Vision is clear for West Kowloon green park

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 October, 2015, 4:48pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 October, 2015, 4:48pm

I refer to the letter by K. N. Wai of Hong Kong Alternatives ("A world-class city needs a green park", September 25). Mr Wai will be gratified to know that we have been making significant progress in the development of the future park at the West Kowloon Cultural District.

We are actively creating a framework to allow the sponsoring of the trees in the park, along with the other facilities in the district.

We are aware that accepting donations for items like benches and trees can help cultivate a sense of ownership within the community, while securing valuable funds to improve the quality of the 23 hectares of public open space that will be in the district.

But central to any meaningful notion of sponsorship must be the vision behind the district and we are dedicated to the idea of creating public space to be enjoyed. Today, visitors to the West Kowloon Nursery Park and Waterfront Promenade will find they can play ball games, walk their dogs, fly kites and cycle.

We recently opened a pet zone where dogs can be let off the lead and, inspired by other international parks, we have introduced movable seating allowing the public to sit informally with friends or find a quiet spot for reflection.

The nursery park includes hundreds of trees that will be transplanted to the future park. To increase public understanding, we have been piloting guided tree tours and learning workshops, all of which have been oversubscribed. We will be offering more tours in the future and introducing a tree tour mobile app.

Finally, we remain committed to our vision of creating a cultural district that welcomes and inspires creativity.

We have already put in place a scheme that guarantees the rights of buskers to perform in the district, and we are currently running a series of monthly Freespace Happening events featuring live music, market stalls and special demonstrations of skateboarding, frisbee and street workout.

The next Freespace Happening is being held tomorrow and Sunday and will feature a free open-air cinema, live bands and creative workshops. We invite our friends from Hong Kong Alternatives and the wider public to come and see for themselves the kind of park we are striving to create for Hong Kong.

Duncan Pescod, CEO, West Kowloon Cultural District Authority