If we could walk back in time to the early 19th Century, we could hardly imagine that the sparsely populated area along the northern shore of Hong Kong Island, in front of the steep hills and facing a beautiful deepwater harbour, would one day be transformed into the heart of Asia's world city.
When the colony was founded in 1841, the area now known as "Central" was then known as "Victoria City". The area was first chosen to house the city's major military facilities and administration centre. Shortly after came traders and missionaries. Over the years, Central developed into a rendezvous point for people from all walks of life. The dynamic growth of Central was made possible by rounds of development, renewal and reclamation work. Roads and railways were built to link Central efficiently to other parts of the city and the international airport.
In less than 200 years, Central has witnessed the transformation of Hong Kong from a fishing village into an entrepot; from a manufacturing centre into a services hub; and, more recently into today's modern metropolis and global financial centre. In that time, Central has evolved as the political, legal, military, business, financial, educational, cultural, tourism, religious and lifestyle heart and gateway of Hong Kong. Today, Central is the administrative centre of Hong Kong and home to many international and Mainland financial and business corporations. While myriad fascinating new high-rise buildings have been constructed over time, numerous examples of original architecture remain preserved within the cityscape. All of this has been fused and distilled into the distinct Central we see today.
After more than a century of impressive development, we are now at a crossroads and need to rethink how to take Central to even grander and newer heights. We need to sustain the growth that has been part of the formula for Hong Kong's success. At the same time, we must adequately conserve for future generations the invaluable heritage that makes us special so that our descendants will be proud of the legacy we have left.
Following the concept of "Progressive Development", as well as building on the Government's commitments on harbourfront enhancement and heritage conservation, and championing more greening and connectivity, we have put together a series of innovative projects that will help to reinvigorate the legend of Central.
PowerPoint Presentation material on "Conserving Central" (Chinese version only)
Pamphlet on "Conserving Central"
Video Recording for Briefing on "Conserving Central"