Hong Kong

Urban greening projects get green light

By Guo Jiaxue (HK Edition)
Updated: 2009-12-04 07:41

HONG KONG: Three remaining greening projects for three areas in Hong Kong Island will begin soon and, given expectations, be completed in the middle of 2011. Together with other ongoing and completed projects, these mark the completion of the Greening Master Plan Initiative for urban areas.

The three areas to be started now, in addition to another four in Kowloon that commenced in late August and early September this year belong to the third phase of the plan, said Kam Chak-wing, deputy head of the Civil Engineering Office.

The first phase, which focused on Tsim Sha Tsui and Central, was already finished in early 2007. The greening work of Mong Kok, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, Sheung Wan, and Yau Ma Tei covered in the second phase has been slated for completion by the end of the year, he added.

The grand urban greening plan was launched in September 2004, and represents an investment of more than HK$300 million. Upon the project's completion, 18,450 new trees and over 4 billion new bushes will add a lot more greenery to Hong Kong.

In additional to green, more colors and special themes will be entering the city limelight. Perfectly reflecting the features of different districts, particular species and varieties of trees have been selected for each area to go with its greening theme, said Kam.

The signature trees chosen for Sai Ying Pun area are the Chinese Scholar Tree and the White Jade Orchid Tree, which Kam believes has created an intellectual ambience for the area. The greening theme of the area was named "Civil Elegance", he said.

As for the Wong Tai Sin area's religious ambience, trees commonly found in traditional Chinese gardens, such as the Dragon Juniper, were selected. The Peepul Tree was also suggested, to accent the religious connection. The golden flowers of the Yellow Pui Tree would harmonize well with the golden roof of the Wong Tai Sin Temple, he said.

"So far, the trees we have selected have been supported by the residents," said Tera Yau Kin-kwan, senior landscape architect of Civil Engineering Office.

(HK Edition 12/04/2009 page1)