Press Releases

“Designing Hong Kong Harbour District”
Gains Growing Support from the Business Community

(5 March 2004, Friday) HONG KONG ---- Designing Hong Kong Harbour District is gathering momentum with growing support from the business sector and other stakeholder groups.

Designing Hong Kong Harbour District is a community initiative recently launched to advocate a genuine review of the planning process for Hong Kong’s Harbour District comprising all the districts by the harbour front stretching from Western to North Point on Hong Kong Island and from West Kowloon to South East Kowloon.

Speaking at a luncheon at the Foreign Correspondence Club (FCC) today, Christine Loh, founder of the independent think tank, Civic Exchange, and one of the chief advocators for the initiative, said, “We are greatly encouraged by the prompt support from stakeholder groups. Since our launch late February, our list of supporters has been growing very fast. Our community may have differences in opinion, but the call for a harbour district which truly reflects our aspirations and needs as a world-class city is unanimous.”

“We are pleased to see that members from our business community are now taking an active and serious interest in this issue, in addition to the civic and government sectors. Designing Hong Kong Harbour District addresses issues with a far-reaching impact for everyone in Hong Kong, including citizens, tourists and businesses,” said Paul Zimmerman, Principal of The Experience Group and the chief co-ordinator of this initiative. “Thanks to the work pioneered by conservation and activist groups, our community is now ready for an educated dialogue on planning for the Harbour district. Now is the time for a community-wide rethink.”

Christine Loh welcomes the support from The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited in response to research undertaken by Designing Hong Kong Harbour District, “I’m glad to see HSBC’s support for some form of unified authority for the Harbour District and the establishment of clear principles that govern the management of the harbour.”

In a position paper HSBC also points out that experience shows that vehicular traffic expands to fill the available roads, while the cost of building roads get ever higher. HSBC suggests the possibility of using tunnels. HSBC stresses further that conservation and protection of the harbour should be a long-term policy commitment and that land around it should be used primarily for public use, precluding the erection of official buildings. (full version available separately)

In another sign of support from the business community, The Business Environment Council (BEC), a non-profit organization founded by Hong Kong's leading businesses, is endorsing the Designing Hong Kong Harbour District. BEC has dedicated a conference, forum and seminars to the initiative. These activities, under the EnviroSeries banner, will be sponsored by Gammon Skanska Limited, Island Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, The Kowloon Motor Bus Company (1933) Limited, The Swire Group, and The Wharf (Holdings) Limited.

Today, the Chambers of Commerce in Hong Kong have decided to organize a special inter-chamber event on the Harbour District for all their members on April 15.

To bring as many people as possible into the initiative, the organizers have organized a briefing luncheon for key stakeholders including Government officials and leaders of Civic and Business groups on 16 March in the Island Shangri-La.

About “Designing Hong Kong Harbour District”

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. The initiative is an open invitation for individuals and parties from the government, business, professional, academic and community groups to partake in the consensus-building process.

The growing list of supporters include …

American Chamber of Commerce, Australian Chamber of Commerce, Business Environment Council, Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, Civic Exchange, Clear the Air, Creative Initiatives Foundation, The Experience Group, Fairmont Shipping, Friends of the Harbour, Fringe Club, Gammon Skanska Limited, GML Consulting, Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Hongkong Land, Hong Kong Urban Design Alliance, Island Shangri-la Hotel Hong Kong, Jones Lang LaSalle, The Kowloon Motor Bus Company (1933) Limited, Living Islands Movement, MF Jebsen International, Planning Department HKSAR, Quamnet, Save our Shorelines, Society for Protection of the Harbour, South China Morning Post, Sunday Communications, The Swire Group, The Wharf (Holdings) Limited, Albert Cheng, Erwin Hardy, …

For more information on the initiative, please visit

For press enquiries, please contact:
Ms Loretta Chang, 2234 6424 / 6446 1513,
Ms Helen Li, 2234 6424 / 9735 0164,


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