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Old August 21st, 2007, 08:17 PM   #41
hkskyline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _00_deathscar View Post
Not a question of shadow, nor vibrancy.

Tis a question of heat developing because of lack of proper ventilation - hence why anyone out on the street suffers, but "locals" at home do not.
The problem isn't as serious with one set of skyscraper walls since To Kwa Wan is open on the other 3 sides, so fresh air from the sea is able to blow in. Grand Waterfront is perpendicular to the water.

The problem is more in West Kowloon, where a wall stretching from Olympic and on and off to Nam Cheong across a series of estates is choking nearby residents in Tai Kok Tsui. However, much more research is needed to study wind patterns. In this case, the skyscraper wall stretches along the whole coastline, so fresh air from the sea won't be able to blow in from the west.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 01:39 PM   #42
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New bid to stop skyscrapers at Yuen Long station site
23 August 2007
South China Morning Post

Yuen Long residents are making a fresh attempt to block the erection of wall-like skyscrapers in a transitional area between the high-rise and low-rise areas of the new town. They say the buildings would "destroy the fung shui of indigenous residents".

Their application to rezone a 37,280 square metre site for "government institution and community" use will be heard by the Town Planning Board's rural and new town planning committee tomorrow. The site, which includes land near the Yuen Long station on the KCR's West Rail line and the adjacent public transport interchange, is designated for commercial and residential development.

The board has rejected an application to have the site declared open space.

In their application, 165 residents say that building skyscrapers would be "incompatible with the surrounding low-density traditional walled villages" and would "destroy the fung shui of indigenous residents".

The rezoning they seek would allow uses such as a public library, government office complex and recreational centre, history museum or multi-storey car park.

When it rejected the application to designate the site as open space in September, the board said the site was "at the prime location of a strategic transport node" and there was already adequate local open space for residents of Yuen Long New Town.

The Planning Department does not support the latest application because it says the site is suitable for high-density residential development and 12 hectares of land has already been reserved for the development of local government facilities.

Lau Shui-chi, the department's chief town planner for urban design and landscapes, acknowledges that high-rise development "will affect the gradual change of the existing residential development within the landscape character area".

The Town Planning Board will also discuss an application by environmental group Green Sense to reduce the maximum plot ratio of a site in Hoi Fai Road, West Kowloon. The group is proposing a limit on building heights to minimise the heat island effect created when high-rises block air flow, allowing a build-up of heat and pollutants that prevents warm air rising and being cooled.
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Old August 25th, 2007, 07:06 AM   #43
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Bid for wind corridor on waterfront site defeated
Hong Kong Standard
Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Town Planning Board has rejected an environmental group's bid to keep a 10-meter-wide wind corridor and to reduce the plot ratio on reclaimed waterfront land at Hoi Fai Road.

The core of the application lay in residents' concern with the area's ventillation.

High-rises ranging from 34 to 60 stories already line the southwest Kowloon waterfront. Building another high-rise at Hoi Fai Road would block sea wind from reaching the hinterland and aggravate air pollution in the area, applicant Green Sense argued.

Three private residential buildings surrounding the 11,353-square-meter site are between 112 and 177 meters in height.

The group, represented by town planning expert Stanley Ng Wing-fai, proposed a reduction of the maximum domestic plot ratio of the site from 6.5 to five.

It also pushed for a height limit of 30 meters and a 10-meter-wide wind corridor at the northern part of the site.

The site's current building height restriction is 140 meters.

A Planning Department spokeswoman said the current plot ratio was suitable for residential needs.

While some board members were concerned about air ventilation, they said the applicant had not produced adequate data to prove the necessity of a wind corridor.

However, the board recommended the Building Department should look into air ventilation before giving building plans the green light.

The application for amendments to the Hoi Fai Road site was submitted on June 4, before the land was auctioned to Sun Hung Kai Properties for HK$5.56 billion on June 12.

Before the auction, a judicial challenge against high-rise development on the waterfront site was defeated due to lack of supporting data. The Building Department will decide on the submitted plan to build eight residential blocks before the end of the month.

Out of the 131 comments received during the three-week public consultation period, the sole opposition to Green Sense's bid came from the landowner, Smart Globe, a branch company of Sun Hung Kai Properties.

Ng expressed disappointment at the decision, saying it showed the board was on the side of the developer.

He said for the sake of Hong Kong's future, there must be a revamp of the town planning system.

Green Sense president Roy Tam Hoi-pong was also disappointed but said at least the Building Department was told to consider air ventilation before approving the plan.

Real estate tycoon Li Ka-shing of Cheung Kong (Holdings) warned on Thursday that conservation campaigns and calls for limits on high-rises could hurt government revenue and, eventually, the people of Hong Kong.
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Old August 26th, 2007, 05:19 PM   #44
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'Wall effect' response a breath of fresh air
25 August 2007
South China Morning Post

The days are long past when the social good of development was rarely in question. Now environmental concerns and heritage conservation loom large. The government's pledge to seek a sensible balance implicitly acknowledges that the city must continue to develop to remain competitive.

Striking the right balance with the quality of life has become a pressing political issue. A way forward may be found, however, in the latest turn of events in a current environmental topic - the "wall" or "canyon" effect of developments that block air flow, contributing to localised pollution and increased temperatures.

In rejecting a green group's application for provision of a wind corridor in the Hoi Fai Road development site in West Kowloon, the Town Planning Board nonetheless acknowledged that the idea had merit, despite the Lands Department's objection to the loss of revenue through any reduction of the scale of the development.

Environmental campaigners may count that a significant victory. The law does not empower planning authorities to regulate development to avoid creating the wall effect, although the government applies air ventilation assessment tests to its own large developments. A similar test recently included in urban design guidelines is not binding on developers. The authorities can address the part tall buildings play in the wall effect through imposing height limits for other reasons on entire localities or on particular development sites, and the government is believed to have been working on developing this approach.

The Town Planning Board's response should encourage it to make ventilation assessment tests mandatory for residential developments.

This is not the first time the Lands Department has drawn attention to the potential loss of revenue if a proposal for a wind corridor is adopted. Given that the government owns all the land, the department is only doing its job in trying to ensure that the maximum return is extracted from it for the public coffers. But if that amounts to rejecting alternative views of how Hong Kong should be developed in the future on revenue grounds alone, it only serves to underline the need to strike the right balance. The Lands Department's priority of maximising revenue may be held partly to blame for the way Hong Kong has developed over the years and the pressure now to put the lessons of past mistakes into practice.

Making the city a better place to live and work does not have to mean impeding development.

The Town Planning Board has given the government the cue to adopt a more flexible approach.

Environmentalists may have a victory in the war on the wall effect after losing yesterday's battle, but they would be sensible to draw breath and weigh the merits of other views.

Asked this week if his companies would reduce investment in property development because of pressure from environmentalists, tycoon Li Ka-shing pointed out that land revenue belonged to everyone in Hong Kong and that conservation and environmental campaigns would affect them. He has a point, and it is another reason to find the right balance.

Mr Li added, however, that history would be the judge, which raises the question how history has already judged the spectacular development over the past 20 years or so, in terms of the cost to the harbour and public access to it and concerns about pollution, open space and the quality of life.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 07:44 AM   #45
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KCRC in plan to limit wall effect
Hong Kong Standard
Monday, August 27, 2007

Kowloon Canton Railway Corp has proposed to scale down the residential development on West Rail's Nam Cheong Station amid the community's increasing concern over wind-blocking high-rises.

Sources said KCRC has submitted five or six plans to the government - the railway's owner - for consideration, warning that future development on Nam Cheong Station will be subject to "a lot of pressure" unless the development scale - now already a hot issue among green activists - is lowered.

A source said it is beyond KCRC's power to decide if the prospective Nam Cheong development would be scaled down as it is the government which has the final say.

"But it will face a lot of pressure from society if nothing is changed," the source warned.

It is understood that a consultant of the KCRC has put forward five or six "improved" plans to reduce the scale of the residential projects such as permitting fewer tower blocks or stories following months of complaints from environmental groups over the potential "wall effect" of giant property developments along the West Rail.

KCRC has yet to open the Nam Cheong development to tender.

The government is understood to have reservations about KCRC's proposal.

The financial implication has emerged to be the biggest concern within the government's power center since the reduction may shed hundreds of "billions of dollars" in land premium to be paid by the winning developers.

Another source said the Development Bureau as well as the Transport and Housing Bureau do not have strong feelings about the proposed reduction and are willing to back amendment of the original project approved by the Town Planning Board.

The Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau has voiced reservations for fears that the proposed reduction will inevitably affect public income.

The news came as local campaigners made a fresh attempt to limit the development which had been approved to build 10 high-rise residential towers atop Nam Cheong station, citing fears over a wall effect.

Sham Shui Po district councilor Tracy Lai Wai-lan said yesterday the number of floors of the 52-story towers to be erected should be reduced although the plan had been approved by the Town Planning Board in 2004.

The project as approved by the Town Planning Board would create a 300-meter-long wall along the Sham Shui Po seafront, blocking sunlight and sealing off West Kowloon's last ventilation possibility from Tsim Sha Tsui to Mei Foo.

"The number of buildings to be axed from the plan should be at least three, and the height of the proposed towers should also not be higher than those at Fu Cheong Estate which is located directly behind," Lai said.

"Changes are never too late. The government shouldn't carry out projects that damage the environment and the people's health as the long-term costs likely to be inflicted on our health system and the environment will be far higher than profits derived from land sales," Green Sense president Roy Tam Hoi-ping said.

Planner Kenneth To Lap-kee said the government's air ventilation evaluation practice, which studies a district's annual average wind direction, is flawed as Sham Shui Po has different wind directions in summer.

Last month, a Sham Shui Po resident filed an application with the High Court seeking to halt the construction of wall- like buildings at a site on Hoi Fai Road in West Kowloon.

But the judge rejected the application, saying it was the executive's responsibility to manage the environment.
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Old August 31st, 2007, 06:43 PM   #46
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Cutback at Hung Hom site after `wall' fears
Hong Kong Standard
Friday, August 31, 2007

The Planning Department is looking at lowering the plot ratio of a site in Hung Hom, causing uncertainty about its eventual land auction price.

The department put forward the proposal as it concluded the first phase of a study of the harborfront area of the district.

It suggested only two blocks of residential buildings instead of three should be erected on the Hung Hom Bay reclamation site as three would be "too dense for the locality."

The plot ratio is correspondingly lowered to six from nine, while the height limit remains at 120 meters, or about 40 stories, the board said.

The 80,406-square-foot site would be available for sale by February 2008.

The plot ratio reduction is in response to rising concern about a "wind curtain effect" which occurs when dense buildings block a district's air flow.

Analysts said if one block out of three on the land were banned, the site's price would be cut by a third, but it would not necessarily hurt its accommodation value, or price per square foot.

What might affect the site's value is if another comprehensive development area, on the waterfront next to the residential site, were allowed to provide commercial, retail and hotel spaces.

Surveyors were concerned about whether the development would block the water views of the residential site, thus affecting its worth.

"The 20-storey part of the area may block views of half of the [proposed residential] building, and this would quite seriously hamper the site's development value," said Midland Surveyors director Alvin Lam Tsz-pun.

Lam expects the residential site could fetch HK$7,000 per square foot. However, Centaline Surveyors managing director Victor Lai Kin-fai said transportation was a more influential factor on price.

He said the site would be a traffic center being close to the Cross Harbour Tunnel, KCRC and the proposed MTR extension.

He tipped the site could sell for up to HK$6,500 psf.
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Old August 31st, 2007, 08:20 PM   #47
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lots of people agree in the future about 100 years from now, major cities like London and NYC will all have building 300 to 400 floors tall, and the low class will live at the bottom of the building with no view and dirty air, and the rich will live on the top will full view and clean air. Hong Kong just a model how the future living will be like when we reach 20 billion human on Earth
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Old September 1st, 2007, 06:52 AM   #48
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Tai Kok Tsui skyscraper wall

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Old September 1st, 2007, 07:43 PM   #49
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Kowloon City / To Kwa Wan Walls (Grand Waterfront, etc.)





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Old September 3rd, 2007, 08:49 AM   #50
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TVB Jade showed a news documentary on this topic last Saturday nite; you may be able to find the programme online if you are interested.
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 09:40 AM   #51
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HKSkyline which cameras do you use?

Some of your pics are extremely bad quality, whereas some are decent...
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 07:05 PM   #52
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It's all about timing of the day. Pictures taken around sunset under clouds don't come out well at all, as expected.
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 08:14 PM   #53
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What camera do you use though?
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Old September 11th, 2007, 06:57 PM   #54
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Proposals for developing Yau Tong Bay thrown down
8 September 2007
Hong Kong Standard

The Town Planning Board has vetoed all three options for the HK$20 billion Yau Tong Bay development plan.

Board members questioned the proposed height of buildings on the waterfront, one of which was 200 meters.

The Planning Department criticized Henderson Land's (0012) calculation of plot ratios and gross floor areas, saying they included the proposed promenade and deviated from planning standards.

The three options all have a total plot ratio ranging from five to six, with the developer planning for 5,000 residential units, with one option containing 10 twin towers and two low-rise blocks for residential use with heights ranging from 48 meters to 188 meters and a 178-meter office building.

The second has no office building but 11 residential twin towers and two low-rises with heights ranging from 48 to 188 meters.

The third option has 14 150-meter twin towers with a 200-meter office block.

Although the department preferred the second option which has no office blocks, none of the three options garnered support from board members.

Board member Michael Lai Kam- chang said he has reservations about all three designs with buildings close to 200 meters compared with the tallest building on the Hung Hom waterfront, which is only about 75 meters tall.

Another member, Stanley Wong Yuen-fai, said the developer did not provide adequate information or models to justify such high-rises on the waterfront.

Even the Planning Department considered the gross floor areas of the three proposals excessive and unacceptable for the waterfront.

Town Planning Board chairman Raymond Young Lap-moon requested the Planning Department give Henderson planning parameters and meet the board again in about two months.

Augustine Wong Ho-ming, Henderson Land property development general manager, said the decision was disappointing, adding that the board should not focus solely on building heights.

Wong said the ruling that the promenade area be excluded from the plot ratio was unfair.

Victor Lai Kin-fai, managing director of Centaline Surveyors, said the board was bold to show its concern about air quality.

Lai said since concerned groups have raised the issue of the ``wall effect,'' the government can no longer drag its feet in tackling the problem.

What worried him was that lower height limits may raise building densities, which also would hinder air flow.
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Old September 11th, 2007, 07:12 PM   #55
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thats hot...real hot... well ithink this phenomenon happen worldwide. just it's happen to appear for hong kong...
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Old September 12th, 2007, 04:10 AM   #56
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Weird. Never thought about that problem, and looks very expensive to fix. Who will pay it? Citizens, once again, i guess..?
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Old September 12th, 2007, 04:17 AM   #57
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Weird. Never thought about that problem, and looks very expensive to fix. Who will pay it? Citizens, once again, i guess..?
Indeed it's a new problem to HK, too. There is really no feasible way to fix it now, but can only to prevent it getting more serious. These new buildings are newly built an nowhere near they can be brought down for another many decades. From now on is just how to avoid more and more of these walls to be built along the shoreline by restricting the building policy.

The cost is everyone will suffer from the environmental impact due to the wall effect in short and long term. And the developers will also be more restricted how much can they make out off from a piece of land with more restricted policies.
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Old September 12th, 2007, 05:19 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Skybean View Post



Now that's pretty crazy!
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Old October 25th, 2007, 09:35 AM   #59
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Move to avoid `wall effect' wins praise
11 October 2007
Hong Kong Standard

Environmentalists yesterday hailed Donald Tsang's decision to forgo government revenue in favor of better ventilation. But they urged the government to ensure ventilation clauses were inserted into future tenders to ensure private developers complied with the requirement. In his policy speech, Tsang proposed the lowering of development density in some areas to avoid the ``wall effect'' with regard to ventilation.

This was especially the case for the above-station property developments schemes at West Rail Nam Cheong Station and Yuen Long Station.

He agreed such measures would lead to a reduction in public revenue.

``But I am convinced that it is well worth it for the better living environment that will be created for our people,'' Tsang said.

Green Sense external secretary Ivy Chow Hiu-yan described the move as a sign the government was willing to take a step toward change.

However, Tsang did not spell out details on the level of density, the height limit nor the space between buildings.

Since August last year, air ventilation requirements have been written into the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines.

While all government buildings will be required to follow these guidelines, private developers are not bound to follow them.

Chao said Green Sense expected that in the long term, planning details on how to avoid the wall effect would be written into tender conditions.

Hong Kong Institute of Architects board of local affairs chairman Wong Kam-sing praised the government's new direction.

He said three separate breathways were added to the North Point Oil Street project and the lowering of development density was already being seen in other areas.

Other than writing planning conditions into tenders, he said architects also hoped to use creativity to help solve the wall effect problem.

Leslie Lu, head of the architecture department of Hong Kong University, said architects and planners should come up with creative solutions to keep the urban breathing space open.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 09:37 AM   #60
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Greens' call for more estate space rejected
12 October 2007
South China Morning Post

The Planning Department yesterday rejected a green group's call for a minimum distance to be imposed between blocks in a Ho Man Tin development to mitigate the "wall effect" the buildings will create.

The department said there was no evidence to show that leaving 15 metres between the buildings at the Fat Kwong Street site - as Green Sense advocates - would lead to better air flow.

"Air ventilation and visual impact are subject to many variables, such as [the relationship between buildings planned for the site and others around it], prevailing winds and detailed design and disposition of buildings," the department wrote in a paper submitted to the Town Planning Board.

Today, the board will discuss Green Sense's application for the minimum distance to be imposed, along with another request that seeks reduced development density at a site in Chun Yan Street, Wong Tai Sin, which the department has also rejected.

Green Sense said its proposal for the Ho Man Tin site was aimed at preventing residential blocks being connected, since this could reduce air flow in the area. But the department said other parts of the site were zoned for open space, green belt and a low-rise sports centre, which would allow wind flow in the area.

The 16,151 square metre site is zoned for residential use. Green Sense estimates a developer could build eight 30-storey blocks on the site.

Roy Tam Hoi-pong, president of Green Sense, said it was no surprise its applications had been opposed.
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