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Taiwan community housing policy: A lesson for Hong Kong


To improve the living environment of the disadvantaged awaiting for public rental housing, some welfare NGOs and social enterprises in Hong Kong have launched the transitional community housing programmes. They renovate idle residential units in the market and sublet them to the disadvantaged at affordable rent. A similar policy has been implemented in Taiwan, in which the transitional housing project is operated by professional real estate agencies. How can Hong Kong be inspired by their experiences?

Land Sharing Pilot Scheme: Three points need to pay attention to


The Government has proposed the ‘Land Sharing Pilot Scheme’ (LSPS) to unlock the potential of large-scale private agricultural land in the New Territories. Yet, there are a few salient points to consider in response to the society’s needs and aspirations.

Allowing subsidised sale flats owners to pay land premium by instalments


Presently, subsidised sale flat (SSF) owners cannot sell their units freely unless full land premium is paid. However, considering the huge amount of the land premium, SSF owners can hardly pay the lump sum in one go. To tackle such issue, the Government should allow certain flexibility for SSF owners to pay the land premium by instalments. They can decide the repayment schedule and amount based on the market condition. In addition, setting a ceiling on the repayment is important for helping owners to plan ahead.

Hong Kong needs to build land reserve regardless economic volatility


The risk of an economic downturn inevitably affects the developments of Hong Kong. However, the city should not slow down land development. Aiming to ensure policy continuity, the Government should establish a comprehensive land reserve mechanism. Under this mechanism, land sources should be diverse, land use should be target-oriented and flexible, and land management should be systematic so that the city can provide steady and sufficient supply of land for the future.

Exploring spatial imagination with 3D city model


In recent years, the Government has expedited the development of digital infrastructure. It includes the ‘3D Planning and Design System’ rolled out by the Planning Department that aims to analyse proposed urban planning projects. 3D planning is still an early-stage technology in Hong Kong. Looking ahead, industry practitioners can use the technology to foster the city’s livability in the future.

Can cyclists and pedestrians share a path in Hong Kong?


‘Shared paths’ are designed to accommodate the movement of both pedestrians and cyclists and the concept has become increasingly popular in some countries. The Government has proposed to adopt the sharing concept on the cycling tracks in Kai Tak development area. How are shared paths different from traditional cycling tracks? Can they be widely developed in the city?

How to ensure fair and open public-private partnership in land development?


While the Government has promulgated a new housing supply target and adjusted the ratio of public/private split to 70:30, how to provide more land to meet the target remains the core issue. In order to boost land supply, the public-private partnership (PPP) approach was proposed earlier to develop private agricultural land in the New Territories. However, the public is skeptical of the PPP model. How should the Government move forward and address the public concern?

Enhancing land use efficiency through high-rise and high-quality development


The ‘Land Debate’ has drawn to an end.  The Task Force on Land Supply will submit the final report regarding different land supply options to the Government before the end of the year.  While the exploration of land acquisition is important, it is also worth discussing how to optimise the use of limited land resources for different purposes.

Reducing noise with pavement design


Almost one million people in Hong Kong are affected by traffic noise. Using low-noise road surfaces is one way to alleviate the problem, but its effectiveness varies with road conditions. In light of the Land Sharing Pilot Scheme recently proposed by the Government, will developers be encouraged to construct such low-noise pavements so that newly developed areas will become more livable?