Summer's here for Belcher waterfront funseekers

Local | Erin Chan 26 Jul 2021

"Seasonal" summer-themed fun facilities, including a giant waterbed and surfboards with rollers, have been installed at the Belcher Bay harbor front open space in Kennedy Town, Secretary for Development Michael Wong Wai-lun said yesterday.

The 5,900-square meter open space on Shing Sai Road, comprising a promenade and an adjacent open space, has been open to the public since October.

Writing in his blog, Wong said the facilities include pallets, installations that can enhance the comfort of pavilions, a giant waterbed and surfboards with rollers. Wong added that authorities would also continue to collaborate with various sectors to revitalize the facilities.

"For instance, we previously collaborated with a startup company which designed a 'sanitizing robot' that helped sanitize the space," he said.

He added that the facilities were part of a scheme to enhance user experience.

"The Belcher Bay harborfront open space is an important starting point for Hong Kong's harborfront development," he said.

Harbourfront Commission chairman Vincent Ng Wing-shun said the body, along with the Development Bureau, has been actively looking into the design and management of harborfronts.

"The Belcher Bay harborfront open is a space for us to think out of the box and look into citizens' interest in certain facilities in harborfronts," he said. "We hope that a brand new harborfront communal space concept can be created."

He said the design and management of the Belcher Bay harborfront open space was mostly "experimental," but added that hoped that authorities could learn lessons from anything that goes wrong.

"According to a report on open space carried out early this year, 93 percent of some 600 interviewees said they were happy with the place's facilities," he said.

"This allows authorities to keep exploring the probable installation of other facilities in the place."

Meanwhile, there is also a 2,000 square meter "garden" run by NGO K-Farm near the open space which has incorporated hydroponics and the cultivation of fish and vegetables, as well as organic farming.

K-Farm consultant Chan Kai-ho said the garden's greenhouse was six meters tall, making it the tallest farm in Hong Kong with hydroponics.

"There are 6,000 plants inside the greenhouse, and the place can harvest a tonne in just a month instead of the typical two-month period," he said.

Authorities said a typhoon shelter-themed zone will open at the Causeway Bay harborfront by year-end.

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