Old CIty of Hong Kong protection plan

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    Some people still barmy enough to battle the onslaught of concrete and soulless structures across Hong Kong.

    Plan for protecting Old CIty of Hong Kong may prove quixotic, but worth supporting:

    Last Friday (8 August 2008), the Central & Western Concern Group had its Section 12A rezoning application (number Y/H3/3) accepted by the Town Planning Board; the 3-week period for the public to make its views known on this re-zoning application ends on 29 August 2008.


    This unprecedented application asks the Town Planning Board, for the first time in its history, to decide on specifically protecting the characteristics of one whole distinct area in Hong Kong’s Central District as a ‘Special Design Area’.


    The application covers the area around Graham Street Market and SOHO. The intention for making this re-zoning application is to:

    Keep intact Hong Kong’s original Old City street layout.

    Keep the height (maximum 12 storeys) & bulk of buildings to human-scale and of appropriate design.

    Specifically designate streets as ‘market streets’ to ensure that Graham/Peel/Gage/Staveley/Gutzlaff Streets remain as functioning market streets.

    Ensure that any redevelopment in the area is appropriate and in keeping with the history and characteristics of the area and its surrounding historic features, such as the Central Police Station.

    Encourage organic regeneration of the area by retaining individual property ownership and encourage government to improve traffic, market infrastructure & hygiene conditions.

    Limit the development intensity of the area, reduce vehicular traffic, retain small building sizes and character

    Katty Law: ‘Our application allows both regeneration of this wonderful and historic area and ensures that the special community feeling, market vibrancy and open space of this area is retained.’


    John Batten:  ‘This area is overbuilt as it is.  Let’s acknowledge that this area is very special and historic and must be protected by rezoning.’


    Support the rezoning application by making a comment directly to the Town Planning Board before 29 August 2008 [[later removed contacts, well past this date]


    Further details about this application will be available  at: http://www.centralandwestern.org/ or contact Convenors of the Central & Western Concern Group: Katty Law through the web site.

    I’ve sent Town Planning Board an email supporting the plan:

    I am writing in support of application Y/H3/3.

    Too much of our heritage has been destroyed; too much that remains has been neglected.

    This would seem a grand idea, way better than protecting a building here, another building there, with soulless structures built in between.

    – of course, too, rather echoes Macau: tho small, Macau is doing more impressive job of protecting urban heritage than Hong Kong.


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