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Legislative Council Question 18 : "Urban Design Study for the New Central Harbourfront" by the Hon Kwok Ka-ki and a written reply by the Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council

Following is a question by the Hon Kwok Ka-ki and a written reply by the Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (June 27):

Question:

The Planning Department is now conducting the New Central Harbourfront Urban Design Study, which includes public engagement. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the estimated expenditure of stage one public engagement;

(b) of the number of publicity materials printed for this study and the distribution channels;

(c) whether it has publicised this study by placing advertisements on newspapers and magazines, broadcasting Announcements of Public Interest in the electronic media, displaying advertisements on illuminated advertisement boxes and putting up posters; if it has, of the details of the promotion efforts, such as the relevant dates and names of the publications, as well as the locations of the illuminated advertisement boxes and posters;

(d) given that stage one public engagement included the focus group workshop and community engagement held in the first half of May, of the means by which the Administration invited public participation in these two activities, the respective numbers of members of the public, public officers and staff of the consultancy firm participating in the activities and how the views expressed by public officers and staff of the consultancy firm will be dealt with; and

(e) whether it will hold a roving exhibition for this study to solicit public views; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?

Reply:

Madam President,

The new Central Harbourfront is covered by the approved Central District (Extension) and Central District Outline Zoning Plans (OZPs). Having considered several rezoning applications, the Town Planning Board (TPB) affirmed the land use planning of the approved OZPs, and initiated to refine the existing urban design framework of the new Central Harbourfront which would guide the detailed design. In response to the request of the TPB, the Planning Department (PlanD) commissioned a consultant to undertake the Urban Design Study for the New Central Harbourfront in late March 2007.

My reply to the five-part question is as follows:

(a) The consultancy fee for the entire public engagement programme for the Urban Design Study for the New Central Harbourfront is $1.1 million. The programme will be carried out in stages.

(b) Regarding the first stage of public engagement for the Urban Design Study for the New Central Harbourfront, the PlanD has printed a total of about 50 000 copies of a pamphlet in English and Chinese. These are made available to the public at various district offices, the City Hall Library, the Central Library, the Hong Kong Planning and Infrastructure Exhibition Gallery, the Planning Enquiry Counters of the PlanD and roving exhibition venue, etc. Copies of the pamphlet were also distributed to the relevant District Councils, professional bodies, interested organisations as well as the participants of the focus group workshop and the community engagement forum mentioned in (d) below.

(c) To publicise the first stage of public engagement activities, the PlanD held a press briefing and issued a press release on 3 May. A dedicated webpage was set up as well. To publicise the focus group workshop and the community engagement forum mentioned in (d) below, the PlanD printed posters which were put up before the events in the vicinity of the venues concerned. Advertisements were placed in the Ming Pao Daily News, the Oriental Daily News and the South China Morning Post on 8 and 9 May consecutively to invite public participation.

(d) A focus group workshop, mainly for the participation of professional and academic institutions, was held on 5 May. Apart from the promotion efforts mentioned in (c) above, the PlanD had, by post and e-mail, invited 16 relevant professional and academic institutions to take part in the activity. A total of 66 members of the public, 11 representatives of government departments which took part in the Urban Design Study for the New Central Harbourfront and 13 staff members of the consultancy firm attended the workshop.

On May 12, a community engagement forum was organised for the general public, the relevant advisory bodies and concerned groups. In addition to the publicity mentioned in (c) above, the PlanD had, by post and e-mail, invited about 70 organisations (including Legislative Council Panel on Planning, Lands and Works, the TPB, the Harbour-Front Enhancement Committee, the Antiquities Advisory Board, District Councils, professional and academic institutions and concerned parties) to take part in the forum. A total of 134 members of the public, 4 representatives of government departments which took part in the Study and 12 staff members of the consultancy firm attended the forum.

The representatives of government departments and staff members of the consultancy firm participated in the above two activities for the purpose of facilitating discussions, providing supplementary information and listening to views expressed by other participants.

(e) Since early May, the PlanD has been conducting a roving exhibition at the Star Ferry Pier to display materials concerning the first stage of public engagement for the Urban Design Study for the New Central Harbourfront. A view-collection box has also been placed at the exhibition venue to canvass public views. The PlanD is working out detailed arrangements relating to further roving exhibitions.

Ends/Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Issued at HKT 14:46

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