Advisory Council on the Environment

Hong Kong 2030: Planning Vision and Strategy Stage One Public Consultation - Planning Objectives and Key Study Areas

(ACE Paper 4/2001)
For discussion




This Paper aims to consult Members on the proposed planning objectives and key study areas of the "Hong Kong 2030: Planning Vision and Strategy" (HK 2030) Study.

2. Background



The last review of the TDS was completed in late 1996. Since then, some fundamental assumptions underlying the review have become outdated and some new factors having strategic planning implications have emerged. A new round of review, entitled "HK 2030" Study has just commenced. The study approach is explained at Annex A. A more elaborate explanation is given in the "HK 2030" Inception Report available at Planning Department's homepage (http://www.info.gov.hk/planning) and a hard copy obtainable on request.

3. Public Consultation



We will consult the public on the following four key stages of the study: -

  1. Identifying planning objectives and key study areas;
  2. Examining key study areas and evaluative criteria;
  3. Formulating scenarios and options; and
  4. Formulating development strategies and response plans.
  3.2 This is the Stage One Public Consultation to solicit comments and views on the planning objectives to be adopted for the Study and the key study areas. Proposed Planning Objectives
  3.3 The seven key planning objectives are: -
  1. Adhering to the principle of sustainable development;
  2. Enhancing Hong Kong's hub functions;
  3. Providing a good quality living environment;
  4. Meeting housing and community needs
  5. Providing a framework to develop a safe, efficient, economically viable and environmental friendly transport system and pedestrian facilities;
  6. Promoting tourism; and
  7. Strengthening links with the Mainland.
  3.4 The planning objectives, subject to comments to be received, will serve as the basis for the formulation of planning proposals and evaluative criteria.
Key Study Areas

4. Environmental Dimension

  4.1 The HK 2030 Study is intended to provide an integrated land use-transport-environmental planning strategy for guiding future developments in Hong Kong. One of the key planning objectives of the Study is adhering to the principle of sustainable development to balance social, economic and environmental needs for present and future generations. Another related objective is to provide a good quality environment by conserving the natural landscape, preserving our cultural heritage, enhancing the townscape and regenerating the old urban areas.
  4.2 It is recognised that good quality living environment is a fundamental building block to enable Hong Kong to become a world city in Asia. In this connection, environmental dimension features significantly in the Study and environmental considerations will form an integral part of the Study. Details of the environmental dimension of the HK 2030 Study are elaborated in Annex D. Members' views on the environmental dimension are most welcome.

5. Comments Invited

  5.1 Views are invited on the proposed planning objectives and key study areas as mentioned in paras. 3.3 to 3.6 above as well as the environmental dimension of the HK 2030 Study in paras. 4.1 and 4.2 above. Any other views on the HK 2030 Study are also most welcome.
  5.2 Comments received will be taken into account in the Study. A public consultation report, consolidating all the comments received and our responses, will be published afterwards.


Annex A : Study Approach
Annex B : Planning Issues Covered in Previous or On-going Studies
Annex C : Consultation Digest
Annex D : Environmental Dimension of the HK 2030 Study

Planning Department
February 2001


Annex A

Study Approach

1. "Hong Kong 2030: Planning Vision and Strategy" (HK 2030) is intended to provide a long-term land use-transport-environmental planning framework to guide the development of Hong Kong over the next 30 years. It will articulate Government's vision to make Hong Kong Asia's world city and a major city in China, and include a package of physical planning measures to realise this vision.

Key Elements

2. The approach for the preparation of the HK 2030 comprises the following key elements: -

  (a) A Longer Planning Horizon: Having considered the time required to plan and implement strategic development and related infrastructure proposals, a 30-year planning horizon (from 2000 to 2030) is proposed to be adopted. This timeframe also tallies with the Commission on Strategic Development's strategic framework.
  (b) A Shorter Review Period: We propose that the preparation of HK 2030 should be completed in about two years' time.
  (c) A More Focused Approach: In order that HK 2030 could be completed within a much shorter time-frame, it would need to focus on key planning issues only. Many other issues, which have already been the subject of separate studies, will be consolidated to serve as inputs into HK 2030.
  (d) More Flexible and Responsive Strategy: Apart from postulating different scenarios and options and formulating corresponding development strategies, Response Plans will also be prepared to set out some broad guidelines on how to adjust the development framework in response to changes in population levels as well as environmental and socio-economic conditions. A regular monitoring and review system is also proposed to trigger 'prompt' responses to changing circumstances.
  (e) Linkages with the Mainland: HK 2030 will study Hong Kong in the wider regional perspective, particularly its socio-economic linkages with other cities in the Pearl River Delta region, in view of the rapid growth of cross-boundary interactions in the recent years. We will also study the interface between physical planning in Hong Kong and Shenzhen in formulating our development strategy.
  (f) More Public Involvement: We will involve the public throughout the entire process of the HK 2030 Study. To this end, four stages of public consultation will be launched to tie in with the key stages of the Study as described below by using a multi-stage, proactive approach.

Key Working Stages

3. The preparation of HK 2030 would involve four key stages of work as follows: -

  Stage One: Agenda Setting, Baseline Review and Identification of Key Issues
(a) To begin with, we will establish the planning objectives to guide the Study. The key issues to be covered by the Study will also be identified. The identified objectives and key issues will serve as the 'agenda' for the review to proceed. We are undertaking an extensive public consultation exercise for the purpose of setting the 'agenda'.
(b) The baseline conditions in respect of the provision of public and private housing, general and specialised industrial land, commercial land and land for other uses including conservation and tourism are nearly completed. In addition, we will establish the baseline environmental profile and transport network based on currently available information.
  Stage Two: Examination of Key Issues
(c) Subject to any further suggestions received from the public consultation exercise, we will undertake detailed examination of the key issues as mentioned in para. 3.6 of the covering paper.
  Stage Three: Formulation and Evaluation of Scenarios and Options
(d) Based on the variations of key planning parameters such as population growth, economic growth, ease of cross-boundary movement and Mainland's economic conditions, a number of possible development scenarios will be constructed. Development options which would satisfy the scenarios will be generated and evaluated based on a range of performance criteria covering the land use, environmental and transport aspects. In addition, the 'sustainability' of the development options would be examined by applying sustainable development evaluation tool (i.e. the CASET produced under SUSDEV21 or an equivalent tool).
  Stage Four: Formulation of Development Strategies and Response Plans
(e) Development strategies would be proposed covering a range of time frames within the planning horizon with different degree of details for the planning proposals. The short-term strategy would comprise more definite proposals to enable the commissioning of detailed feasibility studies; whereas the medium and long term strategies would comprise broad-brush development proposals and possibilities and options respectively to allow outline planning studies and broad-brush planning assessments to be undertaken.
(f) We also propose to prepare 'Response Plans' recommending possible courses of actions that may be appropriate in response to different circumstances. In addition, the appropriateness of a 'Trigger Point' mechanism will be studied.



Annex B

Planning Issues Covered in Previous or On-going Studies

(a) Overall Land Supply

  • Last round of Territorial Development Strategy Review (TDSR);
  • Sub-regional studies and Development Strategy Reviews, such as Metroplan; and
  • On-going Planning and Development Study on NWNT, NENT, etc.
    (Recommendations to serve as inputs; more thorough study required)

(b) Population Forecasts

  • Hong Kong Population Projections 2000-2029 prepared by Census and Statistics Department in 2000
    (More thorough study required)

(c) Housing

  • Housing Demand Assessment and the Associated Studies
    (Serve as inputs; further study of additional demands required)

(d) Industrial

  • Industrial Land Development Strategy;
  • Study on the Provision of Industrial Premises and the Development of Planning Guidelines and Design Parameters for New Industrial Areas and Business Park (PIPNIP); and
  • Hong Kong Business Park Study
    (Updating required)

(e) Office

  • Study on the Propensity for Office Decentralisation and the Formulation of an Office Land Development Strategy (OLDS)
    (Updating required)

(f) Transport (Infrastructure & Policies)

  • Third Comprehensive Transport Study (CTS-3); and
  • Second Railway Development Study (RDS-2)
    (Serve as inputs)

(g) Urban Renewal

  • Study on Urban Renewal Strategy;
  • Stage II Study on Review of Metroplan and the Related Kowloon Density Study
    (Serve as inputs)

(h) Tourism

  • Visitors and Tourism Study for Hong Kong; and
  • Study on Hotel Supply and Demand in Hong Kong
    (Updating and further study of new opportunities required)

(i) Conservation

  • Broad Conservation Strategy under the last round of TDSR (Updating required)

(j) Recreation

  • Leisure Habits and Recreation Preferences and Review of Chapter 4 of the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines
    (Updating required)

(k) Cultural Facilities

  • Cultural Facilities - A Study on their Requirements and the Formulation of New Planning Standards and Guidelines
    (Serve as inputs)

(l) Port and Port-related Facilities

  • Third Port Development Strategy Review (PDSR-3);
  • Study on Port Facilities Development Strategy;
  • Study on Tonggu Waterway; and
  • Study on Port Back-up Facilities and Land Requirements
    (Updating and study of alternative location(s) for port facilities required)

(m) Environment

  • Environmental Baseline Conditions and Strategic Environmental Assessment under the last round of TDSR;
  • Strategic Sewage Disposal Strategy Environmental Impact Assessment;
  • Deep Bay Water Quality: Regional Control Strategy Study;
  • Feasibility Study of Waste-to-Energy Incineration Facilities;
  • Sludge Treatment and Disposal Strategy Study;
  • Study on Pollutants in the Atmosphere and their Transport over Hong Kong; and
  • Study on Update on Cumulative Water Quality and Hydrological Effects of Coastal Developments and Upgrading of Assessment Tool
    (Strategic environmental assessment of development options required)

(n) Other Major Infrastructure

  • Electricity and water supply, telecommunication services; and
  • Other major facilities like waste-to-energy incinerators, sludge incinerators etc.
    (Stock-taking and study of new requirements)



Annex D

Environmental Dimension of the HK 2030 Study


  1. The last round of TDS review which assumed a maximum population of 8.1 million by year 2011 had identified some environmental problems. With further increase in future population, there would undoubtedly be severe additional pressure on our sensitive environment. Without a healthy environment, it will not be able to achieve the long-term vision for Hong Kong to be Asia's world city as well as a major city of China. It might also affect investment by major international companies in Hong Kong.
  2. Given the long time frame of the HK 2030 Study (30 years), significant changes in Hong Kong and improvements in the environment through various measures and applications of new technologies are possible. Although there may be uncertainties in the projection over the next 30 years, such as changes in population, transportation, housing and the provision of other facilities, effort should be made to assess the potential changes. Moreover, opportunity would be taken to examine innovative ideas, options and measures which could be adopted in the future to bring about continuous and sustainable improvements to Hong Kong's living environment.

Environmental Objectives

  1. The HK 2030 Study is intended to provide an integrated land use-transport- environmental planning strategy for guiding future developments in Hong Kong. One of the key planning objectives of the Study is adhering to the principle of sustainable development to balance social, economic and environmental needs for present and future generations, simultaneously achieving a vibrant economy, social progress and better environmental quality. In this connection, we will give due regards to the environmentally related guiding principles which underlie sustainable development in Hong Kong. The related guiding principles are:
    1. Maintaining the biodiversity of Hong Kong to minimise any threat which consumption in Hong Kong may have on biodiversity elsewhere; and
    2. Being proactive in avoiding environmental problems, seeking to find opportunities to enhance environmental quality, and minimising the unwanted side effects, locally, nationally and internationally, of development and inefficiencies such as air, noise and water pollution or land contamination.

  2. Another key planning objective of the Study is to provide a good quality environment by conserving the natural landscape, preserving our cultural heritage, enhancing the townscape and regenerating the old urban areas. A quality environment means that we should be able to breathe in clean air, swim in non-polluted water and enjoy a quiet, green and clean environment.
  3. To achieve the above planning objectives, we need to strike a balance in the demand for and supply of environmental resources. As an integral part of the HK 2030 Study, a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) will be carried out with the following objectives:]
    1. to establish environmental targets in order to achieve a good quality environment which is in effect a fundamental building block to enable Hong Kong becoming a world city in Asia;
    2. to assess our environmental and related infrastructures' carrying capacity (such as wastes and sewage) and the demand that would be generated from future developments, and propose ways for balancing the demand against the limited capacity and for better management of our environmental resources;
    3. to integrate the consideration of environmental factors together with other considerations in the building of scenarios, development, evaluation and refinement of options, and formulation of response plans to enhance environmental sustainability and to avoid potential environmental problems;
    4. to identify the environmentally preferred option(s), and provide environmental input into the options refinement and selection process; and
    5. to evaluate at a strategic level the potential environmental impacts and sustainability implications of the preferred option(s) under various scenarios proposed, and to identify any environmental mitigation measures and follow-up investigations required, including those in relation to policy and institutional arrangements.

Baseline Review and Key Study Areas

  1. The environmental and ecological baseline conditions will be established from existing available information and current studies to serve as inputs to the Study. We will update the previous findings and take account of new findings from on-going studies. Reference will be made, for instance, to the environmental baseline established in the SUSDEV21 and the findings of the Study on Landscape Value Mapping of Hong Kong (to be commissioned this year).
  2. To build a better environment, we need to:
    • adopt a capital/budget approach in defining how much environmental resources we have to meet the future demand, and the enhancement in environmental efficiency needed;
    • identify major environmental constraints and opportunities that are related to land use planning, and key issues requiring further investigation to facilitate scenarios and options formulation and development;
    • identify further protected areas to safeguard areas of natural heritage and high landscape value;
    • assess the regional environmental issues covering the Pearl River Delta region;
    • carry out broad strategic environmental assessments to evaluate the development options; and
    • formulate a development strategy which is environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Key Environmental Issues

Environment-Friendly Strategic Options

  1. We intend to prepare a list of environment-friendly strategic options that could potentially enhance the environmental conditions and facilitate meeting the environmental targets, in particular for those areas where improvements in environmental efficiency is needed. Environment-friendly options that may be viable in the future or reflect a potential direction for further investigations or development would be included in the list. The options could include strategic physical development, policy, institutional and technology options, features, measures or principles. The characteristics, potential advantages and disadvantages would be briefly stated to facilitate their incorporation into the formulation of scenarios and development strategies.

Conserving Natural Landscape

  1. Due to the growing population and ever expanding economic activities, our countryside is under extreme pressure. We need to conserve and enhance our natural environment by protecting existing conservation areas and heritage features, by identifying new areas for such conservation and by compensating for areas which merit conservation but are inevitably lost to essential development projects. As such, "no-go" areas should be identified and conserved properly.

Regional Developments

  1. We will study the current and future development of southern China, particularly the Pearl River Delta region, and identify potential implications on Hong Kong's environment, including any changes in the environmental condition of the whole region, any changes in the pressures on our limited environmental capital, any changes in the values of the recognised conservation areas and other ecologically sensitive areas within Hong Kong in a regional and global sense, and any environmental opportunities offered by the regional developments.

Evaluation and Monitoring

  1. Broad-brush assessments of the development options proposed under the Study will be carried out by using appropriate environmental performance indicators, criteria and evaluation methodologies/tools. For the evaluation of environmental sustainability implications, reference would be made to the environmental part of SUSDEV21 to ensure that appropriate strategic level environmental information would be available for input into the "Computer Aided Sustainability Evaluation Tool" (CASET) to facilitate sustainability impact assessment.
  2. The environmental sustainability and feasibility of the preferred option(s) under various development scenarios will be assessed by identifying and evaluating the potential environmental impacts and any mitigation measures and follow-up investigations needed. In the assessment, specific environmental concerns will be identified with possible mitigation measures stated.
  3. Specific environmental action plans and programmes, including a strategic environmental monitoring and audit plan, will be drawn up to monitor the performance of the strategy proposals. However, the actual monitoring and auditing work will not form part of the SEA study.






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