18,000 cheers in the PE3 finale

exhibitionEighteen thousand cheers to the city people who dropped by the Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre, and salutes to over a thousand people who expressed their comments on what they like to see in the emerging district where creativity and vibrancy interacts.

Because they are people who care what is going to happen in the West Kowloon Cultural District in the next 10 to 15 years.

The month-long exhibition displayed the proposed development plan in what can be described as a final graduate project of a three-year engagement exercise, based on an enhanced version from Foster + Partners, the master plan designer.

“We’ve come a long way since we launched the first stage of Public Engagement Exercise two years ago,” said Professor Cheung Yan-lung, chairman of the Consultation Panel of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority.

exhibition“It has been gratifying to see how we have evolved from abstract concepts to a concrete plan. The public has been with us all along and they have been enthusiastic about the Project.”

Over a thousand students took part in the exhibition, with another close to 400 people showed up in eight seminars with the arts and cultural groups, four public forums and a one-day conference with professional groups during the month.

Rounding up the PE3 was a Get-together with the Youth, where dozens of youngsters – be they artists, professionals, university and secondary school students participated in a discussion as to what arts and cultural facilities will be in store for them, and the exciting role of new technologies in the future arts hub.

 exhibition“I would like to thank for the enthusiastic support and views we had received from different sectors of the community,” said Professor Cheung, praising especially the enthusiastic involvement of the next generation as wonderful and inspiring because they are the future users of the district.

“All of them provide valuable references as we set down to prepare the final Development Plan to be submitted to the Town Planning Board around the end of the year and later on, design of buildings and facilities in the district.”

Now, what is next?

The authority will begin to organise arts and culture activities there starting next year. The first event will be a series of Cantonese opera programmes, exhibitions, film shows and education activities, at a Bamboo Theatre in January 2012.

exhibitionAt the same time, the authority is in the process of preparing design competitions for several signature facilities. Construction of facilities of the WKCD may begin as early as possible after the completion of statutory planning process so as to commission the Phase 1 venue in stages starting from 2014/15.

But before that, the authority appointed the Public Policy Research Institute of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, which will collate and analyse the views collected and turn it to a public report in about two months’ time.

You are welcome to listen to the audio recordings of PE3 seminars and meetings and review the transcripts of these October meetings through our official website (www.wkcda.hk).