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Old November 26th, 2008, 05:41 AM   #101
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Lawmakers point to scale back lessons
26 November 2008
Hong Kong Standard

Lawmakers grilled government officials yesterday to ensure more residents do not get the wind knocked out of their living situation.

In a forward-looking panel on development meeting, legislators tried to glean lessons from the scaling back of building developments above Nam Cheong and Yuen Long West Rail stations.

Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet- ngor sought to strike a balance between housing and government revenue needs and environmental considerations. She said many other projects of similar nature, privately owned and developed, could not be scaled back due to legal requirements.

Laying out buildings differently or staggering height, Lam said, is impossible with Nam Cheong and Yuen Long due to space restrictions and the fact that construction had already begun.

Addressing panel deputy chairman Patrick Lau Sau- shing's concern that new height restrictions would lead to uniform blocks, Lam said the height could be changed and the Development Bureau would always entertain innovative designs. The Frontier's legislator, Emily Lau Wai-hing, said the 20 percent ventilation the new breezeways would create is still 80 percent inadequate.

GreenSense president Roy Tam Hoi-pong said the number of blocks in the Nam Cheong development should be halved and the development reduced to less than 40 stories to reconcile the skyline with the nearby 30-story Nam Cheong Estate. Conservancy Association campaign manager Peter Li Siu-man said more studies were needed to see if the reductions are enough.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 03:38 AM   #102
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減建屏風樓 保東方之珠美譽
何永謙 前衛生福利局副局長、中文大學香港亞太研究所榮譽研究員

28 November 2008
香港經濟日報

最近,香港地產發展出現了一些變化,令一向關心香港城市發展的人感到鼓舞。

在灣仔,合和集團主動降低發展項目的地積比率,結束多年來與地方團體的爭論,令項目可以上馬。南昌機鐵站上蓋地產項目,亦打算降低地積比率及建築高度,減低所謂「屏風樓效應」。市建局士丹頓街項目,地積比率亦由8倍降至4.5倍,以照顧該區的特色。

保護山脊線 城規有進步

香港向來有東方之珠的美譽,晚上萬家燈火,璀璨悅目。在沒有污染的日子裡,在日間,藍天白雲,在維多利亞港兩旁,雖然廣廈千萬,但以前因受與啟德機場相連的高度限制,所以秩序井然,翠綠的太平山及獅子山的山脊線從不受干擾。

美麗的維多利亞港,便與三藩市、里約熱內盧、悉尼、温哥華等海邊城市相比,成為遊人欣賞的美麗城市。

當機場搬到赤鱲角,與啟德機場相連的高度限制不再生效後。維港兩岸陸續出現一些高聳入雲,與四周環境不○合的新摩天大廈,如司徒拔道上像一雙筷子的兩幢綠色大廈、高度超越同區所有樓宇的嘉亨灣、九龍站上蓋出現比商業樓宇更高的住宅大廈等等。

過高過密的大廈,在舊區內對原設施,如道路系統,可能帶來不可承受的壓力。這是眾所周知的。

除此之外,此等建築招惹了兩大批評。第一,過高過密的樓宇被指造成屏風效應,阻礙空氣流通,使空氣污染物容易積聚。在夏天,更加劇「城市熱島」(urban heat island)效應,近年,此等現象已不是在書本上才見到,香港市民大多有親身感受。第二,破壞山脊線。對懂得城市設計的人來說,山脊線是不少美麗城市的標記,香港的太平山,就如夏威夷的鑽石山(Diamond Head),是眾人認識的地標。所以,是先進城市所熱衷保衛的。

回應市民的訴求,城規會及規劃署最近都十分重視山脊線的保護,及減少所謂屏風樓效應。在相關問題上做了不少工作,包括聘請顧問對城市內空氣流通問題進行研究。在考慮審批黃竹坑重建項目時,亦對重建高度及山脊線問題諮詢公眾。更在近年發表了城市設計指引,有助為香港建設美好的都市環境。

口增速減 紓緩建高樓壓力

上述發展,反映香港城市規劃工作正在進步。我們已經從功能(functional)規劃,進步到兼顧城市美感及居民生活質素。參考外國經驗,良好的城市設計講究整體城市的風貌,以及每個小區的特色,最終以居民生活質素為依歸。

港人向來接受香港地少人多,所以對高密度發展從不抗拒。不過,參考外國經驗,高密度發展若能服從以人為本、與大自然配合、以及保留地區特色的城市設計原則,仍然可以建築一個居民及訪客皆稱善的優美都市。

近年,香港人口增長速度減慢,香港城市建設的壓力及速度已稍見紓緩。但是,機場高度限制撤銷後,發展局、城規會及規劃署便要做好把關的工作。

在審批新發展項目及重建計劃時,必須考慮下列因素:整體城市的風貌是否與美麗的維多利亞港配合,各區重建時能否保留及加強各區的特色,並照顧到居民的需要。

在未來的城市發展及重建工作上,我們應該加強尊重城市設計原則及指引,使各發展項目能在發展利潤、城市整體面貌、及區內居民利益三者間取得平衡。如此,政府在城市發展及重建工作中,便不須經常與市民對抗。
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Old December 13th, 2008, 05:15 AM   #103
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城市規劃患上「畏高症」嗎?
13 December 2008
星島日報

近年城規會先後在全港各區設置發展高度限制。至今,港島的北角、跑馬地,筲箕灣和西半山;九龍區的九龍塘、尖沙嘴、何文田、紅磡、馬頭角、慈雲山和油塘工業區;新界的將軍澳和屯門等的分區計畫大綱圖,都已加入高限修訂,以限制發展用地的樓宇高度。

政府此舉正是回應了行政長官的競選承諾,檢視每一區的規劃圖以解決屏風效應的問題。

發展商要在有高度上限的地盤重建,新樓宇便不能超過指定的高度。於是,每次有大綱圖的修訂,都有發展商起來反對。這不足為奇,皆因高樓有價,誰會願意物業不能建高而貶值?

社區用地規管更嚴苛

不過,對比私人發展,政府對於社區用地的規管則更加嚴苛,學校、教會、非政府組織的社區中心,高限便每每低至原有建築物的高度。舉例說,一幢五層高的教堂的高度限制就是五層。

換句話說,要重建便只准興建原來的層數,除非獲城規會批准。但要經城規會審批,既浪費時間又要增撥資源聘用規劃師作申請,令這些正準備重建或擴建發展的非牟利團體頭痛不已:「重建只因舊樓不夠用,又不是賣樓賺錢,怎麼這樣麻煩?」

傳統上,社區用地多是建築密度較低的樓宇,這些用地也可令城市景觀更加開揚。筆者認為,城規會大可以建築密度作限制,而不必過分規管至無法發展的地步。

連番修訂終於惹來業界的反響,香港建築師學會最近便去信規劃署,表達對高度限制的關注,並指出「在缺乏整體性的城市設計,尤其是建築密度檢討,而單單規限建樓宇高度,不但無法解決問題,相反只會令屏風效應加劇。」亦批評訂定該等高度上限不科學。

如果市民以為政府不斷規限高度是解決屏風效應問題的方法,這簡直是最大的誤會。

倘若密度不變,限制高度只會令建築物向橫發展,或是一幢高樓變成兩幢矮樓。地面空間相對較少,通風效果自然會更差強人意了。

建築密度是問題重點

西鐵南昌站和元朗站、合和二期以及市建局的士丹頓街項目,不是既減高度也減密度嗎?故此,建築密度才是問題的重點,減低地積比率才是對症下藥的舉措。

另一方面,鮮為人知的是,在「城市畏高症」的陰霾下,建築師在向屋宇署入則申請審批時亦遇上極大困擾。縱使在一些沒有法定高限的地區發展,倘若規劃署有意見認為樓宇太高,屋宇署便不敢批。既然合法,又怎會不批?要爭拗又既怕得罪政府,又怕費時失事。有建築師埋怨說:「你跟屋宇署的官員理論,他叫你去找規劃署。去找規劃署,官員又跟你討價還價。」過去由屋宇署依法審批且行之有效的做法幾乎蕩然無存。這些混亂的政策,實在令建築師束手無策。審批過程愈來愈複雜,亦間接阻延了工程的進度。

建築物不能向上發展,只好增加樓面的覆蓋率。於是,本來可以有更多地面的公共空間和行人通道都只好放棄。對行人環境有利的優秀城市設計,便無法成事了。

誠然,樓宇高度對城市景觀的確有重要的影響,保留山脊綫不受並排的高樓遮檔也是不爭的目標,但有效的城市設計便不止於高度限制。

總的來說,近年政府對回應市民對屏風樓的關注,確實做了不少功夫,態度值得嘉許。但以高限管屏風,畢竟是頭痛醫腳,開錯藥方呀!看來政府對城市設計的認識與實踐,仍有很大的進步空間。

吳永順

註冊建築師 城市設計聯盟成員
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Old December 13th, 2008, 10:34 AM   #104
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口增速減 紓緩建高樓壓力
I would say the above statement is flawed.

The high population density in our city persists despite the recent declining trend of population growth.

The restriction hinders the development of highrise projects with a low plot ratio be built all over the city. Such projects guarantee the privacy and spaciousness of residents and better ventilation.

Ventilation in urban environment is essential, and should never be neglected.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 02:25 PM   #105
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The redevelopment model does not encourage low density developments to start. Expropriation costs are too high, and in the end, builders have to go skywards to build enough units to recover the costs.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 06:12 PM   #106
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The redevelopment model does not encourage low density developments to start. Expropriation costs are too high, and in the end, builders have to go skywards to build enough units to recover the costs.
Skywards is always better than sidewards.

We are all well aware of the problems associated with suburban sprawls in North America. Certainly going sidewards creates more negative impacts than skywards. The Government, nor do the bulk of Hong Kongers have incentives to allow the sustainable redevelopment model comes into practice. The public would appreciate measures that have slight positive impacts in their living conditions, but not going anywhere further.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 08:13 PM   #107
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I would say the above statement is flawed.

The high population density in our city persists despite the recent declining trend of population growth.
I think they failed to recognise that people are on average getting wealthier and hence demanding for more privacy and space.
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Old December 15th, 2008, 06:25 AM   #108
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Yes, even with these big clubhouses and fancy decorations, the layouts have vastly deteriorated over the years.
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Old December 19th, 2008, 10:58 AM   #109
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Protesters demand review of 'wall effect' projects
15 December 2008
South China Morning Post

In a protest against the "wall effect" of a dozen current or planned construction projects, 50 people marched to government headquarters yesterday, demanding that the government review plans.

After the protest, legislator Tanya Chan said government officials had held a "secretive" meeting on Friday at the Town Planning Board to review "minor amendments" to the Hopewell Centre II project, but the definition and the impact of these "amendments" were not known.

"We have become Asia's walled city, not Asia's world city," she said.

Green Sense president Roy Tam Hoi-pong, organiser of the demonstration, said Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor had not been open enough about town planning and that she should not give property developers government land as compensation in property deals.

The protesters, dressed in black and holding banners, marched from Chater Garden to the Central Government Offices, chanting slogans along the way. They also burst about 30 black balloons which had been enclosed in a cage, symbolising a halt to "bad development projects" and an end to the government's "black-box operation" (secretive behaviour).

Protesters also expressed concern about development plans for Nam Cheong and Yuen Long stations on the West Rail line. The government announced last month that the development density at Nam Cheong and Yuen Long stations would be reduced by 18 and 15 per cent respectively. But plans to build seven to eight 40-storey residential blocks around the 28-storey Sun Yuen Long Centre would still be harmful to its residents, said lawmaker Leung Yiu-chung after the protest.

"Not only will a wall of buildings block views, it may also become a safety hazard as fire could spread more easily in a concrete valley."

A government spokeswoman said it needed to "balance the suggestions of residents and developers" and that it had recently responded to residents' demands by reducing development density at various projects.
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Old December 27th, 2008, 09:30 AM   #110
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Lawmakers concerned a limit on green features will stifle creativity
20 December 2008
South China Morning Post

Lawmakers have expressed concern that capping the amount of green features developers can add to their projects in return for floor-space concessions could limit creativity.

At a Legco development panel meeting yesterday, lawmakers discussed the government's plans for controls aimed at preventing abuse of the system that has allowed some developers to double the originally authorised floor area of their projects.

The government was also urged to widen the policy review to cover all building regulations, strengthen co-operation among departments and encourage flexible building design.

The Development Bureau will hold a three-month public consultation early next year to gauge public views on striking a balance between adding green designs while avoiding wall-effect buildings that block air flow and views.

Proposals include capping the exempted areas granted to green features and requiring developers with exempted floor areas to comply with environmental rules such as greening 30 per cent of the development site area.

Legislator Patrick Lau Sau-shing, representing planners, architects and surveyors, said the new proposal had not gained full support from his sector. He said the government had specified the maximum gross floor area allowed on a site before it was sold for development and he feared the caps proposed for green features would reduce design flexibilities.

Lawmaker Abraham Razack, representing developers, said too many restrictions could discourage green designs. "If the government is to limit the floor height, the building will become less permeable," he said, urging review of the roles of the Planning Department, Buildings Department and Lands Department, citing their conflicting policies.

"The existing policy allows residential blocks to have grand and hotel-like lobby and club houses that are illuminated all day long. I don't think they are environment-friendly at all," said Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.
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Old January 13th, 2009, 01:34 PM   #111
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A very tall order
Hong Kong needs a comprehensive review of its outdated building codes, which stifle the kind of creative architecture seen elsewhere, including on the mainland

12 January 2009
South China Morning Post

The heated debate about huge developments undermining the city's air quality seems to have cooled down with the government's recent efforts to reduce the density of a few controversial developments. The Development Bureau's proposal to limit building heights and promote more-sustainable designs last month further raised public expectations for a better living environment.

While things seem on the right track, the city's veteran architects still have worries and reservations, given the constraints they face in designing innovative and sustainable buildings in Hong Kong. They have called for an overhaul of building regulations and a master plan for the city.

Architects have dubbed Hong Kong's residential buildings "birthday cakes" because of their look - a cluster of high-rises sitting atop a huge podium structure, resembling a birthday cake with candles on top. They say that Hong Kong, which claims to be a "world city", has surprisingly few innovative designs.

"A pyramid-shaped building or buildings of any irregular shape could never appear in Hong Kong if the building regulations remain unchanged," said architect Rocco Yim Sen-kee, whose "Door" design was picked for the new government headquarters at Tamar.

He was referring to a pyramid-shaped building proposed for an office and hotel development in Paris. The building, named Le Project Triangle and to be completed in 2014, caught the eyes of the world not only for its stunning structure but also its green features.

It was designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the firm that designed the National "Birds Nest" Stadium for the Beijing Olympics. They said the landmark will cast no shadows on adjacent buildings, while wind and solar power will be used to enhance energy efficiency.

Here in Hong Kong, rigid building laws limit creativity. "Architects have to play by the rules," Mr Yim said. One constraint, he said, is the rule on site coverage - how much area a building can cover on the development site.

For example, the base of all buildings has to be larger than the structure's upper part - to a specific proportion. Yet, buildings on the mainland, and in other countries, can be designed with a smaller base, thus allowing for overhangs.

Mr Yim said the rule could stop developers "stealing" the ground space underneath the overhangs for commercial use. "This is perhaps a reason. I am not really sure about the rationale behind such an inflexible rule," he said.

"In some cases, the law allows 100 per cent site coverage for the bottom part of a building. Under such circumstances, we [architects] might commit the ultimate sin of not maximising the floor area if we do not build a large podium."

When not tied down by inflexible building laws, Hong Kong architects can create innovative designs - and have done so elsewhere, including on the mainland. One example is the 17 Miles East Coast complex, in east Shenzhen. The apartments form a cascading structure to make the development more compatible with the hilly landscape.

Another rule in Hong Kong that leads to many dull, similar buildings is the exemption for green designs - such as balconies that can provide shade - from floor-area calculations. The rule was supposed to be an incentive for developers to incorporate more environmental features. Since it took effect in 2001, residential blocks with standard balconies have become common. The balconies are almost all the same size and style because, first, they cannot be enclosed, and second, their maximum permissible floor area is 4 per cent of the flat's size, or 5 square metres, whichever is less.

"Bay windows are also confined to a height not exceeding 1.5 metres. This is to ensure the space will not become part of the living area," said Ronald Lu Yuen-cheung, the immediate past president of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects.

Exemptions are also granted to car parks of residential developments within a train station's catchment area, to encourage drivers to park and take trains. The problem is that no one can really tell whether a building with these features is really environmentally friendly.

And without a limit on the maximum gross floor area of each development site, the impact of adding green features and car parks can lead to even larger developments, which block views and air flows. In some cases, according to the Development Bureau, total floor areas have risen by between 50 per cent and 110 per cent as a result of the car park exemption.

The Development Bureau - in an apparent catching up with changing social aspirations - announced late last year significant reductions in the scale of several controversial projects, including the "Mega Tower" in Wan Chai, the Staunton Street redevelopment project in Sheung Wan and two residential developments to be built at Nam Cheong and Yuen Long MTR stations.

The bureau has also imposed height restrictions on new developments in each district and promised to review the green-features exemption policy, with proposals to cap the exemption at 20 per cent to 35 per cent of the total gross floor area, excluding "bonus areas" and car parks.

Developers might also have to comply with environmental requirements to ensure the development as a whole contributes to improving the neighbourhood, for example, by setting back the development to widen pedestrian areas, allowing adequate gaps between buildings to prevent the "wall effect" and providing green areas covering 20 per cent to 30 per cent of the development. The public will be consulted in the next few months.

"We seem to be heading in the right direction. But we are just focusing on bits and pieces. We need a framework, a master plan, to lead the way," Mr Yim said.

The average living space per person in Hong Kong is just 12 square metres, he said, compared with a Shenzhen resident's 19.7 square metres. "We owe it to the community to improve their living standards and give the average person a slightly larger apartment, meaning the building bulk will need to grow," he said, "So, building tall is actually a solution to our problems. It enables our city to remain compact and dense, and to function."

Tall buildings actually allow more open ground space. But recent action by the Planning Department to strictly limit building height will not help. "Tall buildings, without intruding into ridge lines, should be tolerable because they moderate the skyline," said Mr Yim. Under government proposals, new developments in commercial areas of East Tsim Sha Tsui should not exceed 60 metres in height, while residential buildings and cultural facilities in the West Kowloon arts hub are limited to 50 metres and 70 metres, respectively, much lower than the International Commerce Centre and luxurious residential high-rises behind the hub.

Hong Kong will need an updated master plan - with a comprehensive review of building regulations - to achieve a proper balance in population density and quality living.

Anna Kwong Sum-yee, president of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects, said a master plan would give direction in urban design and solve conflicting views commonly seen among the buildings, planning and lands departments. "Sometimes, an architect has to submit three different plans for a project just because these three departments have different interpretations on building-height measurements," she said. "There are constant reviews of the regulations but they are not fundamental changes."

The building regulations were adopted from Britain in 1956, and were mainly used to improve public health and safety in tenement districts. Lawmaker and former professor of architecture Patrick Lau Sau-shing said about 300 amendments have been made to the Buildings Ordinance over the past 50 years. "The regulations used to serve residential developments of seven storeys high. What we have now are more than 40 storeys. How can an archaic ordinance allow quality designs?" Dr Lau said. "It definitely needs a thorough review."

The review should consider relaxing the site-coverage restriction to allow more innovative designs, Mr Yim said, adding that only features that improve the environment should be exempt from floor-area calculation. On the mainland, only underground car parks are exempt. Governments in Guangzhou and Australia exempt half a balcony's size to allow more flexible and diverse designs, instead of limiting the size of an exempted balcony. "Balconies lower a flat's temperature by shading it from sunlight. Perhaps we should consider exempting those facing west only?" Mr Yim said.

Raymond Chan Yuk-ming, chairman of the public and social affairs committee of the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors, suggested varying the exempted balcony's size with the flat's size.

"The law is unclear on whether a flat can have a larger balcony or two balconies. Few developers are willing to test it out," he said.

Unlike overseas, where land premiums account for about 20 per cent of the total construction cost, the situation in Hong Kong is different. "Here, gross floor area is public money," Mr Lu said.

Recently, British philosopher Alain de Botton and author of The Architecture of Happiness predicted a rethink of the definition of wealth, because of the economic crisis. In a commentary for the news magazine Monocle, he said people would now question whether buildings should ever have been about making money. "Wise minds will stress that the quality of our houses, streets and cities is ultimately part of the mental health industry - and should not be seen as commodities without public responsibility," he said.
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 06:20 PM   #112
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港鐵港島西線激化舊區重建西環未設高限屏風樓勢湧現
2 February 2009
信報

港鐵香港島西線將於二○一三年通車,加劇西環舊樓重建壓力。目前中西區十層以下的樓宇有多達二千幢,鑑於西環大部分土地獲准作高密度住宅發展,該區區議會主席陳特楚擔心,沿海一帶的唐樓將首當其衝被重建為「屏風樓」。規劃署承認,目前尚未有為西環引入高度限制的時間表,有城規會委員建議,政府應檢討是否優先為西環加設高限。

自二○○七年施政報告宣布減低市區發展密度,政府已逐步檢討各區的《分區計劃大綱圖》,發展局先後修訂了十一幅分區計劃大綱圖,而觀塘、九龍塘、黃泥涌、西半山及北角村等地皮亦已完成加設高度限制。

分區大綱圖未引入樓高限制  不過,去年制定的堅尼地城及摩星嶺分區計劃大綱圖則未有引入高度限制,規劃署接受查詢時指出,西環未設有高度限制,暫亦未有加設高限的時間表。陳特楚接受查詢時表示,隨著地鐵港島西線動工,該區收地情況非常頻繁,發展商必定「起到盡」,沿海一帶地皮尤令人擔心,勢將陸續出現屏風樓。

中西區區議會對西環的城規研究顯示,該區大部分土地被劃為住宅(甲類)用地,容許高密度住宅發展,有參與研究的港島區立法會議員何秀蘭指出,截至二 ○○六年底,整個中西區有九百五十幢七層以下樓宇,十層以下的多達二千幢,雖然部分包括西半山的豪宅,但顯示舊區正面對沉重的重建壓力。

近年堅尼地城至石塘咀一帶已陸續出現「摩天住宅」,例如位於堅尼地城新海旁只有四年樓齡的泓都,便是由唐樓重建而成,屬新世界發展和市區重建局合作發展房地產項目,樓高達四十五層。記者在現場所見,鄰近泓都的爹核士街十二至十八號地段,亦早被遠東集團收購作四星級酒店發展,預計樓高三十四層,該地原址僅為四幢三至四層高的舊式住宅,樓齡達五十四年,每層只有一伙,令收購地盤更加容易;而向東行位於卑路乍街四十四號、前身為錦茂工業大廈的地盤,亦已被新世界發展集團旗下新創建集團清拆作住宅項目。

根據中原地圖資料,西環沿海仍有許多樓齡達四十年以上的舊式住宅,由於這類住宅大部分處於高密度的住宅(甲類)用地,相信會陸續成為發展商「囊中物」。

樓市轉淡方便發展商收樓

陳特楚指出,最近樓市轉淡,更有利發展商以較平價錢收樓,區內幾幢八層高唐樓的收購情況都相當理想,卑路乍街五十八號的必發大廈和鄰近的建裕大廈已被收購,待樓市好轉就會清拆重建,稍後更陸續有來。他擔心,政府若不加快修定該區的規劃標準,將來整個中西區,尤其西邊會面對嚴重的「屏風樓」問題,區議會下一步將就有關城規研究作出跟進。

城規會委員、港大地理系副教授吳祖南指出,規劃署在為不同區域引入高度限制時,會視乎該區的發展潛力和發展商的行動決定先後次序,例如最近特別在屯門東一個小區域設限,就是基於發展商的「動作」。他稱,鑑於港鐵西線通車將增加西環的發展潛力,政府應考慮是否優先為該區設限。

雖然現有建築物條例有限制地盤的地積比率,但地盤邊界愈多面向寬四點五米以上的街道,可獲發展的地積比率就愈高。吳祖南指出,單幢式重建項目受地盤所限,通常收購後亦不會建得太高,但如果發展商連帶馬路旁的地段一併收購來發展,則很容易推高可發展的地積比率,造成「屏風樓」問題■該地盤原為三至四層高的舊式住宅,目前已被遠東集團收購作酒店發展,預計建成後將高達三十四層。

前身為錦茂工業大廈的地段已被新創建集團成員協興建業收購,並清拆作住宅項目,據稱毗鄰的唐樓收購情況亦相當理想。

位處堅尼地城新海旁路的三幢臨海舊式住宅已有四十七年歷史,每層只有一伙,預計亦是發展商覬覦的收購對象。
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Old February 21st, 2009, 06:38 PM   #113
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Pollution study points to dangers of 'canyon effect'
2 February 2009
South China Morning Post

The "canyon effect" is to blame for the much higher level of ultrafine air pollutants at bus stops on "walled streets" in Central compared with those in more ventilated areas, a study has shown.

In one comparison, the number of pollutants nearly doubled. The canyon effect refers to the impact - such as poor ventilation and trapped heat - from the creation of canyon-like streets between walls of closely spaced tall buildings.

The study measured the number of ultrafine particles in every cubic centimetre of air, rather than the government's pollution-monitoring method that tracks the weight of larger particles in every cubic metre of air.

Ultrafine particles can be as tiny as 20 nanometres in diameter - 2,500 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair.

Although there are no international standards on acceptable levels of the number of ultrafine particles in the air, overseas studies have found they can penetrate directly into blood vessels and lung tissue, causing harm. Many scientists believe they may be the most harmful form of air pollution.

The Hong Kong study was conducted last year by students at the University of Science and Technology. They found the air at bus stops at sites between walls of buildings on streets with heavy traffic had more ultrafine pollutants than that at bus stops in open spaces, seaward streets and indoors.

The number of particles at the two eastbound bus stops outside Wing Lung Bank and the old Hang Seng building at Des Voeux Road Central were on average 90 per cent and 75 per cent higher than at the bus stop outside Statue Square in Central.

Measurements were taken during evening peak hours on six days between September and December.

Between 48,000 and 137,000 particles were recorded at the Wing Lung Bank bus stop, between 63,000 and 100,000 at the old Hang Seng Bank building bus stop, and a range of 22,000 to 82,000 at the Statue Square bus stop. For comparison, a benchmark reading of 20,000 was recorded at the researchers' Sai Kung campus on a clear and fine summer day.

Des Voeux Road Central is surrounded by buildings on both sides while the Statue Square stop has more open space in its vicinity, although more buses pass by the square.

"The findings strongly suggest the presence of the canyon effect in Central," said Lau Ngai-ting, the project's supervisor. "The number of particles one inhales in the streets would be astronomical."

He said that while the readings might have varied with changing weather conditions and ambient pollution levels, he believed poor ventilation contributed to higher pollution levels on the streets. Heavy traffic, such as buses running on large diesel engines, was the key source of ultrafine particles, he said.

Researchers also measured particle levels along three different walking routes between Des Voeux Road Central and Statue Square.

On all three routes, the reading showed high levels of pollutants - hitting a high of 180,000 at one point on the road - but fell below 10,000 in elevated walkways, mall corridors and underground rail stations, where ventilation was better.

Adrien Chen Kam-cheuk, a chemical and environmental engineering student who initiated the study, said: "Going above ground or underground seems to be a more desirable way for commuters to avoid street-level pollution."

Mr Lau said regulating traffic through such means as electronic road pricing or low-emission zones might help reduce the pollution level.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 05:00 PM   #114
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保留特色 改善居住環境
26 February 2009

【明報專訊】香港中文大學新聞及傳播學院教授馬傑偉指出,香港回歸後,近10年的社會訴求,除普選外,還要求保育歷史地標、活化舊社區群體、批判屏風樓、抗議公共空間私有化等等,這些多元化訴求總體來說有個共通點,「港人追求的生活質素,除了經濟方面,還強調對歷史文化的歸屬、社區關係的嚮往,以及居住環境的情趣」。

希望改善居住環境亦算是活化意義之一。於藍屋一帶推行社會服務的聖雅各福群會社區發展服務主管林國偉指出,藍屋建築群無衛生設備,部分亦日久失修,希望當局盡快透過活化計劃,改善居民的生活環境。

立法會建築、測量及都市規劃界議員劉秀成則認為,活化的意義是「如何好好善用建築物,不要浪費空間」。他表示,活化舊建築可以保留香港的特色,令舊建築重拾生命力,政府應該支持。另外,活化舊建築亦可以為有心保育建築物的機構提供辦公的地方,但他坦言並非所有機構都是抱着保育的心態去申請。
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Old April 19th, 2009, 06:20 PM   #115
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Ability to transfer rights vital to aid preservation, architect says
11 April 2009
South China Morning Post

Architects say it is time to introduce a much-discussed incentive system for owners of listed buildings - which for many represent their only assets.

Transfer of development rights would be the most effective tool to help out many individual owners, the chairman of the Institute of Architects heritage and conservation committee, Eric Lee Chung-ming, said. "Mere grading of heritage without giving owners a way out is useless. Either it will speed up acquisition and demolition, or owners who don't know how to deal with their properties will just leave them to deteriorate."

A grade three townhouse in Sai Ying Pun was a case in point, he said. There was no way to save it from demolition as there was no statutory protection for graded buildings. In such a case, as with other shophouses in Central and Sham Shui Po, where the sites were small, owners should be entitled to sell the development rights to developers.

Those developers would be able to acquire these rights and transfer them to other land they held, with the historic building being kept or partially preserved depending on its heritage value. If developers owned the heritage sites themselves, they should be permitted to transfer the residual building density to other sites they owned.

The mechanism was widely used in the United States, Canada and Taiwan, in contrast to the United Kingdom and Singapore, where public or private heritage trusts were relied on to acquire buildings.

"The transfer mechanism is more suitable for our society, where private property rights are expected to be highly respected and where land has great redevelopment pressure," Mr Lee said. "Acquiring heritage blocks with public money should be a last resort."

The fact that all the city's 86 declared monuments were owned by the government reflected to some extent the absence of incentives for private conservation, he said.

The Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance was placed under review when the Home Affairs Bureau was in charge of heritage policy, which triggered a discussion on the transfer system. But the government had reservations about it because of technical problems. The Development Bureau indicated it would not review the legislation when it took over the policy. "Without legislative changes there will be no long-term heritage policy," Mr Lee said.
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Old April 27th, 2009, 06:52 PM   #116
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b[]恒基北角地限高110米 [/b]
18 April 2009
星島日報

城規會昨天審議恒基旗下北角亞洲凍倉用地的發展方案,委員指,建議發展商以密度較低的方案發展,即住宅地積比八倍、商業十二倍,高限一百一十米(主水平基準以上,下同)。此外,地政總署昨天正式推出上水石湖墟新豐路商住地皮的賣地章程,安排下月拍賣成為本財年首次政府土地公開拍賣。

規劃署建議採方案一

城規會昨天審議多個規劃申請,當中恒基旗下北角亞洲凍倉用地的發展方案,委員認為已考慮恒基旗下北角京華道項目的申請背景,認為項目較適宜以八倍地積比發展,故建議發展商以方案一,即一百一十米的高度限制,以及最大的二十三萬九千八百二十一方呎住宅樓面發展。

城規會續指,考慮及規劃署的建議以及項目毗鄰的物業高度,認為將把規劃署的建議納入基礎諮詢,從而再作研究。城規會表示,規劃署提出的兩個發展方案已屬地皮的發展參數上限,發展商需就項目提交相關的技術評估報告,以確保不會對附近交通、景觀以及空氣流通構成影響。

而裕泰興前浴德池用地申建一幢十九層高商廈,以及環保觸覺提出減低南昌站上蓋項目的地積比以及高限,兩項申請均不獲城規會批出。此外,城規會早前以附帶條例形式批准華置旗下的肇輝臺項目申請,要求發展商需與毗鄰的滿輝大廈預留五米距離。華置現就上述附帶條件申請覆核,認為該附帶條件不合情理及不具效益,將會立下壞先例。

另外,大鴻輝及有關人士持有的灣仔太原街四十三至六十三號及皇后大道東二百四十二至二百四十六號項目,繼年初獲批興建二十七層高酒店後,現新近向城規會提出申請改劃成商業地帶。地積比較早前所獲批的增約一成六,至十四點二五倍,而層數亦增建四層至擬建的三十一層高。

石湖墟地皮下月拍賣

至於,上水石湖墟新豐路商住地皮,昨天推出正式的賣地章程,面積約三千二百九十二方呎,地皮設高限,最高可建二十米,但地積比率則設有彈性。若地皮以住宅用途發展,最高可以三點九倍地積比興建,可建樓面面積約為一萬二千八百方呎。若以非住宅用途發展,則可以最高地積比率六點七倍興建,即可建樓面面積約二萬二千方呎。業界普遍認為,地皮以地積比四點六倍發展,可建樓面一萬五千方呎,測量界估計地皮估值介乎三千五百萬元至四千三百三十五萬元,呎價介乎二千三百元至二千八百九十元,將安排於五月五日推出。
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 09:21 AM   #117
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摩天大樓 城市進步?
6 April 2009
星島日報

新聞摘錄

國際競建摩廈與天比高

資料顯示,香港擁有多達三十幢高七百呎(二百一十三米)以上的摩天大廈,數量為全球第二,僅次於紐約,但排名正受杜拜、上海等城市挑戰;曾以八十八層成為香港最高建築物的國金二期,過去五年在全球高度排名已由第六跌至第十位。

摩廈建築大師Katz認為,摩廈帶給現代城市人最大的好處,是讓他們可以爭取時間,以最少時間進行最多的活動:他舉例指:「香港向來只用了兩成半的土地來建樓,由於交通有充足配套,樓房較適合向高上發展。」對於港府近年紛紛在各區實施高度規劃限制,他認為值得留意的是,受高度限制而需要改為橫向發展,反而可能導致「屏風效應」。

(摘自2009年3月30日《星島日報》)

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報章
•全球第三高廈 明年港落成(港聞 30-3-2009)
•市區更新亞洲城市的經驗(每日雜誌 24-1-2009)
•從《城市化危機》到建築師的抉擇(每日雜誌 6-12-2008)
•高632米投資148億 上海擬再建「中國第一高樓」(中國 28-11-2008)
•環保觸覺促降尖區摩廈高度(港聞 16-9-2008)

資料來源:《星島日報》

網頁
•香港摩天大廈
http://www.hk-place.com/view.php?id=209

•城市規劃存漏洞 摩天大廈礙維港景觀
http://www.com.cuhk.edu.hk/ubeat/050569/story10.htm

•認識摩天
http://skyscrapers.cn/data/know.htm

•統計指香港擁有30座摩天大廈 數量位居全球第二
http://big5.ce.cn/xwzx/gnsz/gdxw/200...18088917.shtml

•減屏風樓利民 修訂規劃要快
http://www.hkheadline.com/news/headl...ction_name=wtt

書籍

•《摩天大樓》
作者:Joseph, Leonard M.
出版社:台北:美工科技,2004

•《城市住區規劃設計概論》
作者:惠劼、張倩、王芳
出版社:北京:化學工業:教材出版中心,2006

多角度思考

1.你對摩天大樓有何印象?這是社會進步的象徵,還是會破壞城市景觀?

2.你對香港的城市規劃有何意見?有甚麼地方需要作出改善?

3.世界各地政府不斷在樓宇高度方面作出競爭,你認為這是個好的現象嗎?試從正反兩方提出意見。
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Old June 12th, 2009, 12:06 PM   #118
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Architects say standards too easy
12 May 2009
South China Morning Post

Architects and surveyors say the Urban Renewal Authority should not feel complacent about satisfying the present green building rating system, which is outdated and even approves of wall-like towers.

They say the present standards are easy to achieve and the authority should adopt new standards when they are updated at the end of the year.

The Hong Kong Building Environmental Assessment Method (HK-Beam) scheme, now being reviewed, was drawn up in 1996 to enhance properties' value by giving them a green label. It gives credit to a new building if it fulfils criteria including savings in energy and water and use of recycled building materials.

But the scheme has rated some high-density bulky designs as "excellent". The microclimate factor, which considers how a new building blocks air circulation in the surroundings, accounts for just two of the 110 points.

Kenneth Chan Jor-kin, of the Institute of Surveyors, said it was not difficult to achieve platinum grade, the highest rating under the scheme. "Builders should now also pay attention to the impact on the neighbourhood, whether it will reduce air ventilation and overshadow the area," he said.

Institute of Architects vice-president Wong Kam-sing agreed, and added quasi-government organisations such as the authority should set a higher standard on energy savings as a role model. "The authority is in a good position to do so as redevelopment in the crowded city centre provides a chance to improve quality of life."

The authority's district development director, Stephen Lam Wai-nang, said it would require developers to make sure buildings in future projects achieved the highest standard under the HK-Beam scheme.

He said two past projects, Mount Davis 33 in Kennedy Town and Vision City in Tsuen Wan, had achieved platinum grade under the scheme.

The government said last week that all newly built government buildings with a floor area of more than 10,000 square metres would be certified under the green building rating system.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 12:21 PM   #119
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Building projects put wind up greens
22 June 2009
The Standard

Four new buildings in North Point's Oil Street will slash 30 percent of ventilation in the area, Green Sense warned yesterday as it asked the government to reduce the scale of development by half.

The group cited a University of Science and Technology study that claimed redeveloping the former Government Supplies Department site will reduce wind velocity on Electric Road and King's Road by 26-27 percent, with the concentration of pollutants rising from 35 to 36 percent.

Wind velocity will be reduced by 6 percent for the entire North Point district, the group said.

The administration has proposed four buildings 100 meters to 110m tall, with a plot ratio of 8.6, and three air corridors.

But Green Sense suggested two 80-90m buildings, a plot ratio of four and two wide air corridors.

``Wind velocity will be reduced by 15 percent only in our proposal,'' Green Sense president Roy Tam Hoi-pong said.

The group also criticized a proposed mega building _ 147m tall with a plot ratio of 15 _ next to the new Harbour Grand Hotel.

The government is proposing a 110m-building with a plot ratio of 12 for commercial use or a ratio of eight for residential use next to the hotel, with one air corridor.

The group wants the height of the building to be not more than 80m, with a plot ratio of four and two air corridors.

Tam said he will submit the proposal to the Town Planning Board today.

``The government did not listen to our views in the past because we lacked a scientific air- ventilation assessment,'' Tam said. ``But we have it this time.''

King's Road is one of Hong Kong's heavily congested streets, Tam said, adding that the temperature in North Point is an average 3-4 degrees Celsius higher than other districts.

Democratic Party lawmaker Kam Nai-wai proposed a flexible plot ratio if developers were asked to slash the scale of development in busy districts, adding that they could be compensated with higher ratios in less dense areas.

Lo Wing-lok, a former medical sector lawmaker, said the rise in pollutants will increase the chance of cardiac disease.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 06:39 PM   #120
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環保設計=城市失衡?
10 July 2009
星島日報

發水樓、屏風建築、超高大厦等香港城市的失衡現象,源自本地經濟結構對房地產發展的過分依賴,導致政策傾斜。發展局正視問題愈趨嚴重,最近提出公開諮詢,以期在「環保設計」的基礎上,取得均衡的城市發展。

(一)揭開發水樓之謎

過去二十多年,發展商慣常在售樓的面積上取巧,致每戶要多付金錢購買「發水面積」。今天,發展商藉着更多「環保優惠政策」,巨細無遺計算入「建築面積」範圍內,令發水樓的情況變本加厲。礙於各方不同利益,我們仍無法依據屋宇署審批的圖則作為售樓「實用面積」的標準。

(二)政府不宜優惠住客會所

多年來,政府以優化康樂設施為理由向發展商提供額外三個百分點的地積比率優惠。由於該等住宅會所亦計算入建築面積內,發展商必然增設大而無當的豪華會所作賣點。筆者建議以下兩個修訂方案:(一)取消額外三個百分點的優惠,交由發展商自行決定發展策略。(二)如要保留優惠,建議住宅會所的室內總面積應設上限,避免空間浪費,以節省能源、提倡環保與健康生活。

(三)環保設計的謬誤

所謂「環保設計」,包括露台、空中花園、外牆預製組件等,本是特區政府為推廣綠色生活而提供的豁免面積優惠。吊詭是,專家及政府竟未能預見所衍生的後遺症,至超高大廈的出現才醒覺該等政策被嚴重濫用,變成加大樓宇面積與城市失衡發展等禍害。筆者贊成全面檢討及還原政策的本意。

(四)放寬管制形成超高大廈及屏風樓

隨着機場遷移後未立新例,發展商趕快把新建的大廈盡一切辦法推高,並以戶戶靚景為由催生香港特有的「一字排列,墊高平台,再托高樓層」的屏風式建築,製造嚴重熱島效應。筆者同意大廈平台及總體樓宇設高限,以回復昔日恰當的立體街道比例。

從速勾劃未來發展藍圖

在勾劃香港未來的發展藍圖,筆者贊成由有關的專責單位,以香港的整體城市布局及發展模式,作深化的研究、設計、規劃,並發表「香港城市的立體設計模型及規劃大綱」提出:(一)香港與深圳兩地城市跨地域共同發展的整體概念(二)訂定宏觀調控各區的建築高度,有系統地制定近海發展策略、公共綠化帶、山脊綫保護及應否採用櫛比鱗次的發展模式以維護海旁景觀等指引(三)全面研究特色舊區、文化產業區與旅遊景點的角色及相互產生的經濟效益,看如何與「可持續發展」概念產生協同效應?

有了劃一的規範,揚棄「鬥高鬥大」的發展目標,發展商再不必依賴五花八門的手法促銷,反給予建築師重拾「自由發揮」的空間——讓天空歸還城市,讓空間歸還民居,讓環保歸還現實,香港才可稱為「可持續發展的城市」。
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