Transformation of Kowloon East in full swing with inception of Energizing Kowloon East Office (with photos)The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, said today (June 7) that following the opening of the Energizing Kowloon East Office (EKEO) the Government will press ahead at full speed with various initiatives under the "Energizing Kowloon East" project to transform Kowloon East into another attractive core business district.
Mrs Lam officiated at today's inauguration of the EKEO at its site on Hoi Bun Road together with the Permanent Secretary for Development (Works), Mr Wai Chi-sing, and the Head of the EKEO, Mr Ling Kar-kan.
Mrs Lam said that the project to develop Kowloon East has been well received and supported by industries and the community at large since it was announced in the Chief Executive's Policy Address last year.
Over recent months the Pre-Kowloon East Development Office (Pre-KEDO) has exchanged views with District Councils and a number of organisations and industry stakeholders to jointly explore a new direction for Kowloon East. After more than three months of public engagement activities, the Pre-KEDO has refined the conceptual master plan, proposing to strengthen the integration of Kowloon East and the neighbouring districts, improve pedestrian connectivity and the streetscape, and enhance the harbourfront area.
The office is proactively rolling out a series of measures that will be implemented shortly. These include greening the streets, upgrading transport facilities, consolidating public space to provide more areas for social activities and enhancing the footbridge networks in the district for better crowd management. Also, 26 existing road signages displaying "Kwun Tong Industrial Area" will be updated to "Kwun Tong Business Area" to indicate the area under transformation.
She pointed out that the EKEO not only co-ordinates the work of related government departments, but also plays the role of place-maker. The private ownership of a large part of Kwun Tong and Kowloon Bay as well as the multiple ownership of properties in the area impose certain restrictions on the transformation of the district. In urban planning, design and management therefore, it is particularly important for the Government and the public to maintain a close and interactive partnership and work together for innovative ideas to make the best use of public space and improve the environment. In the conceptual master plan, revitalising the harbourfront area under the Kwun Tong Bypass and giving the Tsun Yip Street Playground a facelift are two examples of key place-making projects.
Mrs Lam said, "I hope that the EKEO will serve as a platform for all walks of life to form a partnership, and that the various initiatives under the Energizing Kowloon East project will move forward through collective wisdom and effort."
The EKEO is the first provisional structure to be awarded "platinum" - the highest rating in the green building rating system. The office adopts a sustainable development approach in site selection, design and construction. Situated on a piece of derelict land on Hoi Bun Road under an elevated section of the Kwun Tong Bypass, the office is mostly made of old freight containers and other recyclable steel structures. It abides by low carbon principles and uses cost-effective environmental construction technologies to save energy and water resources as well as to reduce waste.
The EKEO includes an information kiosk that provides reference materials on "Energizing Kowloon East" and "Kai Tak Development". The office also serves as a venue for public engagement activities. Please click on the EKEO website at www.ekeo.gov.hk for the latest information.
Ends/Thursday, June 7, 2012
Issued at HKT 18:45