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Speech by SDEV at award ceremony for Kai Tak Fantasy International Ideas Competition on Urban Planning and Design (English only)

     Following is the speech by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, at the award ceremony for Kai Tak Fantasy - International Ideas Competition on Urban Planning and Design today (November 14):

Distinguished jurors and guests, finalist teams, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good afternoon.

     I am most pleased to be here today at the Kai Tak Fantasy - International Ideas Competition Award Ceremony. It has been quite a while since we gathered for the launch of the competition in the City Gallery, and it has been a pleasure viewing so many creative and innovative design submissions.

     Many of us have fond memories of the old Kai Tak Airport, a very vibrant and vital asset; it is part of our generation's collective memory. Today, I look forward to Kai Tak Fantasy's transformation of its location into a distinguished, energetic, attractive and, most importantly, people-oriented community. It is a huge and highly complex development project and the competition entries have definitely matched the legacy of Kai Tak. Kai Tak Fantasy not only has the potential to be developed into a world-class tourism, entertainment and leisure destination, but also provides a chance to inspire arts, culture and creativity in the region for public enjoyment. The submissions outline a plethora of possibilities that I just can't wait to see come true.

     Since 2012, with the general support of the community, the Energizing Kowloon East Office has been striving to facilitate the transformation of Kowloon East in regard to four key themes, namely connectivity, branding, diversity and design.

     The Kai Tak Fantasy International Ideas Competition on Urban Planning and Design has definitely strengthened these four key themes. First, there is connectivity. Indeed, Kai Tak Fantasy is not just about creating an environment that is walkable, stayable and sittable, as well as accessible. It encapsulates a chronological link between its past and future roles. The huge emphasis on the making of a place for the enjoyment of the whole community pays tribute to the unique role of Kai Tak as a place for so many touching memories, and it also provides a sensational link for the past, present and future in the face of rapid urban transformation.

     In terms of branding, Kai Tak Fantasy sets out a clear vision that gives an opportunity for all to contribute in the reinvention of Kai Tak.

     Diversity is represented in the integration of a multitude of land uses in this one Kai Tak Fantasy area that can bring work and play, and locals and visitors, together. The competition invited ideas from all over the world from different countries and cultural backgrounds. The extensive public engagement processes throughout the competition and the Kowloon East transformation as a whole have ensured that this area will truly be a place for all.

     And, of course, there is design. This competition is symbolic of our quest for innovation, creativity, place-making, greening, low-carbon development and adaptation to help differentiate Kowloon East from the other central business districts in Hong Kong.

     I would like to take this opportunity to extend a big thank you to all participants for helping us turn this potential into reality. I would also like to congratulate our finalists for coming so far in this competition. We really value and appreciate your contributions because your input will help realise the visions for Kai Tak Fantasy.

     May I also express my heartfelt thanks to the distinguished jurors for their tremendous contributions throughout the adjudication and for joining the ceremony this afternoon. We are honoured to have one of the jurors, former Mayor of Pittsburgh Mr Tom Murphy, to share with us his insight about Hong Kong's global positioning in the next session, and Mr Bing Thom, a renowned architect, for representing the jurors to offer their comments on the four shortlisted entries.

     I would also like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all the supporting organisations for promoting this particular event and reaching out to their members worldwide, also a great salute to my colleagues from the Energizing Kowloon East Office for organising this competition, and to all the government bureaux and departments which have been involved in this very worthwhile project. Thank you very much indeed for your assistance and support.

     Once again, I would like to express my appreciation for all planning and design talents for taking part in this competition and offering your inspiring designs for us to consider. I wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

     Thank you.

Ends/Friday, November 14, 2014
Issued at HKT 19:51


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