This paper examines how a residential podium garden design can enhance the use of a garden and the satisfaction of its users. Two public and private housing estates are selected to analyze and compare spatial use and the perception of space in podium gardens for public use. First, this paper explores the relationship between residential satisfaction and the physical conditions of podium gardens in public and private housing estates in Hong Kong. A total of 135 questionnaires are collected from two cohorts for each of these groups. People’s perceptions are compared with the physical conditions of the podium gardens. Second, this paper investigates how visibility and accessibility influence the quality and usability of podium gardens. The sense of community, safety and hygiene, and accessibility are examined and compared between public and private housing estate cohorts. In conclusion, opening a podium garden to public use can promote the degree of tolerance and enhance community cohesion. Regardless of whether a podium garden is open to the public or not, according to the responses, more people using the podium garden can increase its usability. Since public monitoring can enhance safety and hygiene, podium gardens should be highly visible from the surrounding buildings. A well-planned podium design thus can improve the social and physical qualities of living environments.
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