The Government has been striving to make Hong Kong a more liveable city. To enable members of the public to enjoy the harbourfront space freely in an inclusive environment, we will continue to take forward harbourfront development. One of our major development directions is to extend the open management model of “Harbourfront Shared Space” to more harbourfront sites.
At present, the harbourfront along both sides of the Victoria Harbour has a total length of about 73 kilometres. Of this length, some 35 kilometres are unconnected at the moment because of natural coastline, private land and container terminals. Out of the remaining 38 kilometres that have been planned to be developed into harbourfront promenades, about 25 kilometres have already been open for public enjoyment.
We expect that the harbourfront promenade will be further extended by about one kilometre to 26 kilometres within this year, with the Victoria Harbour promenade further extending to 34 kilometres in 2028. Upon the full completion of the Boardwalk underneath the Island Eastern Corridor in 2025, the harbourfront promenade along the northern shore of Hong Kong Island will be connected from Kennedy Town to Shau Kei Wan.
“Pop-up” elements well received by the public
The Development Bureau (DEVB) and the Harbourfront Commission (HC) will, as always, continue to support local creativity by partnering with local artists to design the “pop-up” installations at various “Harbourfront Shared Space” sites. This summer, the six precincts on both sides of the harbour have taken on a new look, including the East Coast Park Precinct in Fortress Hill transformed into a fireworks carnival, the Belcher Bay Promenade in Kennedy Town themed with a tropical forest, and the Tsuen Wan Promenade dressed up as an onshore water fantasy. Next, I am going to introduce how the artists of harbourfront installations have added special design elements to these harbourfront sites in a bid to create special features with surprises in each section of the harbourfront, thereby bringing new experiences to the public on their every visit.
Illumination of lights at night in “fireworks carnival”
Since its opening, the East Coast Park Precinct at the Fortress Hill harbourfront has gained its popularity among the general public. The Architect, Mr WONG Yok-fai, Arnold, has recently been invited to give colour to the precinct. He has turned evanescent fireworks into three-dimensional installations which resemble dandelions by day and light up dazzlingly by night, immersing visitors in a “fireworks carnival”. The installations placed at the precinct are also characterised by local elements, such as a neon sign that reads “Victoria Harbour Café” in Chinese characters, light balls made of plastic bags in the iconic red-white-blue colours, and a retro-style floor sticker. He says that it is an invaluable experience for young artists to take part in designing these public open spaces and he is overwhelmed with joy to see his works well received by the public.
Colourful installations with Hong Kong features
New colourful play installations have been set up at the Belcher Bay Promenade in Kennedy Town. These installations include a slide, a spinning tea cup and a seesaw by Café de Bollo, as well as a play equipment by Messy Desk. There is also the well-received “Jeep in the Forest”, an unprecedented cross-over creation by Café de Bollo and Messy Desk. The creator of Café de Bollo, Ms TAM Sze-wai, Helen, says that she is thrilled to take part in making creations for the harbourfront upon invitation. She already enjoyed strolling along the harbourfront before taking part in the project; and now seeing children and their families taking photos and having fun with the installations designed by her brings her great satisfaction and joy.
Tsuen Wan West Promenade turning into a Water Carnival
Moreover, Din Dong, a local cartoon superstar, continues to stay with us at the Tsuen Wan West Promenade. At this “Water Carnival” now held in the site, one of the most striking features of the precinct is the lifebuoy installations on wheels for children and their parents to play together. The co-founder of Din Dong, Mr CHAN Yu-fung, John, says that Din Dong the Cat has been created originally to heal the souls of the general public, and he hopes to bring happiness to the public through the brightly coloured three-dimensional installations he has created this time.
Taking forward harbourfront development continuously
The DEVB and the HC have been taking forward harbourfront development proactively and implementing various harbourfront projects and initiatives by adopting an “incremental approach” and pursuing the vision of “Harbourfront Shared Space”, with a view to providing better harbourfront experiences to the public. Major projects to be completed this year include the Revitalised Typhoon Shelter Precinct and the Water Sports and Recreation Precinct (Phase 3) in the Wan Chai district. For the former, the harbourfront promenade near Victoria Park Road will be enhanced and a new set of harbour steps will be introduced for bringing people closer to the water. The precinct is expected to open in September this year. For the latter, shore-side and floating food and beverage facilities will be introduced for the first time to enrich visitors’ experiences. Besides, more outdoor tables and chairs, shelter, toilets and shower facilities will be provided to offer wider support to water and recreational activities. These facilities are expected to open by the end of this year.
Separately, with the completion of the East Rail Line Cross-Harbour Extension, part of the former construction site under the Shatin to Central Link project will be revamped into the Water Sports and Recreation Precinct (Phase 4). The DEVB is holding discussions with the MTR Corporation Limited on relocating some of the refurbished compartments of a retired East Rail Line train (also known as the “fly-headed” train) to the harbourfront site under the Legacy Train Revitalisation Programme. The relocation works are expected to be completed in end-2023 to early 2024. I hope that, through the concept of sustainable development, the train compartments will not only be put on display, but also be rejuvenated to create a distinct “Harbourfront Shared Space”. As regards the former SCL construction site adjacent to the Exhibition Centre Station, the DEVB will develop the site into the Wan Chai Harbourfront Event Space by way of short-term tenancy, which will hold a variety of activities in line with other harbourfront sites in Wan Chai that have been opened, so as to offer more choices to the public.
We will continue to gauge public views and, through tripartite collaboration among the community, the business sector and the Government and with innovative mindset and public engagement, provide a longer and more vibrant promenade for the public.
7 August, 2022Back