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Table of Contents

Contents
1. Introduction ................................................................................................................................ 1 2. Economic Issues ......................................................................................................................... 3 Cost of land ................................................................................................................................ 4 Affordability................................................................................................................................. 4 Aging Population........................................................................................................................ 5 2. Environmental Issues .................................................................................................................. 6 3. Social Issues ................................................................................................................................ 7 Accessibility ................................................................................................................................. 7 Air quality .................................................................................................................................... 8 Noise Pollution............................................................................................................................. 9 Housing........................................................................................................................................ 9 4. Conclusions and Recommendations ..................................................................................... 10

give the city’s wealth and talent. Hong Kong is thus viewed as a great example of a compact city with a transport system that works very well and that too without the subsidy of the government. A public transport system. it is still important to highlight a definition that can be used as a reference point throughout this report. environmental polic y and related issues. to create one of the most environmentally sustainable societies in the world. But almost everywhere. and there is a great potential. 1987] It suggests economic and social progress without exhausting natural resources or undermining earth’s ecology. It is just as important to consider sustainable transportation in great depth to even begin to answer questions regarding sustainability. consuming more natural resources and producing more pollution. the sea and the unstable hills. We are perhaps getting ahead of ourselves. Introduction Hong Kong is one affluent place where sustainable development has become a declared objective of government. before we can even begin to discuss the issues related to sustainable development we must first explicitly define “What is Sustainable Development?” Although there is much debate about the concept of sustainable development. It is in essence a work in progress. In short. Despite its extrao rdinary wealth. and one of the world’s largest per capita carbon footprints. In April 2001 the EU Ministry of Transport and Communication at their meeting in Luxemburg adopted the following statement as European Union’s definition on Sustainable transport: “A sustainable transport is one that: pg. Sustainable development. This report aims to highlight this potential.insulated) skyscrapers. enormous rates of material consumption. infuriating noise pollution. a compact urban density owing to its topography. Hong Kong’s development has been unnecessarily unsustainable. and the associated pitfalls. There are signs of success in some areas. but which has done far too little to create a truly sustainable economy and society. that makes a profit. and possibly the only one in the world. is: "Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.1. 1 . environmental conditions are growing worse as more people become more affluent. Although Hong Kong has implemented sustainability in some areas. and indeed of many businesses. Hong Kong has a compact urban form and consequently. Hong Kong has terrible roadside pollution. devastated local fisheries. thousands of energy-housing (and un. while it has become a wealthy society. according to the World Commission on Enviro nment and Development. in sustainable development. it has also appeared as an example of wasteful potential (in terms of sustainable implementation) and thereby a warning to other communities. sewage flowing into the sea." ["Our Common Future". It is a well-known fact that different transportation systems and urban development strategies lead to different cities and places within them. too many people living in poor housing.

meeting our own needs and aspirations without doing damage to the prospects of future generations. efficiency. Same as other big cities. • Limits emissions and waste within the planet ability to absorb them. offers choice of transport modes. Under environmental issues we will discuss fuel and land consumption. Hong Kong is a fully developed city. affordability. pg. and cost of land and transportation as well as political agenda governing these issues. in the course of this report we will examine the indicators of sustainable urban development: environmental.gov. operates fairly and efficiently. For example. rail system and pedestrians. comfortable and pleasant home. and by the voracious consumption of goods and resources. and also to maintain our competitive advantage and our position as a world class city. Under social issues we will discuss the accessibility and air and noise pollution. and air and noise pollution. 2 . it means:    finding ways to increase prosperity and improve the quality of life while reducing overall pollution and waste. uses renewable resources at below their rate of generation. it is characterized by noise. and supports a competitive economy.htm Therefore. as well as balanced regional development. fuel consumption. It is estimated that all our landfills will be full in mid to late 2010s if we continue to create and dispose of waste in the current manner. http://www. In Hong Kong. Finally under the economic goals we will analyze the financial limitations. and Reducing the environmental burden we put on our neighbors and helping to preserve common resources. and uses non-renewable resources at or below the rates of development of renewable substitutes while minimizing the impact on the use of land and generation of noise. we generate more than 6 million tons of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) each year.” It is worthy to note that the key aspects of sustainable transport are: accessibility. due to our high level of commercial and personal consumption of goods.• Allows the basic access and development needs of individuals.hk/en/residents/environment/sustainable/dev. Sustainable development is required to make Hong Kong a clean. • Is affordable. the rate of pollution emission as well as modes of transport: car ownership. companies and societies to met safely and in a manner consistent with human and ecosystem health. ("1999 Policy Address"). busy human and vehicular traffic. and promotes equity within and between successive generations. social and economic. affordability.

Economic Issues By economic goals we understand mobility of person and goods necessary to achieve prosperous economic development. This should be achieved without creating congestions and without over-burdening the financial limitations of the public and private budgets (Fjellstrom). According to the Hong Kong Population Projections done by the Census and Statistics Department. In addition. the number of Usual Residents is projected to increase from 6. Within the Hong Kong Resident Population.22 million in mid-2041. The Hong Kong Resident Population is projected to increase at an average annual rate of 0. the number of Mobile Residents is projected to increase from 212 200 in mid-2011 to 245 000 in mid-2041. pg. Hong Kong Special Administrative Region: 1. 2.47 million in mid-2041. from 7.6% (the same as the average annual rate in the past five years).07 million in mid-2011 to 8. 3 .86 million in mid-2011 to 8.2.

there are large queues to access public transportation signaling lack of rail or buses to carry the exorbitant amount of passengers. Resisting Automobile Dependence in Booming Economies: A case study of Singapore. as the mean working distance is relatively long. P.. KCRC. 1318 July. The effectiveness of the public transportation has been much rejoiced throughout the years but considerable space for improvement remains. The collapse of a tenement in Tokwawan exemplifies this issue to great extent. 1994. []Kenworthy. C. transportation and the environment. 50% of the entire population of Hong Kong lived within 500m of Mass Transit Railway (Kenworthy et al. There is always a high burden on the transportation system in Hong Kong. Perth. when the peak hours has passed. so the only way at some point will be to increase the frequency of travel and intensity.     The expenditure on building infrastructure to support public housing will increase owing to increasing demand of housing and consequently. Therefore it is extremely important that land consumption related to transport facilities should be reduced to minimum. However. Affordability <Affordability of transportation and housing to be considered in greater depth> pg.R. In peak hours. 4 . Western Australia.The evidences from the projections suggesting that the population of Hong Kong will rise to an unprecedented level imposing unmanageable strain on housing. The land consumption in Hong Kong is extremely low making public transport much more efficient and more economic to run. Hong Kong citizens rely heavily on the system to go to work. Poboon. there are trains and buses that run with lesser load than acceptable for efficient transport use. J. Hong Kong government is being forced to consider urban renewal due to the aging infrastructure in many older districts throughout the city. The land is the biggest commodity in Hong Kong. However it still looks like a lot of land designated to road structures could have been saved through more inventive designs.W. Newman. cost or rent and purchase of these houses will shoot up as well (basics of supply and demand. The price of land is disproportional to cost of construction. Cost of land The biggest cost of any development in Hong Kong is the land. Urban rail system in Hong Kong is one of the most heavily use in the world. Bater. Paper p resented at the Asian Studies Association of Australia Biennial Conference. This is largely attributable to duplicated buses lines in Hong Kong leading to serious traffic congestion problem. Murdoch Unive rsity. it will also cause an increase in cost of transportation as there is no space for the system to expand. with recently extended lines system provides extensive service for population living in New Territories. []). P. Tokyo. By 1993..A.G. and Hong Kong within global samp les of cities...

the ratio of the non-working population who are 65 or over being supported by the working population age 15 to 64) from 172/1000 (172 non-working supported by 1000 working population) in 2010 to 227/1000 in 2021. The rapid ageing population will lead to the continuous rise of the old age dependency ratio (i. At present.e. the average life expectancy is 80 and 86 for men and women respectively in 2010. i.e. This also implies a constant decline in labor force in Hong Kong and greater dependency on medical.Aging Population The ageing trend is becoming a major concern in Hong Kong. By 2050. Hong Kong is forecasted by the World Health Organization to rank fifth in the world for cities with the largest percentage of older adults. pg. 40% of the population in Hong Kong will be 65 or above. In 20 years’ time. one in every four Hong Kong residents will be 65 or above. welfare and other services will be greater. 5 . one out of eight people in Hong Kong ages 65 or above. As people are living longer and getting older.

Paper presented at Workshop on Clean City Veh icles in Developing Countries. As more and more power stations increase the use of fossil fuels to meet the demand.564 to 28.2. K. It is estimated that the consumption will increase to 37. Selected initiatives of GTZ. 6 . IEA Paris. the situation will adversely affect the environment causing Greenhouse Gases and further worsening the standard of living. which will also be discussed in this section. [] Fjellstrom. Cho ice of Mass Rapid System. Sustainable Transport in Developing Cities. 24-25 September 2002. This puts considerable pressure on energy suppliers (electricity. With the increasing of population in Hong Kong. land and water) to meet the increasing demand. All of the above are closely related to modes of transport. The increase of population will on one hand lead to a higher consumption of energy as a whole owing to increased numbers and on the other hand also increase per-capita energy consumption as transportation distances increase and private mode of transportation are exploited.594 Terajoules in 2050. which is already being fulfilled by importing nuclear electricity. The total electricity and gas consumption has been increasing from 26. 2002. The government will need to support the growing population and rural. power consumption is also increasing. hospitals. []). the rate of pollution emission should not exceed the assimilative capacity of the environment. deteriorating travelling experience and ultimately decreasing GDP of Hong Kong. parks. etc linked up with efficient transportation system to be effectively used. pg.147 Terajoules (appendix).     Serious congestion as the load on the transportation system is strained increasing travel time.urban migration by providing more jobs. the land consumption for the transport related activity should be limited to minimum (Fjellstrom. Environmental Issues Before we begin to consider the environmental issues we must understand that to be sustainable. the rate of use of non-renewable resources should not exceed the rate at which renewable substitutes are developed. And also to support the people we need essential public amenities such as public schools.

Accessibility means possibility for all inhabitants to reach their place of work. we need a “compact city”. high-density housing. 7 . space and comfort). inconsistency with widely held housing preferences( privacy. Despites the merits of compact cities. Cities with low accessibilities force their inhabitants to travel further to fulfil their daily needs. Accessibility Accessibility comes as major factor in determining sustainability in terms of social goals. accident risks should be minimized (Fjellstrom). There are other dreaded consequences of using compactness as a tool to achieve environmental sustainability such as costly urban intensification. particularly in highly effic ient public transport.While density allows for efficient delivery of services. Consequently to be able to achieve high accessibility we require highly contained urban development. Social Issues By social goals we understand that the access to all activities necessary to participate in social life has to be granted as far as possible. In addition. business and amenities. in reasonable time and at affordable level. attention has been recently drawn. scores very high on accessibility. The packed cityscape increase local temperature because building materials retain heat. highly-mixed land uses. it obstructs wind corridors and thus impedes airflow through the city and it blocks sunlight from reaching the ground. All of these problems are experienced in Hong Kong. often makes accessibility by car not that desirable. congestion. In other words. and lack of parking facilities. and continual intensification of development. compactness also places pressure on the urban climate. Hong Kong with a very low level of motorized mobility.3. services. Without any doubt car offers flexibility and independence for its owner to travel to any place at any time. notably traffic congestion and roadside pollution. However the ever increasing distances in between places. to the higher risks of spreading disease in compact cities. air quality and noise should not exceed the health standards suggested by World Health Organization. as demonstrated by pg. it also contributes to problems. with property prices being driven up.

. and Hedley A.Murdoch University.. it seems that a compact city itself can become the cause of unsustainable urban development. []Thach T. Regarding the rapid population growth and the expanding of urban area. cannot help to reduce it. 1995..P.. Air pollutants and health outcomes: Assessment of confounding by influenza. Wong C. According to the statistic provided by the Environmental Protection Department.K. low visibility occurred 18% of the time– the highest on record.N.S. Declining regional air quality means visibility has also decreased dramatically. Air quality As noted earlier in this paper.[] Unsurprisingly. The Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Carbon Intensity in Hong Kong.. Atmospheric Environment.Q. This in turn will lead to extreme cases of air pollution. Hong Kong’s air emissions per hectare are by far the highest in the world and measures 321 compared with Tokyo 41 or Atlanta of 29 (Millennium Cities Database []). Peiris J. Thomas G.. In 2004. 2010. are considered one of the highest in the world. UITP .M. [] Millennium Cities Database. according to the Hong pg. Lam T. The very lo w car ownership and the very low energy consumption and very low level of emission.the 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome in Hong Kong. the extreme density of urban planning form and compactness of the development means that even relatively low emission level will be compacted in a very small area. Australia. 8 . Ou C.H.. Chau Y. the current total GHG emissions are 42900 kilotons in 2009. Possible consequences: 1. the total GHG emissions will therefore remain at a high level in the future. Chan K..J. Yang L. It estimates that the consumption will be increased to 118170 kilotons in 2050.M..

Kong Observatory. February 2002. 9 . Many live in tiny cocklofts in kitchens while a typical flat of less than 47 square metres could be home to a dozen households living in small cubicles and partitioned rooms sharing only one kitchen and one bathroom. Even as early as 2000.fired power stations and traffic.2 billion a year in hospital admissions and lost productivity. Electrifying Hong Kong: making transport sustainable. Researc h by three universities and a think-tank estimates that the pollution is costing Hong Kong about HK$21. the daytime temperature in their accommodations in summer time could reach as high as 37 degrees centigrade or more. Pollution is dramatically harming not only the health of citizens of Hong Kong but also its economy. []Gilbert. With air pollution and noise pollution being as high as that Hong Kong transport cannot be truly sustainable. 2002. Housing Housing is perhaps our biggest concern even today. Hong Kong. pg.600 deaths a year might be avoided if air quality improves. the poor will have no other option but to move into structurally poor houses or to relocate altogether. the total negative impact to the Hong Kong Economy. including cardiorespiratory disease was in excess of HK$11. R. particularly relating to the ability to attract skilled foreign labour. Paper prepared for Civic Exchange.1 billion. although a significant contribution comes from the tens of thousands of factories in China's neighbouring manufacturing heartland in the Pearl River Delta. Most of these people are exposed to traffic noise above 70 decibels (Gilbert []). In addition.000 people living in poor and squalid environment. 2001). about 1. Causes: The pollution has been attributed to coal. It is believed that noise pollution affects around one million people in Hong Kong (Environment Hong Kong. Noise Pollution Another problem associated with high density development is the noise pollution. The number of days in which visibility was less than eight kilometres rose to 102 in 2005 from 40 in 1997. With the population increase and the increasing disparity among the rich and the poor. Without windows for air ventilation and air conditioning. 2. There are approximately 110. 3.

10 .4. Conclusions and Recommendations <pending assessment of draft> pg.