'Urban planning should reflect what people want'

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 February, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 February, 2007, 12:00am

Urban planning should be 'people driven' rather than decided by an executive detached from the community, Lord Patten believes.

'People should make the decisions about their own communities,' he said.

Lord Patten reflected upon his time as environment minister in Britain before being posted to Hong Kong as the city's last governor, which involved town planning and conservation: 'I thought it was crazy that I had the responsibility for what a people's neighbourhood should look like. I think it's very important that planning should reflect much more about what people themselves want.'

But he refused to criticise the Hong Kong government over the recent Star Ferry controversy. 'A lot of old things were pulled down when I was governor ... and I don't think the most important old building that's ever been pulled down is the clock tower.'