The right harbour authority, otherwise we’ll be better off without
要就要對的海濱管理局 否則唔要罷就

Posted by on Nov 7, 2014 in Urban Planning, Waterfront | No Comments

 

The Government is consulting the public on the setting up of a Harbourfront Authority but both the digest and response form fail to address key concerns. These include a lack of oversight over the harbour as a whole; the lack of advisory powers over Government departments; a lack of legitimacy in land allocation; bias towards commercial operations; and a loss of the public voice on the Board.
政府正就設立海濱管理局諮詢公眾,然而其諮詢摘要回應表格均忽略了箇中關鍵──譬如欠缺對海港的整全視野;政府部門欠諮詢權力;土地分配欠合法性;對商業操作的偏見;及董事會內無公眾聲音。

Since 2004, Designing Hong Kong has called for an authority to create world class waterfronts. Now the shortcomings need to be resolved before the community and legislators support the proposal.
2004年始,創建香港便一直爭取一個獨立的政府權力架構以創造世界級的海濱。事到如今,當務之急是要趁社會和立法會議員支持計劃前,解決其中的問題。

 

Government wants the authority to be endowed with large waterfront sites. Yet, the vesting of land should be the last, not the first, tool in enhancing the waterfront sites.
政府希望賦予管理局多幅海濱地皮,然而要改善海濱,撥地應該是最後,而非首要的方式。

To start, we need a strategic plan for Victoria Harbour and its 75km waterfront to justify the location of water-dependent land uses – especially the ones nobody wants: pumping stations; sewage plants; waste transfer stations; concrete batching plants; fish and wholesale markets; container and oil terminals; cargo working areas; passenger piers and landings; water sports centers; fuel and water supply stations; police, customs, marine department and fire stations.
首先,我們需要一項維港和其長達75公里海濱的長遠規劃,交代和水相關的土地利用──尤其是那些無人想要的:泵水站、污水處理廠、垃圾轉運站、混凝土廠、魚類批發市場、貨櫃及石油碼頭、貨櫃裝卸區、客運碼頭、水上運動中心、燃料及水供應站、警察、海關、海事處及消防.

Next, the authority must develop waterfront plans for each district along Victoria Harbour, identifying land- and water-based activities and facilities which the local communities want. Such district planning processes are not new. The District Urban Renewal Forum successfully brought together professionals, the Government, district councilors and community to envisage what was required to improve the livability of Kowloon City.
其次,管理局須著手維港沿岸每區的海濱規劃,找出在地社區所需求的陸地及水上活動設施。這種分區規劃程序並非橫空出世,市區更新地區諮詢平台曾成功讓專業人士、政府、區議員和當區居民聚首,一同設想應如何改善九龍城。

To intervene, the authority must have advisory powers to guide government to invest in new projects, and to steer works and management at existing sites. This should include road and pavement design, pedestrian connectivity, and cycling and dog walking routes irrespective who manages the land. It should steer the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) so we can eat cooked food outdoors at restaurants and kiosks along the waterfront.
若要介入,管理局的諮詢權必不可少,如此才可指引政府投資新項目,並可監督和管理現址。無論最終誰是管理者,它的諮詢權應包括道路及路面設計、行人路交通、以及單車和放狗路徑。管理局亦應有監督食物環境衛生署(食環署)的權力,好讓我們能在海濱的露天餐廳或小食店吃熟食.

The authority must advise the funding of projects irrespective of which government department has responsibility. Again, this is not a new process. This is already being tested in Kwun Tong by the Energizing Kowloon East Office (EKEO), a works office under the Development Bureau.
不論項目最終由哪個政府部門負責,管理局須有權力建議資金的分配及使用。這其實也並不新鮮,發展局轄下的起動九龍東辦事處早已在觀塘先行試驗。

Where a local community has decided that neither the government nor developers can deliver what the people want, only then can a site be proposed for vesting to the authority because of its flexibility in structuring solutions. With well-argued reasons and community support for proposed activities, land uses, urban design and business plans, a project proposal identifying funding gaps can be readily approved by the Legislative Council.
撥地予管理局應該是最後的方式。只有在社區大眾認為政府和發展商均不能達成他們的期望之情況下,市民可提議將該區撥歸管理局以靈活的解決問題。若理據充分,又有社區支持的活動計劃、土地利用、城市規劃和商業發展方案,項目的撥款申請應很容易被立法會批核。

However, the proposed requirement for “financial sustainability” and a “balanced portfolio of projects” would force the authority to not just focus on social objectives, but to pick waterfront sites based on commercial viability rather than community aspirations. We need to drop this requirement of financial sustainability. It appears that government’s finance branch is once again meddling with what was supposed to be a good mechanism for delivering a harbourfront for the people. It appears the bean counters consider the setting up of the authority an opportunity to reduce public open spaces, increase development along the waterfronts and reduce public spending. Currently, government normal procedure is that our public spaces are managed by Leisure and Cultural Services Department supported with ample annual funding of operations and ad-hoc funding of projects.
然而,要求「財政上自給」和「均衡的海濱項目組合」會迫使管理局無法專注達成於社會目標,轉而以商業可行性而非社區期望選擇海濱位置。我們要取消財政自給這要求。政府的財經事務科看來又要糟蹋設立新局來締造美好公共海濱的好意。政府這個吝嗇鬼竟然利用設立管理局以減少公共空間、增加海濱發展項目來減少公共開支。目前,政府恆常運作是把公共空間交由康樂文化事務處管理,有充裕的年度撥款以支持日常運作及突發性的計劃。

This proposed focus on financial sustainability would also create conflicts of interest, making it impossible for the authority to act as an advisor on overall harbourfront planning. And it would no longer be able to comment on the planning of private waterfront sites next door.
聚焦於經濟發展會造成利益衝突,讓管理局無法作為整體海港規劃的獨立諮詢機構。它也難以再評論私人海濱的規劃。

Finally, the current organisation members of the Harbourfront Commission nominate their own representatives. This has ensured diversity in views, creativity, and transparency. The authority must similarly pursue community appointments.
最後,現行的海濱事務委員會成員組織可提名他們自己的代表,保證了多元化的觀點、創意和透明度。管理局應遵循類似的社區委任方式。

With such changes, the authority becomes a benign solution provider rather than a commercial developer. It becomes a partner of the community rather than an aloof institution. It can than create waterfronts which become exemplary public spaces with an abundant choice of activities for all people.
有了上述改變,管理局會是一個解決問題的中立機構,而非一個發展商。它會是社區的夥伴,而非離地的機構。那它就可以創造一個所有人都能選擇各種活動的「示範海濱」。

We also avoid the pitfalls facing the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority. If not, government departments will soon turn their backs on the new authority adopting attitudes of: “It’s not my site, not my responsibility” or “Why make comments on my work, focus on your own sites”.
我們也應該吸取西九文化區管理局的前車之鑑,否則政府部門很快會從新的管理局中抽身,聲稱「那不是我的海濱,不是我的責任」或者「為甚麼對我的工作指手劃腳,管好你自己的事」。

Without these changes, why risk the unintended consequences of yet another authority? Why not simply create a well-funded works office under the Chief Secretary to implement projects identified by the existing Harbourfront Commission and district councils? Either way, it is time for government to start spending money on world class design and management of our waterfronts. And not just Victoria Harbour, surely residents of Aberdeen, Ap Lei Chau, Tseung Kwan O and Shatin have the same aspirations for their waterfronts.
若沒有這些改變,為甚麼要冒險建立又一個管理局?為甚麼不直接在政務司手下成立一個資金充足的辦事處,實施現存的海濱事務委員會和區議會所訂定的計劃就算了?無論如何,政府是時候要開始花錢以世界級的水準打造和管理我們的海濱了。不只是維港,還有香港仔、鴨脷洲、將軍澳和沙田的居民一定也對他們的海濱有同樣的期望。
Paul Zimmerman
CEO, Designing Hong Kong
Member, Harbourfront Commission
司馬文
創建香港行政總裁
海濱事務委員會委員

A shorter version of the above article appeared in the South China Morning Post on 3 November 2014. If you have any comments on the “Proposed Establishment of a Harbourfront Authority”, please complete the response form or send your comments to hape@hfc.org.hk on or before 24 December 2014. Click here for the Consultation Digest.