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The Changing Planning Concept of Postwar Hong Kong: Contract, Welfare, and Space
Tan Zheng
Abstract Accommodating high-density economic activities, the cellular urban structure of Hong Kong has a certain origin in the New Town Movement of post-war Europe. In the post-war era, the planning practice of Hong Kong, as a response to a series of urban crises, transformed the European new town ideal into a unique structure of Asian vertical “Garden City.” This paper starts with the reflection on the relationship between planning system and planning theory, thereby revisiting the “welfare state” tradition hidden behind the cityscape of Hong Kong. Through a brief review of the history of planning exchanges between Hong Kong and mainland cities like Shenzhen, it points out that the “collectivism” tradition was somehow overlooked in the urban design guidelines of mainland cities.
Keywords planning by contract; New Town Movement; social subsidy; quasi-welfare state; cellular city

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