Balancing Development and Conservation
Despite projections by the Census and Statistics Department that Hong Kong’s population will start declining by 2043, the government plans to build over 600,000 housing units, which is about 25 per cent more than the projected housing demand in 2051.
Hong Kong currently has nearly 1,200 hectares of brownfield sites, according to a study by the Liber Research Community, with13 out of the 20 largest clusters of brownfield sites situated outside planned development areas, totaling nearly 390 hectares. Among them are four brownfield clusters with individual areas larger than 30 hectares, including a 71-hectare site in Pat Heung’s Wang Toi Shan.
Speeding up the resumption of these brownfield sites and devising a fair compensation mechanism for planned development projects can help ease the short-term housing problem without sacrificing our precious natural areas.
WWF believes the government should adopt a “brownfield first” policy to build on the existing 1,200 hectares of brownfield sites that already have necessary infrastructure in place to address short-term housing problems without sacrificing our precious natural environment.