Leaders and experts share insights on green and innovative community at Green Deck forum
The forum “The Green Deck – Into the Green and Innovative Community”, co-organised by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) Policy Research Centre for Innovation and Technology (PReCIT) and the Green Deck Project Management Office, was held on the PolyU campus in a hybrid format on 15 March.
In order to promote exchanges and collaboration across different sectors of society in building a green community, Mr Alex LUI, PolyU Green Deck Project Director; the Hon. Mr CHAN Han-pan, Legislative Council Member; Prof. LI Yuguo, Chair Professor of Building Environment of the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Hong Kong; Prof. Edward NG, Professor of Architecture of the School of Architecture of the Chinese University of Hong Kong; and Dr William YU, Chief Executive Officer of World Green Organisation, were invited to share their views and insights on the Green Deck and on topics related to green living and green cities.
The Green Deck is an innovative, community-based project to enhance the area around the Cross Harbour Tunnel Toll Plaza at Hung Hom. The forum aimed at deepening public understanding of the Green Deck and how the project can help to address the current environmental issues and revitalise the neighbourhood with a view to promoting green living.
In his welcoming remarks, Prof. Christopher CHAO, PolyU Vice President (Research and Innovation) and Director of PReCIT said, “The HKSAR Government has always devoted tremendous efforts as well as investment into developing Hong Kong into a more liveable city. Active community participation also plays a very important role in this. A liveable and comfortable living environment benefits Hong Kong in attracting more global talents to work and settle in our city, and encourages international enterprises to start their businesses here.”
Mr Alex Lui said the Green Deck is an innovative social project which will bring long-term benefits to the neighbouring communities. It exemplifies how precious urban land can be used in a smart and sustainable way by revitalising an unremarkable urban district into a green and vibrant community area. To achieve a smart environment, the Green Deck as well as similar social projects require the support and participation of a smart community and a smart government.
Mr Chan Han-pan suggested that a community network directly affects residents’ quality of life and economic development, and that sometimes a small step can bring major changes to a community. The two successful initiatives of Sai Lau Kok Garden in Tsuen Wan and Central Market demonstrated ways to inject new impetus into a community. Because of the Cross-Harbour Tunnel Toll Plaza separating the two districts, Hung Hom and Tsim Sha Tsui East face the problem of a disconnected community network, which has led to the two districts lagging behind others in relative terms. It is believed that the Green Deck will benefit the enhancement of community connectivity, which in turn will further foster the economic development of Hong Kong and bring positive impacts on the local traffic in the districts.
Prof. Li Yuguo said, according to the Hong Kong Observatory, since 1993, at 0.28°C per decade, Kowloon has warmed faster than before, while at the same time Kowloon air has become more humid. This trend has accelerated over the last 20-30 years, a trend for which city-wide efforts are needed to stop or reverse. City-scale challenges can only be tackled by the concerted efforts of everyone involved.
Prof. Edward Ng said that, due to more intense, frequent and longer heat waves resulting from climate change, the number of very hot days in Hong Kong is expected to increase to over 100 days a year. Prolonged heat waves not only bring higher heat-related mortality, but also can affect a person’s psychological well-being. Creating green-blue space in the urban living environment of a high-density city is a necessary mitigation measure.
Dr William Yu said that the Green Deck would not only enhance climate resilience and improve the quality of life for city dwellers through the provisioning of recreational benefits and ecosystem services as an added value, but also provides a linkage with ecosystem-based adaptation into climate change. Not limited to universities, Hong Kong needs to consider how to make good use of green finance instruments (resilience investment) to speed up the transformation from grey to green infrastructure, thus mitigating the impact of extreme weather events, and so decreasing the need for the insurability of biodiversity and climate risks.
Policy Research Centre for Innovation and Technology