Press Releases

Designing Hong Kong Harbour District:
Overhaul of Transport Policy
Needed for Worldclass Harbour

(April 15, 2004, Thursday) HONG KONG ---- Interim findings of a research being conducted by Designing Hong Kong Harbour District (DHKHD) show that the design of road infrastructure is one of the key obstacles to creating a vibrant and world-class harbour district.

“The design of road infrastructure for the harbour district is blocking access to the waterfront. Citizens and visitors expect a foreshore with open space, public facilities and liberal pedestrian access. An overhaul of approach in transport policy from ‘vehicle-first’ to ‘pedestrian-first’ is called for,” said Mr. Paul Zimmerman, Chief Co-ordinator for DHKHD, at an inter-chamber luncheon today attended by over 100 members from the chambers and the media.

Examples can be found around the harbour, including Salisbury Road in Tsimshatsui and the planned surface roads, in addition to the underground bypass, in Wanchai and Causeway Bay. Up to 13 lanes will be added to the existing 4-lane Convention Avenue in front of the Grand Hyatt Coffee Shop. Up to 16 additional lanes will be added to Gloucester Road in front of Elizabeth House. In front of Victoria Park, roads will be stacked five-high with the top deck 21 meters above the ground. The footbridges, walkways and ‘groundscrapers’ designed to get over these massive roads are considered inadequate attempts to mitigate the visual and physical damage.

Research findings indicate that the institutional framework of the government puts transport infrastructure planning before land-use planning in the absence of high-level planning control for the harbour district.

“The question is whether people accept lower land sales revenue and higher cost of transport to accommodate a better designed harbour district. Given the limited amount of land and the halt on reclamation, any land-use and infrastructure decision needs great care and consideration. It is therefore important for the Environment, Transport and Works Bureau and the Transport Department to now get actively engaged in the discussion on better planning for our harbour district,” remarked Mr. Zimmerman.

Senior representatives from the Environment, Transport and Works Bureau and the Transport Department are being invited by DHKHD to speak at a conference on May 3. Senior officials from the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, Housing, Planning and Lands Bureau, Planning Department and Territory Development Department have already confirmed to speak and join the discussion at the same conference.

For press enquiries, please contact:

Ms Loretta Chang, 2234 6424 / 6446 1513,
Ms Edith Wong, 2234 6424 / 9261 8574,

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.

Business Environment Council
The Experience Group
GML Consulting

Planning Department, Hong Kong SAR
Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce
Creative Initiatives Foundation

EnviroSeries Conference & Seminars 3 - 7 May, 2004
Sponsors: 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, The Wharf (Holdings) Limited. Organizer: Business Environment Council

Our growing list of supporters
American Chamber of Commerce, Australian Chamber of Commerce, AGC Design, Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, Civic Exchange, Clear the Air, Fairmont Shipping, Friends of the Harbour, Fringe Club, Green Lantau Association, Hongkong Land, Jones Lang LaSalle, Living Islands Movement, MF Jebsen International, Quamnet, Save Kai Tak Campaign, Save our Shorelines, Society for Protection of the Harbour, Sunday Communications, Albert Cheng, Erwin Hardy.

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