Government leadership is needed to enable zero carbon town planning, so our community can realise a shared vision to transform Hong Kong into Asia’s most sustainable city, with a strong emphasis on long-term decarbonisation and people-centric strategies.
Putting sustainability at the centre of policy decision making in urban planning is necessary in the face of the climate crisis, with global warming projections that exceed 1.5°C above pre-industrial level, that will result in intensified natural disasters, financial losses for cities, with health costs. Hong Kong’s Ecological Footprint is the second worst per-capita in the Asia-Pacific region and the tenth worst globally. Eight per cent of our Ecological Footprint comes from personal transportation.
Urban planning of New Development areas requires selecting transport systems that are low carbon in terms of the carbon footprint in both building transport infrastructure and then operating transport services. WWF considers adopting Urban Green principles with public mass transit systems linked to local area feeder electric bus services, cycleways and pedestrian areas, with connected green spaces for quality living. Sustainable urban mobility supports a shift to electric vehicles, both private cars and buses with sufficient EV charging stations.
In response to the government public consultation regarding environmentally friendly transport services in Hung Shui Kiu and Ha Tsuen new development area and adjacent areas, WWF recommends:
An Electric Green Bus System as this can best provide a flexible sustainable transport feeder service that minimizes carbon emissions and sufficiently addresses the mobility needs of the community, whilst being cost-effective and adaptive to changing demands of that community.
Creating walkable city areas with good connectivity to mass transport , feeder bus services , cycling paths and pedestrian areas for the last mile connectivity from mass transit services: Services based on connectivity to urban areas and transportation interchanges nearby is the key to encourage the use of the public transport system as a preferred mode of travelling.
Adopting a renewable energy PV solar in infrastructure design to support a truly energy self-sustaining transportation system: To reach the ambitious 10% renewable energy goal by 2030, magnify solar PV technology, by placing solar PV systems on all possible large surface areas and vertical facades. To build a truly energy self-sustaining transportation system, it is necessary to integrate solar PV technology in the infrastructure design.
Prioritising pedestrian commute paths in connected urban spaces with native-species trees and community gardens providing recreational space and activity: WWF believes in Urban Green design that benefits both nature and people includes carbon sequestration by sub-tropical forests, which can sequester 10 to 30 metric tonnes of carbon per hectare. A unique park in the city approach, where residents can interact with natural and managed ecology in connected urban green spaces.
Transport services optimised by real-time data: Providing real-time transport services and journey data to support the use of public ransportation services, that can operate with cost-efficiency, good on-time performance and at frequencies to meet societal needs.
WWF looks forward to seeing the adoption of Urban Green principles in providing transport solutions that offer low carbon transport services within an attractive and sustainable cities environmtt. Addressing quality of life, health and recreation as well as public transport services can enable Hong Kong to become the most sustainable and liveable city in Asia.