After the Chief Executive put forward the Invigorating Island South (IIS) initiative in her 2020 Policy Address, the Invigorating Island South Office (IISO) was set up under the Development Bureau in February 2021. Earlier on, IISO has formulated the first Conceptual Master Plan (CMP) covering the Wong Chuk Hang, Aberdeen and Ap Lei Chau areas, and gauged views from various sectors on the CMP. This time, I have specially invited the Head of IISO, Ms AU Kit-ying, Brenda, to talk about the initiative. The team leader of the first prize winning team in the Design Competition on Green Link in Wong Chuk Hang will also share with us the design concept of their work.
Making preparation for promulgating CMP 2.0
Ms Brenda AU says IISO has formulated the first CMP and sought views from various committees and local organisations on how to improve, beautify and revitalise the Wong Chuk Hang, Aberdeen and Ap Lei Chau areas, and general support has been received. After incorporating their views as appropriate, IISO is now making preparation for promulgating CMP 2.0, and will continue to take forward various projects in collaboration with the relevant bureaux and departments.
Taking forward several minor works projects
To bring early improvements, IISO is taking forward several minor works projects in the district, including the “Green Link” connecting MTR Wong Chuk Hang Station and Aberdeen Country Park. Other quick-win projects include renovating the Wong Chuk Hang Road flyover and footpaths; repaving road surfaces in the Main Street, Ap Lei Chau area; providing additional pedestrian crossing facilities; improving existing marine-related signage on the waterfront; and providing additional landing facilities in the northeastern part of Ap Lei Chau. Large scale projects, such as the redevelopment and enhancement of recreation and sports facilities in Wong Chuk Hang to promote“single site, multiple use” and the expansion of Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter, will be taken forward according to the established procedures of public works programmes.
IISO commissioned a consultancy study last December to formulate comprehensive proposals for pedestrian environment and traffic improvements for the abovementioned areas to enhance district vibrancy.
“Green Link in Wong Chuk Hang”
To encourage public participation in the Green Link project, which connects MTR Wong Chuk Hang Station and Aberdeen Country Park, a design competition was jointly organised by IISO, the Architectural Services Department and the Hong Kong Institute of Architects to gather innovative design ideas and concepts.
The “Green Link in Wong Chuk Hang”, Ms Brenda Au says, is a place-making project aimed at connecting MTR Wong Chuk Hang Station and Aberdeen Country Park through a series of attractive sitting-out areas and pedestrian facilities, by making use of the concept of a green spine, to provide better open spaces and a more convenient way to visit the country park for the public to relax. The project includes improvements to Nam Long Shan Road Sitting-out Area, Yip Kan Street Sitting-out Area and its nearby stairs, back alley and slopes, and the provision of a hiking trail to Aberdeen Country Park from Yip Hing Street.
The Design Competition on Green Link in Wong Chuk Hang received more than 30 entries. The first, second and third prize winning entries and merit entries were selected last month. The Government will implement the projects based on the design concept of the winning entry, and the relevant works will commence this year.
Rationalising pedestrian routes
The team leader of the first prize winning team in the competition, Ms LIU Xiaoran, says the design concept of their project is to highlight the theme of the competition – Green Link, with an aim to strengthen the linkage between Aberdeen Country Park and Wong Chuk Hang in a convenient manner. Through gradual integration of natural elements and urban fabrics with industrial atmosphere, their design would bring people to Aberdeen Country Park from MTR Wong Chuk Hang Station step by step.
She says that their work has highlighted the Wong Chuk Hang Industrial Area in transformation with bright colours, and pedestrian routes are rationalised, with several pocket open spaces forming the branches of the main route, for which improvement and beautification proposals have been made. Take the reconstruction of the stairs of an existing flyover to Nam Long Shan Road Sitting-out Area as an example, it would provide the public with an easy access to the open space for enjoyment without the need to take a U-turn.
Under the IIS initiative, the Southern District will be developed into a place full of vibrancy and new ideas for people to work, live and have fun. The Government will play the role of a facilitator and proactively engage the stakeholders and the community to harness collective wisdom and insights with a view to implementing various projects under the initiative. In the time to come, I will continue to share with you the deliverables of the initiative so that the public would know more about the rationales behind the projects, and re-explore the place which is a blend of the old and the new, with pleasant sea and land scenery.
20 February, 2022Back