Designing Hong Kong

Environmental Management and Practice in the Rural New Territories
Walking in Tsim Sha Tsui

Civic Exchange and Designing Hong Kong submitted a paper to the Harboutfront Commission on the progress of the Walkability Research and Engagement Project. The paper can be downloaded here. Below is a short powerpoint presented to the Harbourfront Commission and below is the proposed long list of fixes.

UPDATE! Ming Pao Weekly Magazine just ran a cover feature on the issue. You can download the feature here.

思匯政策硏究所與創建香港最近向海濱事務發展委員會提交了報告,匯報有關 步行硏究及公眾參與的進度。按這兒參看相關文件及是當天匯報的簡報。以下清單列出一連串的改善項目。


更新! 明報周刊剛為這個議題做了封面主題,請按此下載

Waterfront Activation projects 共建活力海濱

新 聞稿
擬議在 吐露港興建公共海事設施中心
早前創建香港根據《城市規劃條例》第12A條提出申 請修訂土地用途,用於吐露港興建公共海事設施中心。
計劃於白石角香港科技園前方興建之設施包括可存放 200艘船的船隻儲存倉,以及可停泊400艘船的浮 橋系統。整個計劃造價預計約需2億港幣。
擬議海事設施中心提供足夠的船隻停泊位置,開放吐露 港,發展海岸旅遊、休閒娛樂服務及水上運動。同時, 此計劃能為因禁止拖網捕魚而失去生計的漁民提供工作 機會。而該地是新近填海所得,進行建設對生態的影響 極微。鄰近科技園既有的公共交通服務、停車位與零售 及飲食商舖亦可為計劃的配套設施,更有效地使用現有 資源。
創建香港行政總裁司馬文稱:「香港應該有一個公共海 事設施中心,是收費便宜且可讓人擺放船隻。本港擁有 一條長1000公里的壯觀海岸線、280個島嶼、湛 藍的海洋、白色沙灘……可惜的是只有超級富豪才會有 一個合適的空間安心地存放船隻或水上運動器材。你的 滑浪板不能放在家、又不可以帶上小巴或港鐵,亦不是 人人有車。」
創建香港曾經做過一個名為「共建活力海濱」的研究, 列出可興建水上康樂配套設施的地點。選址條件包括: 非生態敏感地帶、現有消閒水上活動地區、可用土地、 有道路連接以及對海路運輸的影響盡量少。白石角就是 其中一個。
是次的申請編號為Y/PSK/1,建議修訂該地區用 途為「其他(海事設施中心)」和「休憩用地」。公眾 可以在今年2月22日或以前就申請書向城規會提交意 見。同時,白石角東分區計劃大綱修訂圖建議將該地改 為「住宅( 乙類)」亦正收集市民意見,截止日期為今年3月18日。本公司認為兩項建議之間並無衝突,可以合併。
司馬文解釋:「政府應慎重考慮在吐露港興建公共海事 設施中心一事。政府可以選擇未來在售賣鄰近住宅地時 加設一條條款讓該私人發展商興建,落成後則交由非牟 利機構管理。」
1.    顯示擬議發展的合成 圖
2.    擬議規劃大綱圖
3.    計劃陳述
2. “Where do I put my canoe?”
3.    致電 Debby Chan 3104 3107


Press Release


Proposal for a public marine centre in Tolo Harbour submitted

Hong Kong, 5 February 2013 - Designing Hong Kong has submitted a Section 12a planning application to the Town Planning Board for a public marine center in Tolo Harbour.
The proposal calls for a dry stack for 200 boats and a floating pontoon system for 400 boats at Pak Shek Kok, partially in front of Hong Kong Science and Technology Park. The estimated cost is around HK$200million.
The marine centre will offer affordable mooring of boats, opening up the waters of Tolo Harbour to the community for marine tourism, leisure, recreation, and water sports activities. These activities offer new job opportunities for fishermen displaced by the trawling ban. The man-made shoreline was selected to minimize the ecological impact of building waterfront facilities. The adjacent Science Park offers convenient public transport, and ample parking, retail and restaurant facilities.
“The Hong Kong community deserves public marine centres where they can store boats cheaply. Hong Kong has a spectacular 1,000km coastline, 280 islands, blue waters and white sand beaches. However, boating is restricted to the super rich who can afford a private marina. Facilities are needed for the public to keep boats and water sports equipment safe at a low cost. After all, a surfboard does not fit in your home, you can’t take it on the minibus, you can’t take it on the MTR and few people can afford a car,” said Paul Zimmerman, CEO, Designing Hong Kong Limited.
Pak Shek Kok is one of several locations identified for new facilities in Designing Hong Kong’s research ‘Vibrant Harbours – Water Activation Projects’. Site selection criteria include minimal ecological impacts, presence of leisure marine activities, available land, road access and minimal impact on commercial marine traffic.
The application by Designing Hong Kong, Y/PSK/1, proposes the zoning of a remaining waterfront site at Pak Shek Kok as “Other Specified Uses (Marine Centre)” and “Open Space”. The public can submit comments to the Town Planning Board until 22 February 2013. The same site is proposed to be zoned Residential (Group B) in the new draft Outline Zoning Plan S/PSK/10 for Pak Shek Kok (East) which is open for public comments until 18 March 2013. Designing Hong Kong does not consider this a conflict, as both plans can be combined.
“Implementation of the Public Marine Centre in Tolo Harbour will be a matter of Government to decide on. One option is to include the construction of the marine centre as a ‘Built-Transfer’ requirement with future residential land sales at Pak Shek Kok. Once built, the facilities can be operated by existing or new not-for-profit organisations,” Paul Zimmerman explained.
1.    Visual of public marine centre in front of Hong Kong Science and Technology Park
2.    Layout plan of the public marine centre
3.    Planning Statement
For more information:
2. “Where do I put my canoe?”
3.    Call Debby Chan at 3104 3107   

 Visual of public marine centre in front of Hong Kong Science and Technology Park
Visual of public marine centre in front of Hong Kong Science and Technology Park
Layout plan of the public marine centre
Layout plan of the public marine centre

***UPDATE 24 SEPTEMBER 2012: Check out this Marine Biodiversity map by WWF:

*** UPDATE 12 SEPTEMBER 2012: Pearl Report covered the issue of marine resource management in it's latest episode "Shelter"


Hong Kong has a spectacular 1,000km coastline, 280 islands, blue waters and white sand beaches. But unless you are super rich, there is no space to keep  your boat or water sports equipment safe. Your surfboard does not fit in your home, you can’t take it on the minibus, and you can’t take it on the MTR.

Support our 15 proposals for affordable public marine centres, beach clubs, mooring areas and piers. Please see our powerpoint presentation below for more details and share!




HK is desperately short of facilities for water-based sport and recreation

On Friday 16 December 2011, the Town Planning Board rejected the development of a marina, hotel and luxury housing on Lamma. This, despite the financial firepower from a listed company, and the employment of a senior member of the Town Planning Board and a well-known person in Hong Kong's sailing scene. (Planning Application Y/I-LI/1). (

Object Star Ferry Bus Terminus design!
Learn the government's proposal and object to the Star Ferry Bus Terminus design using the form below!
For archive and video of all City Speak events, please visit the Hong Kong Fringe Club Blog
Cityspeak XX: The New Central Police Station


































City Speak XV - Who can afford housing in Hong Kong?
CitySpeak XIV - Privatised Public Space - Do new guidelines solve the problems?

24 July 2010

With the Times Square controversy, questions were raised about the management, legal status and design quality of Hong Kong’s public open spaces in private developments. In response, the Development Bureau commissioned a study to develop new design and management guidelines.

Why is it important to plan for public facilities in private developments? Will the proposed new guidelines help? Who will benefit? Who is paying for the process? How do we make our public spaces in private developments more attractive for the public?

Join designers, developers, community members, and representatives from the Development Bureau to look at examples and at the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed guidelines.


  • Gracie Foo, Deputy Secretary (Planning and Lands)
  • Wallace Chang Ping Hung, Associate Professor, School of Architecture, CUHK, and co-author of the new guidelines on public space
  • Sujata S. Govada, Managing Director, Urban Design & Planning Consultants Limited/HKU
  • Christopher Law, Director, The Oval Partnership Limited
  • Roger Nissim, Lands and Planning Consultant, formerly with Government
  • Paul Zimmerman, Urban Activist


  • Hendrik TIEBEN, Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture, CUHK
City Speak XIII - How far do we dare to go in adapting our heritage buildings to new uses?
19 June 2010

How are we going to use the growing list of buildings nominated as heritage sites? Beyond places of worship, Hong Kong has little experience with conservation. As a result, there are few guidelines and many ideas.

Property owners, developers, NGOs, architects, surveyors, engineers, government officials and the public will have to come to terms with how we deal with these choices in Hong Kong, and how we give heritage buildings a new life and purpose. 


  • Bob Dickensheet, Director of Construction and Preservation, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)
  • Juan Du, Assistant Professor and Co-ordinator of the Masters Programme in Architecture, HKU, and Principal of IDU Architecture
  • Edward Leung Yee-Wah, Architect, Senior Associate with Aedas and Academic Director, HKU Space Cultural Heritage Management Programme, and Member of China Vernacular Architecture Society and China International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).
  • Philip Liao, Architect.
  • Henry Rolph and Michael Morrison, Architects.


  • Dr. Lee Ho-yin, Assistant Professor in Architecture and Director, Architectural Conservation Programme (ACP), HKU.
CitySpeak XII – The water we drink (where will it come from?)
15 May 2010

Where does the water we drink come from? Is there enough for everyone? Where will it come from?

Hong Kong’s water supply comes from two sources: the rainfall we collect in our reservoirs (20-30%) and water we buy from the Mainland (70-80%). The current agreement for water from the Dongjiang, a tributary of the Pearl River, will expire in 2015. With demand for water growing sharply throughout the Pearl River Delta and the supply of water compromised by pollution and climate change, Hong Kong’s future access to clean water is far from certain.

In our drive to become a sustainable city, should Hong Kong become self-sufficient? Should we increase the size of our reservoirs? Follow Singapore and recycle our waste water? Build plants to desalinate seawater? What other possible methods are there? Who’s going to pay?


  • Ir. Ma Lee-tak JP, Director of Water Supplies, Water Supplies Department
  • Dr. Lee Boon-ying JP, Director of the Hong Kong Observatory, Hong Kong Observatory
  • Prof. Carlos Lo Wing-Hung, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • Mr. Bevis Mak Wai-lung , Executive Director, Water and Urban Development, AECOM


  • Mr. Mike Kilburn, Environmental Programme Manager at Civic Exchange
City Speak XI: Is transport the solution or the enemy?
24 April 2010

Development and transport are closely related, but how do we connect the dots and guarantee a livable city for future generations?

Lifting the moratorium in Mid-levels, reducing the threshold for redevelopment and the constant pressure to increase density are all choking the older parts of Hong Kong with more traffic and roadside air pollution.

How do we deal with the increased traffic on new roads to the Mainland? How many more roads are we planning to build on our waterfront? Is there too much public transport clogging up our roads? Is replacing pedestrian crossings with subways and footbridges a good thing?

What plans are there for environmentally friendly transport and aesthetically more pleasing transport infrastructure in Hong Kong? Where are the hopes for making our city more pedestrian-friendly? Can new engine technology solve our problems? Could electronic road pricing help? Will the new rail lines be enough? Do we have a sustainable (transport) plan for our city?


  • Chapman Lam 林澤仁, Divisional Director (Transportation Engineering), MVA Hong Kong Limited
  • Julian TH Kwong 鄺子憲, Road safety engineering consultant, founding member of the Association for Geoconservation, Hong Kong
  • Bruno Charrade, Managing Director, Hong Kong Tramways Limited
  • Pascal Dupond, Customer Director, Hong Kong & China Pearl River Delta, ALSTOM
  • KY Leung梁剛銳, Vice Chairman, Transport Policy Committee, The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in Hong Kong
  • Simon KW Ng 吳家穎, Visiting Scholar, Institute for the Environment, HKUST
  • Oren Tatcher, Architect specialising in transportation facilities and transport-oriented urban master plans


  • Prof. Bill Barron, Visiting Scholar, Institute for the Environment, HKUST

City Speak X: A green city. A cool city.
 6 March 2010

Hong Kong is surrounded by so much water and has so many green mountains, so does it really need more urban open space? How do we respond to the threats of global warming and air pollution? What is the meaning of “the urban heat island effect”? What is an “air ventilation assessment”? What value doesthe community place on open space? Is the demand for recreation and sport changing? Do we need a landscape vision and master plan? Is “green infrastructure” becoming more important than roads and railway lines in securing a sustainable built environment in Hong Kong?


  • Fiona Waters, Director of GHK (Hong Kong) Ltd.
  • Ng Tak-wah, Planning Department
  • Evans P L Iu, Senior Landscape Architect, Housing Department
  • Dr. Edward Ng Yan-yung, Architect and Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Jonathan McKinley, Deputy Secretary for Home Affairs, Recreation and Sports Branch, Home Affairs Bureau


  • Ian Brownlee, Planning consultant
City Speak IX - Street Culture: Art + Design + Activism
第九回City Speak:Street Culture: Art + Design + Activism(由Fringe Club與Designing Hong Kong合辦),探討香港的街頭文化的種種層面,大至整個城市的街道整體規劃、一條天橋的建造,小至一塊路標指示牌的設計、公園里的一張凳子,講者引用眾 多我們日常體驗香港街頭文化活生生的例子來論證,觀眾多有同感。
是次City Speak,參與的講者和觀眾人數都是歷次之最,輕松自由的交流環境更為本次講座倍添生色!


  • Henry Steiner, Head of Steiner&Co
  • Benny Chia, Director of the Fringe Club
  • Law Man-lok, conceptual artist
  • Mirana May Szeto, Research Assistant Professor in Comparative Literature, HKU.
  • Tony Lam, Director of AGC Design Ltd.


  • Paul Zimmerman, Designing Hong Kong Limited
Exhibition: Beautiful City, Ugly Places

18-25 November 2009 | Fringe Club

Leading up to the November 21 forum, the gallery at the Fringe Club will display images of beauty and ugliness in Hong Kong, collected by architect Oren Tatcher. The exhibition is meant to stimulate debate: What is beautiful? What is ugly? Who decides? How do we improve our shared urban and country space so that Hong Kong is more beautiful for everyone?

Forum - Beautiful City, Ugly Places

21 November 2009

Hong Kong is blessed with stunning natural settings, a drama of islands and bays and steep green mountains. Dotting that landscape is an imposing man-made landscape of densely-packed skyscrapers and colorful lights. It looks great - from a distance.

Up close, the magic is gone, and beauty is replaced with an often ugly reality. Between glittering skyscrapers and sparkling shopping malls we have cracking sidewalks, concrete barriers, metal railings, temporary signs, canopies, and ever more cheap and nasty clutter just about everywhere. Not only is our urban streetscape getting uglier - this clutter is penetrating our rural and country park areas as well.

It does not have to be that way. How do we get ahead of our standards and guidelines, and have common sense and creativity infuse decision making. How do we raise awareness for less clutter, and advocate beauty? But first, can we agree on what is beautiful in Hong Kong, and what is ugly? 
City Speak VII - Livable density

17 October 2009

Will Hong Kong continue to be one of the greatest cities in the world to live, work and play in? The ongoing debate over infrastructure, public space, building heights, walled buildings, urban renewal. the harbourfront, heritage, nature conservation, the destruction of rural land, and air, noise and light pollution demonstrates a growing concern over our planning and development decisions. The experience of our urban environment is increasingly at odds with the fact that we are the only global business centre with such unique topography: the harbour, mountains, natural shorelines, white sand beaches, country parks, reservoirs ... At CitySpeak, leading architects, planners and activists will debate a key question: How do we balance density and the quality of our public realm?

City Speak VI - Cycling in HK?

23 May 2009

The Conservancy Association, Fringe Club and Designing Hong Kong are calling for co-organizers, speakers and papers for a healthy debate over the future of cycling in Hong Kong. 

Cycling policy – Constraints and opportunities: Should cycling be promoted for health and environmental reasons? Should cycling be limited to leisure, sports and recreation, or is Hong Kong ready for commuting on a bicycle?

Cycling facilities – The length of cycle and mountain tracks are expanding and new tracks are planned. The growing problems with cycle parking demonstrate that more people own bicycles. Are we on the right track? Are facilities in the right places?

Cycling facility design – How can the design be more sustainable and bland into local environment? Do we need rigid standards or adapt to local conditions? What are the right materials – are concrete and asphalt the only safe materials.

Share with care – How can we learn to share space between vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles? Does it work? What needs to happen to make it safe?

City Speak V - The Green Lungs of Hong Kong
17 January 2009

With Saturdays off, an aging population, concerns over air quality, calls for more open space and a struggle to attract more tourists - there is a need to focus on Hong Kong's "green lungs".

Hong Kong has an abundance of country parks, islands and beaches, but are they easily accessible? Should we make them more attractive by adding more facilities so that they can handle more and more visitors? Declare them GeoParks and attract more tourists? Or should we restrict access in order to protect nature?

New parks are planned in Kai Tak, Central, and possibly West Kowloon. Will these be green or concrete? Should we develop more urban parks? Will Hong Kong get a New York style Central Park or a London style Hyde Park?
City Speak IV - Hawkers, performers, diners wine-lovers, How do we regulate HK's open spaces?

20 September 2009

In the open space, of the streets and ,sidewalks in our dense city, with its ever-talier buildings, is there room for hawkers, food stalls, musicians, street performers, and tables and chairs? Are we regulating too much or too littie? And how could or should the regulations be improved?

The panel of speakers will include hawkers, performers and gastronomes.

City Speak III - HK's Public Space: How Open is Open?

1 March 2008

Street markets, podiums, sidewalks, footbridges, country parks, roof gardens, rock streams, nullahs, bus stops. Squeezed between the mountains and the sea, and competing with high-rise buildings and busy freeways, public space in Hong Kong is constantly taking on new forms. But how much public space do we need? How should it be managed? When is it open to everyone? Is it acceptable to have public space monopolized by a select group of users or activities? Attend this town hall meeting to discuss what does and does not work for you.


  • Paul Zimmerman, Founding member, Designing Hong Kong
  • Dr. W. K. Chan, Co-convenor of the study group on 'Hong Kong: A creative metropolis' under the Bauhinia Foundation Research Centre
  • Raymond Wong Wai-man, Assistant Director, Planning Department
  • Paul Cheung Kwok-kee, Assistant Director, Leisure Services, Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Hong Kong Government
  • Tim Li, Director of para/site art space
  • Sean C.S. Chiao, AIA, Senior VP, Regional Chair, Asia, EDAW
  • Prof. Edward Ng, Department of Architecture, Chinese University 


  • Oren Tatcher, Architect
  • Dr. Kacey Wong, Visual Artist, Assistant Prof. School of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University.


  • Marisa Yiu, Director of MKSYIU Studio, Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, Hong Kong University 
City Speak II - Street markets

Town hall meeting: 10am (2hrs 30 mins)
Workshop: 2:30pm (2hrs)

Street markets, podiums, sidewalks, footbridges, country parks, roof gardens, rock streams, nullahs, bus stops… Squeezed between the mountains and the sea, and competing with high-rise buildings and busy freeways, public space in Hong Kong is constantly taking on new forms. But how much public space do we need? How should it be managed? When is it open to everyone? Is it acceptable to have public space monopolised by a select group of users or activities?


  • Paul Zimmerman,  Founding member, Designing Hong Kong
  • Alex Hui, Executive Director, Hong Kong Arts Centre
  • Weijen Wang, Curator, HK Biennale, Architect
  • Dr. Kacey Wong, Visual Artist, Assistant Prof, School of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University 
  • Chu Hoi Dick, Editor, InMedia
  • Ava Ng, Director of Planning
  • Leslie Chen, President, The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects  
  • Eric Schuldenfrei, Founder of Eric Schuldenfrei Animation: Art + Architecture, New York/ Hong Kong  
  • Peter Cookson-Smith, Planner, Urbanist, Director, Urbis Ltd. 
  • Vincent Ng, Architect and Convenor of Citizen Envisioning @ Harbour  
  • Oren Tatcher, Architect  
  • Raymond Fung, Architect  
  • Mr Chow, Homeless Person


  • Marisa Yiu, Director of MKSYIU Studio, Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, Hong Kong University