Ageing in the Hong Kong Urban Environment - An Experiential Workshop

Ageing in the Hong Kong Urban Environment - An Experiential Workshop” successfully held on 17 March 2018! As a major pre-conference event for the Hong Kong Institute of Urban Design (HKIUD) International Conference 2018 on the subject of "Actions For Active Ageing - Urban Design For All", the workshop was jointly organised by HKIUD, P&T Group and Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council (SKHWC) .

The workshop received support from approximately 40 invited participants, including Ms. Linn Hon Ho Bernadette, JP (Permanent Secretary for Development (Planning & Lands)), Mr. Tony Tse (Member of the Legislative Council for Architectural, Surveying, Planning and Landscape), Mrs. Sylvia Lam (Director of Architectural Services Department), Mr. Raymond Lee, JP ( Director of Planning Department), Ms. Alice Wan (Member of the Board of Directors, Southern District Healthy & Safe Association Limited) and Mrs. Susanne Wong, JP (District Officer of Central and Western).

In the morning section, participants geared up with the elderly simulation suit, which consists of several specially designed impediments such as weights, braces, elastic band restraints and a pair of blurry eyeglasses, which allows participants to feel how the aged bend their bodies and grasp the physical experiences of an elderly person. With the assistance of volunteers, participants were engaged in a number of typical outdoor daily life elderly activities in Western District, for example, visiting Western District Elderly Community Centre, trying out the community facilities and fitness equipment for the elderly in a park, and eventually experiencing different real-life hardships faced by the elderly.

(Picture 1 – 5 (Top Right) Hon. Bernard Chan, GBS, JP. (Top Left) Approximately 40 invited participants attended the workshop. (Lower Left) Mr. Alex Fong, (Lower Middle) and Ir. Wai Chi Sing, GBS, JP, geared up with the elderly simulation suits. (Lower Right) Ms. Linn Hon Ho Bernadette, JP (Permanent Secretary for Development (Planning & Lands)) geared up and said it was hard to walk briskly as usual, the escalator also appeared faster. She stated that elderly-friendly has become one of the planning principles of the government.

(Picture 6) “I gained a better understanding of the stress experienced when the aged cross the road, I could not walk faster but the vehicles were already approaching." a participant said.

(Picture 7-10) (Upper left) Mr. Raymond Lee, JP (Director of Planning Department), (Upper right) Mr. Tony Tse (Member of the Legislative Council for Architectural, Surveying, Planning and Landscape)

(Lower left & Lower right) Mr. LEUNG Ka-wing (Former host of radio phone-in programme & head of Chinese programme service in RTHK's radio division) and Mr. Stephen Tang (President of The Hong Kong Institute of Urban Design) put on the Elderly Simulation Suit which enables users to experience what it feels like to have ageing induced limited mobility.

(Picture 11-12) (Left) Dr Jane Lee (Director of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council) and Mrs. Susanne Wong (The District Officer (Central and Western)) were concentrating on a sharing from a charitable non-profit organization, Hong Kong Public Space Initiative. Explanations were given on the importance of urban development for the elderly.

(Right) Participants also visited Western District Elderly Community Centre, Mr. Robert Wong (Project Development Director, Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council Limited) was sharing their elderly friendly projects.


The professional forum was held in afternoon, the speakers were all well-respected experts in their own fields, the presenters included: Mrs. Sylvia Lam (Director of Architectural Services Department), Ms. Alice Wan (Member of the Board of Directors, Southern District Healthy & Safe Association Limited), Mr. Robert Wong (Project Development Director, Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council Limited) and Ms. Vivien Mak (Director of P&T). Attending organizations included Transport Department, Planning Department, Architectural Services Department, Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Hong Kong Housing Society, Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council Limited, MTR Corp. Limited, The University of Hong Kong, DUPAD, The Chinese University of Hong Kong & The Hong Kong Polytechnic University etc. , focused on how urban design in Hong Kong can be more inclusive and enable the elderly to stay active, independent and remain healthy longer which is the overall challenge of active ageing.

Solid and diverse experiences were gained in this event with in-depth discussions.

(Picture 13-14) (Left) Prof. Stephen Tang (President of The Hong Kong Institute of Urban Design) and (Right) Mr. Joel Chan (Workshop Organizing Committee Chair)

(Picture 15-18) (Upper left) Ms. Vivien Mak (Director of P&T GROUP), (Upper Right) Mrs. Sylvia Lam (Director of Architectural Services Department), (Lower left) Mr. Robert Wong (Project Development Director, Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council Limited) and (Lower right) Ms. Alice Wan (Member of the Board of Directors, Southern District Healthy & Safe Association Limited) shared their points of view on urban design and elderly friendly issues.

(Picture 19-22) At the professional forum held in the afternoon session, approximately 40 invited participants were reflecting on how our urban design can be more inclusive and enable the elderly to stay active and remain healthy.