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Waterfront design 'world's worst'
25 June 2007
South China Morning Post

A leading authority on revitalising city spaces said yesterday that Hong Kong topped his list of the world's worst transportation system on a waterfront.

Fred Kent, president of non-profit organisation Project for Public Spaces (PPS) in New York, began his speech at yesterday's Harbourfront Enhancement Committee's public engagement forum by pointing out the challenge for him to cut through the layers of busy traffic in order to walk from Pacific Place in Admiralty to the Central waterfront.

"You are the worst city in the world in terms of roads on the waterfront," Mr Kent told a room packed with officials, city planners, architects and community-concern groups. In that light, he described Transport Department officials as "public enemy number one".

"When you design your city around cars, you get more cars. When you design your city around people, you get more people," he said.

Since founding PPS in 1975, Mr Kent and his team have worked with 2,000 communities in the US and around the world to turn underperforming parks, plazas, squares and markets into vital community places. Mr Kent said that to have a vibrant waterfront, the idea of creating a place must precede the idea of design and planning. "We are at the end of the era of standalone iconic buildings {hellip} they are a travesty, and are devastating to cities," he said.

Instead, he said planners should focus on what he called "the power of 10" - the waterfront should have 10 major destinations, with each destination having 10 things for people to do to create synergy.

As a bad example, Mr Kent pointed to the large patch of grass in front of the IFC tower in Central. "The place has no soul. People don't linger there," he said, adding that the towers were too far away from the piers to attract people.

Mr Kent also spoke about the importance of preserving Hong Kong's distinctive neighbourhoods, using the endangered street market in Central as an example. Pointing to the photo of an old man who runs an 80-year-old grocery in Graham Street, he said: "He represents the soul of Hong Kong. Destroying him is like raping your mother."

Despite all the challenges, Mr Kent was upbeat on the future of the city. He said Hong Kong people knew what they did not have in terms of place-making and were clear about the direction they should head.
 

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Shut up. He usd his 100% American perception and lack of knowledge about HK to judge HK in a wrong way.

Manhattan has rebuilt its western riverfront in the past few years. No doubt it is a nice place to be in Manhattan. But to get there, same as HK, you need to cross a multi-lane highway at traffic lights; where as in HK you walk above all the traffic to keep both pedestrians and motor-vehicles moving efficiently. This doesn't happen in Manhattan and causing traffic jam at every signalized intersection. What about east side of Manhattan? It is wrapped around with highway similar to Eastern Corridor. But beyond Eastern Corridor, we get Quarry Bay Park; New York has nothing. Talking about "worst," HK doesn't come even close to the American cities.

That piece of grassland in front of IFC has never intended to attract people to hang out there. It is reserved for the entrance of Central-Wan Chai Bypass since the first day of planning. Instead of dirt, makes it grass and looks better until the construction begins. He should have had educated himself before making such comments.

And I can't believe a president of some kind of organization actually said that in a public speech. Shame on him. :mad:

"He represents the soul of Hong Kong. Destroying him is like raping your mother."
 

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I used to be on the whole against the whole reclamation + tamar development + demolition of the old star ferry, but seeing both photos, it doesnt actually look *that* bad.
 

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That news from the SCMP may be the reason why Dr KK Kwok questioning the officals on LEGCO yesterday.

LCQ18: Urban Design Study for the New Central Harbourfront

I do admit the waterfront planning is bad in HK but not the worst at all. It is really necessary for the HK Gov't to replan the coastal line of the Victroia Harbour to all the residents to get close.
 

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Justin
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That news from the SCMP may be the reason why Dr KK Kwok questioning the officals on LEGCO yesterday.

LCQ18: Urban Design Study for the New Central Harbourfront

I do admit the waterfront planning is bad in HK but not the worst at all. It is really necessary for the HK Gov't to replan the coastal line of the Victroia Harbour to all the residents to get close.
yea i saw that on tv news.
he is so rude.:bash:
 

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Justin
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5 months ago:

Picture Credit: Aboveday

And it's gonna look something like this in a few years:


Pictures Credit: HKskyline and Gakei

More see:http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=198002
oh i remember i saw something like this before
but to compare the current photo and the model, that's really a lots of new lands.
it will take us more time to reach the sea from MTR/tramway.:bash:
 

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LOL! World's worst? He should come to Toronto... train tracks and an expressway block the waterfront.
I have seen many arrogant expressions towards our skyline and waterfront of our city in North America. While most North Americans prefer to make their open spaces packed with people--- we would like to keep it as a distinct part of our city. North Americans rarely appreciate our efficient urban design, rather they would like to see sprawls all over the cities with suburban malls instead.
 

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Waterfront design 'world's worst'
25 June 2007
South China Morning Post

A leading authority on revitalising city spaces said yesterday that Hong Kong topped his list of the world's worst transportation system on a waterfront.

Fred Kent, president of non-profit organisation Project for Public Spaces (PPS) in New York, began his speech at yesterday's Harbourfront Enhancement Committee's public engagement forum by pointing out the challenge for him to cut through the layers of busy traffic in order to walk from Pacific Place in Admiralty to the Central waterfront.

"You are the worst city in the world in terms of roads on the waterfront," Mr Kent told a room packed with officials, city planners, architects and community-concern groups. In that light, he described Transport Department officials as "public enemy number one".

"When you design your city around cars, you get more cars. When you design your city around people, you get more people," he said.

Since founding PPS in 1975, Mr Kent and his team have worked with 2,000 communities in the US and around the world to turn underperforming parks, plazas, squares and markets into vital community places. Mr Kent said that to have a vibrant waterfront, the idea of creating a place must precede the idea of design and planning. "We are at the end of the era of standalone iconic buildings {hellip} they are a travesty, and are devastating to cities," he said.

Instead, he said planners should focus on what he called "the power of 10" - the waterfront should have 10 major destinations, with each destination having 10 things for people to do to create synergy.

As a bad example, Mr Kent pointed to the large patch of grass in front of the IFC tower in Central. "The place has no soul. People don't linger there," he said, adding that the towers were too far away from the piers to attract people.

Mr Kent also spoke about the importance of preserving Hong Kong's distinctive neighbourhoods, using the endangered street market in Central as an example. Pointing to the photo of an old man who runs an 80-year-old grocery in Graham Street, he said: "He represents the soul of Hong Kong. Destroying him is like raping your mother."

Despite all the challenges, Mr Kent was upbeat on the future of the city. He said Hong Kong people knew what they did not have in terms of place-making and were clear about the direction they should head.
who is this idiot? why don't he go rape his mother?
 

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Some of what Kent said can make some sense...but just from those quotes I don't get a very detailed picture of what his real ideas are. And also he seems incredibly rude...what is he trying to do? Scare HK people to think his way?? If anything HK has a lot of ideas to create vitality from their own districts, parks, classic chinese era architecture and landscape designing. Wow I am ashamed he even spoke at that meeting.
 

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Ya, HK's harbor front is pretty bad. However, nothing beats Toronto's waterfront in bad planning, or the lack thereof. Its a disaster, every time I'm on QEW all I see is train tracks and some rundown back ally. o_O
 

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but come on... look at that... it's really pretty awful...



i mean it's been like that for 4 years now and it's one of the most expensive pieces of land in hong kong too. =.=

yes i know they have 'planned' to do something with it in the future - but the government still has no excuse for leaving it in the current state.

and also, that footbridge is an UTTER EYESORE.
 

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And people wonder why Americans are stereotyped as loud rude ignorant people...

HK's waterfront could use some work, I dont like the design right now, but it's far from the World's worst.
 
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