Report on Stage 2 Public Engagement Exercise released; Hong Kong awaits final selection of Conceptual Plan

exhibitionThe results are in, and the people have spoken. Now, with the release of the “Report on the Analysis of Views for the Stage 2 Public Engagement Exercise” (the Report), artists and art lovers around the city are one step closer to achieving an arts and cultural centre designed and built with their desires in mind.

The Report has been submitted to the Selection Panel of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA). Following the panel’s deliberations, it will make its recommendation on the preferred plan to the WKCDA Board, who will make their final selection in March.

The Panel will consider a host of selection criteria including feedback from the public consultation, and a host of other factors including key development requirements, planning design principles, technical aspects, design and phasing flexibility, as well as financial robustness. The Board will then make the final decision based on the Selection Panel’s recommendation.

The detailed Development Plan prepared based on the selected Conceptual Plan will be unveiled in the stage 3 of the Public Engagement (PE) Exercise scheduled in the second half of the year. Thereafter the finalised Development Plan will be submitted to the Town Planning Board around end 2011.

The three Conceptual Plans – City Park, designed by Foster + Partners, Project for a New Dimension by The Office for Metropolitan Architecture and Cultural Connect: Key to Sustained Vitality by Rocco Design Architects Limited – were all well received by respondents during the Stage 2 PE Exercise. Each recorded an average score of more than three out of five for almost all the criteria listed. Popular topics among respondents included arts and cultural programmes, overall design principles, management and operations, and strategic positioning. There was also general support to develop the district’s arts and cultural facilities in phases to achieve organic growth.

Held from August 20 to November 20 last year, the PE Exercise generated nearly 8,000 responses, over 90% of which were completed questionnaires. The documents were then independently collated and analysed by the Public Policy Research Institute of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Mr Henry Tang, Chairman of the WKCDA Board, said, “We appreciate very much the valuable and constructive views expressed by our stakeholders and members of the Hong Kong public, as well as the contributions of the Consultation Panel members in conducting the PE Exercise.” He added that he was particularly encouraged by the participation of the younger generation. More than half of the questionnaires were returned by respondents 30 years old or younger.

exhibitionProfessor Stephen Cheung, Chairman of the WKCDA’s Consultation Panel, which is overseeing the PE exercise, said, “The views we received will provide valuable reference for the Selection Panel and the Board in selecting the preferred conceptual plan. The WKCDA will continue to engage the community and its arts and cultural stakeholders to listen to their views and collaboratively map out the future development of the WKCD.”

Anyone who is interested in reading the Report and compendium of responses collected during the PE Exercise can go to the WKCDA Secretariat or visit the WKCDA's website at www.wkcda.hk. Copies are also available at the Public Enquiry Service Centres of District Offices.