Harbour-front Enhancement Committee Scorecard

The performance scorecard measures the success of the Harbour-front Enhancement Committee (HEC). These simple measures are based on the presentations and panel discussions during the EnviroSeries Conference Designing Hong Kong Harbour District on May 3, 2004.

Harbour District Master Planning
The current mandate of HEC is limited to urban planning for selected areas only, with the term 'harbour-front' undefined. To be truly effective, the foreshore of the Harbour District as a whole must come under the purview of HEC, including for example Tamar, West Kowloon, Hong Kong Exhibition Centre, PLA Pier, the Eastern Island Corridor ¡K in fact any government-controlled land directly or indirectly connected with the harbour-front.

Measure 1: Size of the area of the foreshore under review by the Harbour-front Enhancement Committee

Sustainable Transport Review
Without reclamation and a very limited land bank left around the harbour, minimizing the footprint of surface and elevated transport infrastructure in the foreshore is paramount.

Measure 2: Percentage of foreshore land used for surface and elevated transport infrastructure (footprint) (Currently estimated at 50%)

Measure 3: Number of alternative proposals for the Central Wanchai Bypass as well as planned and existing surface roads (P2 included) between IFC2 and North Point, including costs and environmental implications, for the public to consider. (Currently 1)

Measure 4: Time needed to initiate a review of the cost associated with putting the Kwun Tong Bypass and the Easter Island Corridor in submerged tunnels (like Boston), and the resultant increase in land value above and annex the new tunnels (Currently not under purview of HEC).

Measure 5: Time needed to review traffic management strategies and policies, including ERP, tunnel pricing, bus routes, bus stops, and other relevant policies mitigating traffic flow in the foreshore areas (Currently not under purview of HEC).

A Long Harbour-Front
The tradition of lowest-cost engineering solutions and now the court ruling in relation to the Harbour Protection Ordinance dictates a short and utilitarian waterfront edge. Active harbours, on the other hand, have piers, boardwalks, steps, etc - the longer the harbour-front, the better.

Measure 6: The length of the harbour-front, including boardwalks, piers, connected break-waters, and other structures.

Active, Vibrant and Accessible Harbour-front
The relevance of the Harbour-front Enhancement Committee entirely depends on its ability to execute on its vision of creating an active, vibrant and accessible foreshore area throughout the harbour district.

Measure 7: Percentage of the total foreshore between the East and West tunnel, on Kowloon and Hong Kong Island, which is active, vibrant and accessible (currently only Tsimshatsui's Star Ferry pier and narrow promenade, Laguna Verde and Harbour Plaza Hotel in Hong Hom, The Hong Kong Yacht Club Coffee shop in Causeway Bay and MacDonald's at the Fleet Arcade).

Measure 8: The time it takes to ensure that every government department and developer signs up to a 'Pedestrian First Strategy' (currently not in existence).

Measure 9: The time needed to initiate the first annual rating by children, elderly and handicapped residents of the accessibility of the harbour-front (currently not in existence)

Measure 10: Continuous Accessibility and Vibrancy Monitoring by adding relevant questions to the Hong Kong Tourism Board's ongoing surveying of tourist opinions as to how easy it is to find places of interest in the harbour-front and how active and vibrant the harbour-front experience is perceived to be (currently no questions included)

Measure 11: The time needed to remove the "no fishing" sign from the waterfront around the Convention and Exhibition Centre, and to allow foodstalls along the Tsimshatsui waterfront promenades.

Measure 12: The time needed to ensure that the engineering and safety standards for waterfront fencing and barriers are reviewed and revised.

Measure 13: The number of temporary venues, markets and other structures or activities allowed on public areas such as Tamar, Cargo Bay Handling area, West Kowloon, Kai Tak, and other areas around the harbour. (Currently 1 - the driving range on Kai Tak).

Community Participation
The involvement of the community in the designing, planning and execution of the harbour-front areas is key to the success of the Harbour-front Enhancement Committee.

Measure 14: The number of people, businesses and institutions actively participating in the planning, the design, and the execution of the harbour-front development (currently undetermined)

Measure 15: The total budget for 'community participation and communication' of the Planning Department, Territory Development Department, Harbour-front Enhancement Committee, and other relevant bodies (Boston: US$420mill over 10 years)

Institutional Arrangements
Institutional arrangements are needed to ensure a sustainable implementation of the vision for Hong Kong's Harbour District: an active harbour and a vibrant and accessible harbour-front, for the people.

Measure 16: The number of changes to the Town Planning Ordinance (TPO) currently under review (currently NIL)

Measure 17: The time needed to set-up a Harbour District Authority reporting into the highest level of Government.

The Harbour District Authority needs teeth with powers to control land-use and funding with the injection of land, facilities, roads and infrastructure. The revenue derived from this land is then used to re-engineer roads, redevelop the foreshore, built public facilities, and so forth.

Measure 18: The time needed for the transfer of Kai Tak to the Harbour District Authority for design, development and management.

Measure 19: The time needed for the transfer of West Kowloon and other land to the Harbour District Authority for design, development and management.

Financial returns
Ultimately, the success of the work of the Harbour-front Enhancement Committee can be measured in hard dollar terms for the benefit of Hong Kong.

Measure 20: The dividends paid by the Harbour District Authority to the Government from profits on land sales, land and facility leasing, and operations.

Measure 21: The increase in the value of land and properties surrounding the foreshore managed by the Harbour District Authority.

Paul Zimmerman is executive director of MF Jebsen International, principal of The Experience Group, a policy and strategy consultancy, and chief co-ordinator of Designing Hong Kong Harbour District.

Andrew Thomson, Chief Executive Officer of the Business Environment Council, organizer of the EnviroSeries Conferences, and convener of the Harbour District Business Forum.

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