The Invigorating Island South (IIS) initiative aims at developing the Southern District into a place for people to work, live, explore new ideas and have fun, with Wong Chuk Hang, Aberdeen and Ap Lei Chau as the focus areas. In 2021, the Development Bureau (DEVB) set up the Invigorating Island South Office (IISO) to co-ordinate and implement various IIS key projects, and to actively participate in projects led by other policy bureaux. Last month, the IISO launched a new website (www.iiso.gov.hk) to release more information about the initiative. You are welcome to browse the website. This time, I have invited colleagues from the IISO to tell us more about the latest situation and future development of the focus areas.
Pedestrian environment, traffic and open space improvement proposals
Head of the IISO, Ms Brenda AU, says that the IISO has formulated comprehensive pedestrian environment and traffic improvement proposals as well as waterfront and open space enhancement proposals for the focus areas to bring vibrancy to the district. The improvement and enhancement proposals have been generally supported by stakeholders in the public engagement exercise. The IISO will take forward the proposals from this year onwards by way of minor works or public works projects in order of priority and project scale.
Latest situation and future development of key projects
Ap Lei Chau
To bring early improvements, the IISO took the lead to take forward several minor works projects in the area last year, including opening up the enclosed landscaped and lawn area adjoining Ap Lei Chau Park, widening the waterfront promenade next to the open-air carpark in Ap Lei Chau North, and making an overall improvement to the marine-related signage around Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter, so as to provide more leisure space for the public and enhance the waterfront environment.
The vacant area adjoining Ap Lei Chau Main Street Sewage Pumping Station is undergoing improvement works, turning the enclosed area into a public space. The children’s playground in Ap Lei Chau Park will also be extended to provide a more attractive public play space based on the design concept of the winning entry in a design competition. Meanwhile, construction of additional public landing steps at the northeastern point of Ap Lei Chau is underway, and there is plan to provide two sets of public landing facilities near Ap Lei Chau Praya Road to facilitate safe embarking and disembarking of the public.
Speaking of Ap Lei Chau, I have to mention Hung Shing Temple. We plan to improve the forecourt of this declared monument, with a view to enhancing the visual connection of the temple with the sea and providing more flexible space for ritual events and various activities. Besides, the IISO is now working on the development framework for the “Open Space” sites yet to be developed in the northeastern part of Ap Lei Chau. As Aberdeen was an important fishing village in the past with more than a century-old history of dragon boat racing, the facilities would include providing storage space for dragon boats, integrated with an observation deck and food and beverage (F&B) facilities, in a bid to facilitate the passing down of the fishermen’s dragon boat culture.
The IISO is exploring with the Environment and Ecology Bureau, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, and the Fish Marketing Organisation to promote the sale of local fisheries produce at both wholesale and retail levels through the revitalisation of Aberdeen Wholesale Fish Market, with the addition of F&B elements to create a more vibrant waterfront. We plan to complete the technical feasibility study next year. Furthermore, the IISO has formulated proposals for enhancing the waterfront areas on both sides of Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter based on a design framework covering different themed zones, including the addition of a multi-purpose event space on the Tin Wan waterfront and provision of children’s play facilities near Aberdeen Tennis and Squash Centre. Some of the waterfront enhancement works will be taken forward by way of minor works projects.
Wong Chuk Hang
Senior Town Planner (IIS), Mr William WONG, says that construction works of the Green Link in Wong Chuk Hang have commenced. The MTR Wong Chuk Hang Station and Aberdeen Country Park will be connected through the improvement of a series of sitting-out areas and pedestrian facilities. Upon its completion in the second quarter of next year, it will be easier for all of us to visit the countryside. For better use of space, a parklet will also be provided next to the MTR Wong Chuk Hang Station. Moreover, construction works of a boardwalk along the northern bank in the downstream section of Staunton Creek Nullah will commence early next year. The IISO is also committed to improving the adjoining public space and sitting-out areas, with a view to transforming the area into a leisure focal point. The initial improvement works completed include beautification of two MTR viaduct piers and addition of benches.
To optimise the use of land resources, the IISO and the relevant policy bureaux and departments have formulated proposal for the “single site, multiple use” project on Redevelopment and Enhancement of Recreation and Sports Facilities in Wong Chuk Hang. Apart from reprovisioning the sports centre, sports ground and swimming pool facilities within the same area, a skatepark, a district health centre, an elderly health centre, a small library, a public vehicle park and other facilities will be incorporated. Upon completion of the technical feasibility study in the second quarter of this year, the project will be taken forward in accordance with the public works procedures.
Besides, to improve the pedestrian environment near Sham Wan and Po Chong Wan, we will commence works to widen the footpaths outside the two temporary industrial areas this year. The space at the end of Shum Wan Pier Drive will be developed into a cosy open space allowing easy embarkation on vessels. The IISO has also proposed providing a pedestrian walkway to connect the waterfronts near Heung Yip Path and Shum Wan Pier Drive.
Other large-scale projects
Senior Engineer (IIS), Mr Ricky TANG, introduces other large-scale projects, including the expansion of Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter to provide more vessel berthing area, and the provision of piers at Deep Water Bay and Tai Shue Wan to facilitate the connection between Ocean Park and other tourist attractions and the development of marine tourism in the Southern District. The relevant impact assessments, gazettal work and detailed design for the three projects will be carried out this year, and the construction works are expected to commence in 2025.
On the “Round-the-Island Trail” of about 60 kilometres long on Hong Kong Island announced in the 2022 Policy Address, it will connect the waterfront promenades on the northern shore of the island and a number of existing promenades and countryside walking trails in the Southern District. The IISO is responsible for coordinating and working with the relevant departments to take forward the project with the target of connecting 90% of the Trail within five years.
In the future, the IISO will continue to push forward the relevant works, and share with you the progress and results of the projects. Let us work together to invigorate this place which is a blend of the old and the new with pleasant scenery on land and sea.
2 April, 2023Back