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CBD2 envisioned as Hong Kong's first smart city

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 December, 2015, 9:45am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 December, 2015, 9:45am

With many new office buildings, communal facilities and infrastructure works already completed and in use, the CBD2, Hong Kong's new business hub after Central, is taking shape.

According to government updates, Kai Tak Cruise Terminal and parts of the Runway Park, Kwun Tong Promenade and infrastructural facilities have been completed. The 24-hectare Metro Park, the city's largest city park in the future, is now in the planning and pre-development phases.

Including the Kai Tak development area, the CBD2 is envisioned as Hong Kong's largest commercial district overtaking the existing CBD on Hong Kong Island. As a whole, CBD2 will ultimately double the current size of Central in terms of commercial floorspace.

The latest proposals involve transforming the CBD2 into a "smart city". According to Energizing Kowloon East Office (EKEO), the development of the CBD2 embraces six smart-city elements, i.e. Smart Economy, Smart Mobility, Smart Environment, Smart People, Smart Living and Smart Government.

To improve mobility, the government is now studying feasibility of incorporating ICT infrastructure into the transport systems. The aim is to reduce car journey time, improve walkability of pedestrians and facilitate multi-modal trips.

Wide roads will replace the narrow and congested lanes to accommodate tree-lined footpaths that will allow for smooth flow of vehicular traffic. Motorists will be able to use mobile applications to check real-time traffic conditions and parking availability before they drive into the CBD2.

Beyond that, there will be something more futuristic, such as installing solar-powered traffic sensors on roadways to detect traffic congestion and smart traffic lights that count the number of pedestrians waiting for the "green man".

To create a Smart Environment, green buildings, adequate green spaces, more efficient use of resource and energy, total water management, smart waste management and urban farming are all included in the CBD2's sustainability strategy.

Combined with other grand plans to improve the connectivity of the CBD2, including the Shatin to Central Link (SCL), as well as the walkability within the community by building pedestrian-friendly bridges and sidewalks, the CBD2 is set to become a smart city that is on a par with those of Singapore, Barcelona and Japan.