Civic Exchange today released a new plan for the Central Harbour-front. The plan, “Central Park” shows one of the ways to transform Hong Kong’s waterfront into an exciting place people can be proud of generations to come.
Civic Exchange collaborated with the Society for Protection of the Harbour and independent experts to envision how to develop the prime land surrounding and on Central Reclamation and how Hong Kong people can truly enjoy the waterfront. The resulting ideas coincide with the results of a recent survey on Hong Kong people’s attitudes towards harbour development. Hong Kong people want more open space and greenery in the heart of the city.
“What is going to be built on the Central Reclamation is crucial. Our vision for New Central provides more green areas and quality open public spaces. People can get close to the water and enjoy the Harbour for many different activities, other than just shopping. We do not need more malls in the area.
Our Central Park offers Hong Kong people a better alternative to government plans,” said Christine Loh, CEO of Civic Exchange. Central Park is a piece of large green area situated in Central. It covers the area (reclaimed land included) bounded by the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Extension to the East, the Government House and the Central Government Offices to the South and Airport Railway Hong Kong Station to the West. To the North, the Park extends to the waterfront.
Other than providing greenery, Central Park is also an open space for people to relax and enjoy various kinds of cultural and sports activities. The Park can be a place where people experience both peace and excitement. It can become an icon, not only for Central, but for Hong Kong as a whole.
Central Park, however, is not a definitive plan. It is a starting point to get Hong Kong people talking and thinking about the kind of waterfront they like to have. There is a need to rethink the Government’s plan and to counter-propose better options to develop the waterfront into a more dynamic and people-friendly area.
“The current world trend shows other cities realised the value in providing more green areas. The most recent example is how Singapore wants to develop its waterfront. Hong Kong is going against this trend. The Government’s plan has extremely high density, many highways and roads, and likely low quality open spaces. The Harbour will become less accessible with people having to use elevated walkways,” Loh added.
In order to encourage Hong Kong people to generate ideas for developing a world-class waterfront, a forum will be held on Saturday, 18 March 2006 at 9am at the Pacific Place Conference Centre to provide a platform exchanging ideas.