Stage 2 Public Engagement Concluded with Success
WKCD Plan Selection Moving Forward with Full Gear

exhibitionThe Stage 2 Public Engagement exercise (PE2) for the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) drew to a close on 20 November, signifying a big leap toward a new milestone.

During the 3-month consultation period, a total of 30,000 visitors viewed the displays of the three proposed conceptual plans at roving exhibitions across the territory. Under a school programme, 4,000 students from 78 schools have also visited the exhibition. There were also guided tours for diplomats, ministers, minority groups, people with special needs and stakeholders. The Authority has also held 12 forums and nine focus group meetings for professional and arts and culture stakeholders to give their views.

The Authority received over 7,000 completed questionnaires, 160 written submissions and 100 entries via the Facebook group set up by Professor Stephen Cheung Yan-leung, Consultation Panel Chairman of the WKCD Authority (WKCDA). These views will be analysed by the Public Policy Research Institute of the Polytechnic University in the coming months and the final report is expected in three months’ time.

Professor Cheung is deeply encouraged by the PE2 response, particularly among young people who accounted for more than half of the questionnaires received. The next important step for the Authority is to select a conceptual plan to be the basis of the final development plan of WKCD.

The WKCDA Board recently approved the formation of a Selection Panel to assess the proposals of the three Conceptual Plan Consultants. The Selection Panel comprises 11 members, including members of the WKCDA Board and chairmen of the committees on development, performing arts, and museum. They have strong backgrounds in arts and culture as well as technical issues, and well connected to the local community.

The Selection Panel will assess the conceptual plans on the basis of six criteria covering key development requirements, planning design principles, community aspirations, technical aspects, design and phasing flexibility, and financial robustness. As part of the process, the panel will also consider the PE2 report on public views prepared independently by the Public Policy Research Institute. The Selection Panel will submit its recommendations to the Board, which will make the final decision in the first quarter of 2011.

“We fully appreciate that achieving the best layout for the core arts and culture facilities, in a way that meets public aspirations and the technical, financial and phasing requirements of the project, is of paramount importance,” said the Chief Executive Officer of the WKCDA, Mr Graham Sheffield. He said that the management team would fully support the Selection Panel’s work and ensure that the selection process would be carried out with due diligence and impartiality.