HK Magazine Archive

Des Voeux Road is Going Car-Free (For a Day)

On September 25, a 200-meter section of Des Voeux Road Central will be reserved for booths, stalls, exhibitions, performances, football and more.

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 September, 2016, 1:16pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 5:27pm

Imagine Central—without the traffic.

The photos you see here are what a handful of leading Hong Kong organizations are hoping to achieve through their ongoing campaign, Walk DVRC: a cleaner, greener heart of the city.

To give the public a better picture of what a pedestrianized public space along the major artery would look like, on September 25, organizers of the campaign—Clean Air Network, Designing Hong Kong and Hong Kong Public Space Initiative—will be converting a 200-meter section of Des Voeux Road Central into a pedestrian-only zone. Between 10am and 4pm that day, more than 40 collaborators will be setting up booths, stalls, performances, art exhibitions, a football pitch and an outdoor theatre in the car-free section between Morrison Street and Man Wa Lane in Sheung Wan.

Clean Air Network CEO Patrick Fung says that increasing urban walkability and reducing our dependence on vehicles isn’t just about improving air quality—“It’s also about shaping the future of Hong Kong. How far can we go to build a sustainable city?”

Meanwhile, fellow campaign organizer Jeffrey Wong, General Secretary of the Hong Kong Public Space Initiative, points out that public space has always been around—it's just been fenced up by property management companies. “Public imagination and creativity will breathe life into our public space. It can be our stage and playground,” says Wong.