The effects of ‘publicness’ and quality of publicly accessible open space upon user satisfaction

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Open and green space, property right, public aspiration, compact city, structural equation modelling, sustainable urban development




There is a worldwide trend for planning bodies to allow, require, or encourage developers to provide open spaces in their properties for public enjoyment to complement the open spaces on government lands. The two types of privately owned open space and government-owned open space, both accessible to public, can influence on people’s quality of life. Whether and how the land ownership of open spaces would influence their performance and, in turn, affect user satisfaction has not yet been studied and is worthy of exploration. This paper aims to examine the interactive relationships among three variables: ‘publicness’, quality/performance, and user satisfaction in both types of open space in Hong Kong. A questionnaire survey was administered to users of privately owned open space and government-owned open space and found that satisfaction with government-owned open space was marginally higher than with privately owned open space, with respect to activity facilities, amenities, and the overall utilization. Nevertheless, the differences in satisfaction were mainly the result of open space quality rather than land ownership per se. This study also examines the determinants of satisfaction, open space provision, and management and trends in spatial use. Findings from this study can deepen the understanding of utilizing both government-owned open space and privately owned open space from the user’s perspective, which will help improve the planning, design, and management of open spaces in cities.

Source Publication

Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science


2399-8083, 2399-8091

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