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Central harbourfront to be vibrant and attractive (with photos)

    The future Central harbourfront would be a vibrant, attractive and accessible world-class waterfront which is symbolic of Hong Kong, the Director of Planning, Mr Bosco Fung, said today (May 28).

     "Our new Central harbourfront will be vibrant and green. The land use framework as incorporated in the Outline Zoning Plans (OZPs) of the concerned area is holistic and balanced, reflecting the community aspirations for providing extensive public open spaces along the harbour and vibrant land uses by the harbour, while maintaining the competitive edge of our Central Business District (CBD)," Mr Fung said at a press briefing on the design objectives and planning visions of the Central waterfront.

     The illustrative concept for the new Central harbourfront has three design emphases, namely creating vibrancy and diversity; creating enjoyable public spaces; and creating a green edge to our harbour and the CBD.

     Elaborating on the attractiveness, vibrancy and accessibility of the new harbourfront, Mr Fung said, "The new harbourfront will be attractive in having a green unifying edge endowed with quality public and private developments in a luxuriant landscape setting. It will be vibrant day and night with a mix of uses and diversity of functions, inviting different activities and residents and tourists alike to the harbourfront."

     "There will be good access with the provision of multi-modal transport and comprehensive pedestrian linkages at different levels to bring people to the harbour. The new Central harbourfront will become a symbol of Hong Kong, with a distinctive urban form in harmony with the ridgelines and the harbour setting."

     Mr Fung pointed out that the land use zonings and other planning parameters including height restriction laid down in the OZPs had set out the planning intention and provided a framework for the future developments.

     "Within the broad development framework, and provided the permitted uses and development intensity as expressed in plot ratio or building height as laid down in the OZPs are not exceeded, we welcome innovative ideas and believe there are no lack of design options which will best realise our planning vision of creating a world-class harbourfront," he said.

     "Our planning vision which is in full accord with the Town Planning Board's Vision Statement for the Victoria Harbour and the Harbour-front Enhancement Committee's Harbour Planning Principles is best explained in the bilingual pamphlet we publish for public information today."

     A 3-D model to provide visual images of the new harbourfront area will also be displayed at the Hong Kong Planning and Exhibition Gallery in the City Hall starting Wednesday (May 31).

     "As shown in the illustrative concept plan and the 3-D model, the new harbourfront is easily accessible to all. The 11-hectare waterfront promenade, which is bigger than the 8-hectare Hong Kong Park, can offer us different choices of active and passive recreation with open-air facilities such as outdoor forums, amphitheatre, and much green open space, harbourside walkways and undulating lawns. Leisure and entertainment activities, outdoor media shows and performance can be organised. Ancillary facilities for resting and alfresco dining will also be available," Mr Fung noted.

     "The urban design framework is structured upon a waterfront promenade across the water edge, intersecting with three principal corridors linking the city with the harbour. All of them will terminate in the new harbourfront with focal points including the new Star Ferry Pier, public piers, plazas, and other activity nodes."

     "The nine-storey office/commercial building linking the Statue Square to the new Star Ferry Pier provides a low-rise garden deck and an at-grade (ground level) landscape walkway. The development would be a new unique building with cascading design, and extensive setbacks to provide garden decks, terraces and roof gardens," he added.

     The new Central harbourfront is covered by the Central District (Extension) OZP and the Central District OZP approved by the Chief Executive in Council in 2002 and 2003 respectively.  The plans have undergone a due process under the Town Planning Ordinance, involving extensive public consultation.  Public views have been reflected in the approved plans.  

Ends/Sunday, May 28, 2006
Issued at HKT 17:57


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