Hong Kong bridges could go green, just like London and New York: designer

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 April, 2014, 4:17am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 April, 2014, 4:17am

Hong Kong bridges can go green, just like the Garden Bridge proposed in London or the landmark High Line in New York, a top British designer says.

Thomas Heatherwick, the creative brains behind the planned £150 million (HK$2 billion) garden in the sky over the River Thames, said green infrastructure had potential in Hong Kong, albeit on a smaller scale.

Victoria Harbour is out of the picture, though. It spans about one kilometre between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui - too wide for a bridge, according to Heatherwick - compared to the Garden Bridge's 370 metres.

But the city could look into other options.

"The elevated walkways did not work in Europe because the cities don't have that density," he said yesterday. "But in Hong Kong, [the bridges] between buildings - for example, in Central - are incredibly successful."

The designer of the 2012 London Olympic cauldron and the British Pavilion at Shanghai's 2010 World Expo has worked on local projects including the facelift of Pacific Place, among others.

Heatherwick was in early talks on Hong Kong government projects about urban greenery, he said.

He remained hopeful that the city was interested in going green, although the government did not adopt his proposed design to revamp the Southorn Playground in Wan Chai in 2005.

"Hong Kong is like part of my life," he said.

The Garden Bridge project is looking for philanthropic support from Hong Kong.

The project, an elevated walkway with gardens and shrubs to connect Temple in central London to the South Bank, may be London's answer to the High Line, an elevated public park built on an abandoned 1930s railway line through Manhattan. It has raised about £100 million and a public campaign will be launched in summer.