A high-density compact city may not necessarily promote beneficiary community interaction. Hong Kong is in the trend of “Double Ageing” where population and building stock are ageing simultaneously at a rapid speed. The planning and design of community facilities based on population cohort demarcation is no longer suitable. Could Hong Kong as a vertical city provide space for diversified uses within a high-rise building and thus promote the making of a vibrant intergenerational community in a vertical form? Season 7’s “One from Hundred Thousand” social innovation symposium and its co-creation workshops aim to explore a new model of vertical intergenerational community for Hong Kong. We hope the making of a vertical intergenerational community would enable dynamic interaction and co-living across generations to advance the wellbeing of both the elderlies and the youths. The integration of various functions and services in the same vertical space also help optimise the use of stretched spatial resources in Hong Kong.
Using Hong Kong Young Women’s Christian Association (HKYWCA) Yau Yat Chuen Centre and Aberdeen Kai-fong Welfare Association (AKA) Social Service Centre as sites, the co-creation teams with NGO staff, youths and elderlies explored how to create an intergenerational and an interactive model of co-living among different age groups using design thinking methods. Co-creation teams ideated various software and hardware design concepts to enable intergenerational interaction and cohesion. These design concepts are elaborated in further detail in the presentation that can be downloaded below.
At the symposium, Co-creation teams presented their innovative ideas for their respective service centres. The co-creation teams also received feedback from a cross-disciplinary expert panel.
The panellists include:
Dr Hon. Lam Ching-choi, SBS, JP | Chairman, Elderly Commission
Mr LAM Ka-tai, JP | Deputy Director of Social Welfare (Services), Social Welfare Department
Ms Alice Wan | Director, Aberdeen Kai-fong Welfare Association Social Service
Dr. BAI Xue | Associate Professor, Department of Applied Social Sciences, PolyU
Director of Institute of Active Ageing, PolyU
Ms Yvonne Yeung | Chief Executive, Hong Kong Young Women’s Christian Association
Mr Ling Kar-kan, SBS | Director of Jockey Club Design Institute for Social Innovation, PolyU
Built in 1981, Lai Kok Estate is an eight-block public rental housing estate in Sham Shui Po with a population of 6500. The site is located at the rooftop of an elderly residential care home surrounded by Lai Huen House, Lai Mei House and Lai Lo House and connected with them at podium level. The proposed design scheme envisions an intergenerational community in a vertical space by surmounting the vertical challenges and bringing together both the estate and residential care home residents to create an integrational therapy garden. Through integrating active and human-centric environmental design considering users of all ages, culture and abilities, the rooftop garden promotes intergenerational interactions, community cohesion and ultimate contribute to health and wellbeing of all residents.
The Intergenerational Therapy Garden has been divided into five thematic zones with different functions—Quiet Lounge, Safe Loop, Multifunctional Zone, Nursery Garden and Therapy Zone & Challenging Path. The zones are connected by a loop-shaped wandering path with three story corners that encourage sharing of stories with friends and families through reminiscent objects.