•  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Comprised of over 260 islands, Hong Kong is located on the eastern side of the Pearl River Delta (PRD), and had an estimated population of 7.15 million in 2012.[i] As recent as 1986 the city was classified as a ‘secondary centre’ within a ‘semi-peripheral country.’[ii] However, by the 2000s, almost all leading city analysts considered Hong Kong a global city.[iii]

 

In 2008, Hong Kong has an estimated GDP of USD 320 billion, placing it as the world’s 16th largest city economy. [iv] Despite a drop in growth in late 2008, it maintains its position as one of the world’s major city economies with an estimated 2011 GDP of USD 356 billion.[v] [vi] It is an essential centre for international finance and trade, with the greatest concentration of corporate headquarters in the Asia-Pacific region.[vii]

 

Kowloon East is a geographical constituency of the Hong Kong Legislative Council. In the 2008 election, it recorded a total electorate population of around 540,000 and represents one of the most dynamic areas in Hong Kong.[viii] The 488 hectare area contains three main neighbourhoods: Kwun Tong, Kowloon Bay and the new Kai Tak Development Area. In 2012, it already contained some 25,000 firms which employed around 200,000 people.[ix]

 

The former industrial heartland of Hong Kong, since 2000, Kowloon East has undergone significant transformation. Across Kwun Tong and Kowloon Bay, the total floor area of Grade A office space has increased by 250% to 1.4 million square meters.[x] At the same time, Kowloon East has seen new tourism and leisure facilities at Kai Tak, the redevelopment of old industrial buildings and new infrastructures such as the Shatin to Central Link that connects the Northeast New Territories and Hong Kong Island by rail.[xi]

 

Figure 1. A map of Kowloon East


Source: Energising Kowloon East (2012)


Since 2001, industrial land in Kwun Tong and Kowloon Bay was rezoned to “Business”.[xii] This policy stimulated numerous new developments as well as the redevelopment of old industrial units for office and commercial use. By 2012, a total of 1.4 million square meters of office space was added to the Kowloon East area.[xiii] In support of this process, in April 2010, Hong Kong introduced measures to revitalize industrial buildings across the city.[xiv]

 

In his 2011 Policy Address Hong Kong’s Chief Executive announced that the city would adopt a: “visionary, co-ordinated and integrated approach” to the development of Kowloon East into a second CBD.[xv]

 

Energising  Kowloon East Office

The Energising Kowloon East Office (EKEO) was opened in June 2012 to: “to steer, supervise, oversee and monitor the development of Kowloon East with a view to facilitating its transformation into another premier CBD of Hong Kong.”[xvi]

 

The multi-disciplinary organisation has four main tasks, which include: a) advocating and further developing the Conceptual Master Plan for Energizing Kowloon East and exploring options for strategic refinement of the Outline Zoning Plans; b) engaging major stakeholders and the public to promote Kowloon East to local and overseas developers and users; c) providing one-stop support to land development proposals that are conducive to private sector development for transforming Kowloon East; and d) co-ordinating government’s efforts and resources for area improvement works.[xvii]

 

The present development strategy for the development of Kowloon East is known as the ‘Conceptual Masterplan 2.0.’ The masterplan itself is guided by the city’s HK2030 and CBD2 strategies.[xviii] Though the strategy is constantly amended according to the results of the public engagement process, it has four main objectives. These include: a) integration within Kowloon East, and also between Kowloon East and its neighbouring areas; b) pedestrian-friendly environment, attractive streets and urban greening; c) place-making, promoting quality urban design and innovative architecture, creating vibrant public space, bringing people to the waterfront, inviting arts and culture to city life; and d) transforming Kowloon East as another premier CBD –– a place where people would like to work, to do business, to walk, to stay, and to play.[xix]

 

 

To achieve the objectives outlined in the ‘Conceptual Masterplan 2.0’ for Kowloon East, a number of development projects have been planned. Amongst other projects, there are plans to: a) increase office space in Kowloon East to around 4 million square meters; b) relocate government offices to Kai Tak to release new sites for commercial development; c) complete stages 1 and 2 of the Kwun Tong waterfront promenade; and d) complete the ZCB state-of-the-art eco-building.[xx]

 

Kowloon East has a number of strengths that make the area a natural location for a second CBD in Hong Kong. By supporting the development of a new district in the city, these strengths also contribute strongly to Hong Kong’s future success as a world city.

 

  • Space to grow – ‘Accommodating Hong Kong’s growth’The rezoning of industrial land for commercial development has stimulated renovation of dilapidated industrial buildings. This has already helped to create 1.4 million square meters of grade A office space with plans to increase capacity to around 4 million square meters across Kowloon East.
  • Connectivity and centrality – ‘Connecting people and businesses to Hong Kong and beyond’ – Links to the Kwun Tong line of the Mass Transit system and the future Shatin to Central Link ensure that Kowloon East provides businesses and residents with excellent inter and intra-regional connectivity. The area also has plans for an all-weather pedestrian system. At just 5kn from the current CBD, Kowloon East offers people and businesses in Hong Kong close proximity to the centre of the city..
  • A high quality environment – ‘Attracting new business to and retaining existing business in Hong Kong’ Adjacent to the Kowloon Bay and Victoria Harbour, Kowloon East provides an attractive waterside setting for new businesses. To enhance the environment, plans are underway to improve access to and quality of the promenade areas and other urban spaces.

 

Image credit : Photobank gallery

 


[i] CIA, 2012. Hong Kong [online]. Available from: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/hk.html [Accessed: 21.8.2012].

[ii] Friedmann, F. 1986. The world city hypothesis, Development and Change 17: 69–74.

[iii] Meyer , D. 1999.  Hong Kong as a Global Metropolis, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[iv] PWC, 2009. Which are the largest city economies in the world and how might this change by 2025? [online]. Available from: http://www.ukmediacentre.pwc.com/imagelibrary/downloadMedia.ashx?MediaDetailsID=1562 [Accessed: 21.8.2012].

[v] Forrest, R. et al. 2004. Hong Kong as a Global City? Social Distance and Spatial Differentiation, Urban Studies 41: 207-227.

[vi] CIA, 2012. Hong Kong [online]. Available from: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/hk.html [Accessed: 21.8.2012].

[vii] Invest Hong Kong, 2007. Hong Kong Asia’s World City [online]. Available from: http://www.brandhk.gov.hk/brandhk/e_pdf/efact12.pdf [Accessed: 21.8.2012].

[viii] Government of Hong Kong, 2008. Facts about the election [online]. Available from: http://www.elections.gov.hk/legco2008/eng/facts_know.html [Accessed: 21.8.2012].

[ix] Energizing Kowloon East, 2012. Energizing Kowloon East [online]. Available from: http://www.ekeo.gov.hk/en/home/index.html [Accessed: 21.8.2012].

[x] Government of Hong Kong, 2011. Kick-Starting the Development of East Kowloon
[online]. Available from: http://www.policyaddress.gov.hk/11-12/eng/p49.html [Accessed: 21.8.2012].

[xi] Government of Hong Kong, 2011. Kick-Starting the Development of East Kowloon
[online]. Available from: http://www.policyaddress.gov.hk/11-12/eng/p49.html [Accessed: 21.8.2012].

[xii] Energizing Kowloon East, 2012. Energizing Kowloon East [online]. Available from: http://www.ekeo.gov.hk/en/home/index.html [Accessed: 21.8.2012].

[xiii] Government of Hong Kong, 2011. Kick-Starting the Development of East Kowloon
[online]. Available from: http://www.policyaddress.gov.hk/11-12/eng/p49.html [Accessed: 21.8.2012].

[xiv] Energizing Kowloon East, 2012. Energizing Kowloon East [online]. Available from: http://www.ekeo.gov.hk/en/home/index.html [Accessed: 21.8.2012].

[xv] Energizing Kowloon East, 2012. Energizing Kowloon East [online]. Available from: http://www.ekeo.gov.hk/en/home/index.html [Accessed: 21.8.2012].

[xvi] Energizing Kowloon East, 2012. Energizing Kowloon East [online]. Available from: http://www.ekeo.gov.hk/en/home/index.html [Accessed: 21.8.2012].

[xvii] Energizing Kowloon East, 2012. Energizing Kowloon East [online]. Available from: http://www.ekeo.gov.hk/en/home/index.html [Accessed: 21.8.2012].

[xviii] Energizing Kowloon East, 2012. Energizing Kowloon East [online]. Available from: http://www.ekeo.gov.hk/en/home/index.html [Accessed: 21.8.2012].

[xix] Energizing Kowloon East, 2012. Energizing Kowloon East [online]. Available from: http://www.ekeo.gov.hk/en/home/index.html [Accessed: 21.8.2012].

[xx] Government of Hong Kong, 2011. Kick-Starting the Development of East Kowloon
[online]. Available from: http://www.policyaddress.gov.hk/11-12/eng/p49.html [Accessed: 21.8.2012].

 

 



  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

About Author

Leave A Reply

*