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Letter dated 8 April 2004 sent to the South China Morning Post

Bringing People to the Harbour

Your reporter, Sara Bradford, in her article "New roads 'will choke the harbour'" yesterday pointed out that there was public concern that the road system proposed for the reclaimed land along Victoria Harbour would choke the foreshore and further hinder public access to the waterfront.

We would like to point out in formulating the land use proposals for the Central and Wan Chai Reclamation, due regard has been given to the Town Planning Board's Vision Statement for Victoria Harbour, i.e. "to create a harbour for the people and a harbour of life". The aim is to restructure the existing inaccessible harbourfront into a new world class harbourfront district. A key consideration is how to enhance connectivity between the urban area and the harbourfront so as to bring the people to the harbour and the harbour to the people. The picture in your reporter's article only illustrates part of the story i.e. the planned road network without showing how this network will be complemented by a comprehensive pedestrian network. (pedestrian network plan attached)

A series of grade separated north-south pedestrian corridors have been planned to provide easy linkages from the hinterland to the new waterfront through new development sites and across primary roads. Three major corridors, namely the Statue Square Corridor, the Civic Corridor and the Arts and Entertainment Corridor, will provide direct and convenient pedestrian movement to the new harbourfront in Central and will form excellent view corridors. (plan of the pedestrian corridors attached)

The Statue Square Corridor will start from the Statue Square via a low-rise pedestrian landscape deck to the new Star Ferry Piers. The Civic Corridor will be a grade-separated access from Admiralty Centre to the new harbourfront via a 70 metres wide open space deck over Road P2. The Arts and Entertainment Corridor will also provide convenient pedestrian access from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts to the new waterfront promenade. In addition to these connections, two elevated walkways are also proposed to connect the City Hall Complex and a new government site to the new Central harbourfront. Apart from the north-south pedestrian corridors, the new harbourfront promenade will provide the much-needed continuous east-west pedestrian connection along the harbourfront from the Central Piers to the Convention and Exhibition Centre. The easily accessible harbourfront promenade will allow people to come close to the harbourfront to enjoy the Victoria Harbour.

The comprehensive pedestrian network does not only exists in the Central Reclamation Phase III. A similar network to enhance public accessibility to the harbourfront has also been proposed in the draft Wan Chai North Outline Zoning Plan. While this plan is now under a comprehensive review, the government will ensure that there will be adequate, attractive and convenient pedestrian links to bring people to our harbourfront.

Mr K K Ling
for Director of Planning