HK people want large green park at West Kowloon

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    Date : January 23, 2006

    Public Rejects Government Proposed WKCD
    Latest Independent Poll Reveals

    The results of a public opinion poll on “Planning for West Kowloon and the Harbour Front” conducted by The University of Hong Kong has shown that there is no broad support for the West Kowloon Cultural District proposed by the government. The findings show Hong Kong people do not want any commercial or residential developments in the West Kowloon and Harbour Front area. The survey also shows the public do not want the canopy which the government proposes to build on WKCD site.

    The survey finds 81% of the respondents in favour of developing green parks and cultural facilities on that site.

    The random survey interviewed 510 people and was compiled and conducted by Dr. Robert Ting-yiu Chung of the Public Opinion Programme , The University of Hong Kong, and supported by ‘Hong Kong Alternatives’ and ‘Designing Hong Kong Harbour District’.

    Tony Chan, spokesperson of Hong Kong Alternatives said: “ The West Kowloon site belongs to the people of Hong Kong, and was originally zoned for Open Park. This valuable piece of land should be developed as a green park with cultural facilities for the enjoyment of Hong Kong people.” Hong Kong Alternatives calls on the government to revert to the original zoning of an open park with cultural facilities.

    Paul Zimmerman, Convenor of Designing Hong Kong Harbour District said: “Following a long public debate over the project, this independent survey gives a clear indication of the true aspirations of the public. There is no support for the West Kowloon Cultural District as envisaged by the Government.”

    In summary, the key findings:

    81% prefer cultural plus leisure facilities including a large green park;
    When given full information on the cost and visual impact, 77% oppose a canopy;
    90% of the respondents support planning and development by an Authority or quasi-Government agencies – only 6% opted for management by private developers;
    65% believe that harbour reclamation was excessive;
    72% objected to commercial and residential development on the west Kowloon Cultural District ;
    62% believe Hong Kong does not have sufficient open space and green parks;
    64% believe Hong Kong lags behind international cities in terms of open space and parks;
    90% liked the idea of developing Hong Kong into an environmentally friendly city.

    Hong Kong Alternatives is an advocacy group unaffiliated with any commercial or political group, and is committed to the development of the West Kowloon site into a cultural green park as a legacy to the people of Hong Kong.

    Designing Hong Kong Harbour District is an alliance committed to building consensus on principles for the sustainable development of the harbour and harbour-front areas.

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