Curtain Falls on Stage 1 Public Engagement Exercise

Henry TangStakeholder groups and members of the public came out in droves to voice their aspirations for the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) during the Stage 1 Public Engagement (PE) exercise, which closed on 7 January 2010. The three-month exercise that began on 8 October 2009 generated a wealth of input, which will help the WKCD Authority (WKCDA) develop a vibrant arts and cultural district for Hong Kong.

During Stage 1 the Authority held three public forums, two dedicated forums respectively for students and youth, and 54 focus group meetings. By the end it had collected approximately 6 000 completed questionnaires, 282 written submissions and 96 entries via the Facebook group set up by the Chairman of the Authority’s Consultation Panel.  Representatives of the three Conceptual Plan Consultants and the Project Consultant appointed by the Authority have attended all the PE activities and meetings.

The purpose of the exercise was to gauge the public and stakeholders’ aspirations for and expectations of the planning of the WKCD, as well as their requirements for the facilities in the arts and cultural venues. There was also considerable discussion about the “software” for WKCD, such as arts programme development, education, and audience building.

Professor Cheung said, "The Authority expects the three Conceptual Plan Consultants to make good use of the views collected during the Stage 1 PE Exercise and prepare their Conceptual Plan options by incorporating the community’s preferences with their own professional expertise and creativity. In fact, the Conceptual Plan Consultants will be required to produce a statement on how the public’s views have been taken into account."

wkcdThe views collected during the Stage 1 PE exercise will be collated and analysed by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s Public Policy Research Institute. A report will be made available to the public in March 2010. "Once the Report is available, it will be discussed by the Consultation Panel and the Board of the WKCD Authority," Professor Cheung said. "The Authority is keen to know the community’s preferences on how this 40-hectare piece of land should be planned in order to ensure that the WKCD will be a people-oriented district with a distinctive character."


To ensure transparency, all Stage 1 PE Exercise meetings were held in public, and transcripts and audio recordings of the proceedings have been uploaded to the WKCDA website (www.wkcda.hk).

The three Conceptual Plan options will be unveiled during Stage 2 of the PE exercise, which is scheduled for launching this summer. During Stage 2, the Authority will seek public opinion on the three options, including which is the most preferred and can serve as the foundation for preparing the WKCD’s Development Plan. Features of the other two options preferred by the public will also be incorporated.



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