Piecemeal landscaping has made area an eyesore

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 November, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 November, 1999, 12:00am

The new ferry piers in Central are in a state of chaos. To paraphrase legislator Christine Loh and your own Kevin Sinclair, the area with its half-dead palm trees and broken pavements is a grimy disgrace with a Third World atmosphere and a general air of squalor.

On November 17 I noticed with alarm that the MTR Corporation had planted palm trees underneath elevated walkways around the junction between Man Cheung Street and Connaught Road. These half dead palms will shortly be completely dead.

This is an example of horticultural malpractice and a waste of resources.

We all understand that the reclamation is undergoing a state of transition. Ferry piers are to be re-skinned, links are to be extended to a new Central Reclamation, and Hong Kong's tallest building at No 2 International Finance Centre, is undergoing construction.

However, the ad hoc and piecemeal implementation of landscape and open space infrastructure does not bode well for a quality waterfront boasting contemporary urban design and open space guidelines. I would like the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands to explain the longer term aims for these areas.

There is a need for a detailed landscape framework which can be scrutinised by the general public and outlying ferry passengers who are inconvenienced daily by the poor arrangement of traffic flow, pedestrianisation, and unattractive surroundings in what is potentially one of the finest tourist locations in the world.