Underground park proposed

Local | Amy Nip 23 May 2019

Developing underground space below a quarter of Kowloon Park can offer more facilities, parking, retail and catering services to the public, the government said.

The Civil Engineering and Development Department and the Planning Department yesterday launched the second stage of a public engagement program on the feasibility of developing underground space.

The first stage of the pilot study started in June 2015 and looked into four areas: Tsim Sha Tsui West, Causeway Bay, Happy Valley and Wan Chai. Upon its completion, it was recommended that priority should be given to developing Kowloon Park.

The second stage consultation focused on the park alone. The plan envisions developing about 9,000 square meters of total floor area for community facilities and covered public space, which equates to an area equivalent to one-and-a-half of Kowloon Park's outdoor swimming pools.

Forty percent of the underground space would be used for building community facilities, pedestrian passages and public space. Thirty percent would be for parking, and another 30 percent for retail and catering.

There would be three underground levels - B1 for retail and restaurants, B2 for car park, and B3 for connecting to Tsim Sha Tsui station.

The connection to the MTR station will run parallel to Haiphong Road, and help divert crowds and improve the walkability in the area. With the underground connection, the traveling distance from Kimberley Road to Canton Road would be shortened from 850 meters to 500 meters.

Park facilities will also be preserved and upgraded, including an increase in the total area for lawn, floral garden and water features within the park.

The departments pointed to the example of Les Halles in Paris, a food market redeveloped into a five-level shopping establishment.

"Located in the heart of the city, the Tsim Sha Tsui West strategic urban area served by the surrounding major transportation hub is a place for commercial, entertainment, art, cultural, tourism and shopping activities, and is geographically similar to Les Halles," a public engagement summary said.

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