The Bartlett School of Planning


Public Lecture: Urbanism and older people’s mental wellbeing

28 October 2020, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

SMP Bus Terminus Shopping Centre

Reflections on compact Hong Kong from Rebecca Chiu.

Event Information

Open to





Victoria Howard

Join us on Zoom for the first of our 2020/21 Public Lectures.

Hong Kong is renowned for its well managed high-density and high-rise built environment. With a rapidly ageing population, it is increasingly important to (re)develop an elderly friendly living environment. Based on the findings from territory-wide surveys and focus group meetings, this presentation discusses the opportunities and constraints that Hong Kong’s compact environment offers to its elderly inhabitants. In particular, it looks into the influence of the neighbourhood environment on the mental and social wellbeing of residents living in large high-rise housing estates. It concludes that compactness needs to be acknowledged as a critical factor to enable the less mobile senior citizens to have easy access to community facilities and services, and easy communication and integration with their local communities. While purpose-design vertical retirement projects provide a continuum of care and enables ageing in place fulfilling the daily and social needs of the elderly, accessibility to neighbourhood facilities and services and hence the location of these housing projects are important. Thus, a compact living environment, if well planned and managed, is argued to be conducive for the psychological and mental health of the elderly people.

Please reserve your place on Eventbrite, where we will send you the joining link.

About the Speaker

Professor Rebecca Lai Har Chiu

at University of Hong Kong

Rebecca L.H. Chiu is the former Head and Professor of the Department of Urban Planning and Design, and the Director of the Centre of Urban Studies and Urban Planning, as well as the Belt and Road Urban Observatory of the Faculty of Architecture of The University of Hong Kong. She has specialized in housing studies and housing education since 1987, and in urban planning and urban sustainability since 1997. Her current research projects include healthy ageing and housing issues in ageing communities, social sustainability of housing in compact cities; comparative housing policies in Asia; housing development in the Belt and Road region, comparative planning systems, and China’s marketized socialism in housing and urban development. She is the Founder Chairman of the Asia Pacific Network for Housing Research, and has been appointed to government committees and boards on housing, land and planning, urban renewal, natural and heritage conservation.