naІs: HБіWєFІs/ Say No to "Developer Hill" Government Hill for the People sign now




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Save Our Shorelines



Say No to Developer HillЁ
Government Hill for the People

Government Hill, where the current Central Government Offices are, is one of the most important heritage sites for Hong Kong. The government has proposed last month to demolish the CGO West Wing, sell a large chunk of the site to developers, and redevelop it into an office and commercial complex. After thorough studies, there is ample evidence that the government has made at least three misleading claims in its proposal:

Claim 1: The site should be sold off to developers for commercial development

In the Historic and Architectural AppraisalЁ report (the Report) commissioned by Government and conducted by Purcell Miller Tritton, it is made clear that These sites, taken in conjunction, offer very interesting opportunities for the interpretation of the history of the development of Hong Kong.Ё(p.135) It is unthinkable for the SAR Government, which has a reserve of over HK$2000 billion and is under no financial pressure whatsoever, to sell off a large chunk of such an important site whatever the price.

Claim 2: CGO West Wing can be demolished because it is of little or no architectural value

In the Report, no recommendation has been made to redevelop any part of the site. In fact the Report pointed out that the CGOs physical setting is significant as it is located near to several of Hong Kongs most important historic buildings and also some of its most iconic modern buildingsЁ (p.108) and there is little doubt that it is feasible to reuse the existing buildingsЁ(p.128). Furthermore, the governments emphasis purely on architectural value has clearly ignored the historic, cultural and community value of the site and the buildings.

Claim 3: The redevelopment of CGO West Wing into a commercial complex will not affect the integrity of the site

From a careful examination of the governments proposed plan, it is discovered that not only an office block (with some covered area claimed as green space by the government) of about 40 storeys high will be developed, but that about half of the hill will be hollowed out to make way for a multi-storey underground shopping complex and car park. The green hill which appeared on the plan will effectively be a landscaped terrace similar to what can be found now on Heritage 1881 after the hollowing out of the former Tsimshatsui hill. In other words, Government Hill will no longer exist after the proposed development.

We strongly believe that Government has the public obligation to preserve the entire Government Hill as a public asset, and the integrity of the site must be strictly protected. Commercial development on this heritage site should not be allowed as it will demean the historic value of Government Hill. It will be very sad if the Government Hill is to become a "Developer Hill". The site should be preserved for Hong Kong people and our future generations to understand the history of our city, and the open space and the buildings therein should be maintained for public use.

On this basis, we request the government to take the following steps promptly:

1. Conduct a series of open days so as to allow the general public to understand and appreciate the site and the buildings;

2. Conduct a broad-based pubic engagement exercises including public hearings and workshops, to consult the community on how best the site should be utilized by the public;

3. Commission an archaeological dig at the site by an independent team and publish its findings;

4. Extend the public consultation period to 12 months to coincide with the archaeological survey and the engagement exercise.

Joint signatories:
Civic Party
Central and Western Concern Group
Save Our Shorelines
Designing Hong Kong

October 2010

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Latest Signatures

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Veronica GonzalezBy:
Technology and the InternetIn:
Petition target:
дЇSOжFПFІ/Government of the HKSAR


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