- Housing estate
A housing estate is a group of buildings built together as a single development. The exact form may vary from country to country. Accordingly, a housing estate is usually built by a single contractor, with only a few styles of house or building design, so they tend to be uniform in appearance. Generally housing estates are
monotenureand provide social housing.
In Asian cities such as
Singaporeand Hong Kong, an estate may range from detached houses to high density tower blocks with or without commercial facilities; in Europe and America, these may take the form of town housing, or the older-style rows of terraced houses associated with the industrial revolution, detached or semi-detached houses with small plots of land around them forming gardens, and are frequently without commercial facilities.
Housing estates are the usual form of residential design used in
new towns, where estates are designed as an autonomous suburb, centred around a small commercial centre. Such estates are usually designed to minimise through-traffic flows, and to provide recreational space in the form of parks and greens.
This word usage may have arisen from an area of housing being built on what had been a country estate as towns and cities expanded in and after the 19th century. Reduction of the phrase to mere "estate" is common in Britain, especially when prefigured by the specific name, but is not so called in America.
In the UK, housing estates have become prevalent since
World War II, as a more affluent population demanded larger and more widely spaced houses coupled with the increase of car usage for which terraced streets were unsuitable.
Housing estates were produced by either local corporations or by private developers. The former tended to be a means of producing
public housingleading to monotenureestates full of council houses and therefore known as "council estates".
In addition, the problems incurred by the early attempts at high density tower-block housing turned people away from this style of living. The resulting demand for land has seen many towns and cities increase enormously in size for only moderate increases in population. This has been largely at the expense of rural and
greenfield land. There is now much evidence coming to light of a severe and detrimental impact on the environment as a result, partly from the change of land use caused by the estates themselves, and partly because most estates encourage rather than discourage the use of the car for transport. Recently, there has been some effort to address this problem by banning the development of out-of-town commercial developments, and encouraging the reuse of brownfield or previously developed sites for residential building. Nevertheless the demand for housing continues to rise, and in the UK at least has precipitated a significant housing crisis.
In the UK the post war
New towns were constructed en masse from housing estates rather than as organic growth from a population centre.
Due to the dense population, the most common form of residential housing in
Hong Kongis the high-rise housing estate, which may be publicly owned, privately owned, of semi-private. Due to the oligopolyof real-estate developers in the territory, and the economies of scaleof mass developments, there is the tendency of new private tower blockdevelopments with 10 to over 100 towers, ranging from 30-to-70-storeys high.
There is currently some controversy over the "wall effect" caused by uniform high-rise developments which adversely impact air circulation.cite news|title = `Asia's walled city' leaves - residents longing for air|publisher = The Standard |last = Yung|first = Chester| date = December 21, 2006 | accessdate = 2007-03-21 | url = http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?pp_cat=11&art_id=34625&sid=11441787&con_type=1&d_str=20061221&sear_year=2006] . In-fill developments will tend to done by smaller developers with less capital. These will be smaller in scale, and less prone to the wall effect.
Public housing estates provide affordable homes for those on low incomes, with rents which are heavily subsidised, financed by financial activities such as rents and charges collected from car parks and shops within or near the estates. They may vary in scale, and are under the responsibility of the
Hong Kong Housing Authority, a Government body or the Hong Kong Housing Society, and usually located in the remote or less accessible parts of the territory, but urban expansion has put some of them in the heart of the urban area.
Semi-private housing units most frequently form part of the Government's Home Ownership Scheme. They are usually similar in construction to, and adjacent to, public housing and managed by the
Hong Kong Housing Authority. Although some units are destined exclusively for rental, some of the flats within each development are earmarked for sale by the Authority at prices which are lower than for private developments.
Although these may be low-rise, a private housing estate is usually characterised by a cluster of high-rise buildings, often with a shopping centre or market of its own in the case of larger developments.
Mei Foo Sun Chuen, built by Mobil, is the earliest ( 1965) and largest (99 blocks) example of its kind.
Since the mid 1990s, private developers have been incorporating leisure facities which incorporate clubhouse facilitiescite news|title = Nan Fung to build $1b flats in Tsuen Wan|publisher = The Standard |last = Chan|first = Karen| date = May 30, 1996 | accessdate = 2007-03-22 | url = http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?pp_cat=&art_id=16667&sid=&con_type=1&d_str=19960530&sear_year=1996] : namely swimming pools, tennis courts, function rooms in their more up-market developments. The most recent examples would also be equipped with cinemas, dance studios, cigar-rooms.
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