consultation paper Hong Kong 2030: Planning Vision and Strategy,
the government proposes that the long term planning for the future
development of Hong Kong should consider: (1) a closer link with
the Mainland; (2) a greater responsiveness to special land needs;
(3) more sustainable use of our land resources; (4) new quality
development opportunities ; (5) more jobs closer to homes; (6)
facilitating businesses of tomorrow , (7) certain essential but
unwelcome facilities; (8) a better planning for waterfront usages
; and (9) more choices for recreation and sports.
While we generally agree with the proposed
principles and recommendations , we suggest that the planning
exercise should also take into account the "cultural"
perspective. In our opinion, the ultimate goal of town planning
should be the betterment of people; thus a "People-Oriented
Approach" is best to be employed. In line with this concern,
town planning, in addition to the improvement of its physical
environment, should also emphasize on providing sufficient and
appropriate facilities cater to the aspects of cultural, arts
and even sports of the residents. Psychological well-being is
essential for the citizens to enjoy a beautiful and comfortable
During the planning stage, we feel that
a sustainable design should be "built-in" to the process
as it concerns not only the current generation but generations
in the future. Furthermore, it will most probably work best if
the planning be flexible enough to accommodate possible changes
in local and global economic, social, and political climate. As
such, the impact of China's WTO status and the proposed Free Trade
Zone of the Pearl River Delta will have to be taken into consideration.
In any rapid growth, it seems that "conflicts"
are likely to be encountered between the issue of pioneering new
development and preservation of precious land. However, striving
for a balance is not an impossible mission. With the "built-in"
sustainable concept, this balance can be achieved by, for instance,
providing positive measures to encourage landlords and property
owners to join hand in this mission. Moreover, we believe the
government shall assume a proactive role in accomplishing this.
Even with the effecting of the above suggestions,
the planning exercise will not succeed without the participation
of all the stakeholders. Thus, it is best for the government to
provide ample opportunities for citizens' participation during
the entire process. For instance, in planning a cultural facility
in a community, it will be most efficient to allow participation
from cultural groups in areas such as: choice of location, overall
venue design and set design. After all, planning for development
is ultimately for the betterment of people, not merely for the
sake of "development".