Press Releases


Community Initiative Launches
“Designing Hong Kong Harbour District”

(18 February, 2004, Wednesday) HONG KONG ---- A joint initiative by members of the Hong Kong community today calls for a genuine review of the planning for the Hong Kong Harbour District and announces a series of activities to facilitate consensus-building among the different stakeholders.

Using the name, “Hong Kong Harbour District”, to embrace Victoria Harbour, the harbour front and surrounding districts on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, the initiative calls for an integrated plan and public consultation process for the entire Hong Kong Harbour District. The objective is to identify consensus on actionable principles for sustainable planning.

“We are pleased to see that this initiative brings together individuals and organizations representing the business, civic and public sectors. We look forward to working together to create an open platform for building community consensus,” said Christine Loh, founder of the independent think tank, Civic Exchange, and one of the organisers calling for a holistic approach to reviewing planning for the Hong Kong Harbour District. “Victoria Harbour is one of the city’s major public assets”, Loh added.

Paul Zimmerman, Principal of The Experience Group, is the chief co-ordinator of the Designing Hong Kong Harbour District (DHKHD) initiative. “After the publicity regarding the reclamation court case and West Kowloon, the community is ready to offer educated input. The support we have received so far from a cross-section of the community, including Government and Business, reaffirms the importance to stakeholders of an integrated approach in sustainable planning for our Harbour District. We aim to demonstrate that by working together we can resolve the difficult issues involved.”

Speaking on behalf of the Business Environment Council (BEC), a non-profit organisation founded by Hong Kong's leading businesses, Dr Andrew Thomson BEC's Chief Executive Officer said, "We are delighted to take an active role in this initiative, and engage the business community in the dialogue with the public and civic sectors. Specifically, we will be co-organising a programme of activities including a conference, an exhibition, a public forum and a series of roundtable seminars, bringing together all stakeholders during the week of May 02 to 07, 2004."

Bosco C.K. Fung, Director of Planning, Government of the Hong Kong SAR, welcomed this new initiative, “The government supports all community initiatives that help us better plan Hong Kong.”

“We are proud to be associated with this initiative to carry out the research that will underpin the ensuing dialogue planned between the community, businesses and Government,” said Dr Thomas Tang, Director of GML Consulting, who is conducting a survey on the issue from January to May.

"The current debate is concentrated on ‘saving’ or ‘preserving’ the harbour, rather than enhancing its attributes for the good of Hong Kong - its community, its people and tourists. The Harbour District should be viewed as one big urban design issue instead of piecemeal reclamation projects,” remarked Vincent Ng, Convenor of Hong Kong Urban Design Alliance. “We support the ‘Public Participation Principle’ with the establishment of a rigorous public participatory process parallel to the administrative and legislative processes.”

The ‘Designing Hong Kong Harbour District’ initiative is an open invitation for individuals and parties from the government, business, professional, academic and community groups to partake in consensus-building on the principles, process and implementation of sustainable planning for the Hong Kong Harbour District.


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Ms Helen Li, 2234 6424 / 9735 0164,


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