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Old November 9th, 2009, 04:29 PM   #681
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Saving Victoria Harbour one small step at a time

The Standard
Monday, November 09, 2009

About 400 people, mainly children and youngsters, walked from the Star Ferry pier to Wan Chai yesterday to stop the government from further reclamation of the Victoria Harbour.

Society for Protection of the Harbour spokesman Winston Chu Ka-sun said the walk, on its fourth year, aimed to educate youngsters how to appreciate and care for the harbor.

Taking the government to court would only be a last resort to stop further reclamation, he said.

"I don't enjoy suing the government," Chu said. "The Court of Final Appeal took at least three years to judge a case ... I hope this would be the final step."

Sung Pui-yan, 11, said she joined the Walk for the Harbour because she thought there should be no more reclamation.

"We will lose the beautiful view and the wind if we continue to reclaim the harbor," she said, adding she would join again if organizers hold another walk next year.

Chu also criticized the government's recent decision to designate a 58,000-square meter area in Wan Chai for commercial use.

The legislator representing the architectural, surveying and planning sector, Patrick Lau Sau-sing, said the government must explain why the land is being used to compensate for the space in front of the IFC in Central which was originally intended for commercial purposes but changed to recreation area after a public outcry.

"The government may have conducted studies on the supply of office space and the projected value of shifting development from Central to Admiralty and Wan Chai. I hope the government would make such findings public, so that people would understand that conservation and development could be implemented simultaneously without incurring economic losses."
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Old November 12th, 2009, 07:23 PM   #682
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Waterfront high-rises in protesters' sights
9 November 2009
South China Morning Post

About 400 harbour conservationists staged a protest march in Central yesterday against further reclamation and government plans to build high-rises on the new waterfront.

They chanted such slogans as "Stop reclamation", "Stop land sales" and "Return the harbour to the people" as they marched 3km from the new Star Ferry pier in Central to Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai, where they concluded with a fun fair.

It was the fourth annual "Walk for the Harbour" organised by the Society for Protection of the Harbour, which was set up in 1995 to fight reclamation of the harbour and which has successfully blocked government reclamation projects several times.

A participant in yesterday's march, Vivian Lai, 44, of Western, said: "We want to make it very clear to the government that Hong Kong people love the harbour. It is getting narrower because of reclamation. We fear one day it will become a creek if reclamation is not stopped."

Civic Party legislator Alan Leong Kah-kit, one of four legislators on the march, said: "The new waterfront should be used by the public and not be sold for developers to build high-rise office towers. What the people want is more public space on the waterfront."

Last week, the Executive Council endorsed harbourfront development changes in which 58,000 square metres of commercial floor area earmarked for the Central reclamation were relocated to the Wan Chai waterfront.

The society accused the government of changing the Wan Chai waterfront land to commercial use.

"We hope the government can withdraw its plan. If the Town Planning Board approves the plan, we shall take the case to court," society adviser Winston Chu Ka-sun said.

Society chairwoman Christine Loh Kung-wai said: "[The government] has taken a piece out of our Victoria Harbour. What we do not want to see is the government selling the land for building things we do not need."

A Development Bureau spokesman said the plan to redistribute commercial gross floor area to Wan Chai had the overall support of the Harbourfront Enhancement Committee - a government-appointed body to advise the administration on land use on both sides of the harbour.

"A general consensus has been reached and it is also a pragmatic and balanced proposal," he said.

According to the bureau, there will be 18 hectares of open space on the new Central waterfront.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 06:54 PM   #683
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Sites limited as Central expands
18 November 2009
South China Morning Post

About 100 years ago the district of Central was confined primarily by the existing Connaught Road, which formed the northern boundary of the area fronting Victoria Harbour. However, over the past decades Central has expanded, mainly northwards through land reclamation.

With the completion of the Government Post Office in 1979, the harbour front moved to the area occupied by the former Star Ferry pier and was pushed further outward to the newly built Central ferry piers in the late 1990s.

Over the past 10 years, however, Central's business district has taken a different route in its expansion. Its defining boundary has leapfrogged the harbour to West Kowloon as a result of the exodus of a number of investment banks and financial institutions to the International Commerce Centre.

However, West Kowloon, which has now become the so-called extension of Central, is yet to develop a critical mass of commercial office buildings, as a minimum of 5.5 million square feet of office floor space is required to create a successful office node.

On Hong Kong Island, the expansion of Central proper towards the east started some years ago, well before the final confirmation by the government that it would move its headquarters to the Tamar site in Admiralty, when the Swire Group extended its portfolio at Pacific Place eastwards by completing Three Pacific Place on the edge of Wan Chai in 2004.

The expansion into Wan Chai did not stop there as the Tai Sang Building fronting Hennessy Road in Wan Chai was acquired by Swire in 2007, with plans to renovate the building as a modern commercial development.

In Wan Chai North (that is, north of Gloucester Road), Citic Tower next to Tamar was completed in 1996, marking the first step of Central's extension to the east. However, because of the disruption of development plans for the Tamar site in 2002-03, attributed partly to the unfavourable economic conditions and the outbreak of Sars, the expansion eastwards along Wan Chai North ceased temporarily.

Now, with the final confirmation of the government headquarters' move by 2011, the geography of Central will once again take on a different shape.

So, what will Central look like five years down the road?

First, new sites will be coming up for redevelopment in core Central but on a much reduced scale and density compared with the surrounding areas.

Second, Central will have gradually extended into adjacent sub-markets, including Admiralty, to form "Greater Central".

This will be driven by the redevelopment of existing office buildings and premises now occupied by government departments in Wan Chai, such as Revenue Tower and Immigration Tower, which will have been sold to the private sector for commercial use. While this expansion is under way, there will be no significant improvement in current supply over the short to medium term (say, in the next three years).

In Central, only two minor redevelopment schemes are scheduled for completion in 2011 and 2012 and will increase the total stock of commercial space by less than 400,000 sqft.

The trend in Central over the past 20 years showed the sub-market once had an average new completion of 450,000 sqft office space per annum.

So, before any real change is seen in the supply dynamics in Central, the existing supply gap will remain at least for the next three years and is likely to put additional upward pressure on rentals in the future.

Rentals will accelerate further if demand returns to levels seen during the last upswing from 2004 to last year and in our view, because of the lack of new supply and susceptibility to changing economic conditions, Central will continue to be the sub-market with the highest rental volatility.

Simon Lo is the director of Colliers International Hong Kong's research and advisory department
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Old November 24th, 2009, 06:43 PM   #684
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Questions need to be answered on reclamation
24 November 2009
South China Morning Post

The Society for the Protection of the Harbour wishes to remind the government that the only justification for reclamation of the harbour it gave to the public and the law courts was to build the Central Wan Chai bypass in order to relieve traffic congestion.

This was also the only justification that the Court of Final Appeal accepted as being an "overriding public need" and, hence, rendering harbour reclamation lawful.

Until the government's recent announcement of new plans for the Central reclamation, it had proposed constructing 9.24 million square feet of new office and commercial developments thereon in accordance with the current outline zoning plan. According to the Transport Department, these developments will attract an additional 7,623 vehicles to Central. This will worsen the traffic conditions and the air quality in Central.

Our society is pleased and grateful that the government has now reduced the development intensity in response to objections by the public and our society.

The government's review was also in compliance with a directive from the Town Planning Board and the recent policy statement of the chief executive "to return the harbourfront to the people".

Nevertheless our society must still ask the government the following questions regarding its new plans:

How much new office and commercial development is being planned for the Central reclamation?

How many more people and vehicles will be attracted to Central by these developments?

How much of the reclaimed land will be sold or given to real estate developers for these developments?

Why attract more traffic to Central and worsen traffic congestion when this is the complete opposite of the government's original justification for the Central reclamation?

Winston K. S. Chu, adviser, Society for Protection of the Harbour
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Old November 25th, 2009, 05:00 PM   #685
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LCQ2: Development of waterfront sites
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Government Press Release

Following is a question by the Hon Ip Kwok-him and a reply by the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, in the Legislative Council today (November 25):

Question:

The authorities are now actively planning and enhancing the waterfronts of the Victoria Harbour. At the meeting of the Subcommittee on Harbourfront Planning held on the 9th of this month, the Secretary for Development advised that the Government intended to introduce public-private partnership (PPP) to develop Sites 1 and 2 at the new Central harbourfront. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) what criteria the authorities use in deciding whether to adopt a PPP approach or a government-funding approach to develop and enhance a particular waterfront site;

(b) apart from Sites 1 and 2 at the new Central harbourfront, what other waterfront sites the authorities also intend to develop using the PPP approach; which waterfront sites will be developed by the Government with its own funding, as well as which government department will be responsible for the development and management of those sites; and

(c) what policies the authorities have in place, on the one hand, to encourage developers to participate in the development of waterfront sites so as to implement the harbourfront enhancement projects and, on the other hand, not to arouse public query that the Government is transferring benefits to developers?

Reply:

President,

The development of Sites 1 and 2 at the new Central harbourfront is one of the projects under the initiative of “Conserving Central”, put forward by the Chief Executive in his Policy Address this year. It is also our most important endeavour to beautify and create a vibrant, attractive and accessible Victoria harbourfront. With reference to overseas and local experiences, we propose to develop this waterfront site (being 2.3 hectares in size) into a mixed-use precinct for cultural, recreational and leisure uses through public-private partnership (PPP) for public enjoyment. My reply to the three-part question is as follows-

(a) In considering whether to enhance the harbourfront through PPP, first and foremost we have to consider the location and business potential of a waterfront site. Generally speaking, it is more suitable to engage the private sector to design, build and operate those waterfront sites in commercial and tourist areas than in residential areas. Moreover, unlike the quiet and passive waterfronts that mainly provide an environment for people to stroll and enjoy the scenic Victoria Harbour, a vibrant and active waterfront with entertainment, retail and dining facilities would be even more suitable to have the participation of the private sector in the design and operation of the harbourfront.

Compared with the established Government practice of constructing waterfront parks or promenades by way of public works projects or minor works, and managing them by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the private sector is usually more creative, efficient and flexible in terms of planning, design, financing, development, operation and facilities management. We believe that the participation of the private sector can add vibrancy to our harbourfront.

In fact, there are many overseas examples of enhancing and developing waterfront sites through PPP. In the past two years, both the Task Group on Management Model for the Harbourfront of the Harbour-front Enhancement Committee and myself have separately visited many overseas waterfront sites, including the South Bank of London, Darling Harbour of Sydney as well as the Singapore River. I agree with the Committee’s view that we should select suitable waterfront sites for engaging the private sector to assist in developing and creating an ideal waterfront, for the enjoyment of both the public and tourists.

I would particularly like to point out that PPP is not only for business consortia or property developers. We also welcome non-governmental organisations and social enterprises to participate in harbourfront development.

(b) In deciding whether a harbourfront site should be constructed and managed by the Government or through PPP, we need to adopt a flexible mindset, taking into consideration factors such as site details and public expectation on a case-by-case basis. As far as the new Central harbourfront is concerned, currently only Sites 1 and 2 are planned to be designed, built and operated by PPP.

As regards the harbourfront sites in other districts, we have planned to carry out 15 harbourfront enhancement projects in the next five years, all of which will be financed, designed, constructed and managed solely by the Government. These projects are set out at Annex.

(c) In implementing any harbourfront enhancement projects, public interest is our primary concern. We will, in an open, fair and impartial manner, engage and select suitable partners. We will set out in detail the terms and conditions in the partnership agreement, to ensure that public interest is protected.
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Old December 2nd, 2009, 10:27 AM   #686
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New body can save our `ailing' harbor
The Standard
Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Victoria Harbour is "an ailing business" that needs a dedicated authority to make it a truly world-class asset.
The Harbour Business Forum - which includes blue-chip companies among its members - proposes that a powerful agency be set up under a six-point integrated business plan to make the harbor a "genuinely vibrant, accessible and sustainable world-class asset."

The proposals were made as part of the forum's latest search for an integrated approach to the planning, development and management of the harbor.

In presenting the study's findings, Fiona Waters, director of GHK (HK), said the harbor helps to differentiate Hong Kong from any other city in the mainland but that it is like "an ailing business."

GHK, a consultancy firm, conducted the study for Harbour Business Forum in association with Townland and Urbis.

Waters said the current state of the harbor is undermining competitiveness.

"Unfortunately, the reality is not that of a world-class waterfront," she said. This is because Hong Kong lacks the governance, planning and delivery systems to enact lasting change.

"We need more than just another land- use plan. We need an entirely new approach," she said. "Our proposed approach has six key components, all are necessary and all complement one another."

These components are: a harbor policy; a vision; a strategic framework and plan; a single entity accountable for the harbor; and changes in the planning and delivery systems. The forum proposed that an interim harbor committee be set up next year and an autonomous harbor agency in 2014.

The study found the harbor suffers from inappropriate land use, is generally inaccessible, lacks attractions and destinations along the waterfront, and has poor design and amenities.

"There are many opportunities ahead at Kai Tak, Central and West Kowloon cultural district but there is concern that Hong Kong is repeating many of the mistakes made in the past," Waters said.

HSBC Asia-Pacific chairman Vincent Cheng Hoi-chuen, a founder of the forum, said: "This is a business case for change through a step-by-step approach that will help us protect one of Hong Kong's greatest assets."

Margaret Brooke, chair of the forum's best practice committee, said the study should not be taken as criticism of the government.
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Old December 8th, 2009, 07:50 AM   #687
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Development chief backtracks over walk
30 November 2009
South China Morning Post

With the harbour reclamation work all but finished, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor thought it might be a good time to show good faith by joining activists on their annual waterfront walk.

But she changed her mind after protesters renewed their calls for the government to stop reclamation and cease using harbourfront areas for commercial activities.

"I thought this year was a good occasion for me to join the harbour day, to walk with them," she said, referring to the fourth annual walk organised by the Society for Protection of the Harbour. "I thought we had common ground.

"[But] I don't want to argue any more on reclamation. There's no more reclamation. The biggest challenge is to find ways to deliver a vibrant and beautiful harbourfront," she said. The protesters' stance "gave me no room to extend my goodwill, which is sad".

Lam insisted that old reclamation plans, such as the one proposed for the former airport site at Kai Tak, were no longer relevant as the areas were covered by new outline zoning plans endorsed by the chief executive and the Executive Council.

But she said the tradition of harbour day should continue. "It need not be a protest or finger-pointing occasion. It can be an occasion to remind ourselves that there's still a lot of work to do on the harbourfront."

Plans for the harbourfront have only become part of the chief executive's policy addresses in the past two years. This year, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen also endorsed what the Harbour Business Forum advocated while giving details of the actions proposed for conserving the Central area.

"If I'm not making a difference to Hong Kong, I will quit," the secretary said. "Why bother staying?"
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Old December 16th, 2009, 12:02 PM   #688
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Carrie Lam deserves praise for waterfront improvement efforts
10 December 2009
South China Morning Post

All those who care about Victoria Harbour and a better use of the waterfront should be grateful to Development Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor for putting harbourfront enhancement firmly on the government's agenda.

She is making a difference and the only reason she should be allowed to quit her job would be if she was appointed to a role that gave her even more responsibility for Hong Kong's development.

Her promises expressed via the 2009 and 2010 policy addresses are not new though.

What she is doing is to bring the promises ("A More Beautiful Harbour") made in the 1999 policy address back to life.

It is now 10 years since we were promised "promenades and walkways so that our citizens and visitors can stay away from the hubbub of the city, stroll along the promenades and enjoy the beautiful scenery and refreshing sea breeze".

We were promised open space on both sides of the Harbour "from Lei Yue Mun in the east to Kennedy Town in the west". The promises included open plazas, landscaped areas, marinas, shops, restaurants, as well as arts, recreational and entertainment opportunities.

Traffic corridors would be built underground to alleviate noise and air pollution as well as to improve the visual aspect. And to ensure that we achieved "a new look for our harbour in the new millennium", there were to be open competitions for local and international professionals.

Clearly, not all these promises can be delivered, as developments, infrastructure and utilities over the last decade have eaten into the last vacant waterfront areas.

It has also taken unfortunate legal battles to stop the government from further reclamation.

Despite the enactment of the Harbour Protection Ordinance the government gazetted 394 hectares of reclamation.

Alert readers of the 1999 policy address would have predicted the intention to ignore the ordinance: "Victoria Harbour is an integral part of Hong Kong that we all treasure. It deserves all our efforts to protect it and make it more beautiful. For this reason, we have decided to scale back the reclamation planned for the harbour."

There are, therefore, three fundamental tasks for Mrs Lam to complete in creating a magnificent Victoria Harbour for all future generations:

To scrap the unused reclamation gazette notices issued under the Foreshore and Seabed (Reclamations) Ordinance;

To put in place development control mechanisms which ensure that traffic along the harbourfront is forever contained and a sustainable reserve capacity of our road network is maintained; and

To put in place a continuous improvement process of the plans for all waterfronts, including taking seriously the proposals from residents and developers to stop the sale of the last remaining waterfront sites in the older districts.

Paul Zimmerman, founding member, Designing Hong Kong Limited
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Old December 29th, 2009, 02:25 PM   #689
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Old December 31st, 2009, 03:35 AM   #690
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Restored Queen's Pier can be part of a vibrant waterfront
29 December 2009
SCMP

Alex Chan Tsz-wa questioned the value of preserving Edinburgh Place and Queen's Pier ("We have to draw a line at what deserves heritage status", December 18).

He doubts that "the architectural cluster that is Edinburgh Place could become a popular tourist space". I strongly disagree.

While groups like Heritage Watch and Designing Hong Kong have argued the properties be preserved for their historical significance and place in our collective memory, I have pushed a commercial case.

Shanghai will some day surpass Hong Kong as a financial centre, and this will have an impact on our prospects.

Fortunately, we have something Shanghai doesn't: scenic beauty, in our peaks and harbour.

Central waterfront is a strategic asset in our competition for international investment, business, and visitors.

Queen's Pier and Edinburgh Place should serve as Central waterfront's main address.

Singapore offers a useful example. It redeveloped Boat Quay and Clarke Quay, antiquated and undistinguished warehouses set on the Singapore River, into successful attractions that feature prominently in the city's global marketing.

For several years, I and others have pushed for an "inner harbour" that could anchor Central waterfront, citing the example of leading waterfronts in Singapore, Sydney, and Baltimore.

My scheme (at www.queenspier.com) restores Queen's Pier in its original location as the centerpiece of a significant collection of restaurants facing that inner harbour. "Queen's Pier" becomes shorthand for Central waterfront - which symbolises a cosmopolitan and creative Hong Kong that offers a superior quality of life.

Governments have long come under criticism for pushing the demolition of buildings of historic or architectural significance in the interests of progress.

Our government has managed to pull off something even more confounding - open water that could have been shaped into an inner harbour has been filled in.

No doubt, the planners would now maintain that it is impossible to excavate an inner harbour.

Sadly, our political leaders seem content to stand by while our bureaucrats execute a mediocre scheme on what is arguably the most important urban development site in the world.

Central waterfront seems likelier to become a testament to their inability to capitalise on a strategic opportunity, than a symbol of our city's imagination and talent.

Dick Groves, Wan Chai
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Old January 8th, 2010, 01:38 PM   #691
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Pet lovers push for place in park
The Standard
Friday, January 08, 2010



Animal welfare groups want a section of Victoria Park to become a haven for pets when the Wan Chai harborfront pet park closes at the end of the month.

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals deputy director Michael Wong Ho-ming told The Standard that it plans to make the suggestion to Eastern District Council.

The organization also suggested two other locations in Wan Chai which could be used for the purpose - one a park near Ruttonjee Hospital and another near Fenwick Pier.

Wong said the Wan Chai District Council has been supportive and progressive in improving facilities for pet owners.

"But Victoria Park belongs to Eastern District and we need to raise our request to the council there," Wong said.

Victoria Park would be best choice because of its location, facilities and size, said Wong.

Society for Abandoned Animals chief executive El Chan Suk-kuen agreed Victoria Park would be an ideal location, especially for elderly people.

"It would be a waste if the government relocated the pet park to a remote area that most pet owners would find inconvenient and not visit," Chan said.

However, the idea was shot down by Eastern District Council vice chairman Christopher Chung Shu-kun.

"The traffic is too busy near Victoria Park and it isn't easy for pet owners to park their cars there," he said.

"Also, Victoria Park is a prime site for many events and functions as well as a haunt for families with children.

"It is not an ideal place for animals." Instead, the council is set to open a pet park at the site of the former North Point Estate at the North Point harborfront.

The Wan Chai promenade, the city's first and most popular pet park, opened in 2007. But the 1.2 hectare area will be closed on January 27 to make way for the Wan Chai development and construction of the Central-Wan Chai bypass.

The SPCA insists the pet park is beneficial not only to pets, but also their owners.

"Dogs feel very happy when running unleashed in the pet park.

"Their happiness is like children enjoying ice- cream," Wong said.

A carnival will be held on January 17 to bid farewell to the pet park.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 04:31 AM   #692
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Harbourfront promenade opened in Kwun Tong
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Government Press Release



The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam takes a walk at the Kwun Tong Promenade Stage 1 today (January 16).

Another harbourfront enhancement project was completed with the opening of a promenade along the waterfront of the Kwun Tong area in Hoi Bun Road today (January 16) for public enjoyment.

The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, Chairman of the Harbour-front Enhancement Committee, Professor Lee Chack-fan, and Chairman of Kwun Tong District Council, Mr Chan Chung-bun, officiated at the promenade's opening ceremony this morning.

Mrs Lam said that the Development Bureau, since its establishment, had been identifying measures to improve and beautify the harbourfront with a view to providing more open space for public leisure and enjoyment of the magnificent harbour view.

The completion of Kwun Tong Promenade (KTP) Stage 1 was the result of concerted efforts and co-operation between the Government and the community.

Mrs Lam expressed thanks to both the Harbour-front Enhancement Committee (HEC) and the Kwun Tong District Council (DC) for their full support for the project .

In addition to providing valuable advice, the Kwun Tong DC also funded through the District Minor Works Programme, the site clearance and paving works beneath the Kwun Tong By-pass vehicular bridge, and the dismantling of a wall that blocked the harbour view. These works had helped beautified the adjoining vacant government land to complement the promenade and provide an enlarged public space.

“Although Stage 1 consists of only a 200-metre promenade, it is significant as a positive response to local aspirations and an impetus to the revitalisation of the Kwun Tong industrial area taking account of the Government’s new initiatives in this area,” Mrs Lam said.

The 200-metre long promenade was formerly part of the Kwun Tong Public Cargo Working Area (PCWA). After a series of discussions with Kwun Tong DC and concerned parties, it was agreed that a 200-metre long section of the PCWA should first be released and converted into a promenade. The Government plans to commence construction of KTP Stage 2 immediately after the decommissioning of the remaining 700-metre section of PCWA scheduled for 2011.

The project, at a cost of $19.6 million, is funded by the Civil Engineering and Development Department while the Architectural Services Department is the works agent. The promenade will be managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department after its completion. The Transport Department and Highway Department have improved the footpath, pedestrian crossing and parking facilities in the vicinity with a view to attracting more visitors.

The promenade features various types of facilities for the public, including a children's playground, a multi-purpose plaza and seaside boardwalk. A performance stage and a spectator stand with 200 seats are also provided at the promenade to facilitate hosting of events by various organisations.

There is also a special tower landmark in the promenade with the design concept generated from piles of recycled paper at the former site of the PCWA. Music, special lighting features and mist effects at the tower will create a colourful atmosphere at night.

Other guests attending the event included the Director of Civil Engineering and Development, Mr John Chai, Director of Leisure & Cultural Services, Mrs Betty Fung, Director of Architectural Services, Mrs Marigold Lau, and District Officer (Kwun Tong), Mr Au Hing-yuen.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 05:11 PM   #693
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Projects take the costly route
The Standard
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Funding for the express rail link has finally been approved, and the HK$67 billion scheme is yet another example showing infrastructure projects can be very expensive.

Another pricey project now being undertaken is the Central-Wan Chai Bypass and Island Eastern Corridor Link. At a cost exceeding HK$30 billion, the 4.5-kilometer dual three-lane trunk road may easily become one of the most expensive roads to be built in the world, on a per kilometer basis.

The high cost is due partly to the fact a section of the road will be running under the sea.

Recently, I spoke to construction industry veteran Thomas Ho On-sing, chief executive of Gammon Construction, about the Central-Wan Chai project.

Ho told me that to protect the harbor, the road alignment has been changed to go along the shoreline.

As construction involves reclamation and subsequent restoration, the cost is inevitably higher. But the advantage is that the harbor will be protected, and disruption to the public minimized.

When the undersea design was first proposed years ago, there were worries that sections may drop sharply, because the road has to go under the sea and come back up.

But Ho dismissed such fears, saying the final design is to build the undersea section on seabed supports with the tunnel close to the surface. Therefore, there will not be any gradient issues.

Over his career, Ho has taken part in many mega construction projects, one of which was the MTR in the 1970s, when busy Nathan Road - where the Tourism Board offices were located - was dug up.

The construction din prompted then board chairwoman Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee to complain frequently to Ho, who felt sorry about the disruption to the public, as the noise level would be unacceptable by today's standards.

Construction has just started on the Central-Wan Chai Bypass, which when completed, will help handle the increased traffic volume associated with the new government headquarters.

Without the bypass, traffic congestion in Central will be unmanageable, Ho said.

But since the government headquarters will be completed in two years, while the target completion date of the bypass is 2017, road users in Central will have to endure severe traffic jams in the intervening years. Siu Sai-wo is chief editor of Sing Tao Daily
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Old January 27th, 2010, 06:14 AM   #694
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[QUOTE=hkskyline;50788263]Projects take the costly route
The Standard
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

But since the government headquarters will be completed in two years, while the target completion date of the bypass is 2017, road users in Central will have to endure severe traffic jams in the intervening years.[/QUOTE]

Well, this is a shining example for HK's immense amount of mass transit to say, "Take Me not only until 2017, but beyond that!"

China Officials Consider Bringing Back Biking
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Old January 27th, 2010, 02:48 PM   #695
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Well... The WCB was supposed to be done and in operation 4 years ago, not 7 years from now. It has delayed for 10 years due to various reasons. If it had had completed on schedule, traffic congestion would have been relieved by now, rather than facing another 7 years of congestion.
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 07:18 PM   #696
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Eviction strengthens dog owners' hand
20 January 2010
South China Morning Post

Whether you love dogs or hate them, there is no disputing that these faithful friends are popular in Hong Kong and enhance the lives of their owners.

The need to take them for a walk provides a reason to get some exercise and the chance to socialise with other dog lovers. Evidence of that was in abundance on the Wan Chai Waterfront Promenade on Sunday when about 3,500 owners with 1,500 pets attended a carnival at the popular dog exercise spot.

Contrary to what people may have expected, the park was kept clean. Indeed, this was cited by special guest Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, secretary for development, as testament to the way dog owners valued the designated space.

Alas, in a city where living space is not at all dog-friendly, the promenade is to be closed next week to make way for the Central-Wan Chai bypass. Dog owners are powerless in the face of this kind of development when well-organised lobby groups opposed to the bypass have failed to stop it. And they knew all along that the park was only a temporary measure.

But their eviction strengthens their hand in the campaign for more open spaces in which to exercise dogs. Happily, the promenade's success has persuaded the government to plan other dog-friendly parks, with two having opened already at Sheung Wan and Yau Ma Tei, and more to follow at Tai Po, Sham Shui Po and Tseung Kwan O.

The SPCA plans a campaign to make them known to owners, especially the one at Sheung Wan. However, with dogs forbidden on trains and buses, an exercise area so handy to Wan Chai and Causeway Bay will still be missed. We wish the society well in its push for more dog-friendly parks, including reopening part of Victoria Park in Causeway Bay to dogs. It needs to convince opponents who regard them as a nuisance that a well-exercised dog makes less noise and is better behaved.
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Old February 14th, 2010, 05:46 AM   #697
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Old February 16th, 2010, 02:37 PM   #698
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They paved the road quite quickly. It's now connected to Man Cheung Street.
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 07:07 PM   #699
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First section of Lung Wo Road in Central to open tomorrow
Government Press Release
Monday, February 22, 2010





The first section of Lung Wo Road, which is part of the road network being constructed under the Central Reclamation Phase III (CRIII) project, will be open to traffic tomorrow (February 23).

The CRIII project aims to provide land for the construction of the Central-Wan Chai Bypass (CWB) and other essential transport infrastructure. With the CWB built underground, much of the new land formed under the CRIII project will provide the opportunity for us to create a vibrant, green, accessible and sustainable waterfront promenade in Central for public enjoyment. This vision is now part of the Conserving Central initiative announced by the Chief Executive in his 2009-10 Policy Address.

After years of strenuous effort, the project has now reached an advanced stage. Reclamation has been substantially completed and construction of the CWB is now actively progressing. All works under the CRIII project are expected to be completed by the end of 2011.

Lung Wo Road extends from Man Cheung Street eastwards (See Plan A attached). It is part of Road P2 which is designed to connect the existing Man Cheung Street in Central Reclamation Phase I (between the Airport Railway Station and Two International Finance Centre) via the land formed under the CRIII and Wan Chai Development Phase II (WDII) projects with Hung Hing Road to be realigned under the WDII project (See Plan B attached).

The first section of Lung Wo Road, between Man Yiu Street and Tim Wa Avenue in Central, will provide an alternative route for Wan Chai bound traffic to bypass the section of the very congested Connaught Road Central and avoid merging with other traffic heading for Admiralty and Mid-levels (see Plan C attached). This will provide some relief to the east bound traffic congestion currently encountered in the area.

Upon completion of the entire length of CWB from Rumsey Street Flyover to Island Eastern Corridor and the associated road networks scheduled for completion by 2017, Road P2 will distribute traffic from the strategic east-west traffic corridor formed by the CWB and the Rumsey Street Flyover to the neighbouring areas including Central, Admiralty, Mid-levels, Wan Chai, and vice versa from these areas to the corridor. The current traffic congestion problem at the Connaught Road Central-Harcourt Road-Gloucester Road corridor can then be resolved.

http://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/2...1002220081.htm
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 07:41 PM   #700
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I really don't like the suddenly sharpened curve on the eastbound (Wan Chai-bound) by the construction access. The more I look at the picture, the more I hate it.
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