Transport specialist and environmentalist Hung Wing-tat says the government fails to understand, much less implement, sustainable development. The concept involves the environment, the economy and society, but 'when the government talks about sustainable development, it just focuses on the economics'. Dr Hung, a director of the Conservancy Association, quit as a Kennedy Town district councillor in 2000 after serving for 15 years, partly so he could devote more energy to researching sustainable development. He laments the government's lack of attention to the issue, citing the recent proposed Lantau development as a prime example of a narrow approach. 'The government knows that it needs to preserve Tai O on Lantau because it is an example of the traditional way of life for local fishermen and has excluded the historic fishing village [from urban development],' he said. 'But the government fails to appreciate that surrounding developments will affect Tai O, for example, through the run-off of polluted water,' said Dr Hung, 43, who is a civil and structural engineering associate professor at the Polytechnic University. Tai O is well known for its stilt houses. But their number has been decreasing over the years as fishermen and their families move out. He voiced serious concerns over the proposed Lantau development in a recent Country Park and Marine Park Board meeting. Dr Hung, who is also a member of the Hong Kong Policy Research Institute, said it was difficult to point out an area in Hong Kong where sustainable development had been implemented. Instead of the development of a district or area, he sees an initiative involving the unemployed helping the needy as fitting the concept of sustainable development. 'Some non-government organisations arrange for out-of-work people being employed to clean houses for the elderly,' Dr Hung said. 'I see this is a pretty good sustainable development for the community.'