'Covid Should Make Govt Rethink On Urban Planning'

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2020-07-31 HKT 19:52

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  • A building expert says Hong Kong government has been designing with a mindset that was just focused on economic growth. File photo: Reuters

    A building expert says Hong Kong government has been designing with a mindset that was just focused on economic growth. File photo: Reuters

Building experts in Hong Kong on Friday called for a rethink on planning in the city, saying the authorities should prepare a resilient and flexible approach as the city is likely to see more pandemics like Covid-19 in the future.

A group comprising of architects, surveyors and planners said they plan to hand in a proposal to the government on how Hong Kong can do better in its city planning in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Institute of Architects’ vice-president, Corrin Chan, said based on the experience from Covid-19, the authorities have to plan on different fronts.

“We will have epidemics in the future. Can we be flexible in our design right now?” she asked.

Chan pointed out the lack of proper planning while executing projects. “When we designed the exhibition hall, the problem is we haven’t planned for toilets. So even when we had the space, drainage was not a [priority].”

Chan said the authorities looked only at the economic aspect when planning projects.

"I think the government has been designing out of a mindset that is [just] for economic growth,” she said. “As you can tell, we will have more development, more business, more finance,…. They all look at the economics as the ultimate goal."

"That is causing a lot of problem. Because environment is deteriorating and people are not [enjoying] a good quality living."

"If there is no environment, there is no us, the architect warned.