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Work together to plan for the future

While writing this blog, I feel deeply honoured to be appointed as the Secretary for Development. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude for the Central People's Government and the HKSAR Government’s support and trust in me. Since I joined the Government in 2014 as Under Secretary for Development, I have been paying heed to the mission of serving the public, through close collaboration with Mr. Paul Chan, the former Secretary for Development and colleagues from various departments, to take forward the various policy initiatives and measures. The Development Bureau (DEVB) is always fraught with controversial and difficult issues.  A lot of efforts have to be made to lobby for support and engage the stakeholders. Over the past years, I have attended District Council (DC) meetings and different consultation forums to explain our policies. I also took part in identifying land for development. These experiences are invaluable. While new town developments and planning of individual projects take years to realise, differences can be bridged over time and problems resolved through incremental and sincere communications. In the next few months, I will continue to lead the team in DEVB, with dedication and devotion, to build the city and create a better and quality living environment for the next generation.

Listen to public sentiment

The current-term Government strives to facilitate land supply in a steady and sustainable manner. Land development is no easy task and could only be achieved with sustained effort. In the past, my colleagues and I had to identify suitable sites for rezoning to meet different development needs at best we can. Various stakeholders were concerned, and objections not uncommon. With my past experience in the construction industry, I managed to work closely with colleagues from the land development and planning professions to overcome difficulties. I recall the time back in 2014  when I just assumed office as the Under Secretary for Development, working on the property development project at Yuen Long Station and the associated public consultation with colleagues from the Planning Department (PlanD), Lands Department, Transport Department, Highways Department and Buildings Department, as well as representatives of the  MTR Corporation Limited.  Over 100 requests on transport, development density, visual impact, air quality, structural conditions of buildings, road safety, etc. were raised by local residents. My colleagues and I listened to these views and looked into the local concerns and aspirations carefully with the facilitation of the District Councillors and residents’ representatives. At the end, we managed to tackle the various technical problems and address residents’ concerns by adjusting the building’s disposition and layout, and converting some private roads into public ones under the Government’s ownership management and maintenance. These were all hard-earned achievements, and we were encouraged to note that our efforts were well-recognised by members of the Legislative Council and DCs. Mutual understanding and compromises during the planning and development process, even with controversies, are essential for building consensus so as to come up with a plan that could meet the expectations of all.

Let’s work hand in hand to build a better Hong Kong

It has already been three and a half months since the launch of the public engagement for "Hong Kong 2030+: Towards a Planning Vision and Strategy Transcending 2030" ("Hong Kong 2030+"). To gauge the views of different sectors of society and the general public, we had organised over 140 public engagement activities of varying scale and nature, including public forums, topical discussions, briefings, knowledge-sharing sessions, guided visits and exhibitions. Having attended some of these personally, I noted that many people were enthusiastic and willing to spend their time attending these events, and gave good suggestions through different platforms. These will greatly help us plan, with pragmatism, for the long-term development of Hong Kong. I will continue to listen to the public views on different occasions and DC meetings. Indeed, "Hong Kong 2030+" is a forward-looking territorial development strategy for Hong Kong that represents the city’s planning vision beyond 2030, and it is only 10 to 20 years away from this planning horizon.  Planning and development of land and infrastructures take decades to complete from scratch, and we earnestly need deliberation of the community to focus on the real issues about the future planning of Hong Kong. In the remaining period of the public engagement, I, together with colleagues from DEVB and PlanD, will continue to hear about your insights and opinions. Let us work together to build a better Hong Kong for us all.

 

The public engagement on “Hong Kong 2030+” is ongoing. I, together with colleagues from DEVB and PlanD, will continue to hear about the insights and opinions from the public..

The public engagement on “Hong Kong 2030+” is ongoing. I, together with colleagues from DEVB and PlanD, will continue to hear about the insights and opinions from the public.

The public engagement on “Hong Kong 2030+” is ongoing. I, together with colleagues from DEVB and PlanD, will continue to hear about the insights and opinions from the public..

The public engagement on “Hong Kong 2030+” is ongoing. I, together with colleagues from DEVB and PlanD, will continue to hear about the insights and opinions from the public.

19 February, 2017

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