17 May

The East Coast Park and… a Skatepark? 東岸公園—滑板活動的新聚腳點

The East Coast Park and… a Skatepark?

A New Approach to Public Space Along the Harbourfront


By Erik Thorbeck (www.erikthorbeck.com)

A1_01Photos by Ollie Rodgers (@ollierodgers1)

This article is the first in a series on Hong Kong’s relationship with skateboarding.  As skateboarding has grown in popularity, it has laid bare the need for a change in approach by both the Harbourfront Commission and the LCSD.  Lately, complaints have risen from residents nearby Kennedy Town’s Belcher Bay Promenade (see article), which highlights the need for us to examine its relationship with space, and analyze how the city can co-exist with skateboarding.  Fortunately, there are receptive ears in government that recognise the potential positive impacts of it, and are starting to accommodate it.  This first article looks at the growth of skateboarding in Hong Kong’s East Coast Park, a new and much-loved waterfront play space in Fortress Hill.

We Ask for YOUR Input!

As skateboarding has grown in popularity in Hong Kong, it has also become clear that skateboarders lack proper spaces to practice, thus skateboarders have turned to recently upgraded public spaces like the Wan Chai Waterfront, Belcher Bay Promenade, and the East Coast Park.  As the Hong Kong Harbourfront Commission is currently considering how to better accommodate / manage skateboarding, with the potential for a new park to be built, we would like to better understand the community’s needs.  Hong Kong, and Hong Kong Island in particular has long lacked adequate spaces for young people to play along the waterfront, and given the growing interest in sports like skateboarding, roller blading, and cycling, there is an opportunity to push for better representation in the design of new spaces in this treasured part of the city.

If you consider yourself a skateboarder, or have interest in it, please fill out this short survey.  This survey is not a government initiative, and Designing Hong Kong is not affiliated with the Hong Kong government.  However, we believe undertaking an effort to better understand this growing demographic will help Designing Hong Kong push for more active spaces along the waterfront.  We thank you for your time.

Click Here: https://forms.gle/PXuE7UQhxYPDg7TeA

The East Coast Park

Since its completion in September 2021, the East Coast Park along the Fortress Hill waterfront has become wildly popular.  On any given day, at almost any time, you’re likely to find a flurry of activity: kids running around, people relaxing, roller bladers, young cyclists, fitness enthusiasts, and naturally, skateboarders.  We can’t say for sure whether this was intended or not, but the space has become the new default meeting space for skateboarders all over Hong Kong.  It has become so popular with skateboarders, that the city is now designing a new skatepark under the nearby overpass, which presents the city and skateboarding community with an immense opportunity, should it be undertaken correctly.  In order to build a park that avoids the mistakes of others in Hong Kong, the city needs to engage the skateboarding community, to build a space that reflects its needs and ensure its full potential.



That skateboarding has become so popular in the East Coast Park Precinct is perhaps not a surprise.  As a large, open harbourfront space with smooth ground and great views, it also fills a need for something long craved by the skate community.  “Growing up on Hong Kong island since the age of 7, there were limited public spaces where you were allowed to skate aside from Chai wan skatepark and Morrison Hill racetrack,” remarks Ollie Rodgers, a local skateboarder and filmer.  Despite the many open areas with smooth ground on HK island, skateboarders were shunned from public spaces until recently, thus having to try their luck at other spots in public or commercial spaces.  “It’s great that they now accept skateboarding as a proper hobby and provide a scenic waterfront space for skaters of all levels, ages and genders to come together and skate.”

A New Approach to Managing Public Spaces

The way the space is managed also represents a new approach to public space undertaken by the harbourfront commission.  Harbourfront spaces differ from other parks in Hong Kong because they are less regulated, and at the same time are more open to a wider variety of uses.  Parks managed by the Leisure & Cultural Services Department are usually smaller and more limited, and most of the time are off limits for skateboarding (unless they are designated skateboard parks).  Thus, the availability of open space + smooth ground, as well as the organic approach to managing it has made it a natural home for skateboarders.  However, recent events suggest a change is afoot, as we have seen signs in the park telling users to “Pack Up Your Skateboard”.  Does this mean that both young and old skateboarders will be banned from this beloved space?

Hong Kong Island’s First Real Skatepark?

Fortunately, the city has also apportioned a swath of space under the nearby overpass for an actual skatepark, currently being designed, according to a source from the Harbourfront Commission.  This presents a question for both the Harbourfront Commission and users: How do we design a park that eases stress on the East Coast Park space, but also meets the needs of the skateboarding community?

A skatepark that eases stress on the neighbouring East Coast Park needs to achieve a few things that are concerning to skateboarders.  Firstly, it provides adequate features for more intermediate and advanced skateboarders.  Currently, skateboarders of all levels use the East Coast Park space, yet by its nature, it is more suited for children.  Older, more experienced skateboarders skate faster, pop tricks higher, and are looking for park features that they won’t have to fight pedestrians and children for space on. To clarify however, intermediate to advanced refers more to the tricks done on a certain obstacle, rather than the actual obstacle itself.  For example, a ledge of the right size, in the right location, can be skated by skateboarders of all levels, and past park surveys in other cities (such as in Vancouver), have indicated that basic features like ledges (see photo below) are the most desired feature by skateboarders.  Getting this right will ease stress on the ECP, and give both child skateboarders and pedestrians a safer experience in the park.

A1_04Born Skate Plaza in Barcelona is an excellent example of a variety of simple features that mimic the street spots most desired by skateboarders.  

Secondly, the park needs to strike the right balance between street + transition features.  Many parks in history have made the mistake of dedicating too much of the park to large bowls, or half pipes that are in fact not desired by youth.  Tseung Kwan O skatepark is an example of this.  The park has two bowls, and 90% of the time they are empty.  The deeper of the two bowls was actually cordoned off, and the rumored reason behind this is that an old lady fell to her death there, though this is unconfirmed.  This has resulted in almost half of the park being basically un-usable by most skateboarders.  It’s become clear that the majority of users of this park prefer street features, and this should be thoroughly investigated before any design for a new park is confirmed.

A1_05The Bowl at TKO Park.  Unloved, and under-utilized.  

At this stage, community input is crucial to getting the design and operation right.  A skatepark, if done right, will act not only as a hub for community, easing the burden on other public spaces and sidewalks, it will also draw in activity and give life to previously under-utlized spaces.  Given the premium of space along the waterfront, the cost of getting it wrong again is too high. The Harbourfront commission should look to cities like Vancouver, which has conducted surveys of the skate community every 5 years since the city’s first “skate plaza” was built in 2005.  This input allows the city to better allocate resources and design priorities, ensuring better space for the skate community, as well as less disruption to nearby public spaces for pedestrians.

A Reminder: Please Fill Out Our Survey!

Click Here: https://forms.gle/PXuE7UQhxYPDg7TeA










網上調查: https://forms.gle/PXuE7UQhxYPDg7TeA



對於東岸公園忽然成為了滑板聖地,滑板群體可能會覺得不足為奇。東岸公園平滑的地面,加上維多利亞港的美景,成為了滑板愛好者夢寐以求的海濱公共空間。從七歲起便移居香港並成長的本地滑板手及攝影師Ollie Rodgers表示,「大部份的公眾地方都不容許滑板。一直以來我們只能在柴灣的滑板場或摩理臣山道遊樂場等零碎的場地踩滑板。」儘管港島有不少平坦的公共空間,但基於嚴格的規矩,滑板愛好者一直只能碰運氣到不同的公共空間進行活動,希望不會被驅趕。「很高興相關部門接納滑板在公共空間出現。現在甚至在海濱提供一個合適不同年齡、性別、能力滑板手的場地,讓我們能聚首一堂,互相交流。」










A1_04西班牙巴塞隆那的Born Skate Plaza是一個典型例子,即使簡單設計都能夠滿足到滑板手的需求。



社區的意見和參與對滑板公園的設計和運作至關重要。滑板場不但可以作為社區的聚腳點,吸引更多元化的活動在公共空間中出現,更可以減少其他公共空間與行人路的空間衝突,並善用社區中未充分利用的空間。珍貴的海濱空間令普羅大眾並不樂見空間規劃的失誤。溫哥華自2005年建設了第一個「滑板廣場」(Skate Plaza)後,每五年就會對滑板社群進行調查,了解他們的需求。我們認為海濱事務委員會亦可參考溫哥華的做法,確保有足夠的空間、資源去將滑板納入香港的海濱設計,同時減少他們在公共空間對其他使用者的滋擾,建立與滑板共存的公共空間。



27 January

Tap Hong Kong’s public markets as recycling points under new Environment and Ecology Bureau 綠在食環街市 – 由香港仔街市做起

Tap Hong Kong’s public markets as recycling points under new Environment and Ecology Bureau
Kowloon City Market recycling occupies the public pavement. The market needs a recycling store and adequate facilities for recycling related to the market operations, and the local neighbourhood.

Chinese version: See below
Click here: Analyses including market vacancy report and Aberdeen Market plans
Click here: Chinese story InMedia (https://bit.ly/3AaUrW0)
Click here: English letter South China Morning Post (https://bit.ly/3KmKEB8)

Public markets are convenient locations for residents to drop off recyclables and renting space there is more cost-effective. Adding markets to Hong Kong’s recycling network is one of the ways FEHD and EPD can operate better under the proposed bureau.

The chief executive has proposed a merger of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) and the Environmental Protection Department (EPD). The future Environment and Ecology Bureau will combine FEHD’s waste and cleansing operations and EPD’s recycling operations under one authority. We fully support this plan.

We would like to highlight an example of the opportunities this merger brings. The FEHD operates 97 public markets located throughout all 18 districts. A HK$2 billion Market Modernisation Programme is under way, starting with an overhaul of Aberdeen market.

The benefits of using public markets as recycling points in the community recycling network include convenience, cost effectiveness, infrastructure and space availability.Firstly, public markets are convenient locations for residents to drop off recyclables as they are part of their daily shopping routine.

Secondly, EPD has opened 11 recycling stations and 22 recycling stores. The average monthly expense is HK$419,831 per store. A large portion is spent on rent. [email protected] Hau pays HK$130,000 per month for 1,000 sq ft, or HK$130 per sq ft. In contrast, rent at public markets varies between HK$0.50 and HK$32 per sq ft. The rent at the Causeway Bay Market, just down the street from Tin Hau, is only around HK$4.50 per sq ft

Thirdly, EPD’s recycling stores have come under criticism for occupying public space. Residents place recyclables at the door when the store is closed, and the store places bagged material outside awaiting transport. These commercial shops lack the facilities commonly available at public markets: a loading bay, storage capacity and a parking area.

Finally, 80 out of the 97 markets have vacant space. The average occupancy rate of public markets is 88 per cent and, for some, occupancy is as low as 40 per cent. In all, 79 markets have at least 600 sq ft unused, which is EPD’s recommended size for a GREEN store in its tender specification.

In the 2019 policy address, the government announced a “single site, multiple use” model for greater efficiency in land use for public buildings. It would be good to see the same policy applied to FEHD’s public markets and EPD’s recycling stores.

When we approached FEHD, it responded that the provision of a recycling store is currently out of their scope of services for public markets. The merger of FEHD and EPD is a good opportunity for a rethink.

During the public consultation on a future producer responsibility scheme for plastic beverage containers, EPD asked retailers to take responsibility for collecting recyclable packaging. The government can set an example by including a recycling store in each public market. This would expand the community recycling network fourfold at a fraction of the cost, and offer convenience to nearby residents.

Aberdeen market is good place to start.

Paul Zimmerman, chairman, Drink Without Waste

(Based on letter published in the South China Morning Post, 19 January, 2022)

綠在食環街市 - 由香港仔街市做起


現時食環署經營 97 個公眾街市,分佈在全港 18 區。20 億的「街市現代化計劃」(現代化計劃)現正推行中,首個項目正是香港仔街市大翻新。基於成本、便捷度、基礎設施和空置率等因素,我們建議將有「先天優勢」的公眾街市納入社區回收網絡。首先,公眾街市是市民放下回收物的方便地點,因為街市是市民日常購物的地點。

其次,環保署已在 18 區開設了 11 個回收環保站和 22 個回收便利點,每間回收便利點的每月平均營運成本為 $419,831 港元,而大部分支出來至租金。相比之下,街市每平方尺租 $0.5 至 $31 不等,「綠在天后」月租 $130,000,尺價 $130,距離銅鑼灣街市只有 273 米,該街市尺價約 $4.5。


最後,在 97 公眾街市中,有80個是有閒置攤檔的。公眾街市的平均佔用率為 88%,有些街市,佔用率低至 40%(附件2)。79 個街市至少有 600 平方尺的閒置攤檔,這也是回收便利點招標書建議的鋪位尺寸。

在 2019 年的施政報告中,政府宣布以「一地多用」模式發展多用途公共設施大樓,以提高土地使用效率。如果能看到同樣的政策適用於食環署的公眾街市和環保署的回收便利點,雙劍合璧為環保和市民締造雙贏方案,那就更理想。就此建議,我們曾跟食環署聯絡,署方卻回應,目前提供回收便利點不屬於公共市場的服務範圍。我們期望將來的合併能讓當局重新考慮「綠在食環街市」。

在塑膠飲料容器生產者責任計劃的公眾參與過程中,環保署明確表示,零售商必須承擔收回可回收材料的責任。政府應該樹立榜樣,在 97 個公眾街市中設立回收便利點,並由香港仔街市做起。這將使社區回收網絡擴大四倍,成本卻相對低,並且能為附近的居民提供方便。司馬文

3 January

Hong Kong Island Coastal Trail Challenge 2022 港島環島遊挑戰2022

Posted by in Walkability | No Comments

HKICT Challenge 2022


Kick off the new year with a journey of discovery! 
iDiscover, TrailWatch and Designing Hong Kong are inviting keen hikers, explorers, photographers, heritage enthusiasts and everyone in between to join the Hong Kong Island Coastal Trail Challenge 2022, taking place from January 1st to February 6th 2022. 


Connecting known routes, small paths and lost trails, the Hong Kong Island Coastal Trail is a community-created walking route circumnavigating Hong Kong Island’s coastline. The 65-km-long trail is divided into 8 stages, from easy to moderate in difficulty, and has something for everyone to enjoy: from steep, remote mountain climbs to flat urban harbourside walks.
Last year, over 200 teams took part in our Coastal Trail Mapping Event to try out the trail while documenting their favourite places and stories along the way. Over 1,500 photos and stories were submitted, capturing the surprising and constantly changing views along the trail. The most compelling stories and eye-catching photographs have been filtered into 40 stops and published in our app and inspired an illustrated map of the trail, designed by local creative Carmen Ng. 


14 December

Green Group Joint statement on Northern Metropolis Strategy 環保團體對《北部都會區發展策略》的聯合回應

Joint green group recommendations on Northern Metropolis Strategy:
A call for a holistic conservation policy and timetable for the protection of sites of conservation importance

Green Group Joint Statement on Northern Metropolis Strategy

Photo credit: WWF-Hong Kong


We appreciate and welcome the proactive conservation measures proposed by the Government under the Northern Metropolis Strategy, including the resumption of private fishponds and other wetlands in the Deep Bay area in the Northwestern New Territories under the Land Resumption Ordinance (Cap. 124). However, the Northern Metropolis also has been planned to host a population of about 2.5 million people. With development at such mammoth scale, we consider that a series of measures and actions are required to ensure current conservation efforts are not compromised by developments in the Northern Metropolis area before and during the planning, construction and operation phases. Thus, we urge the Chief Executive and her teams to take the following measures in regard to the nature conservation issues of the Northern Metropolis Strategy: (more…)

23 October

青衣出行 Commute in TY

Click here to visit the website of Commute in TY


Commute in TY is a community project co-organized by Designing Hong Kong and the Community Building Working Group of the Kwai Tsing District Council. The project is funded by the Kwai Tsing District Council to promote cycling as a transportation mode for daily commute on Tsing Yi Island. The project aims to investigate and propose a cyclists’ commuting path in Tsing Yi, and to educate different road users and the public on the safety of cycling in Tsing Yi.

14 October

土地共享先導計劃 關於南生圍及社山兩宗申請的聯合聲明 Joint Statement from NGOs concerning Two Applications under the Land Sharing Pilot Scheme at Nam Sang Wai and She Shan

Click here for the English version


1. 就最近兩宗在土地共享先導計劃(LSPS)下分別位於南生圍(LSPS-002 )及林村社山(LSPS-003 )的申請,我們希望藉此聯合聲明表達深切關注。該兩個申請地點現在主要為鄉郊環境所覆蓋及包圍,發展密度極低;而有關申請不但會為該兩處引入高樓大廈(LSPS-002:24至25層;LSPS-003:17至39層),更會帶來龐大人口(LSPS-002:10,487人;LSPS-003:33,937人)。簡而言之,我們認為這兩個項目實在難以理解,我們會在下文詳細闡述。 (more…)

17 September

The Tsing Yi Coastal Trail 青衣環島徑

Full Route - TYCT

The Tsing Yi Coastal Trail

Since 2002, we have been advocating access along the waterfronts. After we introduced the “Hong Kong Island Coastal Trail” we received suggestions to create trails along other coastlines of Hong Kong. One such request was for a coastal route around Tsing Yi Island, connecting the Tsing Yi Promenade with the Tsing Yi Nature Trails and along Tsing Yi South.

Tsing Yi is the fifth largest island in Hong Kong with a population of around 200,000. The outer perimeter is around 16 km. It is an important transportation hub connecting New Territories West and the urban area of Hong Kong with cross-sea bridges.

Tsing Yi Island is characterized by three main areas: Residential, industrial, and nature. The proposed “Tsing Yi Coastal Trail” links all parts of Tsing Yi with a convenient coastal trail for residents and visitors.

We have studied routes, documented sights and destinations, and prepared proposals for improvements which can bring the route closer to the shore. To learn more about the trail, visit our website.


18 August

Hong Kong Island Coastal Trail – Progress Update (August 2021) 港島環島徑—最新消息 (2021年8月)

Hong Kong Island Coastal Trail – Progress Update (August 2021)

Designing Hong Kong is working hard to improve the Hong Kong Island Coastal Trail. Below is a progress update.

Improvement Works_Progress 202108


17 August

[新聞稿 Press Release] 2025年須全面禁膠餐具 切勿「走塑」變「走數」 10環團籲公眾提交意見書 Ban Single-use Plastic Tableware by 2025

[Text only available in Chinese]

2025年須全面禁膠餐具 切勿「走塑」變「走數」 10環團籲公眾提交意見書

20210816-RDPT-PC-03 -credit

(2021年8月16日 新聞稿) 10個環團今日聯合發佈《堂食及外賣即棄餐具派發量調查》(下稱調查)及《「外賣走塑」研究》(下稱民調)的研究結果,前者推算出快餐店年派過5億件即棄膠餐具,當中有過半仍未納入政府早前推出的「管制即棄餐具計劃」[1]的第一階段,受規管的日子遙遙無期,恐「走塑」變「走數」;另外,民調結果則指出,市民大多同意政府規定食肆不能向顧客免費提供即棄塑膠餐具,評分高達5.21分(7分為非常同意)。


19 January

District level job losses up to 13% 經濟衰退—地區損失逾13%職位

District level job losses up to 13%

The impact of COVID on our economy is accelerating. While Government reported an overall unemployment rate of 6.6%, a study of district data by ‘Designing Hong Kong’ shows local impacts vary.  Job losses in the Southern District is 13% for the year ending September 2020. Some industries at district level show job losses of over 50%.

Percentage change of job number by district

Red colour represents a shrinking job market while green colour represents a growing job market. The data reflects the change in job number in each district between September 2019 and September 2020.