LCQ8 : Greening for Tsim Sha Tsui
Following is a question by the Hon James To and a written reply by the Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works, Dr Sarah Liao, at the Legislative Council meeting today (May 24) :
The Greening Master Plan Committee under the Steering Committee on Greening mapped out the Greening Master Plan for Tsim Sha Tsui ("GMP") last year, and the Finance Committee of this Council has also approved the funding for implementing the proposed green projects under GMP. On the other hand, the consultancy studies on "Area Improvement Study for Tsim Sha Tsui" ("AIS/TST") and "Area Improvement Plan for the Shopping Areas for Mong Kok" ("AIP/SAMK") commissioned by relevant authorities were launched in January 2004 and February 2006 respectively. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) of the overlapping areas between the AIS/TST and GMP in respect of tree planting programmes and other aspects;
(b) as the green projects under GMP include the planting of trees on both sides and in the middle of Nathan Road, while the AIS/TST involves the development of pedestrian areas and other green projects in Tsim Sha Tsui district, of the mutual implications between the two plans consequentially, coordination among the authorities concerned, and whether needs to relocate trees and green belts under GMP are envisaged upon the implementation of the proposals in the AIS/TST;
(c) whether the authorities concerned have requested the consultancy firms commissioned to conduct studies on the AIS/TST and AIP/SAMK to refer to GMP; if they have, of the details; and how these consultancy firms come into step with the Steering Committee on Greening; and
(d) as GMP, AIS/TST and AIP/SAMK involve conducting environmental improvement works in similar areas, whether the authorities concerned have considered merging these studies for better coordination and lower consultancy fees; if they have, of the reasons for not merging the studies; if not, the reasons for that?
(a) The objective of the study on Area Improvement Plan for Tsim Sha Tsui ("AIS/TST") jointly commissioned by Planning Department and Transport Department is aimed to formulate a set of planning framework and guidelines on the beautification of the district to improve urban design, enhanced streetscape and better pedestrian environment in a comprehensive manner. On the other hand, the Greening Master Plan ("GMP") for Tsim Sha Tsui developed by the Civil Engineering and Development Department strives to identify suitable locations for compatible thematic planting and plant species as well as to draw up phased implementation plans.
Generally speaking, the AIS/TST study provides a high-level planning framework while the GMP for Tsim Sha Tsui focuses on specific greenery proposals, complementing each other in enhancing the overall district environment. The departments responsible for these studies will also liaise closely to avoid duplication of work.
(b) The continuous communication between relevant departments has ensured that the proposals of both studies are fully compatible with one another. As such, planting works under the GMP for Tsim Sha Tsui will not be affected by the AIS/TST and no subsequent relocation is required.
(c) Both the AIS/TST study and the study of the Area Improvement Plan for Shopping Areas of Mong Kok ("AIP/SAMK") require the consultants concerned to take due consideration of the findings and recommendations of other completed, on-going or planned studies within the respective study areas, including the GMP for Tsim Sha Tsui completed and the GMP for Mong Kok planned to be commissioned by the Government. The Steering Committee on Greening is responsible for the monitoring and coordination of the work.
(d) As mentioned in paragraph 1 above, the area improvement plans and greening master plans studies have different focuses and level of details. The former is more complex in scope and involves issues such as land use restructuring with appropriate road traffic systems. The greening master plans, having regard to the planning conditions, aims at identifying feasible greening measures and making arrangements for phased implementation. The scope of study and planning focus of AIS/TST and AIP/SAMK are different. For example, the former focuses on tourism and cultural activities while the latter on shopping and commercial activities. The Government also has to examine the local planning issues, impact assessments and study recommendations in the respective local contexts. As such, it is not advisable to combine these studies.
End/Wednesday, May 24, 2006