Issue 6. Worksheet 1 An ideal city. 1. To compare and contrast Hong Kong and Vancouver as living cities. In this way

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Issue 6

Worksheet 1 An ideal city Objectives

1. To compare and contrast Hong Kong and Vancouver as living cities. In this way students realize the basic components of a city.

2. To let students think and spell out their concepts of an ideal city. 3. To let students to develop a sense of belonging to Hong Kong.

Introduction

Vancouver, Canada is awarded the ‘Most Ideal City for living’. Hong Kong is regarded as important international centres of trading, finance and logistics. Do they have similarities? Why Hong Kong is not selected as the most ideal city for living? Could you find advantages of Hong Kong as a city over Vancouver?

Let us take a look at the following images of Vancouver!

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Besides, Granville Island in Vancouver is famous of creative art and its special cultural atmosphere. The current artistic area was originally an industrial land, with efforts on redevelopment since 70’s. It was gradually changed to a cradle of culture and art. Some warehouses were kept to accommodate different artists from all over the world. Visitors can also walk in the workshops to appreciate or purchase various types of artworks, such as painting, glasses, ceramics, jewelry, furniture and so on. In addition, there are a brewing factory and a playground designated to children, you may also sit down at the corner of a restaurant or a coffee shop to enjoy the harbour view and street shows.

Moreover, the hanging bridge park is constructed in a rain forest. Standing on the hanging bridge can provide spectacular and grand forest scenery with a fierce river flowing underneath. Surrounded by the towering woods, the wilderness of the natural world is everywhere and under touch. If you want to know more about the local culture, you can visit a Red Indian village exhibition in the park.

Questions

(Suggested answers only. Accept alternative and correct answers)

1. Can you find any equivalent venues in Hong Kong comparable with the scenes of Vancouver? Take note of the location of these venues.

a. Bridge: Lantau - Tsing Yi Bridge in NW New Territories. b. Hanging Crane: Lantau Island (New Territories).

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d. Country parks & Fung Shui woodland: Tai Po (New Territories).

e. Fisherman wharf: No. Hong Kong has places such as Sai Kung, Aberdeen where a typhoon shelter and seafood restaurants are found but there is deficiency in tourist facilities, e.g. shopping mall, helicopter, tourist boat, museum introducing the folk culture.

2. What is your impression on Vancouver?

Vancouver is a nice place where you won’t feel any pressure because people show a leisure and enjoyable lifestyle. With a lot of green and spacious areas, blue sky, white clouds, fresh and clear air. It has snow in winter.

3. In comparison, what is your impression on Hong Kong?

Hong Kong: skyrise, crowded with people and vehicles, bad air quality, noisy, but good transport infrastructure (subway, train, bus, ferry, etc.). The transport among Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula, outlying islands is: cross-harbour tunnels and ferries, respectively.

4. Do you want to emigrate to Vancouver, Canada? Explain your wish with one reason. Yes. It is the leisure and free style of living or the green in Vancouver attracts me to emigrate.

No. My family is here. It is convenient to travel in Hong Kong. Vancouver speaks English which is not my mother tongue. I have friends in Hong Kong. I know too little about Vancouver.

5. Name one element that you wish the Hong Kong SAR Government to improve so that Hong Kong becomes your ideal city?

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a. Population: decreases

b. Transport: cheaper fares, convenient c. Land resources: more space

d. Environment quality: no pollution, More green and more space in the neighbourhood

e. Health and hygiene: no cockroach, rat, mosquito, clean and tidy f. Living standards: fair, not so expensive, no consumers’ tax g. Economy: good, everyone is rich.

h. Leisure and culture: more theme parks, playground, more opportunities to learn music, singing, etc.

i. Culture conservation: learn more Chinese culture j. Education: no examination, small class size k. Social status: everyone is equal.

l. Job opportunity: everyone gets a job.

6. State one element that you would do to improve Hong Kong?

I do not throw rubbish, use environmental bags for shopping, study hard to be a good chief executive, good citizen.

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Issue 6

Worksheet 2 Role play on Central reclamation

Objectives

1. To let students realize that Hong Kong has a fair law system.

2. To let students realize the benefits and disadvantages of reclamation as a type of development project.

3. To let students express freely and perform an objective analysis in arriving at a decision for economic development.

Introduction

Central is the heart of Hong Kong in terms of financial and trading centres and government head offices. Reclamation is proposed by the Government to increase land for economic and other uses. However, reclamation in the Central will reduce the size of the Victoria Harbour. Therefore, there are disputes on the project.

Characters 1. Judge

2. Government officer

3. Litigator from Society for Protection of the Harbour (SPH) 4. Office lady who works in Central and travels daily in MTR 5. Lorry driver who travels through Hong Kong Island regularly 6. Foreign tourist

7. Local resident in Central

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contents can be modified accordingly).

Scene

In the Court, there are different people arguing the matter of Central Reclamation project.

Judge: now we are discussing the legitimacy of the project - Central Reclamation. First, let the litigator from Society for Protection of the Harbour (SPH) present the indictment.

SPH: The Central Reclamation Project Phase 3 will illegally destroy the Victoria Harbour. This is a serious violation of the property right as the harbour owner should be the Hong Kong citizens not the Government. We request the court to ban the project to prevent further destruction.

Government officer: the project is not a destruction work in the Victoria Harbour. After finishing the project, there are 4 benefits of the project. First, there will be a detour in Wan Chai which can share the traffic capacity and relieve the traffic congestion problem of the inner streets of Central District. Second, the planned waterfront park will provide a good recreational place. Third, there will be 3 more piers to enhance the transport by ferries. Last but not least, the reclamation land will provide a large number of hectares of floor area for business or other uses.

Office Lady: The proposed Wan Chai detour will not benefit me at all, because I go to my workplace from home by taking MTR. But if there will be a modern shopping mall, it will be a good place for me.

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Lorry driver: I support the reclamation project if the Wan Chai detour can help relieve the traffic congestion in Hong Kong Island. It is because I usually send parcels, mails, etc. to the companies in the Central District, the traffic congestion in the inner streets wastes me a lot of time. The transport by ships will not benefit me as I will use the cross-harbour tunnel.

Foreign tourist: the Victoria Harbour is the most beautiful place in Hong Kong. I enjoy walking in the waterfront with my friends and watch the night scene from the Peak. But it will be perfect if there are more recreational facilities in the waterfront. However, if there is a detour to block the harbour view and too busy traffic in the harbour leading to poor air and water qualities, I will not feel enjoyable and won’t come back again.

Local resident: Stop any reclamation in the Victoria Harbour, the harbour is getting shrunken. If we continue depleting this precious resource, it will become a channel or even nullah instead of a harbour. We want a harbour but not an ever expanded business district. At present, the Central has multiple functions for commerce, residence, tourism and leisure. If any project damages the Central, we will not be happy and will fight against it. Also we will look for compensation for our psychological and actual loss from any development project. Up to now the Government has not provided a compensation plan for us.

SPH: with respect to the points of the Government officer mentioned before, we have 5 arguments against the so-called benefits.

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and will be for many years to come. When will this type of destruction end?

Second, we are facing the loss of 3,800 hectares in the Victoria Harbour area. Who has the right to do that except the owner?

Third, the project is actually increasing the load of traffic on HK Island as 5.1 hectares of the reclaimed land will be for commercial use and will obviously be sold to developers. The developer will definitely build a lot of high buildings. As a result, more people and vehicles will aggregate there and aggravate the traffic congestion. Fourth, the buildings on the reclaimed land will worsen the air quality of the streets. As the

buildings will block the air flow through the streets, the air pollutants will aggregate in the inner streets due to “canyon effect”.

Fifth, the construction work will damage the water body seriously. As the dissolved oxygen of the Victoria Harbour water is at a low level - 4.9 mg/l which is below the international standards of 5.0 mg/l. The water body is not eligible to sustain a healthy marine life. Besides, the construction work may upturn the sediment and so the water quality may be further worsened.

Judge (towards the Government officer): has the EIA (environmental impact assessment) report or the town plan in the Central replied to the concerns raised by various parties?

Government officer: The EIA report provides the projection on the reclamation project on the potential impact on water quality which meets the current Hong Kong standard but not the international standard. The EIA report has not assessed the impact of the proposed project on tourism. A final town plan is not available as the proposed town plan has not been passed by the Legislative Council.

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Judge: There is no doubt that the Victoria Harbour belongs to the citizens of Hong Kong. The Government proposed reclamation project is not legitimate as the Government has not demonstrated the following:

i. the project has overriding public needs and interest,

ii. there is no other alternative means to fulfill such needs and get the interest.

iii. The potential benefits of the proposed project, damages brought in by the project and the compensation plan to the citizens and environment have not been thoroughly examined and presented.

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Issue 6

Worksheet 3 Urban problems in Hong Kong and their solutions

Objectives

1. To let students be familiar with their living environment and examine their living area. 2. To propose solutions to current urban problems.

Introduction

We live in Hong Kong. But is this city a good place for living? This activity allows us to review Hong Kong and project an ideal city. Do remember that we are part of Hong Kong and we can change Hong Kong to make our home better. Through the continuous improvement we can make Hong Kong a sustainable city.

Instruction

1. Students are divided into 3 - 4 students per group.

2. For question 1, a group has to identify a problem in one of the fields from a to k, and then propose a solution to each of the field.

3. Hold a class discussion for questions 2 to 3.

Questions

(Suggested answers only. Accept alternative and correct answers)

1. State one problem in the following fields and propose possible solutions correspondingly:

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Field Urban problem Possible solutions a Population b Transport c Living environment d Land resource e Environmental quality f Health and hygiene

g Living standards h Economy

i Leisure and culture

j Culture conservation k Education

Suggested answers.

Field Urban problem Possible solutions

a Population i. Aging population ii. High population density

i. Increase productivity, promote healthy aging, encourage more children in a family

ii. Well distribute the population into different districts

b Transport Traffic congestion Improve transport network, develop mass transport system c Living environment Overcrowded living

environment

Urban redevelopment

d Land resource i. Urban expansion; ii. Diminishing urban

i. Redevelop old districts, legislation

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land resources ii. Develop new territory, taller buildings, reclamation

e Environmental quality i. Aging buildings ii. Pollution

i. Urban renewal

ii. Raise public awareness, legislation, pollution control f Health and hygiene i. Epidemics

ii. Poor hygiene

i. More resource on public hygiene, public vaccination

ii. Increase medical service, public community health education g Living standards High living cost Increase social welfare h Economy i. Big gap between the

rich and the poor ii. High unemployment rate with the

under-educated group iii. Job opportunities

i. High tax with the rich and increase social welfare for the poor. Increase productivity of the poor by creating job opportunities and education opportunities for the poor

ii. Provide training course for facilitating job hunting

iii. Diversify the society and create job vacancies in different sectors including commerce, industry and agriculture

i Leisure and culture Stressed living style Promote more leisure activities j Culture conservation losing popularity with

local folk culture

Provide convenient and low-cost training to children

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education organize and provide more education resources, diversify examination format and increase variety of assessment criteria, cultivation for globalization

2. Development is accompanied with disturbance to the local environment but conservation will hinder economic development. What should we do?

2.1 Is it a good method to overcome the demand of housing by using reclamation as the major source of land or developing rural areas to provide more housing?

Reclamation for housing will disturb the coastal ecosystem or the terrestrial ecosystem. If there is no other choice, then reclamation may be used. For reclamation of land from rural areas, more resources and disturbance will be involved for building infrastructure systems for transport, water and electricity supplies and waste disposal.

2.2 Is it feasible to increase land for housing if we have a well organized land planning and urban redevelopment system?

A better land planning integrates the forecast or prediction of human demand in land and the rate of redevelopment of land areas. Redevelopment plan is welcomed to maximize housing density. Care has to be taken for the harmony in the community and during construction. If the local residents could be recruited for the project plan, a high-density and harmonious community will be ensured. If it is properly managed, the wild area could remain green while the efficiency of land use in urban areas is maximized. The efficiency in providing accommodation using these types of methods has a limit.

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reverse to conservation? It depends on the situation.

z If there are other areas for development, reserve this piece of area. z If development leads to irreversible loss of biodiversity, give up the plan. z If there is no other choice and damage is affordable, look for the option of

ecological compensation, and/or reduce the area for development to minimize the damaging effect.

3 How to maintain or improve the competitiveness of Hong Kong?

We have to know and understand the elements and concept of a city’s competitiveness (Figure 1). Then we should carry out a SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity and threats) analysis of Hong Kong. The purpose is to matching the items from SWOT analysis to the elements of Hong Kong’s competitiveness. Then these form the targets for strengthening and improvement. The action plan is:

a. Realize the strengths of Hong Kong. Develop along this line to sustain them; and b. Realize the weaknesses and problems of Hong Kong. Work to solve the problem

and remove the weakness and improve the situation to create new and more opportunities.

c. Opportunities. Based on the geographical location, natural resources and political reason, there are various opportunities for keeping economy or economic growth in Hong Kong. We should grasp these opportunities.

d. Realize that every city is developing to have stronger economic growth for improving living standard of the city. Thus competition is unavoidable and there are threats that other cities will advance more than Hong Kong. So by knowing others, we could learn to improve ourselves, e.g. The Government should provide a more favourable environment to attract more foreign investment in Hong Kong.

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Figure

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