Stepping out on world-beating waterfront

Local | Bernard Charnwut Chan 18 Nov 2020

The defining feature of so many world cities - New York, London, Shanghai - is a grand public promenade along a waterfront.

Hong Kong has lagged behind other cities in showcasing what is arguably the most beautiful harbourfront in the world. But that's soon going to change.

All four Hong Kong island district councils agreed this month on a plan to create a 65-kilometer pedestrian route around the island. It's a terrific project that will give Hongkongers a wonderful and much needed new public space and provide a world-class tourism attraction.

Even better, the construction cost of this planned around-the-island trail should be only around HK$100 million, making it tremendous value.

Since much of the planned pathway already exists, creating the circular route is a simple matter of adding a few small sections to link existing walkways.

Taking advantage of the fine weather, I strolled recently along part of the proposed route from Kennedy Town to Central. Thanks to recent improvements - like the well-designed Belcher Bay open space section - this has become a pleasant, lively pathway for public recreation, exercise and even commuting.

Along the way I passed a panoply of Hong Kong daily life: runners with their trainers, workmen loading bundles of bamboo poles at a pier and people dressed for work using the walkway as a pleasant way to get to the office. All this against the stunning backdrop of Victoria Harbour.

When the island trail is complete even more Hongkongers will be able to enjoy and take advantage of our waterfront.

Bernard Charnwut Chan is chairman of Tai Kwun Culture & Arts Co Ltd.

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