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[RE]WIRING FOOD NETWORK a strategic framework for food system planning

Research Thesis MAUD 14-16 Jensen Choy

Acknowledgement I would like to express my utmost gratitude to Ingrid Schröder for her invaluable guidance, commitment, support and enthusiasm for this research project. In addition, I would like to thank my supervisor, Professor Alan Short, for his invaluable feedbacks and advices that guided this thesis to completion through a smooth and enjoyable journey. Also, I wish to thank Alex Warnock-Smith and Aram Mooradian, who not only provided me with many precious suggestions throughout the development of the design project, but also pointed me towards key directions that paved the road for the formation of the overall research project. In addition, I would like to extend my gratitude to Melissa Cate-Christ, Professor Daisy Tam, and Dr. Donald Wall for their invaluable guidance in collecting data and their supply of research material, and also to Professor Nelson Chen, Professor Edwin Chan and Peter Ferretto who supervised and tutored me during my fieldwork period in Hong Kong. Last but not least, I am extremely grateful to my family and friends for their patience and support throughout all of my academic and personal endeavours. In particular, I would like to thank my parents, Oliver and Edith, for their company and care during my time in Hong Kong.

Jensen Choy

MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design Jesus College | University of Cambridge A Research Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the MPhil Examination in Architecture & Urban Design (2014-2016) This dissertation is the result of my own work and includes nothing which is the outcome of work done in collaboration except where specifically indicated in the text.

[Re]wiring Food Network A Strategic Framework For Food System Planning

Fig. 1 - Yau Ma Tei Wholesale Fruit Market


Whilst Hong Kong celebrates itself as Asia’s food mecca, in reality, the city struggles to recognise and resolve an ever-growing body of food issues. Whilst it is widely understood that the movement of food into and around the city heavily determines the quality of the urban environment and urban life, the invisibility of its supply, distribution, and waste management has turned all the attention to its consumption, and as a result, food system management has become predominantly a matter of foreign and rural policy, distinct and treated independently from urban management and from urban matters such as resilience, sustainability, socio-spatial and infrastructural challenges. As the metropolis continues to adapt itself to satisfy the growing demands of the city, the mounting social, economic, political and environmental pressures call for a review of our urban food system. In response, this study examines the complex relationship between Hong Kong and its food system by placing its management on the urban agenda. A strategic framework composed of the Hong Kong Food System Authority, an urban infrastructural cluster, and the concept of the Food Station, is proposed to challenge the current compartmentalised attitude of urban development and governance. The strategy recognises that the conventional and uninspired methods of placing decisions and responsibilities upon the shoulders of individual actors within the food system is ineffective in achieving a collective goal, and instead, the responsibilities should be shared amongst all the components within the network of activities that support the city. As opposed to providing quick-wins or band-aid solutions to immediate issues, this strategy takes a proactive approach that seeks to rewire the existing system to create an infrastructural framework within which future interventions and policies can be implemented. The underlying ambition of the project aims to establish a tangible and accessible opportunity for urban dwellers, as well as the government and local businesses, to become more involved in issues such as food provenance, safety and sustainability. The proposed framework will become a potential catalyst to spur systematic changes to the current food system and a culture of consumption that is deemed unďŹ t for sustainable urban growth. Once food in the city is recognised neither as an independent item nor as a matter of self-indulgent lifestyles, but as a dense network of activities and organisations with social, economic and environmental consequences, we can begin to take our ďŹ rst steps in rebuilding a more secure, sustainable and resilient city.

Fig. 2 - Dining in a ‘Coffin Room’


Key Words Abbreviations List of Figures 2 Introduction

Food and the City


Hong Kong: A Model City


Methodology Inquisition


Placing the Food System on the Urban Agenda Evolution of Hong Kong’s Food System


Grounding Metabolism: Re-contextualising Food in the City


Menu for Change: Local Policies and UFSs Reviews


Rewiring the Food Network Aligning Food System Development with Hong Kong’s Planning Vision




Embracing Complexity: A Framework for Restructuring


Network-centric Urban Governance: The FSA


Urban Cluster as Network Node


Reprogramming Urban Infrastructure as Catalyst Cheung Sha Wan as Experimental Testbed


Food Station as a Network Hub


Multi-nodal Expansion for an Adaptive System


Designing the Food Station Design Brief & Site Analysis


Project Delivery Strategy


Design Criteria & Approach


Design Proposal


Conclusion References Image Credits Appendices Design Portfolio

KEY WORDS Food Availability

refers to the ability to provide sufficient quantities of food on a consistent basis.

Food Accessibility

refers to the conditions of having sufficient resources to obtain appropriate foods for a nutritious diet.

Food Bank

refers to a place where stocks of food, typically basic provisions and nonperishable items, are supplied free of charge to people in need.

Food Chain

refers to the series of processes by which food is grown or produced, sold, and eventually consumed.

Food Desert

refers to an urban area in which it is difficult to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food.

Food Diversity

is defined as the number of different foods or food groups consumed over a given reference period.

Food Equity Food Provenance Food Safety

is the notion of equal access to fresh produce and healthy food options to all. refers to the knowledge of where food is sourced. refers to the conditions and practices that preserve the quality of food to prevent contamination and foodborne illnesses.

Food Security

refers to the state of having reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable and nutritious food.

Food Sovereignty

refers to the right of people to define their own food and agriculture systems.

Food Sustainability

refers to the quality of food that takes into account environmental, health, social & economic concerns.

Food Waste

refers to all food that is discarded, lost or uneaten.


Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department


Architectural Services Department


Comprehensive Development Area


Cheung Sha Wan


Department of Health Environmental Protection Department Executive Council Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations Finance Committee Food and Environmental Hygiene Department


Fish Marketing Organisation


Food Policy Council


Hong Kong Airport Authority


Hong Kong Food Council


Hong Kong Food System Authority Highways Department Legislative Council Leisure and Cultural Services Department Outline Zoning Plans Planning Department Transport Department Territory Development Department Trade and Industry Department


Town Planning Board


Town Planning Ordinance


Urban Food Strategy


United Nations Environment Programme


Urban Renewal Authority


Vegetable Marketing Organisation

LIST OF FIGURES Fig. 1 Yau Ma Tei Wholesale Fruit Market

Fig. 26 Hong Kong Food and Yard Waste Breakdown

Fig. 2 Dining in a Coffin Room

Fig. 27 Hong Kong Food System Mapping

Fig. 3 Global Food System Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Fig. 28 The New Agricultural Policy 2014

Fig. 4 The Cities of Milan Urban Food Policy Pact

Fig. 29 A Food Waste & Yard Waste Plan for Hong

Fig. 5 Milan World Expo 2015 Logo Fig. 6 Hong Kong Food Paradise

Kong 2014-2022 Fig. 30 A Collection of UFSs

Fig. 7 Urban Food Issues

Fig. 31 Milan Urban Food Policy Pact Logo

Fig. 8 Food System Diagram

Fig. 32 Milan Urban Food Policy Pact

Fig. 9 West Kowloon & Yau Ma Tei Typhoon Shelter

Recommendations Document

Fig. 10 VMO Wholesale Market

Fig. 33 View from Cheung Sha Wan

Fig. 11 The Evolution of Hong Kong

Fig. 34 Hong Kong Food System History Timeline

Fig. 12 Hong Kong Household Ecological Footprint

Fig. 35 Cheung Sha Wan Typhoon Shelter in 1965

Fig. 13 Food System History Timeline

Fig. 36 Hong Kong 2030 Planning Vision and

Fig. 14 The Metabolic Flow of Hong Kong’s Food System Fig. 15 Food Sovereignty & Land Use Mapping Fig. 16 Land Area Comparison Fig. 17 Organic Farming in the Concrete Forest Fig. 18 International Food Trade & Hong Kong Import Map

Strategy Fig. 37 Aligning Food System Development with Hong Kong’s Planning Vision Fig. 38 Hong Kong Food System Governing Bodies Fig. 39 Network-centric Model Fig. 40 FSA Management Structure

Fig. 19 The Mass Culling of 20,000 Chickens

Fig. 41 Hong Kong’s Urban Density

Fig. 20 Food Distribution & Urban Density

Fig. 42 Members of an Industrial Cluster

Fig. 21 Western Wholesale Food Market

Fig. 43 Cheung Sha Wan Food Typologies

Fig. 22 Food Accessibility & Urban Inequality

Fig. 44 Cheung Sha Wan Analysis

Fig. 23 Hong Kong Food Inflation

Fig. 45 Cheung Sha Wan Demographics Mapping

Fig. 24 Street Market in Mongkok

Fig. 46 Food Club Design Brief

Fig. 25 Waste Management & Land Reclamation

Fig. 47 Food Park & Flexible Streets Design Brief

LIST OF FIGURES Fig. 48 Food Station & Alternative Productive Landscape Design Brief Fig. 49 Kwai Tsing Container Terminals

Fig. 72 Fruit Market Plan Fig. 73 Vegetable & VMO Market Plan Fig. 74 Freshwater Fish Market Plan

Fig. 50 Cheung Sha Wan Wholesale Food Market

Fig. 75 Saltwater Fish and General Food Market Plan

Fig. 51 Analysis

Fig. 76 Poultry Market Plan

Food Station as Network Node Fig. 52 Food Station Functions

Fig. 77 Food Station Long and Short Sections Fig. 78 Food Station Perspectives

Fig. 53 Alternative Food System

Fig. 79 Food Station Isometric

Fig. 54 Multi-nodal System

Fig. 80 Food Station Render

Fig. 55 A Multi-nodal Food System

Fig. 81 Food Station Market Pier

Fig. 56 New Systems Dynamics

Fig. 82 View of Victoria Harbour from the Food

Fig. 57 Cheung Sha Wan Food Terminal Program List Fig. 58 Cheung Sha Wan Bay & Stonecutters Bridge Fig. 59 Government’s Rezoning Proposal Fig. 60 Alternative Rezoning Proposal

Station Fig. 83 Vegetable Market Transforms into Street Market Fig. 84 Auction Theatre in the Saltwater Fish Market

Fig. 61 Architect’s Role in Food System Planning

Fig. 85 Food Station Environmental Strategy

Fig. 62 Project Team

Fig. 86 Food Station Sustainability Systems

Fig. 63 West Kowloon Zoning Plan

Fig. 87 Daylighting & Acoustics Strategy

Fig. 64 West Kowloon Coastline & Stonecutters Island

Fig. 88 Cooling & Heating Strategy

Fig. 65 Project Funding

Fig. 89 Lamma Island Floating Fish Farm

Fig. 66 Project Timeline 1

Fig. 90 Fa Yuen Street Wet Market

Fig. 67 Project Timeline 2

Fig. 91 Interconnecting Infrastructures

Fig. 68 Festival vs Food Station Planning Fig. 69 Designing the Food Station on a Grid Fig. 70 Food Station Tectonics Fig. 71 Food Station Site Plan


Introduction Food and the City Hong Kong: A Model City Methodology

Food and the City [01]

Food is one of our most basic needs. Throughout human history, the pursuit of food has driven our social, economic, and cultural development (The New York City Council, 2011). The domestication of animals and the birth of agriculture played a major part in the development of the first settlements (Encyclopædia Britannica, 2016). It is widely accepted that no city was ever built without first considering where its food was to come from (The New York City Council, 2011), the physical difficulty of producing and transporting food in the pre-industrial context was one of the biggest constraints in the growth of cities (Lim, 2010). As the demand for food continued to rise, the increase in production efficiency and the consolidation of labour allowed for the growth of civilisations all around the world, and in more recent years, industrialisation and the development of technology helped fuel the rapidly growing and sprawling population throughout the 20th Century (Lim, 2010).


However, in the context of modern society, both food and cities have grown to become so complex that its form and functions bear little relation to the people it has evolved to serve, and the relationship between food and the city has become increasingly obscure (Steel, 2009). Although the simple fact that cities cannot operate without food is well understood, the underlying implications on how food shapes our cities are less apparent. The city’s connections with the food system has become so indirect and unapparent, that it has taken a back seat to other urban matters such as housing, transportation, employment, and the environment (Pothukuchi and Kaufman, 1999). Moreover, the growth of global corporate food industry’s control over the food system has decentralised essential processes and displaced traditional practices from the hearts of modern-day cities (Steel, 2009). The urban population, as well as planners and governing bodies, have become unaware of the food system’s widespread and pervasive significance. Consequently, food has not been an area of interest for urban planning, nor has food been considered within metropolitan strategies (Pothukuchi and Kaufman, 2000). As van der Sande suggests, in urban planning today, food is a non-item (van der Sande, 2012).

Energy, Industry, Transport & Buildings (~23-25%) Agriculture Production (~40-45%) Land Use Change (~31-33%) The global food system is responsible for more than 25% of all greenhouse gas emissions


More recently, the result of intense urbanisation and the emerging attention to resources and our urban environment have brought the subject of the food system back into the forefront. Until now, cities have existed largely on their own terms, commanding resources and consuming them more or less at will (Steel, 2009). However, the mounting social, economic, political and environmental pressures in the aftermaths of the 07-08 global food crisis have exposed the hidden impacts of the food industry to the quality of the urban environment and urban life. Coupled with the wider issues of climate change, vulnerability to peak oil, loss of land and resource scarcity, these interconnected local and global issues have become the driving forces for action (Donovan, Larsen and McWhinnie, 2011).



The Cities of Milan Urban Food Policy Pact


Currently, there is little literature on the connections between the planning of our cities and the food system, but the rekindled awareness of its significance have prompted cities around the world to revisit the subject. Most recently, the subject of food was chosen as the theme for 2015 Milan World Expo, attempting to draw different perspectives on the subject from all around the world and to display the findings on a global platform. In addition, as part of the conclusion for the World Expo, an urban food pact was signed amongst 120 cities as a commitment to pursue further studies in the field, recognising that cities are not autonomous and isolated entities, but as a critical development frontier that requires particular attention in order to understand and ultimately address the growing epidemic of urban food issues (Garrett, 2000; Crush and Frayne, 2011; Sustain, 2015).


Building on similar grounds, this thesis bridges the gap between the built environment and the growing body of urban food issues in an attempt to understand the food system as an essential foundation for sustainable growth. This thesis engages with a range of theories and concepts to explore the questions of food futures, urban governance, urban planning and procurement. It argues for the importance of placing the topic back on the urban agenda, drawing connections and exposing the interrelationships between the food system, the city’s wide range of urban issues, and its overall planning to establish the grounds for urgent infrastructure development (Frohlich, Jauho, Penders and Schleifer, 2014). Whilst it is widely acknowledged that investment in urban infrastructure is lagging behind (Fulcher, 2015), LSE urban studies professor Ricky Burdett suggested that rapid urbanisation and population growth meant that ‘there had never been a moment in history where we need more valuable fundamental infrastructure than now.’ Moreover, the transformation of urban infrastructure has been gradually recognised as pivotal to achieving environmental protection, social cohesion and sustainable economic development (Gandy, 2006). Thus, the latter part of this thesis offers a strategic framework that is fuelled by a wide range of questions - How can a discussion on the food system be re-integrated into the urban context? How can we create a systems framework that supports sustainable urban growth? To what extend can urban planning and architectural interventions facilitate changes in the urban food system? In essence, this inquiry is driven by two dialogues - one between food and the city, and another between the city and the architect. In part, this thesis will define the role of the architect in shaping a more sustainable urban future, uncovering a new range of influences and responsibilities that are beyond the scope of a designer.







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. Traditional Chinese Restaurant (ૡኴ) 3 Dim Sum (ᗺЈ) – Traditional cantonese food $ Sai Kung Seafood Trading – Hong Kong was founded by fishing villages / Dai Pai Dong (εจᔞ) – open-air food stall 1 Tin Lung Heen – Hong Kong has one of the most Michelin Stars in the world Wet Market (ຉѱ) 4 Nathan Road – known as the Golden 2 Mile for its shops and restaurants

Hong Kong: A Model City [01]

“Cities are the focal point of present-day problems. And that is why it is in the cities that the future quality of people’s lives will be determined.” – Reinhard Klimmt, former Minister of Transport, Building and Housing of the Federal Republic of Germany (Hall and Pfeiffer, 2000)

As the proportion of the world’s population living in cities continues to grow, our world is becoming increasingly characterised by cities (Baccini, 2014). The UN predicts that 80 percent of the population will live in urban areas by 2050, and that by 2025, the world will have 37 megacities with more than 10 million people (United Nations, 2015). The most startling changes are taking place in China, where 400 million people are expected to urbanise in the next 25 years (Steel, 2009). Whilst cities only account for 2 percent of global land surface, they consume 75 percent of all natural resources (Fremgen, 2012). Cities thus have to prepare the ground for an ecological restructuring of the built environment, as well as their consumption and production patterns (Hall and Pfeiffer, 2000). Hong Kong, with its growing population of 7 million and its on-going challenges in dealing with geographical and resource constraints, has become the ideal site for this investigation. However, this is not to disregard the fact that the theory and concepts under examination are of wider interest to the global environment. Furthermore, Hong Kong is chosen as the context for this study not because it is more problematic than others, but because it concentrates the conflicts and opportunities within a density that is being replicated all across the world.


Being one of the world’s most affluent cities, Hong Kong has one of the highest rates of consumption of goods and resources per capita in the world. It is estimated that if everyone on Earth lived in a similar lifestyle, humanity would need nearly three Earths to sustain resource needs (WWF, 2013). Whilst Hong Kong celebrates itself as a ‘food paradise’, in reality, food-related issues are becoming more prominent in recent years (Hayes, 2013). As social and environmental objectives are continued to be compromised by economic and political influences, the city struggles to recognise and resolve an ever-growing body of food issues to keep in pace with its urban growth. For instance, over 95 percent of Hong Kong’s food supply is imported. Not only has the city lost all connections to its gastronomic and agricultural roots (Kong, 2013), but studies have also shown that food has become the main contributor to Hong Kong’s household ecological footprint (WWF, 2013). Moreover, whilst one in ten live in poverty and struggle to meet basic nutritional needs, food waste accounts for more than a third of all solid waste in Hong Kong (Hong Kong Environmental Bureau, 2014; Census and Statistics Department, 2015). As such statistics suggest, the operations of the system is evidently flawed. The very system that is meant to sustain and nourish the city has indirectly imposed costs to the population’s health, economy, and environment. In the context of overriding concerns for environmental and social balance, the traditional framework of trade-offs for economics and political convenience will no longer serve the purpose for sustainable growth (Hall and Pfeiffer, 2000; Lai, 2010), and there is therefore an immediate need to re-examine Hong Kong’s food system.









. Urban Poverty - One in ten people live in poverty and struggle to meet basic nutritional needs 3 Urban-rural Divide – Loss of farmland due to urban expansion $ YMT Wholesale Market - Pollution and congession caused by the city’s heavy reliance on road freight / Avain Influenza Outbreaks – Hong Kong is particularly vulnerable to food epidemics and food scares 1 Aging Population – Hong Kong’s elderlies are amongst the poorest in the developed world 4 Distribution of Food - Almost 30% of food is lost on the last 5km of transportation 2 Food Waste – Food waste accounts for a third of all solid waste in Hong Kong


In addition, a recent explosion of investment and global funding in the food sector especially in Asia has created a fitting environment for this study (Metcalfe, 2016). The Hong Kong Government has recently shown genuine interest in the topic as it released new policies on sustainable agricultural development and food waste management. However, whilst these planning policies has described a vision for Hong Kong to become a leader in sustainable and resilient development in Asia, the city is surprisingly absent in the recent signing of the urban food policy pact in Milan whose members include some of Hong Kong’s biggest competitors such as Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing and Seoul. This has created a unique opportunity for this research thesis and design study to engage with its local political context with greater relevance. Moreover, it would seem to be more practical to work under a cultural context which values food at the heart of its local identity

Methodology [01]

This design research adopts a combined methodology, involving urban and architectural theory-based analysis, academic research, policy reviews, and fieldwork study. Design is used as a tool to explore fieldwork observations which is grounded by academic literature, and in particular, the review and critique on local policies, food strategy reports and guidelines offered by organisations such as the Hong Kong Government, FAO and other food policy councils around the world.


A period of 7 months was spent in Hong Kong during which research data was collected through primary observations, photographic documentation, and discussions with various government departments, academics and think-tanks, city planners and architects, as well as non-government and private organisations. Furthermore, this research has been supported through local feedback on the speculative propositions through discussions with local planners, academics, NGOs and government authorities, all of which provided a critical insight into the current issues and trends of the food system in Hong Kong.


Overall, this research study draws on two different areas of academic debate. Firstly, the urban food issues intrinsic to developed cities and Hong Kong’s evolution that has created these conditions; and secondly, the theoretical understanding of systems and infrastructure development within a complex network of people and activities. These two areas of research, which are rarely drawn together within an architectural or urban discourse, have the potential to open up new ways of approaching the issues of compartmentalised urban management and development when studied in parallel. The nature of the propositional research, explored within this thesis, allows findings, techniques and proposal stemming from one research trajectory to influence and reveal new possibilities in the other.


System Model

“In embracing infrastructure, designers are extending their agency to look not just at the pieces and parts of the city, but at the design of entire systems and their operations.” – Pierre Bélanger, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture and Co-Director of the MDes Postgraduate Design Research Program at Harvard University (Bélanger, 2010) As this research thesis aims to offer an overall strategy, the systems approach is chosen to ensure that the urban issues in question are integrated where appropriate, and are not isolated to one program or policy. The approach utilised in this thesis is based on the systems model in which all parts of the food chain is examined, rooted in a strong belief that



sustainability cannot be achieved by one single party, process or building alone. The primary purpose for choosing the systems model is its ability to offer a trans-disciplinary approach as opposed to traditional scientific approaches which have proved to be insufficient in addressing complex and socially relevant issues that often cross the borders of sectors and disciplines (Regeer and Bunders, 2009; Pohl and Hadorn, 2008). Academic researchers agree that finding sustainable solutions for the food system necessitates cross-disciplinary and multi-functional approaches that steer away from compartmentalised thinking. Not only can this be useful in drawing insights from a wide range of expertise from the food industry, scientists, academics, planners or governing bodies, but it will also enable a collective response to the wide spectrum of urban food issues, thereby avoiding the formation of conflicting policies and planning decisions (Schiff, 2008). As Professor Geof Rayner described in his paper on public health policy, ‘the problem is not just the dualistic separation of natural and human ecology, but fragmentation and rigidities of all kinds that overlook the complex interdependencies between socio-economic and policy forces’, creating ‘a thicket of poorly understood drivers and unclear policy options for the food system.’ (Muller, Tagtow, Roberts and MacDougall, 2009; Rayner, 2009) Moreover, a real reform of an urban system requires the adoption of a comprehensive policy approach that examines both the ‘upstream’ and ‘downstream’ of the food system to embrace the many complex linkages between the different stages of the food chain. It is unlikely that any proposal can be deemed as a strategy for sustainable development if a vast percentage of food that enters the city is in fact wasted at other stages of the supply chain (Caraher and Coveney, 2004). [05]

The second reason for choosing the systems model is its ability to consider and analyse issues and influences that are cross-scaled. So often are local food issues redirected to the global stage as means to divert responsibilities with little considerations of local solutions (Williams, 2007). For example, in the context of food security, the globalised food system has influenced the adoption of an international policy approach that has placed too much emphasis on putting responsibilities on a high-level and on foreign land, at the neglect of the other fundamental dimension of the issues in a more local or regional scale (Morgan, Marsden and Murdoch, 2006). This is not to say that any local or global solutions are inherently advantageous or ineffective, as instead this thesis is strongly based on the belief that any solutions or alterations to the current mode of operations would require a perspective that is beyond the thinking of endogenous-exogenous dualism. Although this study focuses on a specific city and its conditions, it does not however ignore the wider context of the global food system, but it incorporates the global and external interfaces that constitute to these local conditions. Furthermore, in the context of the city itself, it is important to understand that any food policies proposed will have an effect that transcends directly or indirectly from the territorial level to the individual districts, neighbourhoods and even households. Working at just one scale is therefore inadequate as each scale nests and depends on the others (Morgan, Marsden and Murdoch, 2006). By utilising the systems model, scale becomes a means that may help achieve any of many different goals. Which goal is achieved will depend not on the scale itself, but on the agenda of those who are empowered by the scalar strategy (Born and Purcell, 2006).


11 Fig. 9 - West Kowloon & Yau Ma Tei Typhoon Shelter


Lastly, the systems model enables a framework for multi-factor evaluation. The current emphasis in urban ‘sustainability’ is all too frequently reduced to energy efficiency and the reduction of emissions (Mangelsdorf, 2013). Sustainability theorists point out that the conceptualisation of urban sustainability need to transcend the limitations of a purely environmental agenda to bring in and give sufficient weight to other factors such as social, economic and cultural forces that influence and shape the city’s metabolism (Jarvis, Pratt and Wu, 2001; Evans, Joas, Sundback and Theobald, 2005). The adoption of this concept fosters a new perception of what the city is, and how material and immaterial flows within its infrastructure systems articulate the production and reproduction of the city both as a biophysical and socio-economic entity (Broto, Allen and Eriksson, 2011). In turn, this model will also act as a reminder of the food system’s essential role in not merely to feed the city adequately and sustainably, but also to nourish the quality of urban life (Lim, 2010).


Structure of Research Project In addition to this research thesis, the proceedings of its investigation run parallel with a design project of the same topic. This is a unique approach developed by the University of Cambridge’s MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design course that incorporates the testing of arguments through design with academic research and primary source material. This design-based exercise breeds an iterative process in which research investigation and design propositions inform and guide the overall research stream. The refinements and adjustments of each iteration yields a more focused area of study as well as a better understanding of the overall subject. The aim of this particular process is to extract fundamental principles from each discipline, setting out criteria in which to analyse and assess the urban issues in question, exploring both the practical and theoretical implications on the built environment through the utilisation of architectural and urban design as a vehicle for experimentation.


For this reason, this research thesis documents the large body of research material gathered over the course of two years, exploring the theories in question, and subsequently arriving at an argument that forms the basis of the overall project. Chapter 1 introduces the evolution of the food system in the context of Hong Kong, revealing the underlying reasons for it absence in the planning field as well as outlining some barriers in prioritising food in contemporary planning practice. The complicated interplay between spatial, economic, demographic, and environmental development in relation to food is further explored by using metabolism analysis as a tool to describe and document the current flows of food in Hong Kong.


Subsequently, a review of the current policies in Hong Kong and strategies from around the world paints a more thorough understanding of the local attitude in solving the growing body of food issues in the context of global trends and research. These case studies become important precedents for the opportunities that may arise by considering food in planning and urban design. This section is intended to inspire and challenge the reader to consider how the urban food system can be changed.


Fig. 10 - VMO Wholesale Market


Chapter 2 reflects upon the data and policy reviews in Chapter 1, and offers a strategic framework to create a platform for change. As opposed to proposing specific interventions that are created solely to solve current issues, the strategy aims to restructure the existing system to create an infrastructural framework within which future policies and interventions can be implemented. The framework is created with a proactive approach that is adopted from Hong Kong’s long-term planning visions, embracing the complexity of the food system to become a driving force for development. Subsequent section outlines the concept of network-centric governance and proposes the establishment of the Hong Kong Food System Authority based on the Food Policy Councils model as a precedent. In addition, this chapter also introduces the concept of urban clusters as an experimental test-bed for the deployment of potential interventions that explores the relationship between food system planning and urban living.


Chapter 3 grounds the theory into a specific context to further explore the feasibility of the strategy in closer detail, using Cheung Sha Wan as a site to analyse the integration and possible variations of interventions. The concept of the Food Station as a network node is introduced, and the potential multi-nodal expansion of stations is outlined as a more adaptable strategy for the future growth of the city and its food system. Subsequently, Chapter 4 transforms the idea of the food station into a design project, exploring possible design briefs, implementation strategies, as well as design approaches with precise site analysis and technical data.


In summary, it is envisioned that certain aspects of this document can be embedded into the government’s framework for decision making to inform future planning policies in Hong Kong. The proposals within this document are not formed to be implemented directly as the project is fundamentally not a modelling exercise, but the concepts embedded within the proposals set out a range of visions and guidelines that can be adopted in the future development of infrastructure design, urban governance, systems assessments or urban expansion. It is written for a diverse audience, including planners, architects, engineers, policy makers, private organisations and the general public as each of these groups has valuable and differing perspectives on the development processes of the city and its food system. In essence, the overall project sets out a road map for decision makers to focus on coordinated goals and actions to improve the city’s food system, whilst aligning it with broader policies and priorities such as housing, planning, urban health and transportation. The aim is to present a broad, evidence-based analysis built upon primary resources and work that is already underway to assist a discussion of ‘plausible futures’ that stimulates new ideas and exposes knowledge gaps.



Inquisition Placing the Food System on the Urban Agenda The Evolution of Hong Kong’s Food System Grounding Metabolism: Re-contextualising Food in the City Menu for Change: Local Policies and UFSs Reviews

Evolution of Hong Kong’s Food System [01]

Over more than 12,000 years, the feeding of people has developed from a simple huntergatherer activity into a long, complex and cross-national food chain (Barker, 2006). The term ‘food system’ is used to describe all the processes and infrastructure involved in feeding a population; it consists of a wide range of activities including importation, production, processing, transportation, distribution, consumption, and waste management of food and food-related items. These activities and infrastructure have grown over time along with the increase of size and number of cities around the world in such an unprecedented rate, that it has created a dangerous illusion that our cities and our food system are somehow immaculate and unstoppable (Lim, 2010). As both the cities and the food system continue to grow at their own terms and treated as independent entities, cities have become less aware of the wide ranging impacts that the industry have on the urban environment and on the quality of urban life. For this reason, the development of the food system in the context of Hong Kong’s evolution into a global city is explored to identify the underlying reasons for its absence in the field of planning


Industrialisation & Globalisation Before rail and motor transport freed urban food systems from the fields immediately around them, few cities reached a population of over 100,000 (Food Ethics Council, 2008). Established as a trading post during its colonial-era, Hong Kong underwent a rapid and successful process of industrialisation in the 1950s. In the 1960s, the labour-intensive industries of Hong Kong, which depended on the city’s low costs to remain competitive, were severely threatened by increasing land rents and labour costs. Meanwhile, the economic reforms in Mainland China provided a favourable condition for new industrial developments. With more favourable policy and tax incentives (Hong Kong Planning Department, 2007), Hong Kong’s businesses began to relocate and extend their industrial production across the border to the industrialising China, as well as to many other countries and cities in distant parts of the developing world (Lim, 2014).


As industrial activities were reduced, the service sector grew significantly and the city began to transform into a global financial centre. By the 1990s, over 80 percent of Hong Kong’s industrial activities had been relocated, and by 2008, 87 percent of all employees were working in the service sector (Information Services Department of Hong Kong, 2015). The food industry in Hong Kong is by no means an exception to this urban development. Whilst the city was largely self-sufficient in the 70s (Tuang, 2014), the food system in Hong Kong was completely reshaped during its post-industrial era. The rise of globalisation has allowed the food system to sprawl (Lim, 2014), displacing major parts of the food chain beyond the


boundaries of the local region and into other countries. The decline of the industrial and production sectors in Hong Kong has forced the city to rely heavily on imports. Whilst urban expansion has pressured its rural hinterland to give way to new developments, the lack of a comprehensive land-use policy means that only 5,100 hectares, less than half the 14,000 hectares available in the 1960s, is currently planned for agriculture (Yau, 2014). Together with the surrender schemes for poultry and pig farmers due to various flu incidents in the last decade, in which 162 poultry farmers and 222 pig farmers surrendered their Livestock Keeping Licences, local production has diminished to its lowest historical levels (Information Services Department Hong Kong, 2014). [04]

As a result, Hong Kong imports 96.8 percent of its food supplies. It is unsurprising that food travels further than any other type of goods around the world (Food Ethics Council, 2008). The ability to preserve food, as well as transport it long distances, has freed the city from the constraints of geography. At the same time, the loss of industry went largely unnoticed as food supply remains unproblematic. However, as the food chain becomes increasingly stretched, the emergence of food issues becomes slow, unspectacular, and insidious (Otter, 2014). The ‘decontextualisation’ of food means that food issues such as security, accessibility or safety, both in the local and global context, develop largely under the radar. These issues remain largely unnoticed until they have matured and begin to affect the quality of urban life, such as the increase of food prices and food epidemics. In essence, the dependency on imports has effectively offshored the city’s responsibilities to foreign neighbours, whilst disregarding the social, economic and environmental impacts that the food system have in the local context.


Post-industrial Economy The geographical detachment of the primary production of food from the location of its eventual consumption has led to the emergence of the global food economy. Whilst the production industry is increasingly relocated to developing countries and regions where natural resources and cheap labour could be most readily exploited, the distribution of food to wealthy economies, where it can be sold at a high unitary cost, has simultaneously increased. As a result, countries that are net exporters are becoming more specialised in the food types they produce. Ecuador for example, despite a population of just 15 million people, is responsible for producing 10 percent of all bananas eaten worldwide.


Food Electricity, gas and other fuels Transport services Clothing Operation of personal transport equipment Furniture, furnishings, carpets, etc. Other recreational equipment, etc. Audio-visual, photo & info. processing equipment Maintenance and repair of the dwelling Tobacco Personal effects NEC Footwear Household textiles Glassware, tableware & household utensils Alcoholic beverages Household appliances Non-alcoholic beverages Water supply and miscellaneous dwelling services Telephone & telefax services Tools and equipment for house & garden Personal care Medical products, appliances & equipment Newspaper, books & stationery Education Other

gha per capita

Percentage contributions to the household Ecological Footprint of an average Hong Kong resident (2008)



At the same time, as cities lose their manufacturing base to industrialising countries in distant parts of the developing world, cities like Hong Kong has turned all its attention to consumption. Whereas the availability of foreign food cultures in cities used to be exclusive, exotic and novel, food variety is now so pervasive to such an extent that it has come to define the food culture of many cities worldwide (Parham, 2015). Renowned as the culinary capital of Asia, Hong Kong boasts around 13,000 restaurants which can be translated to around 1 restaurant per 500 people. By supplying the city with cheap and plentiful food at little apparent cost, the global food system has satisfied the most basic needs, whilst making those needs appear inconsequential, and the value of food has been reduced to simply an edible commodity (Young, 2012). The economic-driven model has lulled urban residents into a false sense of security, failing to convey the problematic nature of the food system from social and environmental standpoints (Pothukuchi and Kaufman, 1999). For example, some theorists have argued that a feedback loop has developed in post-industrial cities whereby over consumption of resources is matched by overproduction of waste (Rudlin and Falk, 2009). The city’s demand for a constant supply of cheap and predictable food meant that the food we eat today is driven not by local cultures, but by economies of scale which applies to every stage of the supply chain (Steel, 2009). Food system management has become so driven by market forces that the Hong Kong Government has taken a backseat to its development, stating that “only in the rare exceptions where social considerations are overriding, the allocation of resources in the economy is left to market forces with minimal government intervention.”(Information Services Department Hong Kong, 2014; Frohlich et al., 2014)


Urban-rural Divide The intensity and rapid process of urbanisation, particularly in Asia, has led to the definition of certain local matters as quintessentially urban. In particular to developed cities, a sharp and powerful dichotomy between what is considered urban and what is rural has also served to hide from urban residents, policy makers and planners the many interconnected activities that make up a food system (Pothukuchi and Kaufman, 2000). For example, food supply issues are widely believed to be caused by farming failure in the city’s hinterland rather than the failure in distribution, despite the fact that almost 30 percent of all food produced is lost in the last 5km of transportation (Food Ethics Council, 2008). Urban-rural divide has grown so ingrained in today’s society that urban historian Arnold Toynbee goes so far as to define cities entirely in terms of their inability to produce sufficient food - “A city is a human settlement whose inhabitants cannot produce, within the city limits, all of the food that they need for keeping them alive.”(Toynbee, 1970) This mentality has led planners to believe that the planning for food, when it is considered at all, is a subset of national sustainability and rural protection schemes. This means that food system planning is given a relatively low priority when weighing planning for food with other objectives that are deemed more relevant to the profession of urban planning such as housing or the provision of public space (Donovan, Larsen and McWhinnie, 2011).





Grounding Metabolism: Re-contextualising Food in the City

“A city like Hong Kong is thoroughly embedded in a global network of landscapes and infrastructures that are too often forgotten, unseen or ignored.” (Davies and Young, 2013) [01]

In light of the displacement of food from the field of urban planning, the re-contextualisation of the food system draws connections between food and the city through its intersections with other urban agendas such as planning, economic or transport systems. This section grounds a large collection of research data in demographics, economics and environmental assessments with spatial specifications in the form of geographical patterns and infrastructure functions, placing emphasis on both physical and metaphysical connections (Tillie, 2014; Mangelsdorf, 2013). Hence, metabolism analysis is used as a tool to record and document the flow and transformation of material in relation to time and space within the city. This exercise explicitly goes beyond the quantitative accounting of physical flows into qualitative properties that reflects the cultural and socioeconomic context (Chrysoulakis, Castro and Moors, 2015). It articulates community needs and identifies the vital social, physical, or natural resources of a particular geographic area and their connections to a local or regional food system. This brings about a certain transparency and a sort of clarification of the hidden trade-offs, invisible costs, and externalities that have not been factored into previous attempts in solving urban food issues (van der Sande, 2012). It unravels new information and tensions within the urban environment that are previously unrecognised or undefined as an attempt to develop a more detailed, rigorous, and sophisticated representation of the city (Ibañez and Katsikis, 2014).


There are a few precedents in which the metabolism tool was used for studying Hong Kong. Boyden et al. studied the city’s energy use and flows from the perspective of the lifestyle of its residents (Boyden, Millar, Newcombe and O’Neill, 1981). Newcombe et al. studied the metabolism of Hong Kong in terms of the resource inputs into an urban settlement and the resource potentials of its wastes (Newcombe, Kalma and Aston, 1978). Inspired by this work, Warren-Rhodes and Koenig produced an update of the metabolism of Hong Kong describing the increasing environmental impacts caused by the city’s transition from a manufacturing centre to a service-based economy (Warren-Rhodes and Koenig, 2001).


Lastly, utilising metabolism analysis as a tool can also help communicate the new knowledge in an easily understandable format to end users such as urban planners, architects and engineers (Chrysoulakis, Castro and Moors, 2015). The analysis can be utilised by decision makers to develop more effective interventions through focused studies on areas in need (Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, 2010). In understanding and learning to use the structure and metabolism of the city, planners can work on developing a more sustainable urban system that is more suitably tailored to its context (Tillie, 2014).



Production Geographically, Hong Kong consists largely of steep hillside and only 5.4 percent of land is planned for agriculture, whereas Greater Paris and Shanghai, for example, has 52 percent and 32.5 percent respectively. Currently, only 734 of the 5,100 hectares are actively farmed, with 300 hectares devoted to growing vegetables and 270 hectares to fruit (Information Services Department Hong Kong, 2014). This means that about 80 percent of agricultural land is left idle, and most of it is gradually bought up by property developers for rezoning (SCMP Editorial, 2011; Yau, 2014).


As of May 2014, there are around 2,400 farms with their production accounting for 2 percent of fresh vegetables, 59.6 percent of live poultry, and 6 percent of live pigs consumed in the territory (The average daily production of vegetable, live chicken and live pigs are 45 tonnes, 10,500 birds and 264 heads respectively). Together, these farms employ around 4,400 farmers and workers (Information Services Department Hong Kong, 2014).


In comparison to other metropolis in Asia, the rate of self-sufficiency in Guangzhou and Shanghai is currently at an acceptable level of 30 percent (Yau, 2014), and Singapore, who is often compared to Hong Kong due to its physical characteristics and economy, has in place strategies for the diversification of food sources and the boosting of its local production industry through investment in agricultural technology to increase its current level of 5 percent to 10 percent within the next five years (Agrifood & Veterinary Authority of Singapore, 2014).


To follow suit, the Hong Kong Government released The New Agricultural Policy in 2014, setting out an objective to increase local production and to rehabilitate fallow agricultural land. It explicitly states that local production is geared to complement rather than compete with other major market suppliers since a target to achieve self-sufficiency is unrealistic under current technological constraints (Information Services Department Hong Kong, 2014). It is estimated that it would require an area of 25 times the size of Hong Kong to feed its 7 million population under current practices, or an area of 4 times the size if everyone were to become a vegetarian. Besides government action, the excessive use of agricultural chemicals and increasing frequency of food epidemics in China has also prompted locals to consider urban agriculture to diversify their own food sources (Food and Health Bureau, 2014).

Hong Kong [1,104 km2]


Trinidad [4xHong Kong]

Albania [25xHong Kong]

27 Fig. 17 - Organic Farming in the Concrete Jungle




Importation In order to satisfy the huge demand for a constant and efficient supply of food, the majority of Hong Kong’s food supply is imported from Mainland China (e.g. 94% of fresh pork, 100% of fresh beef and 92% of vegetables)(Census and Statistics Department, 2016b). With its spacious fields and affordable labour, the Mainland has the ability to deliver food at the large scale and low cost that the city needs. Its geographical proximity also means that transport and logistical costs are kept to a minimum (Kong, 2013). Most food from the Mainland enters Hong Kong by truck (56%) via the Man Kam To Control Point whilst imported food from other countries is delivered by ships (30%) via Hong Kong’s container port and piers near the various wholesale markets. Air transportation is also responsible for around 14 percent of all imports as high-end foods with shorter shelf lives are delivered through the Hong Kong International Airport (Yang, 2008).


Food imported from the Mainland is mostly produced from adjacent provinces such as Guangdong, Hunan and Hubei, but this trend is fast changing as farms are shifting further inland to Yunnan and Ningxia to make way for urban development (Yau, 2014). Hong Kong’s heavy reliance on cheap supply from the Mainland is under threat as its neighbours are looking to reduce export to feed its own growing population. Moreover, China’s food production is projected to reduce by 5-10 percent within the next two decades due to climate change (Kong, 2013). The Mainland is facing its own food security issues as it begins to rent and buy land in countries such as Russia and Ukraine for agriculture (Garnett and Wilkes, 2014). Besides China, Hong Kong’s most important trade partners are also running in biocapacity deficits (WWF, 2013). Consequently, Hong Kong’s food system is very vulnerable to price changes and other external risks. The volatility of exchange rates, in particular the rising renminbi, has led to an increase in price of even the most basic of food types (Hayes, 2013). For example, over the past two decades, the average price per kilogram of vegetables sold in Hong Kong has doubled from HK$2.50 in the late 1980s to more than HK$5 in 2009, rising 20 percent in the past five years alone. This situation has also exacerbated social inequality by pricing nutritious and fresh foods beyond the reach of the poor, leaving them to rely on a diet of cheap, highly-processed food and the accompanying unhealthy lifestyles and health hazards (SCMP Editorial, 2011).


Processing Much of the food consumed today goes through some form of processing. Food processing transforms raw ingredients such as harvested crops into new products for consumption. This can be as simple as washing and packaging fresh produce or as complex as making breakfast cereal. There is a considerable scale of food and beverage processing industry in Hong Kong with their products mostly sold for local consumption. These food processing businesses are located in the few remaining industrial estates around Hong Kong. With growing Western interests in oriental food and condiments, there has been increasing demand for Hong Kong’s food exports (HKTDC, 2013).


31 Fig. 19 - The Mass Culling of 20,000 Chickens



Distribution The shear amount of imported food has necessitated the construction and organisation of a large network of roads, distribution centres and wholesale markets. The wholesale markets are particularly important in the context of a complex supply chain as they act as the connection point between the suppliers and retailers. By providing a space for the exchange of information and the centralisation of transactions, wholesale operations improve efficiency in the food distribution pipeline whilst promoting greater transparency of prices through a clear interplay of supply and demand. Storage and handling conditions of goods are also enhanced which leads to significant reductions in post-harvest losses estimated to be about 30 percent (FAO, 2013).


The Government’s policy for wholesale markets is to ensure the adequate provision and efficient operation of government wholesale marketing facilities to meet the demands of the trades, and to ensure a stable supply of fresh food produce. Currently, 15 wholesale markets together handle 78 percent of the fresh food produce consumed in the territory, of which more than half is handled by four government wholesale markets – Cheung Sha Wan Wholesale Food Complex (constructed in 1993), Western Wholesale Food Complex (constructed in 1994), Cheung Sha Wan Temporary Wholesale Poultry Market, and the North District Temporary Wholesale Market for Agricultural Products. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) is responsible for managing these government wholesale markets and overseeing the re-provisioning of outdated wholesale markets (Hong Kong Audit Commission, 2007). The Centre for Food Safety department is responsible in the inspection and testing of imported food samples at each entry point as well as random sampling at these markets (Hong Kong Platforms, 2012). In addition, the Vegetable Marketing Organisation (VMO) is an individual non-profit statutory authority that oversees the development of the local vegetable production industry, providing wholesaling facilities and marketing channels for local farmers. In an interview with VMO’s market operations manager, Mr. Hui was highly critical of the New Agricultural Policy’s lack of scope, stating that the lack of government support for VMO’s work in local produce marketing is somewhat conflicting with its ambition to raise production levels (Hui, 2015).


In the context of planning, these wholesale markets are positioned to benefit from major infrastructures, particularly the motorways to facilitate the heavy dependence on road transportation as the main distribution method around the city. Freight movements are a major source of road traffic throughout much of the urban area of Hong Kong which is responsible for 40 percent of all road transportation emissions. On average, each goods vehicle makes seven trips per day with most of these being single door-to-door trips delivering food, beverages and fuels. Studies have shown that whilst Hong Kong external logistics is highly sophisticated, its development in internal logistics is lagging behind (Bartlett, 2014).


In February 1996, the Economic Services Panel of the Legislative Council was informed by the former Agriculture and Fisheries Department of a proposal for a new wholesale food market to centralise all wholesale activities into one complex to relocate the fragmented markets around the city. The proposed site is an empty plot adjacent to the current Cheung Sha Wan Wholesale Food Complex, and the project was approved in 1997. A design proposal was put together by the AFCD and the Architectural Services Department (ASD) in 1999 to build a vertical structure to accommodate all the markets to create a ‘one-stop shop’ wholesale complex. However, the proposal was never implemented due to unsuccessful negotiations between the stakeholders and the lack of responses from two rounds of design tender (Hong Kong Audit Commission, 2016).


35 Fig. 21 - A Walled Compound - Western Wholesale Food Market



Retail/Consumption Adding to the city’s heavy reliance on food imports is an entrenched preference for fresh produce within the local consumer culture. Traditional Chinese cuisine often requires the freshest possible ingredients. In round figures, the daily fresh food consumption in Hong Kong is around 833 tonnes of rice, 2,290 tonnes of vegetables, 80 head of pigs, 71 head of cattle, and 36 tonnes of poultry (Information Services Department Hong Kong, 2014).


Whilst many cities have retained a homogenous and independent food culture, the vast majority of modern cities have become less singular in their tastes and instead have come to embrace a pluralistic food culture consisting of numerous competing culinary cultures from around the world (Lim, 2014). Widely regarded as Asia’s ‘Food Paradise’, it is estimated that half of Hong Kong’s population dines in eateries every day (Census and Statistics Department, 2016a). The city boasts around 13,000 restaurants, serving its 7 million population along with 164 traditional wet markets and 576 supermarkets as it is estimated that 27 percent of all household expenditure is spent on food (Census and Statistics Department, 2016a). Wet markets originated due to the inability to store food for long periods in the hot humid


climates of Southern East Asia, and they have now become an integral part of the cultural fabric of Hong Kong (Hong Kong Consumer Council, 2003). Besides their role as a cultural symbol, wet markets are also an important competitive element in food retailing. However, recent studies have shown that wet markets’ share has fallen significantly to below 50 percent in 2000 as supermarkets expanded their numbers in the city rapidly (Young, 2012).

Consumer Price Index Beef


Frozen meat



Fresh Vegetable






39 Fig. 24 - Street Market in Mongkok



Waste Management According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), roughly a third of the food produced in the world for human consumption is wasted or lost every year. This amounts to a major squandering of resources, including land, water, energy, labour and capital that had gone into its production (United Nations Environment Programme, 2016). Hong Kong produces around 3,200 tonnes of food waste everyday which accounts for a third of all solid waste. Food waste is any waste, whether raw, cooked or generated during food production, distribution, storage, meal preparation or consumption of meals. Nearly 80 percent of all food waste comes from households at an average of 0.13 tonne of food waste per capita (per year), one of the highest amongst developed economies in Asia (e.g. Seoul and Taipei – 0.7). The remaining 20 percent comes from food-related commercial and industrial sources (Hong Kong Environmental Bureau, 2014).


The majority of this food waste goes to 3 landfills which, according to an array of government reports, are expected to become exhausted by 2018 (Hong Kong Environmental Bureau, 2014). In comparison, less than two tonnes of food waste is recycled every day. Whilst one in ten in Hong Kong lives in poverty and struggles to meet basic nutritional needs, it is estimated that supermarkets in Hong Kong dispose 29 tonnes of edible food everyday which is enough to feed 48,000 three-person families (Census and Statistics Department, 2015). The growing realisation that food waste prevention and reduction is becoming increasingly important has prompted Hong Kong’s government to release the Food Waste and Yard

Waste Plan 2014-2022 in an attempt to tackle this issue. The government has constructed a pilot scheme in Kowloon Bay to examine the potentials of Anaerobic Digestion Plants in redirecting food waste from landfills to treat around 280 tonnes of food waste every year. The compost produced at the end of the anaerobic digestion process is used by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) for their community gardens. In addition, there is also a recent rise in the number of NGOs in Hong Kong who operate food banks, redistribute surplus produce from markets to community kitchens, and transporting cooked food from eateries to community centres. Interviews with Mr. Jason Lowe from Food Angel and Miss Mandy Ma from Feeding Hong Kong, two of the biggest NGOs in the field, both highlighted the lack of policy support such as a Good Samaritan Law in Hong Kong as the main obstacle in gathering support from the private food industry. In addition, whilst public support is on the rise, solving logistics issues remain as the main challenge for operations growth (Lowe, 2015; Ma, 2015).


Policy Statement In recent years, we have seen changes in public perception about the future development of local agriculture in Hong Kong and the appreciation of the positive impacts that it would bring. The Government has reviewed the positioning of our agricultural policy in present-day circumstances and propose to adopt a new policy encompassing more proactive support to modernise our agricultural industry and maximise its contributions to the well-being of society apart from being a source of primary production. Policy Recommendations t t t t t t

Establishment of Agri-Park to provide research and development facilities for food production technology and methods Establishment of a sustainable agricultural development fund to support research and enhance manpower training Improvement of infrastructure to allow easy access of farms to urban clusters for trade activities, reduce transportation costs and enhance efficiency in distribution Strengthening marketing and branding of local agricultural produce Encourage organic farming and organic food processing in these areas for duo purposes of sustaining local economy and demonstrating the model of a sustainable lifestyle. Rehabilitation of fallow agricultural land

Policy Statement This is a companion document to the Blueprint for Sustainable Use of Resources 2013-2022. We have set a goal for Hong Kong that by 2022, we will reduce our per capita municipal solid waste disposal rate by 40% using 2011 as the base. The starting point of our new policy is to adopt a different attitude to waste in Hong Kong: our waste stream contains a treasure trove of useful resources, much of which can be reused, recycled and recovered. Our target is to cut down the amount of food waste that goes to landfills by at least 40% by 2022. Policy Recommendations t



Environment Bureau




February 2014


Various campaigns to mobilise the public and to gather social momentum e.g. food donation, food waste source separation, district food waste schemes Implementation of a quantity-based municipal solid waste charging scheme by 2016/17. Experience from other parts of the world, including Taipei City and Seoul, shows that implementation of quantity-based waste charging provide powerful economic incentive for people and various trades to reduce avoidable waste and to separate recyclables from the waste stream Building a network of around five to six Organic Waste Treatment Facilities between 2014 and 2024 with a total recycling capacity of about 1,300- 1,500 tonnes per day. The first facility at Siu Ho Wan (North Lantau) is already under tender and will cater for 200 tonnes of food waste per day. It is a government-funded DesignBuild-Operate (DBO) project and is expected to become operational in 2016. Strengthen our support of the work of NGOs to increase the collection of surplus food from the C&I sector, such as supermarkets, fresh food markets, restaurants, clubs and hotels. NGOs may consider applying for the ECF to support food donation projects that could help reduce waste to landfill.

Menu for Change: Local Policies & UFS Reviews

“So here’s the picture - we grow and farm very little, we buy a lot, and we waste far too much. Clearly, there are huge gaps in the system that need to be rectified for this city to continue running as it is.” - Janice Leung Hayes, Food Writer & Social Entrepreneur (Hayes, 2013) [01]

A number of local and foreign policies and strategy documents highlight the emerging opportunities and global trends towards considering food in planning and design. Within South East Asia, new cities are being built to accommodate the growing population and the intensification of urbanisation. These new cities have created an opportunity to reshape the relationship between cities and their resources, and their revised approaches to modelling essential infrastructure have placed the food system highly on the urban agenda. Some of these precedents include Wangzhuang Eco-City by Arup, Guanming Smartcity by Studio 8 Architects, and a new master plan for Shanghai by Except. In light of this global trend, Hong Kong’s government has since released two policies – The New Agricultural Policy 2014 and the Food Waste and Yard Waste Plan 2014-2022.


The New Agricultural Policy 2014 puts forward a set of actions to provide ‘more proactive support to modernise Hong Kong’s agricultural industry’ and to ‘maximise its contributions to the well-being of society apart from being a source of primary production.’ The policy aims to create employment, commercial and educational opportunities, as well as to build a more resilient and environmentally sustainable food production industry through the development of research and development facilities, supporting infrastructure such as marketing and funding arrangements, and the rehabilitation of fallow agricultural land.


The Food Waste and Yard Waste Plan 2014-2022 is a companion document to the Blueprint for Sustainable Use of Resources 2013-2022 that sets out a vision to reduce the amount of food waste that goes to landfills by a minimum of 40 percent by 2022. This target will be achieved through two overarching strategies - the reduction of food waste by cultivating an ‘environment-conscious culture’ within society and the creation of economic incentives for the public to ‘use less and waste less’; and the recycling of food waste through ‘mobilising the public’ and ‘supporting NGOs’ to participate in waste recycling schemes, as well as the construction of ‘a network of Organic Waste Treatment Facilities, using anaerobic digestion as the core technology to recover embodied energy in food waste.’


Together, these policies have brought a clear vision to improve the quality of the urban environment and urban life through the development of the food system, however, these separate plans have focused on food production and waste management in isolation, failing to mention their impact on the overall system. As opposed to this compartmentalised approach, it should be recognised that a more holistic investigation of the entire food chain



would be more effective in building a more sustainable system. As Professor Tara Garnett, head of the Food Policy Research Network at Oxford University, suggested, ‘the solution to food problems is not technological, but a more responsible understanding of the system.’(Garnett and Wilkes, 2014) A new policy approach that emphasises on the multifunctional values of food and its capacity to create more sustainable spatial, economic and sociocultural linkages is emerging within the academic field as an attempt to challenge the current ‘sectoralised’ food system that is deemed unfit for future urban growth (Sonnino and Spayde, 2014). As opposed to the creation individual reports or policies such as The New Agricultural Policy 2014 and the Food Waste and Yard Waste Plan 2014-2022, the latest policy model assembles all members from the different parts of the food chain to create an overall strategy that distributes the responsibility in solving the wide range of food issues. This approach has been adopted by several cities in the form of an Urban Food Strategy (UFS) document, such as New York City’s FoodWorks 2010, London’s Good Planning for Good Food 2011, Malmo’s Policy for Sustainable Development and Food 2010, and Los Angeles’ The Good Food for All Agenda 2010. The main purpose of this cross-sector and crossdepartmental exercise is to build a network that gathers different perspectives, clarifying the different inputs and expertise amongst the stakeholders (Morgan and Sonnino, 2010). [05]

UFS is a document that contains a vision statement, an action plan and a set of indicators that allows the city to monitor changes and progress in the transition towards a sustainable food system. Not too dissimilar to national food strategies, these urban documents aim to create synergies and coherence amongst a variety of activities and roles between the city, its surrounding rural hinterland, and foreign trade partners. UFS is an official plan or road map that helps city governments integrate the full spectrum of urban food issues within a single policy framework. Furthermore, UFS also acts as a tool to measure the impacts of planning decisions on food issues that is previously unavailable (Donovan, Larsen and McWhinnie, 2011).


Against this shared background, these food strategies however propose different central narratives and a unique set of evaluation tools catered specifically for their cities. The UFSs by New York City, Vancouver, Philadelphia and Leicester identified the improvement of the financial viability of their food sector as a top priority; Bristol has focused its strategy on resilience and environmental sustainability; Whereas cities such as Toronto, Los Angeles, Malmo and London have focused theirs on promoting health-focused food systems (London Food, 2006; Malmo Stad, 2010; The Los Angeles Food Policy Task Force, 2010; Toronto Public Health, 2010; DVRPC, 2011; The New York City Council, 2011; Bristol City Council, 2013; Vancouver Food Policy Council, 2013; Sonnino and Spayde, 2014).


Collectively, these UFSs base their argument and strategies on the amalgamation of issues such as public health, social justice and food sovereignty with local economic and ecological concerns to create more powerful alliances and partnerships in and across rural and urban spaces (Morgan, Marsden and Murdoch, 2006). In general, these UFSs mention three strategies to advocate change in their food systems - infrastructural development, a more enabling planning system, and public procurement. A more detailed review of the aforementioned UFSs and a summary of their recommendations are collected in Appendix (i).






cities which host over half the world’s population have a strategic role to play in developing sustainable food systems and promoting healthy diets, and because while every city is different, they are all centres of economic, political and cultural innovation, and manage vast public resources, infrastructure, investments and expertise; civil society and the private sector have major roles to play in feeding cities, bringing experience, innovation and campaigns for more sustainable food systems and mainstreaming the critical need for a socially inclusive and a rights-based approach in urban food policy; since food policies are closely related to many other urban challenges and policies, such as poverty, health and social protection, hygiene and sanitation, land use planning, transport and commerce, energy, education, and disaster preparedness, it is essential to adopt an approach that is comprehensive, interdisciplinary and inter-institutional;




t t

t t



develop sustainable food systems that are inclusive, resilient, safe and diverse, that provide healthy and affordable food to all people in a human rights - based framework, that minimise waste and conserve biodiversity while adapting to and mitigating impacts of climate change encourage interdepartmental and cross - sector coordination at municipal and community levels, working to integrate urban food policy considerations into social, economic and environment policies, programmes and initiatives, such as, inter alia, food supply and distribution, social protection, nutrition, equity, food production, education, food safety and waste reduction seek coherence between municipal food - related policies and programmes and relevant subnational, national, regional and international policies and processes engage all sectors within the food system including neighbouring authorities, technical and academic organisations, civil society, small scale producers, and the private sector) in the formulation, implementation and assessment of all food - related policies, programmes and initiatives; review and amend existing urban policies, plan s and regulations in order to encourage the establishment of equitable, resilient and sustainable food systems use the Framework for Action as a starting point for each city to address the development of their own urban food system and we will share developments with participating cities and our national governments and international agencies when appropriate encourage other cities to join our food policy actions


In addition to the creation of UFSs, the global trend in recognising cities as the frontier for global systematic change has resulted in the formation of the Urban Food Policy Pact. This is an international protocol created in Milan at the World Expo 2015 that engages leading cities from around the world to development their food systems based on the principles of sustainability and social justice. 120 major cities have signed this pact, expressing their commitment to setting out the vision of how the food system should look in 2030. By signing the Urban Food Policy Pact, the mayors and representatives acknowledge that their cities play a vital role in developing sustainable food systems, and should take a ‘socially inclusive and a rights-based’ approach in urban food policy to engage both the private sector and civil society. Since food policies are closely related to many other urban challenges and policies, it is also acknowledged that ‘food system planning shall adopt an approach that is comprehensive, interdisciplinary and inter-institutional’. Thereby, these cities are committed to develop sustainable food systems that are ‘inclusive, resilient, safe and diverse whilst adapting to and mitigating impacts of climate change.’ These cities will ‘review and amend existing urban policies, plans and regulations’, encouraging the ‘integration of urban food policy considerations into social, economic and environment policies, programmes and initiatives.’ Finally, these cities will also ‘seek coherence between all scales of foodrelated programmes’ to bridge between ‘subnational, national, regional and international policies’ whilst ‘encouraging other cities to participate in food policy actions.’ (Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, 2015)


A recommendations document was also produced under the guidance of an Advisory Group formed by many leading international organisations including the FAO. These recommendations are divided into six areas – strategic development of food system governance, improvement on social and economic equity, promotion of sustainable diets and urban health, the guidance and protection of local food production, assessment on food supply and distribution, and the improvement on food waste management. The full list of recommendations can be found in Appendix (ii). As the document has explicitly stated, these recommended interventions may not be fully applicable in all circumstances; its users are required to select and adapt the guidelines as necessary to suit their particular situations. Nevertheless, the significance of this overall exercise lies in its description of what constitutes as a ‘sustainable food system’, and its establishment of a useful set of criteria for evaluation. Building upon this, the next chapter examines the potential of aligning Hong Kong’s existing policies and planning visions with these criteria, utilising the research data in this chapter to construct an infrastructural framework under which potential interventions more applicable to the local context can be formed and implemented (Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, 2015).


51 Fig. 33 - View from Cheung Sha Wan

“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.� Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities



Reformation Rewiring the Food Network Aligning Food System Development with Hong Kong’s Planning Vision Embracing Complexity: A Framework for Restructuring Network-centric Urban Governance: The FSA Urban Cluster as Network Hub

Aligning Food System Development with Hong Kong’s Planning Vision “Planning is not only concerned with short term interventions as the long term considerations are more important than ever due to current global challenges” - Gwendolyn Hallsmith (Hallsmith, 2003) [01]

Cities are becoming more competitive as they rely on continuous development to provide a better place for habitation (Un-habitat, 2013). Increasingly, researchers, international organisations and governments acknowledge that the optimisation of urban form can help achieve fundamental aims of environmental protection, social equity and economic development within cities (Weisz and Steinberger, 2010). In the context of Hong Kong, the government’s planning goal is to create a better city in which to live and work, under the overarching goal of providing sustainable development in the form of social prosperity, economic equity and environmental balance. The likes of Hong Kong 2030 Planning Vision

and Strategies is an example of the government’s commitment to promote continuous urban growth, creating a ‘long-term planning strategy to guide future developments’ and to help ‘implement government policy targets in a spatial form.’ (Hong Kong Planning Department, 2007) [02]

Many scholars hold the view that infrastructural development is a critical driver of urban form as it enables the centralisation of economic functions and the accommodation of a growing population (Burdett, Taylor and Kaasa, 2011). ‘Infrastructure’ is the collective term for the systems and spaces of flows that provide the essential services of the city (Weinstock, 2013). As the word ‘infrastructure’ is used largely to describe roads, electricity grids, telephone lines, and water pipes, unsurprisingly, the growing body of research on large technological systems and infrastructure has mostly focused on electricity, water supply, communications, and transportation, with little regards to the importance of food in sustaining a city (Frohlich et al., 2014). Moreover, by its very definition – the underlying structures that support, maintain and operate a society – infrastructure is inherently hidden from us, and for this reason, it is often overlooked in the context of urban strategies and architectural design (Carter, 2013). Although it is widely acknowledged that urban infrastructure forms the essential backdrop of contemporary urban life, in affluent city’s like Hong Kong, the focus of front-room activities has put less priority on back-room processes.


Historically, our urban infrastructure has materialised as a response to some emergent or acute problem such as natural disasters or epidemics, and the reaction has been to engineer systems that solve a single problem at a particular time (Carter, 2013). As little thought has been given to future conditions, mismatches between urban forms, flows and infrastructure are becoming more prevalent within the urban environment, characterised by temporal time lags as the different parts of an urban system attempt to catch up with each other, such as the lack of waste management and the issues with landfill overflows (Wong, Ravetz and Turner, 2000). Urban planners and architects, who have more often focused on designing



prominent civic objects and spaces in cities, are urged to turn their attention to these hidden yet indispensable systems that underlie urban fabric (Castro, Ramfrez and Rico, 2013). As designers begin to expand the scale and scope of their projects, they are also recognising the potential of infrastructure to serve as ‘fertile conceptual territory.’ (Carlisle and Pevzner, 2013) For example, the Working Public Architecture 2.0 Competition in 2009, organised by UCLA’s CityLAB as a response to the US Recovery Act, prompted designers to ‘envision a new legacy of publicly-supported infrastructure, projects that explore the value of infrastructure not only as an engineering endeavour, but as a robust design opportunity to strengthen communities and revitalise cities.’ (UCLA cityLAB, 2009) [04]

In the context of Hong Kong, proposals for infrastructural developments are absorbed into the overall territorial urban planning of the city. The likes of Metroplan 1991, Urban Renewal

Strategy Study of 1999, Hong Kong 2030 Planning Vision and Strategy, and the ‘Ten Major Infrastructure Projects for Economic Growth’ have all been a commitment to promote and guide Hong Kong’s infrastructural development. However, whilst these plans and studies offer comprehensive guidelines and attainable visions, in a review of Metroplan 1991 conducted by the Planning Department (PlanD) in 2003, it has identified the plan’s lack of statutory status as the main obstacle in implementing the proposals. Although Metroplan 1991 was endorsed by the Executive Council (ExCo) as a policy statement, there was no clear statement of the force intended to be given to its principles in decision-making, and as a result, its provisions have not always carried sufficient weight to affect any key decisions in infrastructural planning or design (Hong Kong Planning Department, 2003). For this reason, an alternative approach would be necessary to create a strategic framework for policy implementation and urban development, under the overarching goal of creating a long-term plan for the transformation of Hong Kong’s food system.


Fig. 35 - Cheung Sha Wan Typhoon Shelter in 1965

Embracing Complexity: A Framework for Restructuring “The function of design is not only to make cities attractive, but also to make them more adaptive, more fluid, more capable of accommodating changing demands and unforeseen circumstances.” – Alex Wall (Wall, 1999) [01]

In order to accommodate the accelerating rate of urban growth, infrastructure systems are frequently evolving away from equilibrium, stretching its capacity and abilities to maintain the provisions of essential needs as to prevent any dramatic disturbances to the quality of urban life (Byrne, 1998; Roo and Silva, 2010). For this reason, many scholars hold the view that the concept of a sustainable system does not have an end state, but rather, it is a system of dynamic processes that is rooted in its ability to develop and adapt to contextual change as cities are no longer regarded as static entities, but as an organisation with changing demands, requirements (e.g. the compromise between environmental protection and economics incentives) and contexts (e.g. social, political and cultural change)(Pernice, 2004; Innes and Booher, 2010; Weinstock, 2013).


This is also echoed in Hong Kong 2030 Planning Vision and Strategy which states that ‘the biggest challenge for long-term planning is to be proactive and to create a systems framework that is readily adaptable to a future which is full of uncertainties…the quest for sustainable systems commands a more vigilant attitude towards growth and development,’ and that ‘dynamism and uncertainty necessitate a high degree of flexibility in the planning process to allow for frequent adjustments and reviews to effectively respond to contextual changes.’(Hong Kong Planning Department, 2007) As with the planning of the food system, whilst the Government is gradually tackling Hong Kong’s current food issues, the lack of comprehensive policies and continuous research also means that the current system is neither modelled to be proactive nor reactive to change and transform at a pace that can match urban growth (Franck, 2005; Otter, 2014). Thus, a reformation strategy that is very much ingrained in the overall planning of the city cannot be based simply on resolving current issues, but a sustainable system will also need to be flexible and responsive as it adapts itself to the changing context by expansions, contractions and reconfigurations of its management and urban form (Weinstock, 2013).


Hard Infrastructure refers to the large physical networks necessary for the functioning of a modern industrial nation, such as roads, car parks, airports, hospitals, and reservoirs. Soft Infrastructure refers to all the institutions and non-physical systems which are required to maintain the economic, health, and cultural and social standards of a city, such as the ďŹ nancial system, the education system, the health care system, the system of government, and law enforcement.


“The way to build a complex system that works is to build it from very simple systems that work� – John Gall, Systems Theorist (Gall, 1977) [03]

Just as the problem of climate change cannot be solved either at the level of individual citizens or at the level of global organisations, food system planning will require alliances between groups tackling similar problems and compromises in the face of competing issues (van der Sande, 2012). Complexity should be recognised as an opportunity rather than a hindrance (Roo and Silva, 2010); building infrastructure for complexity could induce adaptability within the system as it will provide a platform to share knowledge and resources between people and activity, and in turn create feedbacks and an understanding of critical thresholds that drive changes in the system (Weinstock, 2013; Steiner, 2014). As the current model of the food system is highly compartmentalised, the main approach of the strategy is the formation of a platform that can create, maintain, and regulate new links that are previously unconnected through rewiring the existing network of actors and activities (Andersson and Andersson, 2008; Zhang, 2013), embracing the complexity of the food system by moving away from the individualistic, linear and mechanistic thinking (Lang, 2005; Cuddihy, Engel-Yan and Kennedy, 2007). This platform will be composed of both hard and soft infrastructure in the form of physical nodes and collaborative dialogues where most learning occurs (Innes, 2012; Frohlich et al., 2014). By considering the impact of infrastructure beyond brick and mortar, it can prevent the reduction of systems management to an engineering issue (Barles, 2014). This approach could also develop a more sophisticated understanding of the interconnected relationships between the different actors and activities with their own values, culture, traditions, orders, techniques, and legitimacy that can generate the dynamics and discussions necessary to bring change (Roo and Silva, 2010). This perspective is complementary to many insights already used in collaborative planning theory (Healey, 1997; Innes and Booher, 2010), deliberative policymaking (Hajer and Wagenaar, 2003), as well as public administration and organisational management (Hanf and Scharpf, 1978; Koppenjan and Klijn, 2004; Teisman, Buuren and Gerrits, 2009). In essence, it is envisioned that that the reformation will transform the linear food chain into a web of links that stretches beyond the bounds of the food system and into its social and physical context, developing a more adaptive system whilst creating an essential proximity between personal actions and cross-scaled food issues (van der Sande, 2012).



Network-centric Urban Governance: The FSA

“No single technological or spatial fix is going to solve these ‘food equations’. They will require at the very least ‘necessary’ and reflexive governance systems…” – Terry Marsden (Marsden and Sonnino, 2012) [01]

Since food-related programme and policy development for cities conventionally departs from systems theory, it has resulted in a disconnected and disengaged approach in which various government departments and industry sectors create separate and potentially conflicting policies (Schiff, 2008). As in the case of Hong Kong and its food system, different parts of the food chain are governed by different government departments and various stakeholders.


The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) is responsible for providing services to the public in connection with agriculture and fisheries, nature conservation and animal, plant and fisheries regulation. The AFCD’s primary job is to provide infrastructural support, technical assistance and advice, credit facilities and vocational training to local farmers and fishermen, as well as managing the government’s fresh food wholesale markets (Information Services Department Hong Kong, 2014). The Vegetable Marketing Organisation (VMO) and the Fish Marketing Organisation (FMO) are responsible for promoting local farming and to provide facilities for the marketing of vegetables and fish, as well as improving the socio-economic status of the farming community. The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) monitors Hong Kong’s food safety and public hygiene to ensure that food sold in the city is safe and fit for consumption, whilst the Department of Health (DH) advices the local community on food-related public health issues. At the end of the food chain, The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) provides infrastructure for the treatment and disposal of waste.


In order to find a solution to promote cross-disciplinary and multi-functional collaborations necessary to address the current coordination issues within the urban food system, academics argue that it is essential to steer away from the conventional ‘sectoralised’ thinking (Sonnino and Spayde, 2014). As Morgan argues, ‘at a time when fiscal and financial austerity is making it increasingly difficult for urban governments to meet the basic needs of their populations alone, collaboration in the form of a new alliance between individual citizens, municipal authorities, social enterprises, civil society groups and the private sector, is an essential aspect for future planning.’ (Morgan, Marsden and Murdoch, 2006) The concept of network-centric governance offers a fitting model in which a host creates a platform for all stakeholders to come together through mutual interests and for the exchange of information. Just as social networks are fuelled by relationships between people, the urban food network could be driven by the city’s relationship with food. The network-centric model



Network-centric Model


Vision of FSA -

To strengthen Hong Kong’s food system to become more socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable

Mission -

Uphold high standards in food safety and security


EfďŹ cient operations of the food system with care for the environment


Applying prudent commercial principles


Provide social infrastructure for local community


Foster a culture of innovation in the food sector

Objectives of FSA -

To give advice and provide research for policy change To encourage and implement food system changes through the mobilisation of relevant organisations and government departments


To provide, maintain and monitor essential infrastructure, such as the Food Station and a reserve for business/ research funding


To engage non-government stakeholders, promoting networking between different stakeholders, incluing private businesses, universities and NGOs, building consensus among the stakeholders involved and providing mediation when necessary


To educate all stakeholders and the public of the urban food issues and their possible solutions, creating a cultural context necessary to ensure lasting policy changes


is an organisation pattern emerged from many progressive 21st century enterprises as a response to an increasingly complex environment, and to provide appropriate supervision for managing adaptive systems (MIT, 2015). The model emphasises the correlations between stakeholders’ interest and actions, whilst maintaining a hierarchical structure to ensure control and an appropriate level of governance. [04]

The primary function of this platform is to act as a common ground across the spectrum of food system interests and facilitators to build implementation capacity (Schiff, 2008). By bringing together stakeholders and creating opportunities for alliances and lobbying (Caraher and Coveney, 2004; Blay-Palmer, 2009; Kim and Blanck, 2011), the platform can promote participatory planning where all actors can learn of both their own and their cities’ real requirements whilst addressing community issues (Berkowitz and Wolff, 1999; Chrysoulakis, Castro and Moors, 2015). The diversity within this platform can also contribute to innovation (Innes, 2012). It is a widely held view that only the cities capable of harnessing the latest knowledge will be competitive and capable of sustainable growth based on participation and empowerment (Hall and Pfeiffer, 2000).


In addition, another important feature of this network platform is its ability to appropriately distribute and share resources. The lack of data and capital for social agents and institutions is a major obstacle in allowing proposals from being realised (Asian Development Bank, 2014). Whilst most stakeholders often have different goals with regard to specific issues, they do not possess the resources necessary to achieve outcomes on their own. The concept of mutual dependency is used to describe this phenomenon where an environment is created in which its actors rely on each other’s resources in order to achieve their interest or find solutions for their issues (Roo and Silva, 2010), resulting in a situation where everyone involved must have equal access to all the relevant information, and are given an equal ability to speak and the opportunity to be listened to (Innes and Booher, 2010). This forces a certain degree of transparency within the system, as well as providing a tool for the government to gather data for analysis, facilitating the creation of sound policies and to generate the political will to address both current and future needs (UNFPA, 2015).


In the context of the food system, a similar model has been adopted in the form of Food Policy Councils (FPC). FPCs draw the crucial connections between all interests in the food system into the public policy making process. Following the lead of Toronto, the first city to establish its own FPC, and many other European and North American cities, there are clear grounds for Hong Kong to establish its own Food System Authority (FSA) as a networking and implementation agent for food strategies and projects. This soft infrastructure could be given the necessary authority to regulate the network and execute collective policies. Furthermore, as opposed to the conventional method of creating a new government department or bureau that relocates different parties from existing departments, the adaptation of the Hong Kong Airport Authority’s business and management model is suggested as part of the strategy to minimise any operational disruptions or legislation alterations by preserving the existing government structure.




Hong Kong Airport Authority is an independent entity established under the Airport Authority Ordinance (Ch.483) in 1995 as a statutory body that is wholly owned by the Hong Kong SAR Government. Governed by the Ordinance, HKAA’s main objective is to maintain Hong Kong’s competitiveness as a global and regional aviation hub by ensuring the provision, operation, development and maintenance of the Hong Kong International Airport. HKAA also engages in other airport-related activities in trade, commerce and industry (Department of Justice, 2014). The primary reason for adopting the HKAA model in forming a Food System Authority is its effectiveness in systematic coordination for policymaking, formulating strategies and managing large scale projects. HKAA’s board is formed by 16 members comprising of experts from different disciplines, some of whom are civil servants from various Government departments. Similar to HKAA’s board, it is envisioned that the board of FSA will also be formed by both public officers and independent members, drawing crucial connections between the currently fragmented functions of the food system (Schiff, 2008). Moreover, the FSA’s statutory status will give it the power and authority necessary to implement changes through the crafting of its own UFS and the translation of its principles into the statutory planning system.


Although the authority is essentially public utility, the FSA, adopting HKAA’s business structure, will be independent of the government financially, conducting its business according to prudent commercial principles. The for-profit status of FSA will help sustain its associated hard infrastructure, whilst any surplus could be used to implement future projects and to support the development of the urban food system as a whole, such as the creation of an Agricultural Fund as suggested by The New Agricultural Policy 2014. Much like the HKAA acquiring stakes of other airports, the FSA can also apply a similar investment strategy in the format of public-private partnerships to expand its business portfolio whilst promoting local food businesses such as the technical and financial support currently given by the VMO to hydroponic production businesses in the city.


Fig. 41 - Hong Kong’s Urban Density

Urban Cluster as Network Hub

“It is important for food system scholarship to consider more sustainable and secure places and spaces of possibility and experimentation whereby, through new collaborative public and private actions, sustainability and security can be reconnected.” – Terry Marsden (Marsden and Sonnino, 2012)


Whilst the FSA provides the necessary soft infrastructure for a more network-centric model of systems management, the provision of physical infrastructural is also necessary to ensure the network of relationships and activities are preserved with sufficient resources for growth (Thunder Bay & Area Food Strategy, 2014; Roy, 2014). Urban clustering is one such strategy utilised in many urban centres to translate the theory into physical and geographical terms. Clustering is the phenomenon whereby private and public organisations from the same industry gather together in close proximity (Choe and Laquian, 2008). In early industrialised England, clusters were common all around the UK such as the pottery industry in Staffordshire or the concentration of lace-makers in Nottingham (Editors of The Economist, 2009). Today, Michael Porter, a professor at Harvard Business School, has observed a recent revival of industrial clusters that defies the trend of globalisation which argues that geographical location should no longer be a source of competitive advantage in an era of global competition, rapid transport and high-speed telecommunications. These modern clusters are predominantly formed by the financial or high-tech industry in urban centres and large metropolis where both the public and private sector takes advantage of existing infrastructures and social networks for multi-sector and cross-disciplinary activities (Porter, 1998; Harvard Business School, 2015).


The primary advantage of clustering is that it enables effective dialogues which drives productivity and ensures that systematic changes can be implemented more effectively. Clustering also enables the efficient sharing of resources whether it be in man-power, information channels, or physical materials (Martin and Sunley, 2003). This means that small companies and organisations can be better supported, benefitting from the economies of scale usually reserved for large corporations, and it also means that any potential waste and surplus can be easily recycled or repurposed (Simmie, 2004). This creates more and better opportunities not only for new businesses, but also for attracting more private sector participation in area-wide projects such as infrastructure developments to benefit both the industry and the geographical regions which supports it. One such example is the continued success of Silicon Valley in the US. It is an urban form that establishes a base for the clustering of creative information service businesses, housing all sorts of related activities such as software design, information commerce and electronic technology research.



The clustering of different activities and people have cultivated a drive for innovation with healthy competition which in turn determined the rapid and sustainable growth of the industry and the city itself (Cooke and Morgan, 2002). In essence, the city has become an experimentation test-bed for both the increasing complexity of the industry and the urban form of the area within which it operates (Maggioni, 1999; McCann and Gordon, 2000). [03]

Correspondingly, a similar approach can be adopted for the food industry in Hong Kong. Whilst the government’s agricultural policy has proposed for the creation of Agri-parks with an aim to widen public access and participation to promote research and development activities, its narrow approach to confining their implementations to rural areas and isolated locations is manifested by the urban-rural disparities discussed previously in Chapter 1. In an attempt to dissolve such dichotomy, this thesis has taken the position that these interventions should be embedded in the heart of the city as part of the overall strategic framework for reformation, challenging the current perceptions as to what constitutes as appropriate and necessary urban activity (Morgan and Sonnino, 2010b). A new type of urban cluster for the food industry would facilitate the active sharing of resources, as well as creating the perfect environment for the coalition of citizens, organisations and agencies to become powerful community-based engines that catalyse action on tackling food system issues through knowledge and skill-building (Atherton, 2003; Blackburn and Ram, 2006). Moreover, as Hong Kong has one of the best infrastructural setups in the world, the network should take advantage of the synergistic systems readily available within the city.


Not too dissimilar to the concept of Agri-parks, the new urban cluster aims to maintain, expose and expand the complex network of relationships between the food system and the city. By integrating the platform into an urban context, the cluster can foster new relationships and activities between the different stakeholders of the food system through the provision of a more readily available setup for interventions and experimentations, as well as a more immediate and tangible means for evaluating potential proposals. Moreover, the creation of this cluster within the city can also play a vital role in extending the scope of the food system beyond its own seclusion, breaking away from the ‘modernist’ method of infrastructure design that aims to solve one particular problem for an isolated part of the larger system (Lang, 2012). As opposed to the traditional retail-led development schemes, the food cluster aims to offer a mixed-use cityscape composed of a number of different typologies derived through the integration of the food system with other urban development needs, using infrastructure as the raw material with which to articulate urban life and the networks of material flow, communication and social exchange. Studies have shown that previous failures of cluster projects were often caused by the lack of diversity and innovation, and in comparison, the incorporation of the food industry as part of urban life and the urban environment would create a healthy amount of ‘hubbing’ and blending that can get the best out of clustering (Bagwell, 2008). In essence, this could remap the city not as independent collections of buildings and technologies, but as a networked object that conditions and is conditioned by a wide array of local and global landscapes, such as that of Silicon Valley (Davies and Young, 2013).


In summary, the food cluster strategy could create a permanent platform to expose the relationships between the food system and Hong Kong whilst mobilising all its stakeholders to re-examine the status quo. It broadens the subject of food to work along other urban issues such as housing, transportation, urban poverty or the creation of green space to become an incentive for the government to act and invest. Fundamentally, the concept attempts to utilise the research data beyond a remedial device to produce a new spatial understanding of the city, its programmes and activities. No longer should the food system be seen as its own entity, but of one that is intrinsically tied to the operations of the city.



Initiation Cheung Sha Wan as Experimental Testbed Food Station as Network Node Multi-nodal Expansion for an Adaptive System

Cheung Sha Wan as Experimental Testbed

“If research is to be used, we need to do a better job at translating them into languages that everybody understands” - Deborah Gorman-Smith, Senior Research Fellow at University of Chicago


Previous chapters have documented a large body of research in Hong Kong’s food system, as well as theories in creating a strategic framework that aims to create adaptability through embracing systems complexity as an approach to tackling the ever growing body of crossscaled, cross-sector, and cross-disciplined issues. The following chapters inherit these theories as a continuation of the overall study, applying them into a physical context as an experiment. The reason for this exercise is to help better evaluate the potentials and impacts of the theoretical proposals in practice. The ability of physical infrastructure to offer a framework which questions the conflicting visions of urban structure and performances, and in particular the connections between a system, its context and constituents, and the role of social and economic forces in shaping urban life, is essential to this investigation (Carlisle and Pevzner, 2013). Moreover, this exercise would also help translate the theories into a more visual and tangible language that can be understood by any type of reader which is fundamental to the purpose of this thesis.


Through the examination of the mapping exercise in previous chapters, Cheung Sha Wan has been chosen as the location for further analysis. Cheung Sha Wan is chosen due to its past and current relationship with the food system. It is generally recognised that the location for cluster proposals should be in close proximity to the essential infrastructures of the industry (Porter, 1998). For example, the Netherlands would not be the natural choice for the location of a new flower-growing business today were it not for the fact that the infrastructure is already there, providing significant competitive advantage for a new entrant who can benefit from such things as the sophisticated Dutch flower auctions, the flowergrowers’ associations and the country’s advanced research centres (Porter, 1998). As for Cheung Sha Wan, the existing wholesale markets and food businesses in the area can help provide an important infrastructural and commercial foundation for the cluster.


Cheung Sha Wan is an old industrial zone on the west coast in Kowloon. Since a large portion of the industrial sector was relocated away from Hong Kong in the 1960s, Cheung Sha Wan has turned into a rundown part of the city with vacant industrial units, derelict buildings and empty plots. The area has been identified as one of the few central urban areas in need of revitalisation by the Metroplan 1991, stating that it suffers from substandard buildings, poor street layout, conflicts between pedestrians and traffic, inappropriate mix of land uses, deficiencies in parks and community facilities, and the lack of any civic focus (Hong Kong Planning Department, 2003). As urban land is becoming increasingly scarce and expensive, it is critical that any underutilised urban land in Hong Kong is reconsidered and fully exploited.




Currently, food-related activities within the area includes the Cheung Sha Wan Wholesale Food Complex (Figure 42:1), the Temporary Wholesale Poultry Market (42:2), the VMO Wholesale Market (42:3) and its hydroponic research facility (42:4), the Cheung Sha Wan cooked food market (42:5), a disused abattoir (42:6), various food processing businesses and a number of restaurants. Whilst industrial land in Cheung Sha Wan is currently perceived by planners as a viable outlet for the expansion of residential developments, their proposal will effectively force a gradual decentralisation and extinction of food industries which are inherent to the local fabric and to a wider network of urban ecologies within Hong Kong. In conforming with the recommendations provided by Metroplan 1991 to revitalise old areas through the rearrangement of land use and replacement of obsolete buildings to strengthen district identity (Hong Kong Planning Department, 2003), the deployment of the urban food cluster in Cheung Sha Wan will in essence become an exercise in re-imaging a piece of existing Foodscape. The introduction of the cluster can be seen as a means of encouraging the regeneration of Cheung Sha Wan. This is not too dissimilar to the introduction of the City Growth Strategy (2001) and the Local Enterprise Partnership initiative (2011) in the UK in which they focus on maximising the potentials of distressed inner city areas (Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion, 2003; City Fringe Partnership, 2005). This is greatly in contrast to traditional regeneration strategies that focus on solving urban problems with cheap and short-term ďŹ xes which have been the main drivers of government interventions (Porter 1995). In the case of the urban food cluster, resources are focused on supporting the food industry in Cheung Sha Wan to boost local economic development based on a partnership between private sector and public sector agencies, creating opportunities and a new local identity (Cooke and Morgan, 2002; Bagwell, 2008).



“The study and design of infrastructures is conventionally focused on the separate physical artefacts of the networks…yet little thought has been given to how infrastructural systems interact with their local tissues.” - Michael Weinstock (Weinstock, 2013) [05]

As an experimentation testbed, it is envisioned that the cluster could create a range of workable public spaces, centred on nodes of intense activity that are human scaled, finegrained and diverse, designed both to promote sustainability and for pleasure. The objective is to create diversity, identity and place - an urban environment capable of fostering a highly complex set of interactions to promote new spatial conditions, arrangements and adjacencies. This can be contrasted with the repetitive reproduction of planned tourist spaces, such as the Integrated Arts, Cultural and Entertainment District of West Kowloon further down the coastline, reflecting a more sophisticated approach which exposes the metabolism of the city and its impact on urban life. This urban cluster will become a breeding ground for new architectural typologies centred around the subject of food, reinforcing the city’s unique character as a ‘Food Paradise’ whilst achieving its vision for sustainable growth. A review of literature on urban clusters has identified three critical success factors: the potentials of utilising local demographics in creating networks and partnerships, a strong innovation base with supporting R&D activities, and the presence of a strong skills base and resources (Bagwell, 2008). Taking this into account, a more detailed analysis of Cheung Sha Wan and the integration of food in planning decisions are assessed in an attempt to foster a set of design opportunities.


The Shum Shui Po District, within which the area of Cheung Sha Wan falls under, has the highest number of elderlies as well as the lowest median household income of all districts in Hong Kong (Census and Statistics Department, 2016a). As previous studies have found that one in three elderlies struggles to meet nutritional needs (Census and Statistics Department, 2015), a design opportunity arises whereby an examination into local food accessibility issues can be integrated into the government’s plan for public housing developments in Cheung Sha Wan. As The New Agricultural Policy 2014 has suggested the practice of urban agriculture as a possible method to increase local production, the integration of agricultural activities with urban residential design could generate a new type of social housing that empowers the most vulnerable in our society. In a discussion with Professor Edwin Chan on the subject of urban regeneration in Hong Kong, he pointed out that indeed the promotion of active ageing is increasingly important within the field of urban planning, especially in the context of Hong Kong’s ageing population (Chan, 2015b). Moreover, the integration of agricultural activities within the city could challenge the current cultural roadblock that classifies food production as ‘dirty’ and rural, whilst setting a precedent for healthy urban living (Kong, 2013). A potential design brief is shown on P.82.




Another design opportunity can also be derived from another recommendation by the agricultural policy to increase research and development activities within the food industry. The current indoor farming research facility on site could be expanded to provide more R&D facilities to cover the wider range of disciplines within the food system. With the site’s close proximity to the industrial estate, the proposal could be further expanded to include a business incubator to revitalise local food industries. The combination of research and business activities could also create a platform for the sharing of resources and knowledge between the education and commercial sectors. On one hand this could facilitate technological advancement of the local food industry, but the proposal could also increase local job and business opportunities which is particularly appropriate for an area like Cheung Sha Wan that is in need of revitalisation. A speculative design brief can be found on P.84.


As the experimental testbed overlaps with the Cheung Sha Wan Wholesale Food Complex, a reprogramming of its functions could be an opportunity to re-examine the logistics of Hong Kong’s food system. Moreover, a recent report by the Audit Commission has criticised the wholesale complex for underutilising prime urban land, and has urged the AFCD to explore ways to convert underutilised space for gainful use (Hong Kong Audit Commission, 2016). Following the government’s plan to build a network of anaerobic digestion plants in Hong Kong, the potential integration of these food waste treatment facilities into the market complex could improve the overall management of logistics within the food system. For example, empty return runs of food distribution from the market can be utilised for the collection of food waste, establishing a new ‘removal chain’ as suggested by the Food

Waste and Yard Waste Plan 2014-2022. In addition, the creation of looping logistics around a central node could also facilitate the collection of food system data by the government which could form the essential foundation for future developments in other parts of the food chain (Roberts, 2013; UNFPA, 2015). As part of the broader revitalisation scheme of Cheung Sha Wan, the intensification of activity at the market can be further expanded by the integration of public functions. A similar strategy has already been adopted by other cities such as the recent redevelopment of the Garak Market in Seoul which integrates a wide range of public facilities into the wholesale market including a museum and a public park to create a more attractive, vibrant and accessible venue for both the locals and tourists (Seoul Metropolitan Government, 2014). Overall, this potential mixed-use scheme could become a valuable asset to both the development of Cheung Sha Wan and Hong Kong’s food system. A potential design brief is put together on P.86 and a more detailed study on the Food Station’s potential is explored later in this chapter. [09]

In addition, many of Hong Kong’s traditional food retail and consumption activities such as the Dai Pai Dong (traditional outdoor restaurants) and night markets are centred between buildings and along the streets. However, these practices are slowly becoming extinct as they fall victim to the gentrification of the city (Whitehead, 2014). A design opportunity therefore emerges to utilise the spaces between the buildings to provide a common place with which people identify and in which they have a stake (Steel, 2009; Parham, 2012, 2015). These spaces could play a role in retaining local food cultures whilst revitalising Cheung Sha Wan as a whole. A collection of potential design opportunities is presented in the drawings overleaf.



Food Club The Food Club is a new typology that is generated through the integration of food production activities with residential and public space. By providing housing and production opportunities for a mixture of low income households, retirees, and young people, the Food Club will foster a unique set of interactions across the generations whilst empowering the people most in need, improving their access to fresh food, and encouraging active aging. The Food Club will also provide shared facilities such as communal kitchens and a health centre to encourage collective activities whilst promoting healthy living and improving the quality of the social environment. Possibilities for the remuneration of Food Club residents could include the payment of salary, offsetting rental/utilities bills, and offsetting healthcare costs at the on-site clinic. Programme: t t t t t t t t t t

Affordable Housing Youth Housing Retirement Housing Urban Allotments Food Bank + Food Donation Point Soup Kitchen Collective Cooking + Culinary School Group/Online Purchases Pick-up Point Health Centre Doctor’s Surgery

Urban Issues Examined: t t t t t t t


Urban Poverty Urban Health Active Aging Housing Supply Food Accessibility Food Security Food Equity


Food Park The Food Park is derived from the recommendations outlined by the new policy on agricultural development to provide research and development facilities for the food industry. The original brief is extended by incorporating the model of Science Parks, thereby extending the Food Park’s functions to also become a business incubator to help develop start-up companies by providing entrepreneurs with an integrated support system, targeted entrepreneurial resources and comprehensive business development services. The Food Park will also provide sector-training facilities to offer career opportunities for the public. Food Park Programme: t t t t t

R&D Facilities Wet Market Sector Retraining Centre Business Incubator Seed Bank

Urban Issues Examined: t t t t

Local and Regional Economies Job Opportunities Food Sector Training Local Food Culture

Flexible Urban Streets Much of Hong Kong’s traditional food retail and consumption activities are centred between buildings and along the streets. The streets within the Foodscape will be integrated with food-related activities to re-appropriate underutilised spaces within the city, as well as bonding together the different functions of the speculative typologies that surrounds them. FUS Programme: t Night Market t Farmers Market t Dai Pai Dong Urban Issues Examined: t Residual Spaces t Local Food Culture



Food Station The Food Station is the central administrative and management hub for both the Foodscape and the overall food system. Its primary functions are derived from the existing wholesale complex which controls the flow of food into and around the city. Besides the distribution of food, the Food Station will also manage the treatment of food waste as to reorganise the ‘removal-chain’ as proposed by the Food Waste and Yard Waste Plan 2014-2022. A secondary function of the Food Station will be to reactivate the coastline by improving connectivity and introducing new public activities along the waterfront, transforming the current lifeless and underutilised wholesale complex into a convivial and vibrant venue. Food Station Programme: t t t t t t t

Wholesale Markets FSA Central Office Food Waste Management Facilities Education Facilities Commercial Spaces Industrial Units Food Safety Centre

Urban Issues Examined: t t t t t t t

Underutilised Urban Space Reactivating the Habourfront Food Waste Management Urban Freight Food Marketing Food Safety Food Education

Alternative Productive Landscape Alternative productive landscape is a generic term given to a wide range of proposals that involve the practice of food production on non-traditional landscapes. The speculative design in this proposal is derived from the ambition to relocate food production offshore, thereby providing a significant amount of extra ‘ground’ to support local production. APL Programme: t Productive Floating Platforms t Offshore Supporting Hubs Urban Issues Examined: t Food Security t Job Opportunities


Fig. 49 - Kwai Tsing Container Terminals

Food Station as Network Node “The most functional parts of our urban infrastructure are amongst the most overlooked elements in the city’s physical landscape yet hold unique potential” - Scott Burham (Burnham, 2011)


A review of various studies have shown that industrial clusters should be well connected to a global platform in order for the local network to remain in touch with the latest industrial developments as means to remain competitive (Wolfe and Gertler, 2004; Choe and Laquian, 2008). Most modern high-tech clusters are formed around prestigious universities to benefit from their research and contacts beyond the local region. Silicon Valley is located near Stanford University, for example, and similar high-tech clusters are gathered around MIT in Boston, US, and around the University of Cambridge in the UK (Maggioni, 1999). Similarly, it is envisioned that the Cheung Sha Wan Food Cluster can be built upon the redevelopment of the existing wholesale market which connects the local with global networks.


The metabolic study of Hong Kong’s food system in Chapter 1 has revealed that the wholesale market plays an important role in providing both hard and soft infrastructure for the food industry. It is suggested that food distribution infrastructure cements in place production, consumption and trading practices (Food Ethics Council, 2008). The Government’s policy for wholesale markets is to ensure the adequate provision and efficient operation of government wholesale marketing facilities to meet the demands of the trades, and to ensure a stable supply of fresh food produce. In essence, wholesale markets act as the middle man that bridges between producers and consumers. Currently, 15 wholesale markets together handle 78 percent of the fresh food produce consumed in the territory, of which more than half is handled by four government wholesale markets – Cheung Sha Wan Wholesale Food Complex (constructed in 1993), Western Wholesale Food Complex (constructed in 1994), Cheung Sha Wan Temporary Wholesale Poultry Market, and the North District Temporary Wholesale Market for Agricultural Products. These airport-scale sheds are vast warehouses that operate primarily throughout the night, receiving thousands of pallets of food and other goods from ‘upstream’ supplier lorries, and sorting them into batches to be taken by ‘downstream’ ones to retailers (FAO, 2015). The peak hours are in the morning and activity on site becomes minimal during daytime. These wholesale markets are walled compounds separated from the urban fabric and from urban life despite their locations in the heart of the city. Their mono-functional nature has been highlighted in a recent audit report of the wholesale markets criticising them for underutilising prime urban land (Hong Kong Audit Commission, 2007, 2016). As such, this presents an opportunity to extend the wholesale market’s functions to become a hub of activities that could reflect the many relationships between the food system and the city (Caraher and Coveney, 2004), unravelling the potentials of reprogramming existing infrastructure as a strategy to harness underutilised resources within the urban environment to catalyse systematic change (Hong Kong Audit Commission, 2007).



“It’s a fairly radical rethink, but the networked nature of our evolving cities will allow infrastructures to cross sectors and serve many interests.” - Scoot Burnham (Burnham, 2011) [03]

In response, the reprogramming of the wholesale market takes on a mixed-use approach to combine disparate functions and people with synergistic results, a model that is becoming increasingly relevant in our rapidly urbanising world, particularly in Hong Kong where there is an enormous drive to increase land efficiency and to optimise land-use within the city (Hong Kong Planning Department, 2003, 2007).


Through the examination of the objectives from The New Agricultural Policy 2014 and the

Food Waste and Yard Waste Plan 2014-2022, it is envisioned that the proposed development will be initiated by the necessity to provide functional support for the increase of local food production through a food hub model, and the management of food waste in the form of an anaerobic digestion plant, thereby uniting both the ‘supply-chain’ and the ‘removal-chain’ to build a more mixed-use, efficient and effective piece of infrastructure (urbanNext, n.d.). As such, this approach extends the methodology adopted in previous chapters to derive a new typology from a systems perspective as opposed to the current role of the wholesale market which stands as an independent entity within the food chain. [05]

As suggested by Hong Kong 2030 Planning Vision and Strategy, it is recommended that the provision of infrastructure should be made reasonably ahead of demand (Hong Kong Planning Department, 2007). The government has learned its lesson from the reconstruction of Hong Kong’s only desalination plant after the price of imported water from China has exceeded the financial threshold that determined the closure of the original plant. Hence, the Food Station will integrate and extend the functions of the existing VMO market in anticipation of the increase of local production. Individually, local farmers would not necessary produce enough to reach large regional markets. The current VMO organization and its market acts as a Food Hub that creates economies of scale for small and mid-sized farmers, acting as a marketing and management agency for local produce. The Food Station will play a dual role of supporting existing farmers as well as a promotion item to attract further farming in Hong Kong. In addition, the Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market and the Cheung Sha Wan Temporary Poultry Market, which has been ‘temporary’ for 42 years, will also be relocated into the Food Station to create a one-stop shop to prevent them from losing more market shares to the direct-buy system (Cadilhon, Fearne, Hughes and Moustier, 2013).


As for food waste, the government has been advised to build a network of anaerobic digestion plants across Hong Kong. Although anaerobic digestion plants are conventionally located in hidden areas as their designs are usually unappealing, the Food Station provides an opportunity for its integration into the heart of the city. Not only would this mean that transportation distance of food waste will be shorter, but it also provides an opportunity to examine the low utilisation of return trip of goods vehicles which mostly operate below maximum capacity with high incidences of empty runs (Morganti, 2013). With the new function of the Food Station, empty return runs of food distribution from the market can be utilised for the collection of food waste, establishing a new ‘removal chain’ as suggested by the Food Waste and Yard Waste Plan 2014-2022. In addition, the outputs of anaerobic digestions are compost and biogas. The biogas can be used for onsite facilities such as cooking, heating or refilling biogas vehicles, and any surplus can be sold to electricity generation plant for the rest of Hong Kong. As for the compost, it can be sold as fertilisers to local farmers or exported to the original sources of imported food. In essence, the Food Station will become a logistics hub that facilitates a circular flow of material, transforming the traditional market into an architectural typology that no longer only consume energy, but one that restructures the metabolism of the system by producing and storing raw resources.




As a new logistic node, the food station can also help implement urban freight policies in the food sector. Compared to passenger transport, urban freight distribution has to a large extent been neglected by urban transport policy-makers, yet it heavily determines the social and economic viability of urban areas, and it has widespread ramifications for the environment and the overall trends in mobility (Marsden and Murdoch, 2006; Un-habitat, 2013). One of the possible opportunities created by the Food Station is the promotion of intermodality for urban freight due to its prime location on the coastline. Historically, shipments of food are delivered via the piers of the wholesale markets in Hong Kong, however, this number has been dropping over the years due to the popularisation of road transportation in China. It is estimated that road freight activity in Asia will increase by 645% from 2000 to 2050 compared to 241% globally. Under the circumstances of increasing urban traffic congestion and pollution, water transportation should be re-examined to mediate some of the existing and upcoming issues of urban freight. For example in Germany, many of its urban consolidation centres are bi-modal (rail/road) or even tri-modal (port/rail/road). Not only does multi-modality improve eco-efficiency on the line-haul, but it also contributes to the efficient movement of consolidated cargo between districts and regions (GIZ, 2013).

“Urban infrastructure is necessary for efficient, well-functioning cities; Good planning and design can result in urban infrastructure that also serves as public space, creating more human-centred cities.” - Luísa Zottis (Zottis, 2015) [08]

Besides logistics, the intensification of activity on site can be further explored by integrating public spaces into the Food Station model, expanding the role of infrastructure as civic utility into a more responsive and relatable typology to the local community (Zottis, 2015). This concept is not entirely foreign to the local fabric as Municipal Market Buildings in Hong Kong combine both the functions of food markets and public utilities such as libraries and community centres. The proposal is driven by the concept to recover the essence of the ‘public market’ which are historically multi-functional places where people gathered to trade, socialise, and to take part in public celebrations or seasonal festivals (Steel, 2012). The success of markets such as Garak Market in South Korea and Borough Market in the UK suggests that contemporary urban dwellers have not lost the appetite for such encounters (Steel, 2012).


In 2013, the Hong Kong government proposed to redevelop the piers of the Western Wholesale Food Market for public use. The objective of the proposal is to convert the currently inaccessible habourfront area into flexible public space that is shared with the wholesale market (Central & Western District Office, 2013; Li, 2016). The release of shared space will in part help alleviate the “not in my backyard” attitude that often hinders the implementation of large-scale infrastructural developments in an increasingly dense and compact city (Hong Kong Planning Department, 2003). In addition, it is envisioned that the new synergy created by the mixture of people and activities will transform the monotonous infrastructural space into a new node that can reactivate the surrounding neighbourhoods and into a place that will become part of the fabric of city life (Robinson, 2012; Central & Western District Office, 2013).




Whilst wholesale markets are mostly understood as physical connectors for the movement of food between different geographical areas, their capacity to provide soft infrastructure is often overlooked (Burke, 2015). As the intermediate node of the food chain, wholesale markets’ creation of a transparent and efficient commercial market can also serve as economic and social connectors. By enhancing access to food system information, which were predominately used to facilitate commercial activities within the food chain, the opportunity to utilise this information to better integrate food with other policy areas such as health, the environment, transport and anti-poverty, holds the key to unravelling the underlying linkages between food and the city (Muller et al., 2009). The creation of this information platform and a ‘neutral ground’ for policy level coherence and communication will spawn a new network of interactions that brings together the wide spectrum of food interests from the local community, government authorities, and various stakeholders (Berkowitz and Wolff, 1999; Caraher and Coveney, 2004; Schiff, 2008; Blay-Palmer, 2009; Kim and Blanck, 2011). In essence, by refocusing the role of infrastructure beyond its physical functions, the Food Station holds the potential to expand its capacity to offer a wider range of soft infrastructure that creates new connections between the city and its food system, echoing the fundamental function of infrastructure to provide public services (Bélanger, 2010).

“The challenge for architects and designers is to seek out opportunities to bridge these physical and nonphysical infrastructures through the mixture of activities and people in multifunctional places.” - Timothy Carter (Carter, 2013) [11]

In summary, the comprehensive reprogramming of the wholesale market is an urban effort to transcend conventional spatial, sectoral and political dichotomies through the expansion of both the wholesale market’s hard and soft infrastructural functions. The new Food Station will become a catalyst in transforming the linear food chain into a network that connects the different parts of the food chain with the city, whilst capitalising on the synergies created by the integration of different people and complementary uses. In essence, the reprogramming of the wholesale market suggests a renewed approach of infrastructure design.



Multi-nodal Expansion for an Adaptive System [01]

In order to transform a static system for adaptability, researchers have stressed the need to redefine the nodes of the system, the paths between them, and the fluxes along those paths (Zhang, 2013). The potentials to redevelop Cheung Sha Wan and its wholesale market has been identified, and the concept of the Urban Food Cluster and the Food Station have been given the capacity to gather and control necessary resources to regulate the overall system. However, in order for this concept to be a part of a more of a proactive strategy for the city, the paths and fluxes of the system have to be rationalised to harness the full potential of the new network structure, further increasing the system’s adaptability in the context of rapid population growth, cultural change, and economic uncertainties (Zhang, 2013).


For this reason, it is envisioned that the Cheung Sha Wan Cluster and the Food Station can become pilot projects for replications across the city, creating an initial setup for data collection in potential growth, economic feasibility, local influences, and the efficiency of the new systems management structure (Choe and Laquian, 2008). Moreover, urban clusters are more likely to fail with strict geographical constraints that prevents growth (Enright, 2003; Bagwell, 2008), a multi-nodal approach is therefore more viable in the context of limited free urban land in Hong Kong.


Substations It is envisioned that the model of the Food Station can be replicated across the city as substations to become district nodes. The idea is driven by the aim to make the overall system more adaptable with the ability to grow and diversify. The primary reason for expanding the number of stations is to offload the stress of the two main Food Stations transformed from the two existing wholesale complexes. For example, the provision of another Food Station in the New Territories can provide essential support for the population growth and new town developments within that region without the need to increase the capacity of existing stations. The provisions of more stations can further improve urban logistics, in particular ‘last mile’ distributions which is one of the most problematic parts of the supply chain due to the high atomisation of recipients and their increasing requirements (Da Rios, Gattuso, Politecnico di Milano and DIIAR, 2003; Morganti, 2013). In this case, the smaller stations can act as feedering substations in charge of the separate districts to reduce atomised distribution and facilitate bulk transportation across the city.




As well as logistical and information nodes for the overall system, these substations will also become infrastructural hubs for their local districts. The smaller substations would not necessarily have wholesale activities, but they will contain all the infrastructural support necessary for the development of food clusters around themselves, such as food processing units for new productive landscapes. The functions and capacities of these substations will be catered to the different demands of the districts that they serve. It is widely recognised that the same challenges in different regions often require different location-based solutions (Cooke and Morgan, 2002; Tödtling, Lehner and Trippl, 2006). Moreover, the spread of stations across the city would also provide fair access to urban infrastructure by all members of society. This is an attempt to foster inclusive development where the system blurs the boundaries of what is deemed ‘urban’ or ‘rural’, effectively breaking the urban-rural dichotomy that isolates the different parts of the food chain (Choe and Laquian, 2008). In essence, this will also enhance social mobility, build a stronger sense of community and promote social harmony (Hong Kong Planning Department, 2007). A similar concept can be found in Vancouver’s ‘Neighbourhood Food Networks’ model where it focuses on enhancing the essential elements of social capital to tackle collective issues (Vancouver Food Policy Council, 2013).


Lastly, the spread of stations can also facilitate the collection of more accurate data of the metabolism of individual districts which can be used for the formation of more targetspecific and effective interventions. Moreover, this setup could also create a framework for district assessments, much like the model used for London in comparing the performances of its many boroughs in its Good Food For London reports (Sustain, 2015). The shift from territorial to district regulation can create flexibility and improve control over the metabolism of the city which is vital in improving the adaptability of the overall food system.


Apart from the optimisation of networks, the design of urban infrastructure has also been used to drive large urban expansions (Tillie, Doepel and Stenhuijs, 2012). Where coordination between the construction of infrastructure and urban expansion is now often lacking in practice, it is believed that proactive infrastructure planning can contribute to better spatial planning, and an urban landscape that is ecologically more efficient (Newman and Kenworthy, 1999). It is therefore envisioned that the substations could become catalytic nodes for new town developments, unlocking the value of land via improved infrastructure provisions (Choe and Laquian, 2008).


In summary, the concept of a multi-nodal system is derived from the unique aspects of the network-centric model: the dynamic and flexible institutional structures, the mobilisation of stakeholders from diverse perspectives, and the distributed intelligence amongst a wide range of participants. Such approach in the field of infrastructural planning can effectively create an overall system that is flexible and adaptive to new problems and opportunities by engaging people with diverse interests towards a common goal of addressing economic, environmental, or social issues (Innes and Rongerude, 2006). As the number of Food Stations and clusters grows in the city, they will together become a new network of trade, distribution, information and governing that transforms the current static and archaic model into a more unified and sustainable system.




Translation Design Brief and Site Analysis Project Delivery Strategy Design Criteria and Approach Design Proposal

Design Brief & Site Analysis Program

Area (ms)



VMO Research Centre


FSA Office


Exhibition Hall


Operations Office




Food Safety Office


Teaching Rooms


Food Safety Labs




Porterage Offices


Other Ancillary Facilities


Other Offices




Restaurants & Cafes


Staff Common Room


Cooked Food Market


Staff Laundry


Demonstration Farm


Staff Gym


Street Market


Changing Rooms & Toilets


Indoor Fishing Facilities


Server Room


Expo Area


Other Ancillary Facilities

200 Industrial Units



Vegetable & VMO Market


Poultry Slaughterhouse



Fruit Market


Freshwater Fish Market




Saltwater Seafood Market


Biogas Refuelling Station


General Food Market


Biogas Storage


Poultry Market



Program Education





Incoming Sorting



Food Bank Storage


Outgoing Sorting


AD Processing


AD Tanks


AD Storage


Plant Room




Other Ancillary Facilities



Area (ms)

Design Intensions


To create an innovative architectural intervention that will become the catalyst in restructuring the current food system


To reactivate the waterfront by introducing a new public and coastal typology for people to explore and learn about the food system


To create a central adminatrative hub for HK’s food system


To examine and challenge the perception of infrastructural design


To provide infrastructural, sales and processing support for the future increase of local production


To provide new infrastructure for food waste management


To provide infrastructural support for the local food cluster


To re-model and modernise the existing wholesale market


To raise public awareness of the current wasteful patterns of the food system and the challenges/issues in Hong Kong



To expose and express the dynamics and life of urban metabolism in physical form


Site History Cheung Sha Wan was formerly a bay with a long beach and an important gathering place for many Tanka ďŹ shermen before its development. The bay was reclaimed in several phases in the 20th century, and the last reclamation in the 1990s extended the area to merge with Stonecutters Island. The project site sits along the coastline on reclaimed land, sandwiched between the heavy industrial zone of the Kwai Tsing Container Terminals to the north, and the new cultural developments of the West Kowloon Cultural District to the south. Both reclamation and land-based opportunities for new developments are now limited. Previously proposed reclamations were severely cut back to protect Victoria Harbour, and only those required to accommodate essential infrastructure are considered (Hong Kong Planning Department, 2003). In 2013, The Hong Kong Government released a concept rezoning plan for the overall redevelopment of Cheung Sha Wan. In response to the lack of housing in the wider context of Hong Kong, the government proposed to rezone all available land into high-density residential zones for both public and private housing. This proposal includes the 85000sqm project site located adjacent to the existing Cheung Sha Wan Wholesale Food Complex. Under these circumstances, an alternative plan is suggested to relocate the proposed housing blocks to the locations of the VMO Market and the Temporary Poultry Wholesale Market which will be rehoused into the proposed Food Station.


Site Ownership Government Land


Site Boundary The proposed site for the Food Station is bounded by the sea wall on the west and the West Kowloon Highway on the east. To the north-west corner, the site is constrained by drainage reserve which prohibits structures to be built over it.


Geology The site is reclaimed land at 3.9m above sea level with alluvium at 3.5m and decomposed granite at 15m below sea level. Further reclamation will be by sand-ďŹ ll to acquire smaller settlement time and higher soil compaction factor.


Plot Ratio and Site Coverage The maximum plot ratio is 5 with maximum site coverage of 65%


Height Constraint As recommended by studies and guidelines including the Hong Kong Planning Standards

and Guidelines, for developments located on the waterfront, the average height limit is +60m above the principle datum level to allow for adequate wind permeability into the city.


105Fig. 58 - Cheung Sha Wan Bay & Stonecutters Bridge


Connectivity Currently, around 60 per cent of the harbourfront could not be easily accessed by the public. In response, the Government has recommended that all new developments along the coastline should maximise connectivity to inner parts of the city (Harbourfront Enhancement Committee, 2007). New pedestrian connections to the site would therefore be required as Nam Cheong MTR Station is currently the only access point. Direct access via public transports on land and by sea will also be considered. As for goods delivery, the site is convenient located along Lin Cheung Road. The proposal could also take advantage of its close proximity to the High Speed Rail Line currently under construction which runs parallel to the site underground. Deliveries by sea will also be considered to enable multi-modal transportations.


Orientation The proposal would take advantage of its coastal location and summer prevailing winds for natural ventilation. There are no tall structures around the site to shade the proposal from direct sunlight and hence adequate shading would need to be provided to prevent internal spaces from overheating.



Project Delivery Strategy [01]

In the context of Hong Kong, proposals for infrastructure developments are absorbed into the overall territorial urban planning of the city. The likes of Metroplan 1991, Urban Renewal Strategy Study of 1999, Hong Kong 2030 Planning Vision and Strategy, and the ‘Ten Major Infrastructure Projects for Economic Growth’ have all been a commitment to promote and guide Hong Kong’s infrastructure development. However, whilst these plans and studies offer comprehensive guidelines and attainable visions, in a review of Metroplan 1991 conducted by the Planning Departments in 2003, it has identified the plan’s lack of statutory status as the main obstacle in implementing the proposals. Although Metroplan 1991 was endorsed by the Executive Council (ExCo) as a policy statement, there was no clear affirmation of the force intended to be given to its principles in decision-making, and as a result, its provisions have not carried sufficient weight to affect any key decisions in infrastructural planning or design (Hong Kong Planning Department, 2003). In addition, project delays and cost overruns of large-scale infrastructure projects caused by poor management in recent years, for instance the High Speed Rail and the Hong Kong-Zuhai-Macau Bridge, have dented both the government’s and the public’s confidence in the delivery of future projects. In summary, the combination of the lack of enforcement plans and management programs have become the two main issues that hinder the prospects of potential proposals (SCMP Editorial, 2014). For this reason, a review of the current procurement methods is therefore needed to tailor alternative implementation strategies to deliver future infrastructure developments.


The current system of land use regulations, construction guidelines, financial underwriting standards, project and property management schemes, and various other processes that govern infrastructure developments are not tailored for the complexities of mixed-use projects (Levitt, Schwanke and Urban Land Institute, 2003). In practice, mixed-use project presents its developers with increased risk at every stage of the development process. Whether it is the planning, entitlement, design, financing, construction, ownership structure or operation of the end product, understanding where the obstacles lie and how to navigate through them is essential to promote synergy and to preserve project value (Herndon, 2011; Miller, 2011).




Food System Authority as the Implementation Agent As the project originator, the role of the Government is to assess all alternative ways to implement the project and to select the most effective method that is fair and equitable (Mak and Mo, 2005). Within the existing wholesale market model, AFCD’s Wholesale Markets Management Division manages the day-to-day operation whilst liaising with other government departments such as the Architectural Services Department (ASD), the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, and the FEHD for maintenance services and to address food safety issues. The AFCD also outsources the operation and management of some communal facilities within the markets such as parking spaces and canteens to private operators (Hong Kong Audit Commission, 2007). In 2013, The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) was given permission to revitalise the habourfront of the Western Wholesale Food Market into public space with ASD as the design partner (Central & Western District Office, 2013). The wide spread of responsibilities within the current management model meant that there is lack of collaborations in creating more effective use of spaces (Chan, 2015a; Tang, 2015). Moreover, the increased complexity of cross departmental projects makes it even more difficult to deliver essential infrastructure projects that relies heavily on creating synergies from the different parts and functions of the urban food chain.


In pass experiences, the government often cite increased labour costs as the main culprit for budget overruns, but closer analysis has shown that infrastructure projects tend to be more management-intensive than labour-intensive (Lau, 2015). In many infrastructure projects, the engineering consultant assumes conflicting roles as the only responsible party who designs, supervises, and decides on agreeing to contractors’ claims (Lau, 2015). For this reason, the FSA plays a key role in forming a design team and in selecting an appropriate contract form to ensure that the project is delivered within the given time and cost constraints. The cross-disciplinary nature of the FSA would also be key to providing expert opinions for the design team.


The FSA will also be responsible for the ownership of the property and operational management of the completed development. By centralising the administrative processes, many of the coordination and communication issues experienced with dispersed responsibilities can be eliminated. This institutional format offers greater administrative flexibility in operational management due to its financial independence and self-accounting (Tracey-White and Mittendorf, 1991). As the development contains a wide range of functions, it is important to find a property manager that has the required knowledge, experience, and personnel to effectively operate a development containing a mixture of activities and users (Marsh, 2006). In essence, the Food Station becomes the headquarters for the FSA.



Planning Policies and Statutory Constraints The site is currently covered by two ordinances: OZP of the Town Planning Ordinance

(Chapter 131) and the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance (Chapter 531). The western area of the proposed site is zoned “OU” annotated “Cargo Handling Area, Wholesale Market and Industrial/Office Use” on the OZP. The land is reserved for further development of the Cheung Sha Wan Wholesale Food Market and related industrial and cargo handling uses. At present, the inland portion of the area next to the market is a temporary car park, whilst its waterfront portion is being used as a temporary barge loading facility for the removal of soils for the works of the Express Rail Link by the Railway Development Office of the Highways Department. [07]

Where a site is currently developed for a less valuable use or to an intensity less than that which would be legally permissible, it may be in the interests of the economical use of land to encourage redevelopment (Hong Kong Planning Department, 2003). The Government will consider rezoning sites as “Comprehensive Development Area” (“CDA”) with a view to facilitating urban renewal, rearranging land uses, providing new opportunities for development and/or ensuring better planning arrangements through comprehensive planning and integrated development (Chan, 2015c). The main purpose of designating a CDA is to conduct comprehensive planning and implement systematic development for the area concerned by taking account of environmental, traffic and infrastructure constraints. An application for rezoning will be submitted to the TPB in the form of a master layout plan to obtain approval from the government.


For government facilities situated on the harbourfront, it is the policy of the Development Bureau to explore the possibility of relocating or setting back those which are incompatible with a vibrant waterfront or do not need to be located on the coastline. After a recent review by the AFCD, a relocation or setback of Wholesale Markets from the harbourfront is not feasible at present (Hong Kong Development Bureau, 2010). As the Victoria Harbour is a symbolic and important asset for Hong Kong, the proposal will therefore strictly follow the

Harbourfront Development Guidelines to minimise any potential negative impacts (Hong Kong Planning Department, 2003). Main points from the guidelines include:


The Inner Harbour which separates Hong Kong Island from Kowloon is a busy waterway, carrying through shipping and substantial local traffic, while further to the west the main shipping lanes lead to the container port at Kwai Chung. As a result, there are significant demands for waterfront space in Metro arising from marinerelated activities, including such facilities as: container terminals, cargo working areas, typhoon shelters, ship repair yards, ferry terminals, cruise terminals, bulk unloading facilities, etc. Other facilities benefit from marine access or a waterfront location, such as Refuse Transfer Stations, public filling barging points, wholesale markets, exhibition facilities, sewage treatment facilities, helicopter pads, etc. These port and marinerelated facilities compete for valuable waterfront sites with other land uses, such as public open space, civic and cultural facilities, hotels, tourist attractions, and high class office and housing developments. The continued efficient operation of those port and marine facilities which need to remain in the Metro Area must be maintained but without detriment to other economic, social and environmental objectives.


Fig. 64 - West Kowloon Coastline & Stonecutters Island


Create focal open spaces for lively outdoor activities and as viewpoints at intervals along waterfront. These piazzas should offer facilities such as pavement cafes and restaurants and extend the ambience of the waterfront into the neighbouring areas.


Ensure quality design in the detail of promenades, open spaces and landscaped areas and attractive landscape treatment of seawalls, piers and public landing steps; standardised designs over long stretches of waterfront should be avoided.


Encourage quality design of buildings along the waterfront both to avoid dull and inappropriate buildings and to promote exciting buildings of innovative form. Development proposals, whether private sector or government, would be reviewed by a Design Review Committee, as recommended by the Harbour Plan Study.


Create landmarks or visual reference points to promote identity and legibility at both the city-wide and local scale. This landmark function may be achieved by inserting tall, though not excessively tall or otherwise striking buildings to create visual drama at critical locations, and by enhancing the visibility of existing landmark buildings.


Provide convenient and attractive direct access from public transport points and hinterland activity centres (e.g. parks, shopping and employment, and residential areas) to the waterfront, where necessary by decking over roads, provision of spacious subways or passage through buildings.



In addition, an environmental assessment for the site is documented in Appendix (iii).



Funding Most government infrastructure projects are funded by the public, however, as large scale developments like airports or cruise terminals have higher initial capitals, these projects are mostly funded by a mixture of government and external funding.


Timeline The strategic planning, design, regulatory approval, and construction process for mixeduse developments is often difďŹ cult, time-consuming, and fraught with uncertainty; all of which escalate the risks and costs associated with the project (Herndon, 2011). An estimated timeline has therefore been crafted to determine the proceedings of the overall implementation strategy together with detailed information on some of the procurement steps.



Design Criteria & Approach Architecture is an expression of values. – Norman Foster [01]

The current wholesale market is a vast, introverted and isolated concrete box that sits on the coastline. Its monotonous appearance is so featureless that only the dozens of lorries crowding its loading bays give any hint of their true scale. It is described in Hou Hanru’s On

the Mid-Ground that architecture in Hong Kong today tends to erase all complexity and the multi-strata of meaning in public discourses and local culture (Hanru, 2002). The incisive form of these buildings is almost always the direct consequence of technical or functional constraints. Hong Kong’s edifices are not designed to be beautiful; instead they are are built to follow the logic of a global economy, one which pursues quite limited models of thinking, efficiency and configuration (Hanru, 2002). As a result, The architecture is nothing more than the immediate expression of the specific conditions under which it occurs (Gantenbein and Christ, 2010), and the current wholesale market is an impersonal filling station: a pit stop designed to service the flow of goods (Young, 2012). [02]

As a response, the Food Station attempts to transform infrastructure into place, utilising architecture as the means to reflect on both the importance of its functions and Hong Kong’s vibrant food culture. Taking precedent from the place-making approaches of festivals, the Food Station is an assembly of different pavilions catered for different food types and public functions. Not too dissimilar to the traditional form of architecture in Asia where palaces such as Forbidden City in China, Topkapi Palace in Istanbul or the Red Fort in India, these pavilions of different functions are connected by covered walkways and designed landscapes to come together to create a whole (Encyclopædia Britannica, 2007). The pavilions are designed with individual specifications, layout and supporting services to suit the different food types, whilst using their form to articulate the coastline to take full advantage of the frontage for both logistical purposes and public use.


The roof forms of the pavilions are inspired by the hulls of traditional Chinese sailing ships also known as junks, whilst their dimensions and specifications are dictated by the activities of which they house. The overall irregular and abstract appearance is a reflection of the bustling and cosmopolitan atmosphere that defines Hong Kong as one of the world’s most iconic cities. The undulating roofs, reflecting Hong Kong’s hilly landscape, are finished with shingles which are often used in traditional Chinese constructions. The different types of shingles fixed on to the arching frames give the pavilions their own distinctive profile and character.




Other than place-making, functionality and efficiency are also important aspects in infrastructure design. The FAO’s Wholesale Market Design Guide was used in conjunction with fieldwork data collected on site to ensure the Food Station can function at the pace of the city. The layout of the massing is organised by the metabolism of the activities distributed across the site, utilising mapping as a design tool to find the most practical system. This is to ensure that the mixture of activities do not impede on each other’s functions, and to allow all parts of the Food Station to be operational throughout both day and night. The basic zoning of the pavilions is divided into food markets below and public spaces above. However, the aim to explore a more mixed-use design means that the architecture does not strictly follow this rule, as instead, the design incorporates a series of flexible and transformable spaces. In essence, the pavilions can be seen as containers that can be continuously emptied and filled with different programmes, yet at the same time housed in structures that does not abandon an overall formal clarity. This design approach enables the discovery of new synergies between programs to generate different activities and spaces. It allows for new and unexpected encounters for all its users all adding to the unique character and atmosphere of the Food Station.

As an architect you design for the present with an awareness of the past for a future which is essentially unknown. – Norman Foster [05]

With the consideration for future substations, the Food Station incorporates a physical design and legal structure that allows the pilot project to grow over time and evolve to be adapted for different context. The structure and layout of the pavilions are based on grids and modules with prefabricated, replaceable and wide ranging types of cell-like parts attached to spine-like circulation and services. This is to enable the design to be easily manipulated over time, not too dissimilar to the avant-garde ideas of the Metabolists in the 1960s (Oshima, 2014). As such, this design approach replaces the traditional one-size-fitsall strategy with flexible options for growth and change (MIT, 2015).


Overall, the design of the Food Station attempts to comply with the Harbourfront Design

Guidelines in creating a more vibrant waterfront by reactivating the coastline and transforming the once isolated entity into a ‘destination’ in its own right. The proposal intensifies activities on site to ensure efficient land use, whilst introducing a unique and convivial environment fostered by the juxtaposition of industrial and sociocultural activities centred on the subject of food. In essence, the design emphasises and plays complement to all the mess, noise and nuisances that brings something vital to the city: an awareness of what it takes to sustain life (Steel, 2009).



Design Proposal


Tectonics The overall tectonic approach is driven by construction speed, the functional requirements of the markets, and an architectural notion to maintain an industrial aesthetic inherit to the location of the site. The market piers are constructed mainly with precast concrete members prefabricated in Mainland China. The concrete beams are inspired by highway flyover construction in an attempt to express the infrastructural nature of the wholesale market. Light-weight structures are fixed above the concrete beams to create the upper floors. The roof structures are constructed in steel, and they are exposed internally to build an overall industrial aesthetic. Shingles of different materials are used to roof the pavilions to enhance the functionality and ambience of the internal spaces. Reflective stainless steel ceiling panels are used in some areas to capture the colour, buzz and activity in the spaces below, wrapping and unifying the different floors to create a sense of constant movement through abstract shifting patterns of colours.


Structure All structures of the proposal are based on a 8x8m grid. Columns are sized at 600x600 and 800x800 in areas where vertical loads are greater such as the podium level car park. Light-weight steel frames are chosen for the formation of upper floors as an efficient structure to reach a maximum span of 16m.


Plant Room and Services Plant rooms are fitted into the basement with direct vehicular access. Service Cores are provided between market piers.


Long Section

Short Section

Food Station Render

Food Station Market Pier

View of Victoria Harbour from the Food Station

Vegetable Market Transforms into Street Market

Auction Theatre in the Saltwater Fish Market

Conditioned Spaces & Ventilation The strategy aims to maximise the thermal comfort of the occupants, whilst minimising the energy use of the overall complex. The structure build-ups are detailed such that the u-values are below the required standards as of July 2016. Due to the scale of the wholesale markets, the conditioning strategy has taken precedent from urban design in which the market stores are individually conditioned much like the rows of terrace housing on residential streets. All enclosed public spaces are conditioned. The market piers are not enclosed and cross openings allow for natural ventilation to expel unwanted smell of produce or waste.



Environmental Strategy and Sustainability Systems Subtropical Hong Kong has four distinguishable seasons - warm and humid spring, hot and rainy summer, pleasant and sunny autumn, cool and dry winter. Belonging to the oceanic subtropical monsoon climate, Hong Kong has an average annual temperature of 23°C. About 80 percent of the rain falls between May and September. June and August are usually the wettest months whilst January and December are usually the driest months. The design of the complex has taken a wide range of considerations to ensure the proposal can deliver a high environmental performance. Sustainability systems were studied since the early stages of the design to generate an environmental strategy that is integrated with the architecture. Some of these include:


Reusing and sourcing materials from Mainland China to reduce the overall embodied carbon level

t t

Mixed-use spaces to reduce oor area and the total operational carbon emissions. Integrated systems to deal with the large amount of water usage and organic waste on site

t t

Natural ventilation to reduce the need of mechanical ventilation Adequate natural day-lighting levels to suit internal conditions whilst avoiding excessive solar gains

t t

Acoustic strategy to reduce noise pollution Internal thermal conditions to reect the use and intensity of the different types of spaces


Daylighting The complex has been designed to make maximum use of daylight to reduce overall energy use as well as to provide a better internal environment for the building’s occupants. To achieve this, roof lights, voids and clerestory windows are specified in all the pavilions to maximise day-lighting. Sliding shaders on roof lights are specified to provide shading in the summer to avoid overheating in the pavilions. Smaller openings amongst the individual stalls are also provided to allow daylight into the more cellular spaces. Acoustics An extensive strategy for the acoustics of the building is employed to control unwanted noise within and around the complex. Market operations and vehicular movements have been identified as the main source of noise. Market stalls and the public pavilions are therefore sound insulated to protect the more intimate spaces from the surround noises. The concrete structure and dense wall build-up would also help reduce the travelling of noise around the markets. To further improve the conditions, the undulating ceiling along the market streets will reduce noise transfer between the market and the public areas above.


Cooling During warm weathers and in particular the summer, a passive system is employed through flexible openings. In spaces where demand for ventilation is particularly high, such as the market stalls with built-in cold stores, a mechanical system will be used to control internal air quality and airflows. A seawater source heat pump will be installed to take advantage of the site’s adjacency to the sea. When compared to air source and ground source heat pumps, the sea can provide a more constant input temperature. A closed loop system is specified to avoid contaminating the sea or the seawater supply for the saltwater fish market, and to reduce the risk of damaging the heat pump from foreign matter drawn through the mechanism. When cooling is necessary during the summer, the system can be reversed and the heat pump can help eject heat from the internal spaces. Heating During cold weathers, the insulated and conditioned areas of the markets and public pavilions will use a MVHR system to reduce heating demands and to avoid any infiltration of cold air into the internal spaces. Heat waste from cold stores will also be recovered and distributed throughout the complex.



Access Statement Public transport – a bus stop and Nam Cheong MTR station are located on the south east corner of the site. Vehicular Access points are located on two locations. Car parking and delivery access points are situated throughout the site around the markets and in the basement level Pedestrian Activity – The site is within a 5-minute walk from the Nam Cheong Station Exit and within a 10-minute walk from the inner part of Cheung Sha Wan. It is expected that the scheme will increase footfall around the area and along the harbourfront. All parts of the complex is wheel chair accessible. Traffic Safety – As footfall is expected to increase around and within the site, the master plan has carefully assessed and considered the potential risks between vehicular and pedestrian circulation through the implementation of traffic controls such as zebra crossings and traffic lights. Speed limits are also strictly imposed on site and an appropriate amount of signage will be fitted to alert drivers as they enter the boundaries of the site. External Lighting – All external lighting will be designed and maintained to meet standards of BS5489 External Signage – All signage on site will meet the necessary recommendations in the Sign Design Guide Horizontal and Vertical Circulation – All corridors have width in excess of 1000mm to ensure both the able and disabled visitors share the same circulation paths. Navigation – Receptions at each site entrance provide initial point of orientation from which visitors can gain information. Axial circulation aids navigation whilst reducing the need of signage. Toilets – Toilets are provided on all floors of the complex at the service cores with disabled WCs positioned in close proximity to other toilets in case of emergencies. All toilet facilities will be fitted out to comply with the recommendation of BS8300:2001 and the Approved Document Part M.



CDM The construction (design and management) regulations 2007 aim to provide the overall management and co-ordination of health, safety and welfare on site throughout all stages of a construction project to reduce any serious accidents or cases of ill health. Overall management A CDM consultant would be engaged at an early stage to ensure that the entire team is aware of their responsibilities and to ensure that the CDM regulations are complied. Their role would be to brief members of both the design and construction teams, and to ensure that they are operating under the appropriate health and safety framework. Risk assessments would be carried out at all stages of the project. Any identiďŹ ed hazards should be eliminated and all risks should be reduced as far as is reasonably practicable. Site management A site compound would be established in the northern corner near the north west entrance with 24-hour gated security. Access to site via Wholesale Market Street will be limited to minimise disturbance to the operations of the existing market. Site hoarding will be erected along the entire site boundary. Health & Safety (Construction) -


Collapse of basement or coastline retaining wall - A specialist team would be contracted to survey the site and advice on prevention


Temporary Instability of Structure - Use of pre-fabricated components to attain structural integrity. Any in-situ concrete pouring would require adequate props. Care must be taken to ensure the steel frame pavilions are fastened to the podium oor.


Working at height - Pre-fabricated elements craned into position reducing risk of falling and excessive lifting. Staircases are installed as early in the construction stage as possible. Safety edges are used for staircases and voids before the installation of handrails. Temporary stairs to be erected if necessary.


Non-compatible trades must be scheduled to avoid potential hazards. Flammable materials will be carefully stored in designated areas within the compound.


An evacuation and assemble strategy will be updated to follow the changing nature of the site and all personnel will remain fully briefed throughout the build.

Health & Safety (Post Construction) -


Maintenance of roofs - Non slip adhesive panels are installed at appropriate locations to provide a safe working platform. Any serious maintenance work would require access by crane or external scaffolding.


Potential Falls from Height - 1100mm high barriers are placed at all places where falling could occur.

Post Construction Maintenance and Cleaning Most services maintenance will take place along the market ceiling where the service voids can be accessed. The concrete oors and walls of the markets will be cleaned daily after wholesale operations to allow for the spaces to be transformed for public use.



Fire Strategy The large amount of organic material in the markets means that they present a substantial fire risk and special provision should be made. Fire hydrants - The market site is served by a series of above ground fire hydrants, spaced at approximately 30 metres intervals in loop systems encircling the main building and around the site periphery. The hydrants are located in the pavement areas to protect them from damage by vehicles. A minimum fire-fighting flow of 34 litres per second is supplied. Fire prevention in buildings - Smoke detection and alarm systems are installed in all the main market buildings in accordance with BS5839-1. Traditional audible siren and visual alarms will be fitted to warn of a fire. A central monitoring unit will be allocated to each market managing unit and receptions. In order to avoid the need for a costly overhead sprinkler system the buildings are compartmented by limiting the distance between fireproof walls to a maximum of 60 metres and to an area of less than 1,000 m². Key buildings with a higher fire risk are provided with secondary alternative means of escape in case of fire and compartmented to a higher standard of fire resistance. In addition, cold storage stores are fitted with gas detection equipment. All buildings are provided with internal emergency equipment to the following minimum standards:

t t t

1 fire bucket per 100 m² of floor area 1 fire extinguisher per 600 m² of floor area first aid kits and tools for each building or compartmented section

Evacuation - The whole complex is expected to be operational 24/7. Staff will be trained to carry out pre-planned procedures for safe evacuation of all visitors. Escape routes and strategy are designed in accordance to occupancy characteristic B which indicates the occupants as awake and unfamiliar with the building.


All exits and routes are in excess of 1100mm wide and kept free from combustible materials


Signage will be fitted throughout the complex to direct visitors to closest emergency exit


All vertical escapes would be fitted with automatic opening vents to allow for ventilation in case of smoke penetration


All vertical cores are allocated with a disabled refuge point and are fitted with automatic release doors


B2 – Internal Fire Spread (Linings)

t t t

All interior finishes and fixtures are to be fire retardant Minimum 60-minute fire resistance rating on all vertical cores Sprinkler system fitted in some public pavilions to mitigate risk of the spread of fire into the markets


Roof lights, clerestory windows and pavilion glazing are fitted with fire resisting glass

B3 – Internal Fire Spread (Structure)

t t t

The primary structural element, pre-cast concrete, is inherently fire resistant. Additional fire retardant will be applied at high risk areas. In the scenario of severe fire and partial structural collapse, the vertical cores between the markets can stand as independent structures.

B4 – External Fire Spread


The buildings are on an isolated site with no adjoining property limiting any spread of fire.


The greatest local threats are the surrounding trees which in the event of a severe fire could pose a substantial risk.

B5 – Access & Facilities for Fire Service – level vehicle access to all floors of the complex


155Fig. 89 - Lamma Island Floating Fish Farm

Conclusion Despite the current absence of food system planning in the overall development plan of Hong Kong, an analysis of the city’s unique urban metabolism, which resulted in a collection of spatial, economic, social and environmental perspectives and insights, has revealed that the food system is no less important or impacting to the city now than it was before Hong Kong’s transformation into a global city. Whilst ignorance and neglect have made it difficult for cities to set the right priorities necessary to promote sustainable development, this thesis has argued for the planning of our food system to be placed on the urban agenda. As food is so vital to the everyday operations and growth of the city, its management should be given equal attention to the concerns of other urban policies such as housing, transport or pollution. By re-establishing the relationship between food and the city, it can help reconfigure urban priorities, emphasising food’s influential role in shaping the interplay between urban form and practice, and its subsequent impact on the quality of urban living and the overall sustainability of the city. The review of UFSs and the recent Urban Food Pact document has shown that indeed there is a global trend to make such changes in response to the growing public concern for the need to connect sustainability and food policies amongst the planning of our cities. Together with the analysis of Hong Kong’s current conditions, further discussions can be brought to the table for the future planning of its food system that would no longer be driven by economic and political convenience, but by the social and environmental conditions of the context in which it serves. In an attempt to investigate the potentials and limitations of planning in altering the urban food system, this thesis has also offered a strategic framework for change. The study of the current system has indicated that the growth in complexity and density of developments necessitates a wider and less binary approach to tackling urban issues. As opposed to proposing interventions to provide quick-wins or band-aid solutions to current issues, the strategy takes a proactive approach that rewires the existing system to create an infrastructural framework within which future interventions and policies can be implemented. This concept is translated into the establishment of the FSA, the creation of the Urban Food Cluster, and the proposal of Food Stations as a conscious attempt to intervene in both the social and physical realities to facilitate the spatial developments necessary to satisfy the ever-changing requirements of the city. The vision of a series of stations and clusters spread across the districts of Hong Kong challenges the way infrastructure is planned and designed, opening a dialogue on how a city should transform its infrastructural systems to adapt to future challenges. Moreover, the creation of food clusters and stations exposes the hidden relationships between food and the city by the force of juxtaposition, making connections between the apparently disparate aspects of urban life to establish a more tangible and accessible opportunity for urban dwellers, as well as the government and local businesses, to become more involved in food issues. Just as the problem of climate change cannot be solved either at the level of individual citizens or at the level of an organisation, achieving a more sustainable food system will require alliances between groups tackling similar problems, and compromises in the face of competing issues, empowering all stakeholders and distributing responsibilities amongst the different parts of the food chain to arrive at a collective goal.


157Fig. 90 - Fa Yuen Street Wet Market

In the much wider context, it is envisioned that a similar framework could be implemented elsewhere in other cities as an alternative model for systems management and infrastructure development. Whilst it is acknowledged that the impact of planning is limited and it is necessary for any real change to be accompanied by other strategic and institutional forces, this thesis has nevertheless identiďŹ ed the knowledge gaps that would need to be ďŹ lled to address urban challenges more effectively, such as new methods to enhance information collection and sharing within a complex system. Furthermore, the interrelationships between different infrastructural systems such as food, water and electricity, and their potential integration offers an opportunity for further research. In essence, this thesis has demonstrated that systems planning has the potential to open up dialogues between the city and all the stakeholders that are collectively in pursuit of a more sustainable urban future, understanding that by investing in the city’s infrastructure systems, we are simultaneously investing in our society, the welfare of our environment, our physical health and wellbeing, and our sense of civic responsibility.


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Appendix (i): UFS Summary & Recommendations

Food-sensitive planning and urban design

Alongside the traditional focus on farming land outside of cities, FSPUD looks at the potential contribution of urban space and other resources that can be used to produce Food.

FSPUD considers the spatial, energy and material resources needed to get food from the point of production to the people who consume it. The design and location of infrastructure for processing and distributing food can have significant water, energy and material requirements and can affect the nutritional value of the final product.

Preserve and increase regional food production by improving the New York State Farmland Protection Fund, encourage new farmers, build a permanent wholesale farmers market, expand and support farmers markets, expand the electronic benefits transfer (EBT) program and acceptance of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits at farmers markets and expand and support community supported agriculture (CSA).

Generate growth and employment in the food manufacturing sector by building a commercial kitchen incubator for start-ups, developing new industrial space for food manufacturing businesses, revitalising New York City’s market system through the New Yorkers 4 Markets initiative, providing technical assistance to food manufacturers, create an online resource center for food manufacturers, establishing a workshops series to assist food manufacturers, and holding a regional food business-to-business (B2B) conference.

A conceptual framework for achieving a sustainable and healthy food system

March 2011

Ontario, Canada

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Increase urban food production through protecting community gardens, ensuring urban farms are counted in the Census of Agriculture, creating a searchable database of city-owned property, identifying city-owned properties with roofs suitable for urban agriculture, waive the Floor to Area Ratio (FAR) requirements and height restrictions for certain rooftop greenhouses.

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New York City, US

Improve food distribution in New York City through infrastructure enhancements, technological advances. Redevelop the Hunts Point Produce Market. Increase rail service through the Hunts Point Distribution Center. Transform the Hunts Point Distribution Center into a hub for citywide food system improvement strategies. alternative transportation, and integrated planning. Diversify and improve food transport. Identify optimal distribution routes and modes for food distribution within the region and city.

Promote a better understanding of farm life and commercial agricultural production for urban dwellers to reduce the urban/rural divide. Develop a local brand so consumers can easily recognise locally grown food. Celebrate and promote food grown in the area through various avenues, such as catering, festivals, food tourism, and campaigns. Assist agricultural entrepreneurs with new start-ups and with expansion and diversi cation of existing businesses.

Encourage the creation of new facilities that support local food, as well as adapt and better utilise existing facilities. Develop networking opportunities that bring together farmers, processors, and purchasers of locally grown and produced foods.

More of Londons food will be’ local’ and diverse, that is, wherever practical, it will come from the surrounding area and neighbouring regions - Implement brokerage service to improve intra- and inter-regional links between farmers and consumers. Expand individual & community growing in response to demand (e.g. allotments, community gardens, parks & open spaces, school grounds, etc.) Increase produce diversification to supply and meet the London market.

Clear measures will be in place to a reduce the level of greenhouse gases, air pollution, congestion and noise arising from the transportation of food in London. Support ongoing improvements in vehicle efficiency and use of alternative fuels & technologies. Develop local and sub-regional logistics and wholesaling partnerships.

Thunderbay, Canada

sustain the alliance for better food and farming


London, UK

London farmers will be a competitive and achieving strong economic success - Deliver training, advice and market information to farmers. Develop producer collaboration schemes. Ensure farmers are able to access and use water supplies in a sustainable fashion.

More effective and affordable a distribution channels will be available to producers/ processors of all sizes and ownership structures in London - Establish local food distribution/ wholesaling hubs. Consider/research role & scope of London’s wholesale markets.

FSPUD considers the ability of people to get to where they can buy or access food, the facilities they have for cooking and storage, and whether they are equipped to make informed decisions about their nutritional needs and the choices available to them. It also considers food retail, food service (cafes and restaurants) and opportunities for people to develop their food knowledge, such as opportunities to learn about cooking and growing food.

FSPUD also considers what happens to wastes along the food supply chain, providing opportunities for waste to be avoided or provided as an input to other processes. Planning and urban design can impact on both the physical infrastructure and social capacity to minimise waste, and re-use/recycle it where possible.

Create a healthier food environment by marketing the FRESH Program, supporting efforts to expand food cooperatives, improving bodega infrastructure, improving the Green Cart program by expanding the electronic benefits transfer (EBT) service, pilotting a food retail workforce development program, creating neighborhood healthy food guides.

Increase resource recapture in the food system. Establish a voluntary household composting program. Explore citywide composting of food waste. Decrease waste throughout the food system. Reduce packaging on food procured by city agencies. Identify alternatives to polystyrene foam in city food programs. Discourage bottled water consumption.

Strengthen the safety net of hunger and nutrition programs and the federal Child Nutrition Act to improve school meals. Improve the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Increase federal benefit amounts to reflect higher costs of living. Continue SNAP outreach through agency data matches and grocery stores. Identify and expand on high-utilisation sites. Produce a list of nearby summer meal sites for parents receiving SNAP or TANF with children.

Build individual food security through practices that foster inclusion and are empowering. Support new and existing food security programs and other initiatives, such as the Good Food Box, student nutrition programs, micro markets, gleaning, community kitchens, and community gardening that improve direct access to food and build knowledge and skills. Encourage municipal and community partners to integrate food security activities into programming at community hubs, such as recreation centres, schools, and libraries. Establish regular markets in neighbourhoods to improve access to locally produced food for those without transportation. Support programs and curriculum, such as edible schoolyards, after school gardening, and food preparation classes that encourage youth to produce and consume healthy foods.

Support the development of food waste diversion initiatives to divert food waste from the municipal garbage stream, such as a source-separated organic waste program and public education for homeowners and businesses.

There will be a robust, balanced and “healthy” diversity of food retailing in terms of both size and type of ownership. - Expand direct selling between producers and consumers. Use planning system to protect the diversity of food retail provision where viable and appropriate, including the positive functions of street markets.

Explore London-wide implementation of household kitchen waste collection schemes. Engage street and farmers markets in dealing with food/food packaging waste.

The economic importance of the food retail sector in London will be recognised and supported - Identify and support food clusters (both retail and manufacturing) in London. Provide entrepreneurial and business support, particularly to SMEs. Integrate food within mainstream tourism strategies

Good Food For London


How London boroughs can help secure a healthy and sustainable food future

Increase local production by - Protecting existing allotments and growing spaces and identifying new spaces. Integrating food growing into new and existing housing and commercial developments. Supporting community food growing in the core strategy. Supporting farming in the Green Belt.

Creating regionally focused and localised distribution networks. Planners can, for example, support the development of food hubs where local producers can share knowledge, skills and facilities such as storage, transport and processing facilities.

Increasing urban food production and distribution through the Severn Project, supporting the private sector, urban agriculture innovation and green infrastructures.

Protect key infrastructure for local food supply Mapping Bristols current food supply and distribution and developing a one-stop shop website for all things food in Bristol.

The Toronto Environment OfďŹ ce supports many new urban agriculture initiatives through the Live Green Toronto program, developing and expanding food production spaces and projects. The Live Green Toronto Community Animators continue to work in neighbourhoods to assist with the establishment of community and backyard gardens.

Toronto Public Health, Municipal Licensing & Standards, Transportation Services and Tower Renewal staff will implement a pilot of mobile sales of fresh produce, whereby fresh fruits and vegetables can be sold from trucks in underserved areas of the city where it is presently not permitted.

London, UK

Bristol, UK

Economic Development and Culture and Toronto Public Health to work with the Green Jobs Action Group to highlight opportunities to create green jobs in Torontâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;os food sector. Toronto, Canada



Integrate Good Food Criteria into Green Business CertiďŹ cation Programs. Streamline permitting and public land leases for community gardens. Expand jointuse agreements with school/community gardens.

Develop plans with partners for Los Angeles Regional Food Hub. Link public investment to creation of good jobs and small food enterprises. Conduct a Foodshed Assessment.

Maintain affordable land for farmers through a range of potential innovations and new business models. These include addressing the retirement needs of farmers, identifying opportunities to transition preserved land into food production, and creating investment vehicles for long-term agricultural production on preserved land. Alternative Energy on Farms Continue to support farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; exploration and development of alternative energy sources.

Creation of Food Enterprise Zones for urban food production, value-added and food processing, and healthy food retail conversions. Explore ways to connect transportation services and land use planning with food access.

Creating a New



Los Angeles, US

Philadelphia, US Policy for sustainable development and food The City of MalmĂś

Support commnity Planning. Increase urban agriculture - professionals and the antihunger community should build partnerships with property owners and businesses to develop new community gardens and commercial urban agriculture projects on underutilised lands of all types and in various locations.

Applying the efďŹ ciencies of the Global Food System to the Regional Food System - Large and small businesses alike should apply supply chain management technology to scale the local food system up to the regional. Learn from other policy areas, such as transportation and the energy sector, to quickly mature food system policy and take quick and decisive actions for lasting changes.

The farming landscape should be preserved. Food production in and around the city should be encouraged. Increase the productio of organic food without chemical pesticides and artiďŹ cial fertiliser. Organic farming also has higher standards for animal welfare and very few additives are allowed.

Increase transport efďŹ ciency. Factors such as distance, vehicle type, parking efďŹ ciency, and fuel choice all have an effect on the environment and the climate.

Support and enable all forms of urban agriculture and make stronger connections with all parts of the food system. Empower residents to take action through community gardening, urban farming, hobby beekeeping, backyard hens, and edible landscaping.

Address gaps in local food processing, storage and distribution infrastructure by exploring possibilities that might include a food business incubator or food hub.

MalmĂś, Sweden             



Vancouver, Canada

Creating diverse food retail environments. Protect ‘sole shops.’ Specify ‘food shops’ as meeting day-to-day need in local planning policies,

Support composting of food waste, including at the individual, commercial and community scale.

Safeguard diversity of local food retail such as the establishment of the Bristol Pound. Support community enterprise such as the Hartcliffe Health and Environment Action Group

Re-distribute, recycle and the commercial composting of food waste.

The Toronto Community Food Animators, funded through the City’s Community Partnership and Investment Program, have been highly successful in helping residents in underserved neighbourhoods organise fresh produce markets, community kitchens and community gardens.


Community hubs, currently in development by the City in collaboration with United Way and community and private sector partners, are being designed with enhanced kitchen facilities to enable community cooking programs and greater capacity for food programs of all types. Incorporate public health strategies into land use documents. Introduce Healthy Food Access Components in affordable housing developments.

Address the barriers preventing expansion of the commercial food waste program, such as through advocating for more funding to develop commercial composting facilities.

Culinary Torism - Increase and support efforts to encourage nonfarm residents and tourists to engage in agritourism and culinary tourism.

Composting More local governments should adopt “Zero Waste” strategies or increase composting activities at all scales, from commercial businesses like restaurants to curbside pick-up for residents.

Engaging the Health Sector Food system, public health, and planning advocates should engage the health sector in food system planning efforts. Large-scale buyers, such as institutions, should set responsible purchasing policies that reflect equity along the value chain— from the producer to the shelf.

Minimise empty calories. Encourage a ‘Less Meat diet’ - Consumption of all sorts of meat shall decrease. The meat that is used shall, for environmental and animal welfare reasons, be organically certified.

Everyone who handles food in some way in the City of Malmö shall work to reduce food waste, without risking food safety. The food waste that is generated by the City of Malmö’s operations shall be used for biogas production.

Enhance access for individuals to participate in the activities of neighbourhood food networks and other neighbourhood food networks. The creation of farmers markets, community food markets, and healthy food retail such as mobile green grocers or healthy corner store programs.

Reduce food waste going to landfill or incinerator. Expand and support food waste disposal programs. Expand local collection and composting options.

Appendix (ii): Urban Food Policy Pact Recommendations Recommended actions: ensuring an enabling environment for effective action (governance) 1. Facilitate collaboration across city agencies and departments and seek alignment of policies and programmes that impact the food system across multiple sectors and administrative levels, adopting and mainstreaming a rights-based approach; options can include dedication of permanent city staff, review of tasks and procedures and reallocation of resources. 2. Enhance stakeholder participation at the city level through political dialogue, and if appropriate, appointment of a food policy advisor and/or development of a multi-stakeholder platform or food council, as well as through education and awareness raising. 3. Identify, map and evaluate local initiatives and civil society food movements in order to transform best practices into relevant programmes and policies, with the support of local research or academic institutions. 4. Develop or revise urban food policies and plans and ensure allocation of appropriate resources within city administration regarding food-related policies and programmes; review, harmonise and strengthen municipal regulations; build up strategic capacities for a more sustainable, healthy and equitable food system balancing urban and rural interests. 5. Develop or improve multisectoral information systems for policy development and accountability by enhancing the availability, quality, quantity, coverage and management and exchange of data related to urban food systems, including both formal data collection and data generated by civil society and other partners. 6. Develop a disaster risk reduction strategy to enhance the resilience of urban food systems, including those cities most affected by climate change, protracted crises and chronic food insecurity in urban and rural areas. Recommended actions: sustainable diets and nutrition 7. Promote sustainable diets (healthy, safe, culturally appropriate, environmentally friendly and rights- based) through relevant education, health promotion and communication programmes, with special attention to schools, care centres, markets and the media. 8. Address non-communicable diseases associated with poor diets and obesity, giving speciďŹ c attention where appropriate to reducing intake of sugar, salt, transfats, meat and dairy products and increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables and non-processed foods. 9. Develop sustainable dietary guidelines to inform consumers, city planners (in particular for public food procurement), food service providers, retailers, producers and processors, and promote communication and training campaigns.

10. Adapt standards and regulations to make sustainable diets and safe drinking water accessible in public sector facilities such as hospitals, health and childcare facilities, workplaces, universities, schools, food and catering services, municipal ofďŹ ces and prisons, and to the extent possible, in private sector retail and wholesale food distribution and markets. 11. Explore regulatory and voluntary instruments to promote sustainable diets involving private and public companies as appropriate, using marketing, publicity and labelling policies; and economic incentives or disincentives; streamline regulations regarding the marketing of food and non-alcoholic beverages to children in accordance with WHO recommendations. 12. Encourage joint action by health and food sectors to implement integrated peoplecentred strategies for healthy lifestyles and social inclusion. 13. Invest in and commit to achieving universal access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation with the participation of civil society and various partnerships, as appropriate. Recommended actions: social and economic equity 14. Use cash and food transfers, and other forms of social protection systems (food banks, community food kitchens, emergency food pantries etc.) to provide vulnerable populations with access to healthy food, while taking into consideration the speciďŹ c beliefs, culture, traditions, dietary habits and preferences of diverse communities, as a matter of human dignity and to avoid further marginalization. 15. Reorient school feeding programmes and other institutional food service to provide food that is healthy, local and regionally sourced, seasonal and sustainably produced. 16. Promote decent employment for all, including fair economic relations, fair wages and improved labour conditions within the food and agriculture sector, with the full inclusion of women. 17. Encourage and support social and solidarity economy activities, paying special attention to food- related activities that support sustainable livelihoods for marginalised populations at different levels of the food chain and facilitate access to safe and healthy foods in both urban and rural areas. 18. Promote networks and support grassroots activities (such as community gardens, community food kitchens, social pantries, etc.) that create social inclusion and provide food to marginalised individuals. 19. Promote participatory education, training and research as key elements in strengthening local action to increase social and economic equity, promote rights-based approaches, alleviate poverty and facilitate access to adequate and nutritious foods. Recommended actions: food production 20. Promote and strengthen urban and peri-urban food production and processing based on sustainable approaches and integrate urban and peri-urban agriculture into city resilience plans.

21. Seek coherence between the city and nearby rural food production, processing and distribution, focussing on smallholder producers and family farmers, paying particular attention to empowering women and youth. 22. Apply an ecosystem approach to guide holistic and integrated land use planning and management in collaboration with both urban and rural authorities and other natural resource managers by combining landscape features, for example with risk-minimising strategies to enhance opportunities for agroecological production, conservation of biodiversity and farmland, climate change adaptation, tourism, leisure and other ecosystem services. 23. Protect and enable secure access and tenure to land for sustainable food production in urban and peri-urban areas, including land for community gardeners and smallholder producers, for example through land banks or community land trusts; provide access to municipal land for local agricultural production and promote integration with land use and city development plans and programmes. 24. Help provide services to food producers in and around cities, including technical training and ďŹ nancial assistance (credit, technology, food safety, market access, etc.) to build a multigenerational and economically viable food system with inputs such as compost from food waste, grey water from post-consumer use, and energy from waste etc. while ensuring that these do not compete with human consumption. 25. Support short food chains, producer organisations, producer-to-consumer networks and platforms, and other market systems that integrate the social and economic infrastructure of urban food system that links urban and rural areas. This could include civil society-led social and solidarity economy initiatives and alternative market systems. 26. Improve (waste) water management and reuse in agriculture and food production through policies and programmes using participatory approaches. Recommended actions: food supply and distribution 27. Assess the ďŹ&#x201A;ows of food to and through cities to ensure physical access to fresh, affordable foods in low-income or underserved neighbourhoods while addressing sustainable transportation and logistics planning to reduce carbon emissions with alternative fuels or means of transport. 28. Support improved food storage, processing, transport and distribution technologies and infrastructure linking peri-urban and near rural areas to ensure seasonal food consumption and reduce food insecurity as well as food and nutrient loss and waste with an emphasis on diversiďŹ ed small and medium scale food businesses along the value chain that may provide decent and stable employment. 29. Assess, review and/or strengthen food control systems by implementing local food safety legislation and regulations that (1) ensure that food producers and suppliers throughout the food chain operate responsibly; (2) eliminate barriers to market access for family farmers and smallholder producers; and (3) integrate food safety, health and environmental dimensions.

30. Review public procurement and trade policy aimed at facilitating food supply from short chains linking cities to secure a supply of healthy food, while also facilitating job access, fair production conditions and sustainable production for the most vulnerable producers and consumers, thereby using the potential of public procurement to help realise the right to food for all. 31. Provide policy and programme support for municipal public markets including farmers markets, informal markets, retail and wholesale markets, restaurants, and other food distributors, recognising different approaches by cities working with private and public components of market systems. 32. Improve and expand support for infrastructure related to market systems that link urban buyers to urban, peri-urban and rural sellers while also building social cohesion and trust, supporting cultural exchange and ensuring sustainable livelihood, especially for women and young entrepreneurs. 33. Acknowledge the informal sectorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s contribution to urban food systems (in terms of food supply, job creation, promotion of local diets and environment management) and provide appropriate support and training in areas such as food safety, sustainable diets, waste prevention and management. Recommended actions: food waste 34. Convene food system actors to assess and monitor food loss and waste reduction at all stages of the city region food supply chain, (including production, processing, packaging, safe food preparation, presentation and handling, re-use and recycling) and ensure holistic planning and design, transparency, accountability and policy integration. 35. Raise awareness of food loss and waste through targeted events and campaigns; identify focal points such as educational institutions, community markets, company shops and other solidarity or circular economy initiatives. 36. Collaborate with the private sector along with research, educational and communitybased organisations to develop and review, as appropriate, municipal policies and regulations (e.g. processes, cosmetic and grading standards, expiration dates, etc.) to prevent waste or safely recover food and packaging using a â&#x20AC;&#x153;food use-not-wasteâ&#x20AC;? hierarchy. 37. Save food by facilitating recovery and redistribution for human consumption of safe and nutritious foods, if applicable, that are at risk of being lost, discarded or wasted from production, manufacturing, retail, catering, wholesale and hospitality.

Appendix (iii): Environmental Impact Assessment C. POSSIBLE IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT C.1. Construction Phase C. 1. 1. Fugitive Dust Impact Fugitive dust emission is likely to be the only main air quality pollutant upon the sensitive receivers during the construction phase of the proposed Market. C.1.2. Construction Noise Impact Construction noise comes from the use of powered mechanical equipment (PME) for the construction of the market building structure will be the dominant source of nuisance. It Is not anticipated that the noise level to exceed the daytime construction noise guidelines of 75dB(A) at any of the sensitive receivers. C.1.3. Water Quality Impact Site construction activities will inevitably have the potential to generate wastewater. Construction runoff contains increased loads of sediments, other suspended solids and contaminants. Potential sources of pollution include runoff and erosion from the site surfaces, drainage channels: Bentonite slurries and other grouting materials, unused hatching washout and drainage from dust suppression sprays, fuel, oil and lubricants from construction vehicles and other equipment. The main process will be initial dredging works, if necessary, to prepare a suitable bed on which to lay the foundation of the pier. Pre-cast concrete blocks will be laid to form the pier and once complete, fillings will be attached. Dredging of marine deposits may increase suspended solid content in the water column. It is likely that suspended solids generated will be low in the vicinity of the site. C.2. Operational Phase C.2.1. Air Quality Impact Odour- Nuisance of odour is expected to be generated from mainly the poultry loading/ unloading area, poultry stalls, market stalls, poultry slaughter house and the Refuse Collection Points (Rep) within the proposed Market. Specifically, the odour source will come from the poultry’s excretion and waste. The slaughtering of poultry and the generic smell of the poultry themselves. The odour constituents for a poultry market environment include mainly aerial emission of ammonia, sulphur compounds, organic (acids. aliphatic and alcohol’s) and amines. Only minor odour impacts will be generated from the wet and dry wastes collected from the fruit/vegetables/fish/egg market. The Reps on the poultry market floors are expected to be strong in odoir as waste generated from the poultry market is generically more odorous. These odorous air will likely to create nuisance to the environment if discharged untreated.

Industrial Air - To serve various operations or building services facilities of the Market, either a furnace, an oven, a Chimney, or a flue will be installed. Air generated from these heating facilities will create air quality Impact to surrounding air sensitive receivers. Vehicular Emission - Emission from heavy diesel goods vehicles within various parking levels of the Market. C.2.2. Water Quality impact Effluent and wastewater are expected to be generated from all the markets stalls (fish. vegetable. fruit and poultry), poultry slaughter house. loading/unloading area and from general floor cleaning of the proposed Market. Effluent generated from bleeding area of the poultry slaughter house Will he particularly high blood-contaminated as animal blood contains a high content of organic matters and nutrients. C.2.3. lndustrial Noise Impact Industrial noise impact from the proposed Market operations including the loading/ unloading of merchandises and poultry by barges and lorries during the operation hours, squealing noise from the animals during various process associated with the slaughter house operations, the public announcement system, building services installations, central mechanical ventilation system, traffic movement within the proposed Market and waterfront operations. C.2A. Traffic Noise Impact Traffic flow generated by the proposed Market Include incoming, delivery and outward dispatch of goods due to the operational requirements of the proposed Market. In any case. the West Kowloon highway is still considered as the dominant noise source to create impact upon surrounding noise sensitive receivers. C.2.S.Waste Management A large amount of contaminated packaging materials will be generated due to the operational procedures and business nature of the Market. Manure from poultry holding areas, blood and offal generated from the killing area, dead and diseased animal carcasses is expected within the proposed Market areas. Screen rejects from the sewerage treatment plant shall be another major source of waste. C.2.B. Visual Impact The development of the Cheung Sha Wan Wholesale Market Phase II will create visual impact upon the nearby visually sensitive areas.

E. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION MEASURES E.1. Construction Phase E.1.1. Fugitive Dust Impact The contractor of the project shall follow the requirement as stipulated in the Air Pollution Control (Construction Dust) Regulation and implement the necessary dust suppression measures to reduce the fugitive dust impact within the Air Quality Objectives at the sensitive receivers.

E.1.2. Water Quality Construction works shall be programmed to minimise soil excavation works in rainy seasons. A series or silt removal facilities shall be installed to settle siltation prior to discharge. Such facilities shall be properly designed in accordance with guidelines from the Civil Engineering Department to achieve the desired mitigating effect on the water quality. Typically, a detention time not less than 5 minutes for maximum design flow of inlet shall achieve adequate sediment removal. Channels or earth bunds or sand bag barriers shall be provided on site to properly direct surface runoff to such silt removal facilities. Sediment traps, channels and manholes shall be maintained and the deposited silt and grit shall be removed on regular basis. The future contractor will adopt the use of a silt curtain to screen the surrounding area from the elevated suspended solids generated by dredging. The contractor will require to use a grab capable of taking contained buckets of sediments without leakage, for the duration of the dredging works. A water quality EM&A programme shall be specified to identity and control water parameters (SS, DO and turbidity) during construction of the pier. The programme includes the collection of data prior to and during the construction works. Careful on-site management procedures shall also be strictly implemented through contract clauses. Sewage generated from the construction workers shall be contained by chemical toilets before connection to public foul sewer can be completed. These toilets shall be provided at a minimum rate of about 1 per 50 workers. The facility shall be serviced and cleaned by specialist contractor at regular intervals. To prevent spillage of fuel oils or other polluting fluids at source, it is recommended that all the stocks shall be stored inside proper containers and sited on sealed areas. E.1.3. Noise Impacts With the implementation of appropriate and sufficient noise mitigation measures, it is envisaged that the potential construction noise impact can be substantially minimised. The effectiveness and continuous Implementation of noise mitigation measures shall be checked by a noise monitoring and audit programme which can help protect the nearby noise sensitive receivers through the provision of regular feedback to the contractors. Restrictions on works during the examination period will be Imposed unless the contractor could demonstrate that there shall be no insurmountable noise impact. E 1.4. General Management As a general guidance, the contractor shall maintain high standard of housekeeping to prevent emission of fugitive dust emission. Loading, unloading, handling and storage of building materials and debris shall be carried out in a manner so as to minimise the release of visible dust emission. A high standard of housekeeping shall be maintained. Any piles of debris accumulated on or around the work areas shall be cleaned up regularly. Cleaning, repair and maintenance of all plant facilities within the work areas shall be carried out in a manner without generating fugitive dust emissions. The material shall be handled properly to prevent fugitive dust emission before cleaning. An environmental monitoring and audit programme can be drawn up to monitor the construction air and noise impacts in order to enforce effective controls and modify methods of works to reduce the emission down to as minimum as practicable.

E.2. Operational Phase E2.1.Air Quality Qdour - In order to remove the odour nuisance to the traders within the proposed Market and the surrounding sensitive receivers, a centralised air pollution treatment system for each market component shall be installed. Within the Market, an air change rate of 15 ACPH for the market stalls shall be provided by the system. Due to the high intensity of warm air generated in the slaughtering operation. a maximum or lip to 40 ACPH for the slaughter house will be required. Different operational modes of the ventilation system shall be made available to reduce running costs. Fresh air intake portals for mechanical ventilation shall be located at positions away from the busy roads. Exhaust(s) of the mechanical ventilation shall be towards the main roads to minimise any potential air nuisance on the nearby air sensitive receivers and pedestrians. Normal practice of the exhaust(s) is 5m above ground and 10m away from any other exhausts. The air pollution treatment system shall be able to reduce the cumulative odour impacts at the air sensitive receivers to meet the assessment criteria of 5 odour units based on an averaging time of 5 seconds. For odour monitoring, 2 odour units at the receptors shall be the criteria for odour nuisance. Car Park Ventilation - A vehicle ventilation system complied with the air quality standards as stipulated in the EPD’s ProPECC Note PN2/96 shall be installed for all the parking areas within the proposed Market. Specified Process - Rendering works in which the process capacity exceeds 250 kg per hour and in which rendering or reduction or drying through application of heat, or curing by smoking, of animal matter is carrier out is classified as a Specified Process. If any processes mentioned above will be carried out within the Slaughter House as a by-product operation line, a specified process license shall be obtained from EPD prior to such process being operated. E.2.2. Water Quality Wastewater generated from all operational processes and loading/unloading area of the market should be treated before being discharged into government sewers for ultimately final disposal. The treated effluent discharge standards shall comply with EPD’s Technical Memorandum “Standards for Effluents Discharged into Drainage and Sewerage System, Inland and Coastal Waters”. An-house treatment system within the Market shall be of at least secondary treatment level and comprise of a series of coarse and fine screens, grease traps and gravity separator system and sequencing batch reactor including sludge dewatering, storage and disposal. Independent drainage system shall be provided for each market floor to prevent passage of effluent through other marketing space. Petrol interceptors shall be provided for surface run-off of all the parking area within the Market, prior to connection to public sewer. The opportunities of minimising wastewater arising from the operation of the slaughter house and the general floor cleaning shall also be studied. This may include recycling or reuse of the treated wastewater for operations within the Market and propose management and operation practice that could help minimise the wastewater at source.

E.2.3. Industrial Noise Impact Noisy operations or activities shall be located at semi-enclosed or even totally enclosed area of the proposed market as far as operational practicable. If necessary, properly noise barrier or enclosure shall be incorporated into the design of the proposed Market. Locations of ingress and egress points of the proposed wholesale market shall be evaluated to minimum noise impacts on noise sensitive receivers. E2.4. Waste Management It is estimated that a large amount of packaging waste will be generated from the Market. Due to the operational procedures and business nature of these stalls. the packaging waste will not likely be reusable. Disposal at landfill site will be the ultimate treatment methods for these wastes. Manure from poultry holding areas, blood and offal generated from the killing area, dead animal carcasses and diseased animal carcasses will need to be properly stored in a designated area prior to being transported to landfill or central incineration facilities for final disposal to prevent food hygiene problems. An effective waste collection and disposal method and programme should be established within the Market. Sufficient waste collection bins shall be located within all levels of the Market. All the waste collections bins should be liftable by the waste collection vehicles for easy handling. Extensive transport of waste within the market should be avoided or minimised as far as practicable. The type of wastes that need to be disposed of at the Centralised Incineration Facility should be separated from the main stream wastes with due regards must be made to avoid cross-contamination of non-contaminated carcasses by cleaning and disinfection of vehicles. Any other types of waste will eventually be transferred to a landfill site through the West Kowloon Refuse Transfer Station. E.3. Visual Impact The proposed Market shall be designed to soften any possible impacts and to blend on the surroundings. E.4. Health and Safety Plan Sound and regular “housekeeping’” shall be exercised to maintain the integrity of the proposed market. All the identified health and safety issues shall be documented by a method statement and be supported by a health and safety plan, which is cross-referenced to relevant health and safety procedures implemented locally and internationally. E.5. Environmental Management Plan In order to oversee the effectiveness of the proposed controls measures during the operation phase of the Market, an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) shall be derived. The EMP should develop as an extension of the management operations and the plan will assure compliance with all the existing legislation in Hong Kong and environmental policy worldwide. The EMP shall include the monitoring and audit requirements during construction and operational phase of the market. All relevant operational requirements in the EMP shall be incorporated into the contractual agreement between the Government and the future operator of the Market for implementation. This plan will need to be reviewed and revised at regular intervals by the management of the Market’s operator.

Design Portfolio

[Re]wiring Food Network - A Stategic Framework for Food System Planning  

University of Cambridge MPhil in Architecture & Urban Design Research Thesis and Portfolio

[Re]wiring Food Network - A Stategic Framework for Food System Planning  

University of Cambridge MPhil in Architecture & Urban Design Research Thesis and Portfolio