The Small House Policy (SHP) has long been a politically thorny issue, and although the government has at various times since the mid-1990s attempted to review the policy,only minor adjustments have been made since the transfer of sovereignty.
The way we plan, design and build cities has an impact on the movements of people and goods, human health, community, productivity and happiness. In order to become a world-class city, Hong Kong’s policy makers must shift from a traditional quantitative approach to transport and urban planning, which focuses on the efficient provision of housing and mega transport infrastructure, to a more qualitative approach centering on human-scale improvements, such as promoting low-emission transport, and creating good quality urban environments for people to live and work in. Providing sustainable transport options, enhancing the pedestrian environment, enabling universal access, designing ventilation corridors, and creating high quality public open spaces bring about economic, social and environmental benefits. Policy makers must also consider how to use Hong Kong’s limited land resources sustainably, to ensure that natural assets are protected for future generations while meeting present development needs.
Civic Exchange is committed to making Hong Kong a more liveable city through raising awareness and promoting fresh thinking among policy-makers and the public. We have conducted research on diverse issues including sustainable transport planning, land policy, waterfront design, urban renewal, the small house policy, walkability, and public open space. Civic Exchange has also organised conferences and other events on walkability and other transport and city planning issues.
This booklet is composed of the appendices of Proposed Tram & Pedestrian Precinct in Des Voeux Road Central (Summary Report) which is a practical proposal which would significantly change the image of Central and address the poor air quality in Hong Kong’s Central Business District.
Civic Exchange, the Hong Kong Institute of Planners, City University of Hong Kong and the MVA consultancy published a practical proposal to revitalize the Central district by turning a segment of Des Voeux Road into a green space reserved for trams and pedestrians.