible solutions:

1) Park and beach rules should serve the needs of the Hong Kong public, enabling them to enjoy their parks and public spaces without unnecessary restrictions. I accept that there is, of course, a need for some regulations in parks and public spaces but these regulations should be reviewed to ensure that they meet the genuine needs of Hong Kong people.

2) Spaces should be designed so that they facilitate the public using and interacting with the public space not so that they restrict the public from accessing them.

3) Single-use spaces should be opened up to the general public wherever possible when they have not been booked for the specialist purpose for which they were designed. Use of space should be regularly reviewed and, if necessary, re-designed to better serve the public. Further than this, more priority should be given to open, flexible, multi-use space in future park design.

These are just my ideas. Freedom Ball is about making the way that public space is regulated, managed and designed serve the needs of Hong Kong people, so what do you think? Do you agree, disagree, or have any other ideas or suggestions? Do you have any examples of ways in which public spaces such as parks or beaches could be better regulated, managed or designed?

自由波行動就是向公園及其它公共空間的立規, 管理及設計提出問題,舉行活動激發討論。有及於此,本人且拋磚引玉,以下是我所認識的主要問題:

1)過多或無必要的規條阻碍大家進行一些有益又有趣的活動: 例如在公園和沙灘玩波, 草地上閑坐, 帶狗隻散步等。

2)公園設計過多「死角」。香港寸金尺土, 公共空間彌足珍貴。公園設計者應提供機會讓公眾盡用空間, 而非縮减。本人認為創造公共空間, 又遏制公眾使用實為無稽之談。

3)過多受限的單一功能空間未能善用。香港公園設計者喜設計尃用場地, 却不幸地經常性丟空。我提議這些場地若然丟空, 則應開放給公眾使用。


1)公園和沙灘之立例應服務香港市民的需要, 無拘無束地享受自己的空間。我當然明白而且接受: 無規矩不能成方园, 但請謹記「規矩」應以香港市民的需要為首務。


3)尃用場地若非預訂, 則應開放給公眾使用。經常檢查場地的使用率, 有需要的話, 則重新設計, 善加使用。未來的公園設計, 希望更開放, 更靈活, 更多功能。

以上謹為本人之磚, 愿得彼人之玉。你同意或反對本人的睇法或有其他建議? 能否提供公園及其它公共空間的立規, 管理及設計的更好意見呢?

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