Right at the southern perimeter of Hong Kong’s iconic Victoria Harbour, Site 3 of the New Central Harbourfront will indisputably become an important landmark for Hong Kong, defining the city’s waterfront for generations to come.
The proposed development of Site 3 will reinforce and define the identity of Hong Kong, demonstrating what the city represents. Site 3 destines to be the focal point at the centre of Hong Kong Island’s harbourfront and will help to activate the surrounding public activities along the harbour. It is envisioned that Site 3 will offer a combination of commercial and public benefit, encouraging public engagement, participations and dialogues that will constantly enhance the livelihood and interest of its surrounding communities.
While the winning bid of the tender will ensure financial viability of Site 3, it is also essential to consider the social impact in the sense of public interest. The purpose of serving public interest is an extensive concept requiring collaborative efforts and broad-minded considerations, research and consultations, in order to identify the true demand of the public.
Central Harbourfront Site 3: Design Principles for the Public Good Report
Earlier in 2021, ULI Hong Kong launched an open call for design proposals for Site 3 that focus on ideas that can serve the public interest. Based on stakeholder workshops and conversations with industry, civil society, and the public and after extensive deliberation by the jury, this report summarises 10 Design Principles for a public interest-centred approach to the development of Site 3. Examples from the open call submissions are examined and benchmarked against best practices case studies. We urge that these principles be taken into consideration by the successful tenderer, the government, and the general public.
We believe no one submission can be the best or most appropriate; therefore, the Open Call was able to gather as many visionary proposals as possible. Our jury then handpicked some of the best ideas from the submissions and developed 10 Design Principles that will form part of a public archive as a resource to stoke the imagination of future urban thinkers, planners, designers, organisers, and creators.
10 Design Principles for Site 3
- Ensure Inclusion and Access for All
- Spark Life and Vibrancy through Site Activation
- Embody Hong Kong’s Societal Values and Global Identity
- Support Local Character and Uniqueness
- Safeguard Hong Kong’s Heritage for Future Generations
- Ensure Connectivity and Convenience
- Use Holistic Local Planning and Integrate with Neighbours
- Make the Site Compatible with a Sustainable Planet
- Include Public Participation and Community Engagement
- Plan for Long-term Stewardship and Maintenance
Forum for a New Central – a ULI Hong Kong Initiative
An Ongoing Discussion
Site 3 of the New Central Harbourfront will offer a once-in-a-generation opportunity to imagine amenities, services and public spaces that will benefit the Hong Kong community for years to come.
Through conversations over the past few years with civil society groups, design and planning professionals, and the general public, a coalition led by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) uncovered great concern over how the iconic Site 3 on the Hong Kong harbour would be developed—as well as great enthusiasm for how to develop a better waterfront.
Collecting Ideas for the Future
Whether it be an architect specialising in public places, a performing arts troupe making use of the waterfront space, or a community group seeking more space for public-oriented activities, remarkable ideas for the waterfront originated from many different corners of the city of Hong Kong.
Instead of “another shopping mall,” participants in the dialogues aimed for development that would serve Hong Kong’s diverse population—to make Site 3 a place that truly belongs to all. We will tap the collective imagination to invite, bring together, and create a platform to share ideas for the waterfront.
Open Call for Designs
In mid 2021, ULI Hong Kong issued an open call for design ideas to shape Site 3. Taking the Planning Department’s site as a starting point, ULI Hong Kong invited members and peers to form teams and propose a plan that could make for a better Site 3.
The campaign received 8 submissions in total. Through a selection process by a jury — which considered as part of the process not just selecting the best idea, but that all ideas would also become part of a public archive as a resource to stoke the imagination of future urban thinkers, planners, designers organisers and creators.
New Central Harbourfront Spark Salon
Forum for a New Central Series
In Fall 2020, ULI Hong Kong also hosted a special series of webinars focused on the future of our city, as we consider ways to shape our districts and prioritise our waterfront. About the series and recording: Click Here