Keep Hong Kong's coastal access 'people-friendly', designers say
All new reclamations should include typhoon shelters and piers for marine users to enjoy Hong Kong's beautiful waters, Designing Hong Kong proposes.
Paul Zimmerman, chief executive of the non-government organisation, said officials had made no mention of any marine facilities in most of the sites proposed for reclamation.
"We actually object to reclamation for a generic land reserve. Reclamation is irreversible and should be a measure of last resort for specific land uses only," Zimmerman said.
"However, if reclamation proceeds, it should always include facilities supporting affordable storage of boats and water sports equipment. We are not talking about rich people but those who own or rents boats to go out on boat tours for hiking, camping, beach visits, swimming and fishing."
For example, at one of the planned reclamation spots in Ma Liu Shui, Sha Tin, boat users and operators take people to the nearby geopark. Zimmerman wondered whether the straight-line reclamation proposed would wipe out spaces for such users.
The group has submitted its views to the Civil Engineering and Development Department, which steers the consultation on reclamation.
It said that apart from Tsing Yi, which will be meant for container ships and large vessels that do not need typhoon shelters, shelters should be made available at reclamation spots in Ma Liu Shui, Siu Ho Wan and Sunny Bay on Lantau and Lung Kwu Tan in Tuen Mun.
Zimmerman cited examples of existing coasts, including some newly built promenades, which are ill designed and unfriendly to boat users, without proper landing steps. The new promenade in Kwun Tong is fenced off from the coast with glass panes.
In Yau Tong and Tseung Kwan O, boat users have to climb over sloping coasts covered with grass or concrete. There are no landing steps.
The only public pier in Deep Water Bay and Repulse Bay, made of a pile of rocks, is not properly maintained, with the rocks that form the landing steps falling apart.
The Southern District councillor also said a separate public consultation for the Tung Chung new town extension had similarly proposed reclamation of a coastline where more than 100 boats are moored.