Greener transport options will always be limited in busy Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 May, 2016, 3:23pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 May, 2016, 3:23pm

In recent years there have been efforts to develop greener transportation options in Hong Kong.

These have included the introduction of electric cars, the laying down of cycle tracks and trying to get people to walk more instead of using private transport. However, the scope of these green changes is limited in Hong Kong in the forseeable future.

Much of the city is already fully developed. Transforming heavily built-up areas with more environmentally-friendly town planning is difficult.

Some changes are possible in the most recently-developed new towns like Tung Chung, but for older ones like Sha Tin and Tseung Kwan O there is little scope for change. While they have some cycle tracks, there is little that can be done to make improvements to roads and make them suitable for green transportation.

While more electric cars are being purchased, buying any kind of vehicle is beyond the budget of most Hong Kong citizens. Most of us use public transport.

And while cycling and walking can sometimes be an option, it would not be feasible to promote them on a large scale for Hong Kong commuters.

Cities where this has worked, such as Amsterdam with its extensive network of bicycle lanes, took years to plan their alternative transport networks. Also, the Dutch city has the advantage of being fairly flat and so it is perfect for getting around by bicycle. In metropolises like Hong Kong, efficiency is always the priority. You want to get to work as quickly and as easily as possible.

I do agree that green transportation should become a growing trend in Hong Kong so we can improve the city’s environment. However, I think it has to be accepted that because of the nature of Hong Kong there will always be limitations on how far we can go.

Marcella Keung, Tseung Kwan O