CE visits Kwun Tong to learn more about latest developments of Energizing Kowloon East (with photos/video)
Mrs Lam, accompanied by the Secretary for Development, Mr Michael Wong, visited the Energizing Kowloon East Office under the Kwun Tong Bypass (i.e. under the flyover) to listen to a briefing by the Head of the Energizing Kowloon East Office, Ms Brenda Au, on the progress of the project. The Energizing Kowloon East project was an innovative district development concept rolled out by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government in 2011, which strived to transform Kowloon East into the second Central Business District (CBD) in Hong Kong through boosting the old industrial areas in Kwun Tong and Kowloon Bay via the new Kai Tak Development, combined with the revitalisation policy for industrial buildings and the "place making" approach. Mrs Lam was pleased to note that the existing supply of commercial gross floor area in Kowloon East has reached about 2.9 million square metres. With the potential to provide an additional 4.1 million sq m in the future, the district will be comparable to the CBD in the Central and Admiralty area.
In addition, Kowloon East is Hong Kong's pilot area to explore the feasibility of developing a smart city. The Office has been promoting various trials in the district over the years, including a smart crowd management system, an energy efficiency data system, a smart recycling bin system and real-time road works and parking information, with a view to applying in advance the use of innovative technologies to enhance the city's management in a relatively small area before extensive use by relevant departments through experience sharing.
Mrs Lam then visited the Fly the Flyover Operation under the Kwun Tong Bypass, where three areas operated by a non-profit-making organisation provide various facilities, including a gallery, outdoor open spaces, multi-purpose rooms, an open stage, urban farms, a restaurant, food kiosks and a pop-up store. Nearly 1 000 activities have been held in the areas over the years and have been well received by the public. Nevertheless, many activities were cancelled in recent months owing to COVID-19, thereby leaving the Fly the Flyover Operation operator in a difficult situation. The Government made use of the second round of the Anti-epidemic Fund to provide financial support to tide the organisation over the difficult time so that the employees could preserve their jobs and members of the public could continue to enjoy the spaces.
Next, Mrs Lam and the other officials proceeded to Tsui Ping River Garden adjacent to the Kwun Tong industrial area and were briefed on the revitalisation of the Tsui Ping River project. As one of the works projects approved in the last legislative year, the project will revitalise the King Yip Street nullah into the Tsui Ping River with environmental, ecological and landscaping upgrading, while enhancing the flood conveyance capability at the same time. A number of cross-river walkways will be built to weave together the adjacent leisure and recreational facilities. To expedite the works, the relevant government departments made preparations in advance, enabling the commencement of the project in July after the funding application was approved by the Legislative Council in June this year. Indeed, all works departments have public interests in mind in taking forward the works projects, and strive to relieve the unemployment situation in the construction sector. All works projects worth over $170 billion approved in the 2019-2020 legislative year have already had contracts awarded, or are in the tendering process.
"Kowloon East is a traditional industrial area with a high development density, thereby posing many challenges in the transformation process. With a vision for long-term development and a commitment to act as an effective facilitator, the Government set up an office to co-ordinate the Energizing Kowloon East project to take forward the initiatives in a co-ordinated and integrated approach, and it has yielded good results. I am pleased that the government departments have worked closely with the public and private stakeholders over the years and have gradually realised the vision of Energizing Kowloon East through innovative ideas, making good use of public areas and improving the environment. They are turning Kowloon East into a vibrant, dynamic and artistic new CBD, which will help Hong Kong attract talent and investments as well as reinforce and strengthen the competitiveness of our city," Mrs Lam said.
Ends/Thursday, October 22, 2020
Issued at HKT 23:13
Issued at HKT 23:13