Monday, October 27, 2008
Shining city on a hill - just where it shouldn't be
From the promotional material for Sun Hung Kai's new Park One development in Shatin (above), it appears that the Hong Kong government continues to learn nothing about planning.
Over the years, the Parkview development on Hong Kong Island has received a ton of criticism. While probably a nice place to live (unless your name is Kissel), with stunning views over Tai Tam Country Park, for everyone but the handful of wealthy residents it is an ugly eyesore that blights the view from just about every corner of the park.
Two decades on, and the government is still permitting developers to stain the countryside and ruin green views with massive hilltop developments that stick out like a sore thumb. When will Hong Kong be run for the benefit of the people and not the big property developers? (I know, silly question - when we get real democracy. Which may be why we don't.)
Not content with raping the countryside, Sun Hung Kai is taking liberties with the English language as well, by describing this as a "low-rise" development. Huh? To me, you, and most people, low-rise means 3 or 4 floors at most - something you can walk up without needing a lift. Far from being low-rise, Park One is about 50% higher than the building in Rotterdam that claims to be Europe's first high-rise. But then, SHK is the company that succeeded in changing the laws of physics.
Still, all is not bad news for the environment in Hong Kong. It was announced a couple of weeks ago that the disastrous Soko Islands LPG terminal plan will not go ahead. Cheers!