Call for master design plan for city

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 December, 2009, 12:00am

The government is being urged to look beyond individual sites in revamping its building rules and come up with a master design plan.

It should dump the present piece-meal approach, professional and environmental groups say, and come up with a blueprint for the city like one recently adopted by Singapore.

Their views were expressed yesterday at a meeting called by legislators to seek views on how a government policy, under which developers are able to build more flats in return for adding 'green' features to their buildings, should be revised.

The government, which is conducting a public consultation on the issue, has already said it may scrap the bonus system altogether and pass legislation requiring all buildings to meet a set of 'green' standards.

'Singapore has already come up with a sustainable development blueprint, under which housing on new sites will have to comply with a set of higher environmental standards,' Professional Green Building Council chairman Wong Kam-sing said. The Tokyo government also drew up a master plan in 2003 detailing targets and a timetable for implementation of a compulsory labelling scheme for buildings' environmental performance, he said.

Under the Singapore blueprint, the government vowed to achieve a 35 per cent improvement in energy efficiency from 2005 levels by 2030 and reduce water consumption to 140 litres per person per day by 2030.

Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said the government was determined to improve the city's design. 'Maximising profit is no longer the government's policy,' she said, adding the reduction in permitted building density on 15 sites in the land sales application list would reduce government revenue by 8 to 50 per cent.