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Hong Kong housing

Hong Kong could build homes on reclaimed land along Lantau airport expressway

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 09 June, 2018, 9:30am
UPDATED : Saturday, 09 June, 2018, 9:30am

Against the current background of inviting the views of the Hong Kong public on land for homes, a valuable opportunity is being overlooked – “ribbon-planned” affordable low-rise homes alongside the airport expressway.

It was my responsibility in 1992-93 to coordinate construction with the other airport core projects, which is the reason I bring its potential to your attention. I recall the planners always had further reclamation in view. Today, I would suggest a continuous open-deck structure alongside the rubble sea wall, with large segments brought in by sea for placing, and minimum impact on the expressway during construction.

The deck level could be used for autonomous, 24/7, people-mover systems and emergency services. At the roof level, a continuous green deck could have special features for pedestrian movement and recreation. Affordable homes of similar height and scale to our existing more traditional urban streets could be built there. The project could also be used to house residents of urban areas during urban renewal projects.

Watch: Explaining Hong Kong’s housing crisis

Digital 3D modelling of the project would assist in the debate on shoreline use, aiming to minimise impact on the north-facing slopes of Lantau Island. With the expressway itself and facilities for sewage treatment, power and water already located along the shoreline, the public consultation stage should not be lengthy.

Rail and road connections would be cost effective, given the Tung Chung line depot and the expressway itself. Sea access by ferry would be convenient. Modularisation and off-site manufacture could be considered for construction. If a state-of-the-art manufacturing yard is invested in, it could later serve other projects. The whole plan could be executed more quickly than comparable projects.

James Blake, Ap Lei Chau