[ Full Version ]

Chapter 4 : Recreation, Open Space and Greening

  1. Recreation and Open Space

  1. Recreation ranges from home entertainment such as playing mah-jong and watching television, through passive activities such as strolling and playing tai-chi to active games and competitive sports. The planning standards and guidelines set out in this chapter is to provide an equitable basis for the planning, distribution and design of open space and recreation facilities.

  1. Open Space is required to meet both the active and passive recreational needs of the populations, either within the residential neighbourhood ("Local Open Space") or centrally located to serve a wider area ("District Open Space"). "Regional Open Space" at prominent locations in the urban areas, serves the catchment area larger than that served by "District Open Space" and "Local Open Space" and it may also serve as major tourist attractions. Green Space such as Amenity Areas, Country Parks, Green Belts and Coastal Protection Areas are excluded from the Open Space standards set out below.

Table 1 : Open Space

Open Space Category Standard Remarks
Regional Open Space

(at least 5 ha in size and a maximum building site coverage of 20%)

no set standard
- 50% counts as District Open Space in the Metro Area



District Open Space

(at least 1 ha in size and a maximum building site coverage of 10%)

10 ha per 100 000 persons
(i.e. 1m2 per person)
- Subject to slope correction factor*

- Active to passive ratio of 3:2 is applied

- Not applicable to industrial, industrial-office, business and commercial areas, rural villages and small residential developments in the rural areas

Local Open Space

(at least 500m2 in urban areas and a maximum building site coverage of 5%)

10 ha per 100 000 persons
(i.e. 1m2 per person)
- Subject to slope correction factor *

- No active to passive ratio

- Primarily for passive use

- In industrial, industrial-office, business and commercial areas, the standard is 5 ha per 100 000 workers (i.e. 0.5m2 per worker)


Slope correction factor is used to examine whether the sloping part of a site is suitable for active or passive recreation use. Consequently if the land does not suitable for the purpose, the area of open space provision will have to be adjusted accordingly.
  1. The standards of major recreation facilities and recreation buildings are summarized in the following tables:

Table 2 : Recreation Facilities

Facility Standard Remarks
Badminton Court2
Squash Court
Table Tennis Table2
Fitness/Dance Hall

swimming pool complex

leisure pool

1 per 8 000                         )
on a district need basis       )
2 per 15 000 or 1 per 7 500  )
1 per sports centre
1 per district
1 per 287 000 or
1m2 water per 85
1 per district

Provided in sports centres,   leisure centres or purpose-built facilities in composite   developments


To be accommodated in the  multi-purpose arenas in sports  centres

Tennis Court1
Basketball Court1&2
Volleyball court1
Football pitch
Mini-Soccer Pitch



Rugby/Baseball/Cricket pitch
Roller Skating Rink
Jogging Track
Childrens' Playground2&4
2 per 30 000
1 per 10 000
1 per 20 000
1 per 100 000
1 per 30 000                       )
1 per 30 000                       )
1 per district
1 per 200 000-250 000
300m2 per 30 000
500m-1 000m per 30 000
400m2 per 5 000
- Minimum 2 courts
- Football pitches within sportsgrounds do not count towards standard due to their inaccessibility to the general public
- Provision for both facilities
- To be accommodated in multi-purpose grass pitches
- To be accommodated in   sports ground/sports complex
- May be provided in district   open space or as part of  pedestrian circulation system



Facilities which may also be provided indoors. However, indoor provision within Sports Centres on a share facility basis is normally considered as a bonus and does not count towards the HKPSG. In the absence of outdoor space, indoor provision within dedicated, purpose-designed, facilities may be countable.

Facilities which are normally provided in public housing development as outdoor provision. Informal facilities such as kickabout areas or basketball shooting areas, and courts of minor sub-standard size, may be acceptable and countable towards the standard of provision for recreation facilities in public housing development which have obvious site constraints.

Optional facilities to be provided in public housing development where site conditions permit.

Facility to be integrated with open space/play areas for all age groups and persons with disabilities to foster a sense of community in public housing developments.

Table 3 : Recreation Buildings

Facility Standard Site Area# Remarks
Sports Centre 1 per 50 000-
65 000
0.6 ha
(i.e. 100m x 60m)
8 x badminton, or
2 x basketball, or
2 x volleyball
2 x tennis
3 x Squash Courts
1 x Activity/Dance
1 x Fitness Training
Leisure Centre 1 per 50 000 0.6 ha May be provided as an alternative to sports centre*
Sports Ground/ Sports Complex 1 per 200 000-
250 000
3.0 ha 400m track (all weather), grass infield for athletics (field events), seating capacity for about 10 000 spectators in standard designed sports ground
Swimming Pool Complex
- standard
1 standard complex per 
287 000 or
1m2 water per 85 
2.0 ha for a standard complex
Usually with pools of 50m and/or 25m long*
Swimming Pool
- leisure
1 per district 
(Min. per 900 m2 pool size)
0.6 ha - 2 ha
subject to advice from LCSD
In addition to swimming pool complex*
Indoor Stadium


Territorial facility based on need
To be determined at detailed design stage subject to advice from LCSD/Arch SD
Two existing i.e. Hong Kong Coliseum and Queen Elizabeth Stadium
Indoor Stadium
- sports
Territorial facility based on need
To be determined at detailed design stage subject to advice from HAB/LCSD, in consultation with the National Sports Associations
There may be a need for one such facility, but project feasibility and implementation aspects subject to further study.
Outdoor Stadium Territorial facility based on need 4.5 ha - 6.0 ha  
Water Sports Centre No set standard To be determined at detailed design stage subject to advice from LCSD/Arch SD To be located at suitable inshore recreation areas and subject to EIA



Provision level of activities to be determined on an individual district-by-district basis.

Site area for reference only and should be applied with a degree of flexibility according to actual site situation.

  1. Greening

  1. It is the Government's greening policy to enhance the quality of our living environment through active planting, proper maintenance and preservation of trees and vegetation. The target is to bring noticeable improvements in urban greenery, to enhance the existing green areas and to maximize greening opportunity during the planning and development stages of works projects.

  1. A holistic and balanced approach should be adopted to strengthen the commitment to greening. Every practical opportunity should be explored for provision of greenery. Notwithstanding, at least equal, if not higher, priority should be given for greening when compared with other technical requirements.

  1. The greening guidelines for various land uses are summarized in the following table. Users may need to refer to the more detailed technical guidelines available in other sources as appropriate.

Table 4 : Greening Guidelines

Greening Guidelines
1. Site Development

  (a) Preparing landscape master plan to provide guidance on tree planting and soft landscape works

  (b) Preserving existing vegetation as far as possible

  (c) Periphery planting with landscape strip

    - for tree planting, a 3 m wide planting strip and a min. of 1.2 m soil depth

    - for other plantings, a min. of 1 m wide planting strip

  (d) Landscape buffers to mitigate environmental nuisance

  (e) Planting on vacant sites awaiting for development
2. Residential/Industrial/Commercial Developments

  (a) Achieving the standards for open space with emphasis on soft landscaping

  (b) Encouraging the provision of podium and communal sky gardens

  (c) Achieving an overall target of 30% green coverage for public housing development

  (d) Imposing the requirements of site coverage of greenery on all new land leases for private developments and in planning briefs where practicable

  (e) Integrating greening, landscaping and building design within an urban design framework to reinforce the identity of a prime commercial development

  (f) Taking into account the compliance with the Sustainable Building Design Guidelines, including site coverage of greenery in granting GFA concessions in new private building development

  (g) Maximising greening opportunities of the sites for Government building projects
3. Visually Sensitive Uses

  (a) Quarries

    - full landscape reinstatement including mass tree planting and erosion control after quarry excavation

    - re-grading quarry faces to slopes with max. gradient of 1:1.5 to retain soft fill for planting

    - planning for restoration works well before the end of the quarry activities

  (b) Utility Services Facilities

    - periphery tree planting and amenity buffer strips for screening visual blights

    - minimizing the damages of erection of pylons to existing vegetation and landscape re-instatement be undertaken

  (c) Port Backup and Open Storage Uses

    - providing 1 m - 2 m wide planting strip at site periphery to screen off visual impacts of stacks

    - tree pits are to be provided at 4 m-5 m interval
4. District and Local Open Spaces

  (a) Achieving the standard of 1m2 / person for district and local open spaces respectively

  (b) Preparing landscape plans for parks, gardens, promenades and sitting out areas to maximize the greening opportunities

  (c) For active open space, at least 20% of the land for soft landscaping, half of which for planting trees

  (d) For passive open space, 70% of the land for soft landscaping, 60% of which for planting trees

  (e) Using native plant species in urban fringe parks
5. Roads and Highways (including local access roads)

  (a) Creating avenues of trees and plants/green corridors along central dividers and pavements of road corridors/breezeways/air paths and in pedestrian areas

  (b) On new roads, locating underground utility services and manholes away from planter beds and tree pits

  (c) Avoiding the growing of trees / shrubs that obscures the visibility of road signs, traffic lights, CCTV, red light cameras, bus stops and intersections, etc. and sight-lines of pedestrians and drivers, and light of lamp posts
6. Slopes

  (a) Slopes should be covered by vegetation. The existing vegetation should be safeguarded and intensified through further tree and shrub planting

  (b) Existing trees on slopes should be retained

  (c) Introducing planters at toe, on the crest, on berms and in adjacent paved areas

  (d) Soil pockets in coreholes should be provided on hard surfaces for creepers and other climbers, grass and shrubs
7. Drainage and Water Works

  (a) Planting more trees alongside existing drainage channels/systems

  (b) Drainage channels /system should be planned with greenery and adopt environmental and sustainable design as far as possible

  (c) Adopting an integrated approach in designing drainage and water works to avoid interference to planting and service maintenances

  (d) Exploring opportunities for tree planting whilst observing the following restrictions:

    - no trees / shrubs with penetrating roots be planted within 3 m from the centre line of any existing or proposed watermains and 3 m from the edge of drainage pipes;

    - clearance distance can be reduced to 1.5 m if the size of watermains affected are below 600 mm;

    - rigid root barriers may be required if the clear distance between the proposed tree and the pipe is less than 3 m and the barrier must extend below the inverted level of the pipe;

    - no planting within the space of 1.5 m around the cover of any hydrant valves or the covers of WSD's valves, nor within a distance of 1 m from any hydrant outlet
8. Skyrise Greening

  (a) Skyrise greening encompasses all greening on buildings or other structures beyond the ground level, including roof greening, vertical greening, sky gardens and terrace planting

  (b) Skyrise greening provides environmental benefits as well as enhancing aesthetic quality of the urban environment



back to previous page    back to contents    go to next page

  dotted line
 Last revision date : December 2015