Decentralised business will improve the quality of life

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 July, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 July, 2003, 12:00am

The idea to develop northern Kowloon Tong as a hi-tech hub because of the rail connections and proximity to universities is soundly reasoned ('Kowloon can't hold more people', June 25).

The same applies to the Planning Department's wish to spread business activity beyond the traditional crowded centres in Hong Kong.

But the study comes too late for development of some of the KCRC properties along its routes and even more so, for the MTRC to designate for commercial use areas at stations on major traffic routes. A case in point is Hang Fa Tsuen, where a large residential area has been developed within walking distance of the MTR, making the inhabitants its captive customers.

As envisaged in the study, satellite towns that provide employment, living and shopping could reduce the daily movement of people and enhance the quality of life by increasing the time at their disposal and decreasing transport-related pollution.

There is no value in moving great numbers of people every day, especially now that information technology makes this unnecessary. The department should make the railway stations a focal point for people who live nearby to gravitate to in their work and shopping.

The commercial and business integration of Shenzhen with Hong Kong also makes commercial use of land along railway lines most sensible.

JOHN YUAN, Shanghai