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Space+(Yuen Long District)

Space+'s original intervention took place during the summer of 2022 in the district of Yuen Long. The team led with a series of groundwork excercises to investigate the district's unique natural environment, history, and the development context; laying the foundation for its socio-demographic evolution. The once rural township known for it's signature "Walled Village" clan culture, and local agriculture underwent a rapid Urban transformation during the '70s. The controversial planning of the Tin Shui Wai new town earned itself the moniker, "the City of Sadness". Critics would frequently highlight that an already hermetic culture was ramified through a lacking implementation of transport connectivity, and a dearth of community facilities.


While ample public resources have been commited to shed light on urban improvement, the questions remain: How can the culture of the district adapt in the face of rapid development and changing social dynamics?  What role could public space play in forming an inclusive and livable community? How can the Community's existing network and foothold be leveraged to shape a better future for Yuen Long? These complexity of issues faced by Yuen Long echo across all communities currently undergoing rapid sociocultural and economic redevelopment.

Space+ Academy

(Yuen Long District)

Sep - Nov, 2022

Space+ Salon

Sep 2022 -Jan 2023

Space+ Festival

(Yuen Long District)

Jan 2023

Space+ Academy (Yuen Long District)

Very Hong Kong recruited 20 Yuen Long District NGO workers which broadly representated the sectors of; Ethnic Minorities; Pensioner; the Youth; Nature Conservationists; The Arts, and other fields; to  join our first academy. While their backgrounds and expectations differed, they were all united in a shared effort to contribute in defining representative and genuine places.


Trainees attended 9 placemaking workshops together in groups of 5. They participated in a planning simulation to review the relationship between "Space", "Place", and "Community". As a highlight, the groups met two overseas placemaking experts; Ms. Pei-Yin Shih from Open Green Taiwan; and Koichiro Tamura from Sotonoba Japan who had embarked on a mission of investigating placemaking experiences in across Asian cities. Their contributions in Hong Kong saw to it that they were able to assist and conduct site audits in Tin Shui Wai riverside; with the aim of collating residents' feedback towards the public design spaces of local housing estates.

We believe that implementation is one of the keys of the "Space+ Academy". After completing a series of workshops, 20 trainees have executed 5 placemaking interventions that responded to the needs of Tin Shui Wai, based on what they have learnt in the classes, as well as their experience and observations in community work.

"The Past and Present of Tin Shui Wai" (Group 1) adopted the interactive exhibition to display photos of Tin Shui Wai from different periods of time. It aims to evoke the community's collective memory and create resonance, so as to break down the social isolation. This group also transformed the fence behind into a "Message Wall", where people can leave their stories and take a look at others' secrets related to Tin Shui Wai.

"Box of Tin's Work" (Group 2) utilized space and art as media to encourage Tin Shui Wai residents to express their impressions of the community through drawing or collage on cardboard boxes. They paved fake grass, placed wine boxes and cushions in the open space of Tin Ching Estate, creating a relaxing feeling of being in the countryside and bringing a fresh visual impact to the residents. At the same time, the lawn created an alternative public sitting pattern that encourages them to actively chat and interact with each other.

By visiting different natural attractions in Tin Shui Wai, collecting natural materials and producing blue-tanning artworks, the "Heavenly Creations in Tin Shui Wai" (Group 3) hoped that participants could energize themselves and relieve the pressure by getting close to nature. Each piece of blue-tanning artwork fully demonstrated the unique imagination and interpretation of the participants towards nature, thus attracting the public to learn more about and physically visit the leisure spots in Tin Shui Wai.

 "Tin-Der" (Group 4), as its name implies, was referring to an online dating platform, "Tinder", with the aim of enhancing residents'  understanding of and interaction with each other in the community. Participants were invited to draw a self-portrait and fill in a self-introduction in a profile card, and pinned the card on the display boards. After reading the other cards on the boards, they can use a red string, which representing "good relationship", to connect other cards with their own, thus weaving a Tin Shui Wai's neighborhood network.

"Bartering Tin Shui Wai Stories" (Group 5) allowed residents to get to know each other through bartering their items with stories, and thus promoting harmony in the district. The owner has to write down the story of the item and a message to the next owner when bartering, and then they can take away a new item from the collection of someone else's old favorites. Giving away old things does not mean to let go of the past, but also make room to embrace the new.

Words from Trainees

"Upon exercising placemaking from theory to practice, I am inspired to incorporate spatial elements into my future work - to utilize community spaces with kai-fongs to promote social inclusion.."

Amber Lee |Team Member of "Box of Tin's Work" 

Space+ Salon

Space+ Festival(Yuen Long District)

Upon the final proposal presentation at the advisory clinic, each trainee team was ready to bring their imagination into actual implementation at the “Space+ Festival”. The five teams' Placemaking initiatives included: "The Past and Present of Tin Shui Wai", where old scenic photos and less-known stories were showcased to bring back collective memories of Tin Shui Wai over generations; The "Tin Shui Wai Box Co-Creation" embraced social inclusion by inviting different ethnic groups to collectively paint their impressions of Tin Shui Wai; “Heavenly Creations in Tin Shui Wai" embedded mental wellness and natural conservation concepts throughout their countryside tour and blue-tanned co-creation workshop; “Tin-Der” brought the online dating app into life to stimulate kai-fong interactions; and “Bartering Tin Shui Wai Stories” welcomed neighbours to exchange stories and second-hand goods as a means of further strengthening communal ties.

On top of events curated by trainees, on January 7 - 15, 2023, Space+ Festival (Yuen Long District) invited 34 local groups to reimagine 4 signature public spaces for social good. Sites included Tin Ching Estate Plaza, Tin Shui Shopping Mall, Tin Yan Riverside, and the frontyard of Yuen Long Green Recycling Station. During the Festival, kai-fongs were able to enjoy a wide spectrum of free, community-led events that were organized “by the locals, for the locals”. Event highlights include community screening, game booths, workshops, exhibitions, guided tours, busking, and dance performances. 

Furthermore, community furniture designed by professors and students from the School of Architecture of the Chinese University of Hong Kong were displayed in different venues to encourage residents to make creative use of the public space in the district.


Media Coverage

1. 「社會實驗:做「一日保安」 換個角度看公共空間」 (Ming Pao News)(Only Chinese is available)



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