HKILA Yuan Lin - 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

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Yuan Lin 園林

Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018 Yuan Lin is the professional journal of the Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects. It is distributed free to all members and registered practices of the Institute, as well as Government offices, libraries, academic bodies, related professional institutes and relevant parties. Copyright of all materials within Yuan Lin is retained by the HKILA and respective authors. No part of Yuan Lin, written or pictorial, may be reproduced or published without prior written permission of the publisher. Except otherwise stated, photographs belong to authors or the publisher. © 2018 The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects


Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects P.O. Box 20561, Johnston Road Post Office, Wan Chai, Hong Kong Tel: 2896 2833 l Fax: 2896 3938 l Email: Email: l Website:


1606-0520 Published and printed in Hong Kong in November 2018.


Publication Committee of the Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects Chairperson: Gap CHUNG Committee Members: Yin-lun CHAN l Kathy NG l David YUEN The editors have endeavoured to ensure that the information within the articles is factually correct. The opinions expressed in the articles, however, are solely those of authors, and do not represent the views of the HKILA. Authors take responsibility for ensuring the accuracy of their work, and that any necessary permissions to use images or other intellectual content, has been obtained from the rights holders.

Design and Production Printer


KE Chung @ Grasp Design Limited Universe Printing Holdings Limited Unit F, 12/F, Legend Tower, 7 Shing Yip Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong Tel: 2968 0333 The Editors would like to acknowledge the kind contributions of all the authors. Also, the publication of Yuan Lin is only made possible by the many landscape firms, organisations, suppliers and practitioners who have generously taken advertising space. The HKILA would like to express its heartfelt gratitude to them for their support.

HKILA Council Members 2018-2019 Position


Email Contact

President Vice-President Vice-President Honorary Secretary Honorary Treasurer Council Member Council Member Council Member Immediate Past President

Ms. Iris HOI Mr. Shun-cheong LO Ms. Kathy NG Mr. Yin-lun CHAN Mr. Isaac Shui-shan SO Ms. Connie Mei-ngor CHEUNG Ms. Yee-man HUNG Mr. Simon Siu-man NG Mr. Tak-yip WONG

Education CPD Committee Practice Land Supply Working Group Public Affairs Publication Registration Functions & Events Council of Fellows YLAG

Mr. Shun-cheong LO Ms. Kate Hoi-ying LAU Ms. Frances Lam (Camay) Ms. Kate Hoi-ying LAU Mr. Patrick LAU Mr. Gap Wai-kin CHUNG Mr. Grant Hugh-kwan LIU Mr. Charles Chao-ti KUO Ms. Kathy NG Mr. Keith Hak-kong HUANG

Webmaster Secretariat Secretariat

Mr. Augustine LAM Ms. Elsie LAW Ms. Jennifer LI

Committee Chairpersons


CPD Committee

Practice Committee

Registration Committee




Ms. Kate LAU

Ms. Frances LAM (Camay)

Mr. Grant LIU

Committee Members

Committee Members

Ms. Narelle HAMEY Ms. Vince KOK Mr. Thomas LAU Ms. Salina LEE Ms. Karen TSOI

Mrs. Ting LEE AU Mr. John CHAN Ms. Narelle HAMEY Mr. Eric LAM Ms. Frances Lam (Camay) Mr. Simon NG Mr. Thomas TAI

Education Committee

Public Affairs Committee

Council of Fellows




Mr. S.C. LO

Mr. Patrick LAU

Ms. Kathy NG

Committee Members

Committee Members

Committee Members

Mr. Chris CHUNG Ms. Narelle HAMEY Ms. Iris HOI Mr. Evans IU Mr. John KWOK

Mr. Paul CHAN Mr. Yin-lun CHAN Ms. Yasmin CHIR Mr. Gavin COATES Ms. Tina KONG Ms. Crystal LEE

Mrs. Ting LEE AU Mr. Gavin Coates Mr. Alexander DUGGIE Mr. Evans IU Ms. Elizabeth LEVEN Mr. C.K. WONG

Functions & Events Committee

Publication Committee

YLAG Committee




Mr. Charles KUO


Mr. Keith HUANG

Committee Members

Committee Members

Committee Members

Ms. Jean Mei-yee CHAN Ms. Crystal Tze-ching CHENG Ms. Sarah Yan-wa CHEUNG Ms. Stephanie Hiu-yin LAI Ms. Carol Lok-yung LAW Ms. Carol Siu-yin LEUNG Ms. Yvonne YAU Mr. Louis Chung-man YUE

Mr. Yin-lun CHAN Ms. Kathy NG Mr. David YUEN

Ms. Crystal CHENG Mr. Ronald CHEUNG Mr. Ken KWONG Ms. Ruby SUEN Ms. Emma TAI Ms. Angel WONG Ms. Katherine WONG Ms. Yeva YEUNG Mr. Justin YIP Mr. Aaron YU Mr. Alex YUNG

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018


It is indeed the pleasure of the Editorial Board to present this Special Edition of Yuan Lin to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects. This serves not only as a collection of the hard work of our predecessors in the public and private sectors in creating the landscape framework and green spaces in the past few decades of rapid urban development, it also reflects the increasing breadth and diversity of the work of landscape architects and their active involvement from policy level, master planning, implementation to landscape management which is evolving progressively to cater the changing need of the society and responding to the wider perspective of urban resilience and livability. The expanding education and research sector in recent years also plays an essential role in the continuous advancement of landscape architecture in future. We sincerely thank all those who have contributed in the past decades of landscape development in Hong Kong. This Special Edition of Yuan Lin may only encapsulate a small part of the steadfast dedication and perseverance of the local landscape architectural profession in creating a better cityscape.


The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會





Thirty Years of HKILA Awards

Landscape Beyond Greening


Greening, Landscape & Tree Management Section of Development Bureau

Direct Correlation between the Quality of the Environment and Our Lives


ADI Limited



Transformation to Flourishing the Landscape Vision for Hong Kong’s Open Space and Urban Design

Innovative Ideas with Aesthetics and Functionality Belt Collins International (HK) Limited

Architectural Services Department

82 26

Integration of Landscape in New Development

A Private Developer’s Projects for the Public Sai-hong LAI, HKILA, RLA

Civil Engineering and Development Department 34

Greening Master Plans Civil Engineering and Development Department 40

Landscape Control




Landscape Design Strategies Developed for the Zero Carbon Building and Park Project; Redesigning the Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront; Hong Kong Wetland Park URBIS Limited 98

Civil Engineering and Development Department 46

Landscape Architectural Projects in Drainage Services Facilities Drainage Services Department 50

Creating a Resilient and Quality Highway Landscape in a Concrete Jungle Highways Department 56

Innovative and Sustainable Landscape Design in Public Housing Estates Hong Kong Housing Authority 66

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018





Of Rain and Wind Two Very Different Traffic Islands

A Call for an Ecological Approach to Landscape Design in Hong Kong

Landscape - The Next 30 Years

Michael THOMAS, HKILA, RLA Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong

Alexander (Sandy) M DUGGIE, FHKILA, RLA, CMLI Managing Director, URBIS Limited 116


Management and Control of Leucaena leucocephala


The Case for a Landscape Archive Yin-lun CHAN, HKILA, RLA 140

Dennis YIP, FHKILA, RLA 124

From Seeds to Mature Plants - A Case Study on Growth / Development of the Reed-Like Grass Eric YT LEE, PhD 130


The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會

HKILA Thirty Years of HKILA Awards Yin-lun CHAN, HKILA, RLA

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018


Thirty Years of HKILA Awards Yin-lun CHAN, HKILA, RLA

The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects (HKILA) is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Including the additional ten years that we operated as the Hong Kong Chapter of the UK Landscape Institute (UKLI), Hong Kong’s landscape architects have stood together as a group for forty years. One of the reasons behind HKILA’s separation from the UKLI was the increasing desire for local recognition and regional autonomy. As part of this effort, the 1st HKILA Awards was organised in 1989 and according to our records, four awards were given out that year. In this 30th Anniversary Special Edition of Yuan Lin, we have attempted to compile a full list of all the projects and recipients of the past HKILA Awards, in order to honour all those who have unreservedly contributed to the betterment of the landscapes in Hong Kong. Given the limited availability of historical records, we apologise for any omissions and we would love to hear from all those award recipients we might have accidentally missed, or those past jurors who could tell us fond stories of the award process in the old days. Reading across the list, anyone would recognise the growing diversity of landscape practitioners and projects being represented. The types of awards have also evolved to more

accurately reflect the changes in landscape practices. In this year’s HKILA Awards, the Institute has received a total of 98 entries (winners to be announced), showing a steady growth in the number of quality projects completed by our members. The compilation of this list is a first step–closer scrutiny of this list of projects is deserved. The questions to ask are: from this list of projects, can we start to identify a set of styles or design and construction processes characteristic of Hong Kong? How have projects done by Hong Kong practitioners been influenced and responded to changes in international trends and regional market changes? What has changes of the landscape profession and the built landscape mutually influenced each other? These are all subjects to be further researched and the compilation of past HKILA Awards has provided us with an entry point. In the process of compiling this list, we would like to thank Louis Cheng, Mathew Pryor, Michael Thomas, and the different individual members, private practices, and government departments who have provided us with information and assisted in the verification of the historical information. We look forward to the many HKILA Awards to come in the future.

About the HKILA Awards The objectives of the HKILA Awards are • to promote excellence in landscape planning, design, management and research; • to recognize outstanding achievements by landscape architects and students; and • to bring the work of local landscape architects and students to the public’s attention. Award Categories (as of 2018) • Conceptual Design - landscape proposals or ideas, e.g. design competition entries, speculative design proposals, conceptual landscape plans, visualisations, etc. (projects which have not been built) • Landscape Design (Private Development) - built landscape projects for developments where the end user is a private entity - residential, commercial, industrial, etc. • Landscape Design (Public Development) - built landscape projects for developments used primarily by the general public - government or institutional projects, schools, sports facilities, public housing developments, infrastructural works, heritage, landscape restoration, etc. • Landscape Management - projects relating primarily to the management of man-made or natural landscape • Landscape Planning / Master Planning Study - strategic landscape planning, urban design and landscape master planning, landscape policy, site search, impact assessments, greening master plans, etc. • Research Study / Publication - research studies, written publications with analytical content, which significantly extend the existing body of knowledge relating to landscape/urban environment. • Landscape Student Project - any project undertaken by a registered student of a landscape program recognised by the HKILA. Separate awards would be made for undergraduate and postgraduate students. Types of Awards • GOLD Award - for overall best project selected from all the entries in all categories • SILVER Award - for exceptional landscape design quality and excellence • MERIT Award - for projects of outstanding landscape design quality 7

The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會

HKILA Awards on Record Project Category


Project Name


East Tsim Sha Tsui Open Spaces Central Area Study - Tai Po

Urbis Travers Morgan Ltd. Urbis Travers Morgan Ltd.

Castle Peak Power Station, Lung Kwu Tan Lower Lam Tsuen River Training, Tai Po

Brian Clouston and Partners (HK) Ltd. Urbis Travers Morgan Ltd.

Tak Wah Street Park, Phase I, Tsuen Wan Tai Wo Park, Tai Po

Urbis Travers Morgan Ltd. Urbis Travers Morgan Ltd.

Fanling South Stage 2

Brian Clouston & Partners (HK) Ltd.

Wan Chai Street Tree Planting

Earthasia Ltd.

Urban Fringe Park, Jordan Valley Botanical Garden, Tuen Mun

Brian Clouston & Partners (HK) Ltd. Urbis Travers Morgan Ltd.

Kowloon Park Drive, Tsim Sha Tsui

Urbis Travers Morgan Ltd.

Route 5, Bridge WR Tsuen Wan Redevelopment Lok Fu Open Space, Wong Tai Sin Discovery Bay Golf Course Extension, Lantau Island

Brian Clouston & Partners (HK) Ltd.

Ma Hang Village - Phase 1, Stanley

Hong Kong Housing Authority

Yuen Long Town Park Tsui Lam Park, Tseung Kwan O 4/F and 7/F Roof Gardens of the Salisbury Hotel Parc Oasis, Yau Yat Chuen Po Tsui Park, Tseung Kwan O Repulse Bay Hotel Kowloon Park Drive, Tsim Sha Tsui

Brian Clouston & Partners (HK) Ltd. Brian Clouston & Partners (HK) Ltd. Brian Clouston & Partners (HK) Ltd. Earthasia Ltd. Earthasia Ltd. Earthasia Ltd. Urbis Travers Morgan Ltd.

Central and Wan Chai Reclamation Feasibility Study

Urbis Travers Morgan Ltd.

Kowloon Park Drive Flyover and Associated Works, Tsim Sha Tsui

Urbis Travers Morgan Ltd.

Silver -

Merit -

1990 1991






Environmental Award -

Merit -










Brian Clouston & Partners (HK) Ltd. Urbis Travers Morgan Ltd.

Merit -


Silver -

Merit -

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

Project Category


Project Name


Mei Foo Sun Chuen Buffer Open Space


Mei Foo Sun Chuen Buffer Open Space


Revitalization and Greening of Buildings and Open Space in Western District


Lotus Hill Golf Resort, Guangzhou


Tai Po Waterfront Park

Architectural Services Department and Hassell Ltd.

Temporary District Open Space at Belcher Bay Reclamation, Kennedy Town

Architectural Services Department

Temporary District Open Space at Belcher Bay Reclamation, Kennedy Town Tin Shui Wai Further Development - Ecological Design For The Ecological Mitigation Area Creation of A Mangrove Habitat - Construction of Mangrove Communities along New Main Drainage Channels for Yuen Long and Kam Tin Native Woodland Establishment at Tai Po

Architectural Services Department

Architectural Services Department

Management Management

Siu Lam Hospital, Rehabilitative Garden for the Mentally Handicapped Patients Grand Millennium Plaza, Sheung Wan Tak Wah Park Phase 2, Area 18, Tsuen Wan Reinstatement Planting to Microwave Link Relay Station, North Lantau Touch of Green on Hard Surface - Amelioration Planting on Shortcreted Slopes Kwong Yuen Estate, Sha Tin Yuen Chau Kok Park, Sha Tin


Harbour Road Indoor Games Hall Garden, Wan Chai

Gold Overall

Silver Greening Effect

Merit -


Silver -

Merit -


Gold Overall

Silver Landscape Design Project Landscape Planning Project / Research Study Greening Effect Management

Territory Development Department and URBIS Ltd. Territory Development Department Territory Development Department

Merit Landscape Design Project Landscape Design Project Landscape Design Project Greening Effect Greening Effect

Belt Collins Hong Kong Ltd. URBIS Ltd. Architectural Services Department Highways Department Hong Kong Housing Authority Provisional Regional Council and Regional Services Department Provisional Urban Council and Urban Services Department


The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會

HKILA Awards on Record Project Category


Technical Guidelines on Landscape Treatment and Bio-engineering for Man-made Slopes and Retaining Walls

Civil Engineering and Development Department and URBIS Ltd.

Landscape Works for Village Flood Protection for the San Tin villages and Chau Tau Tsuen Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence, Shau Kei Wan The Center, Central Ma Hang Village Phase 2 and 3, Stanley Hong Kong Baptist University Greenhouse

Highways Department

Hammer Hill Park, Diamond Hill Oriental Press Charitable Fund Association Day Hospice Centre Cum Hospice Garden, Tuen Mun Hospital Hung Hom Bypass and Princess Margaret Road Link and Roadworks in Hung Hom Bay Hong Lok Park, Fanling Palm Spring and Royal Palms Innovative Housing Design - Hung Shui Kiu Area 13

Architectural Services Department Architectural Services Department

Urban Renewal and Regeneration - An Urban Design Process: Making People-friendly Places and Public Spaces Aqua Tube


Central Pedestrian Schemes - Master Streetscape Plan


Hong Kong International Wetland Park and Visitor Centre Feasibility Study Yung Tung Fu Cheng, Kunming ECO-Residential Development Central Pedestrian Schemes


Visitor Information Center - Promoting the Natural and Rural Hong Kong

Hiu-sum LEUNG

Tai Hu Plaza, Wuxi Tsing Yi North Coastal Road 117 Repulse Bay Road Report on Trial of Wetland Plants at Chau Tau Tsuen Flood Pond The Way Forward - The New Kwai Tsing User Configurable Landscape Architecture Design Hy(S)Q/001/2001 - Study on Standards for Enhanced Streetscape and Street Furniture Metamorphosis - New Campus Design of HKU A Proposed Pocket Garden in Soho, Central Void of the City

Earthasia Ltd. Highways Department Hong Chui Consultants Co., Ltd.



Project Name

Gold Landscape Planning Project / Research Study

Silver Greening Effect Greening Effect Landscape Design Project Landscape Design Project Green Concept

Architectural Services Department Belt Collins Hong Kong Ltd. Hong Kong Housing Authority UrbanAge International Ltd., Architects

Merit Landscape Design Project Landscape Design Project Landscape Design Project Management Management Landscape Planning Project/ Research Study Landscape Planning Project/ Research Study Green Concept

Hassell Ltd. Leisure and Cultural Services Department Kai Shing Management Services Ltd. Wah-sang WONG and Bernard LIM

Perry TO


Silver Conceptual Landscape Scheme

Merit Conceptual Landscape Scheme Conceptual Landscape Scheme Greening Project



Silver Conceptual (Student)

Merit Landscape Design Project Landscape Design Project Landscape Design Project Landscape Planning Project / Research Study Conceptual Conceptual Conceptual Conceptual (Student) Conceptual (Student) Conceptual (Student)

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

Highways Department Leslie CHEN Leslie CHEN URBIS Ltd. Suk-maei LEE, Mime TAN and Ka-ki SIN Martika Lok-yan WONG An ZHANG

Project Category


Hong Kong Wetland Park

Architectural Services Department and URBIS Ltd.

Landscape Design Project

Fu Hwa Jinbao Center

Landscape Design Project

Hong Kong Wetland Park

Landscape Planning Project / Research Study Landscape Planning Project / Research Study

Landscape Value Mapping of Hong Kong

ACLA Ltd. and Fu Wah Jinbao Estate Development Co. Ltd. Architectural Services Department and URBIS Ltd. URBIS Ltd.


Project Name

Gold Overall


Development of a Greening Master Plan for Tsim Sha Tsui Area


The Analogical Dwelling Envelope Swirl into Nature Hakka Villa - Breaking through the Boundary Living in the Hakka Axis

Philip Siu-sun LEUNG, Yuxiao CHEN, Mime TAN Barry Wing-fai LO Ada Hang-yan SO Isaac Shui-shan SO

Landscape Design Project Landscape Design Project

apm t:>>park Sheung Wan Fong; Streetscape Enhancement

Sun Hung Kai Architects and Engineers Ltd. Highways Department and Urban Renewal Authority

Landscape Design Project

Landscape Improvement Works at Podium of Civil Engineering and Development Building Landscape Works for Penny’s Bay Development The Fifth Garden, Village Vanke Garden No.5, Shenzhen Disneyland and Resort Line Hong Kong Moving Landscape (Sprawling, Crawling, Flying) Revitalizing Long Valley Hakka Villa - Breaking through the Boundary Land Valley - from Abandoned Land to Wetland Reserve Red Gallery - Park + Art

Civil Engineering and Development Department

Contract No. GE/2001/06 - 10-year Extended LPM Project, Phase 2, Package A, Landslip Preventive Works for Slopes on Lantau Island Implementation of Greening Master Plan in Central and Tsim Sha Tsui Stanley Waterfront Improvement Project Yingze Streetscape, Taiyuan Wetland Restoration Handbook

Civil Engineering and Development Department and URBIS Ltd.

Master Plan for I.T. Special Economic Zone (SEZ), Gurgaon, India Tianjin China Merchants Comprehensive Development Graffiti Park at Pottinger Street - Activate the Lost Space

ERM-Hong Kong Ltd.

Best Awards (Student) Best Group Work Awards Best Individual Work Awards Best Individual Work Awards Best Individual Work Awards


Landscape Design Project Landscape Design Project Landscape Design Project Student Student Student Student Student

Earthasia Ltd. EDAW Ltd. URBIS Ltd. Wing-fai LO Yau-bun SHIU Ada Hang-yan SO Isaac Shui-shan SO Isaac Shui-shan SO


Silver Environmental Design / Greening Project Environmental Design / Greening Project Landscape Design Project Landscape Design Project Landscape Planning Project / Research Study Conceptual Conceptual Student

Civil Engineering and Development Department Architectural Services Department EDAW Ltd. EDAW Ltd.

Gravity Green Ltd. Isaac Chung-man NG 11

The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會

HKILA Awards on Record Project Category

Project Name


Environmental Design / Greening Project Landscape Design Project Landscape Design Project

Shanghai Chemical Industrial Park


Beijing RF You Yi Cheng Park City Art Square, Sha Tin

Landscape Design Project

Tuen Mun Children and Juvenile Home

Landscape Design Project Landscape Design Project Landscape Design Project

Kunshan Civic Plaza Qinghua I.T. Port Citywalk - Vision City, Tsuen Wan

Landscape Planning Project / Research Study Landscape Planning Project / Research Study Conceptual Conceptual Student Student

Universal Accessibility for External Areas, Open Spaces and Green Spaces Shenzhen Coastal Park System

ACLA Ltd. ADI Ltd. and Sun Hung Kai Architects and Engineers Ltd. Architectural Services Department and Hong Chui Consultants Co., Ltd. EDAW Ltd. EDAW Ltd. Urban Renewal Authority, Sino Land Co., Ltd. and Prime Harvest Development Ltd. Architectural Services Department


Student Student Student Student Student

EDAW Ltd. EDAW Ltd. EDAW Ltd. Allen Ka-wai CHEUNG Ken Lok-to LAW, Ben LUO and Michael Ka MA Sharon Xiao-hong LIU Sharon Xiao-hong LIU Stevie Pui-man WONG Isabella Hui-wai TSUI Isabella Hui-wai TSUI

Landscape Enhancement Works at Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works

Drainage Services Department

Landscape Enhancement Works at Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works Reprovisioning of Diamond Hill Crematorium The Renovation of the Yuen Long Nullah

Drainage Services Department

A Vibrant Riparian: Ho Chung River Improvement

Drainage Services Department

Florient Rise, 38 Cherry Street, Tai Kok Tsui HKSAR’s Participation in the World Exposition Shanghai, China The Hong Kong Pavilion Tianjin Eco-City Waterfront Landscape Planning and Design Greening Master Plan for Remaining Urban Area, Design and Construction

AECOM Asia Co., Ltd. Architectural Services Department and ADI Ltd. AECOM Asia Co., Ltd.



Universal City, Dubailand Galaxy Yabao Competition Pocket Park - Living Museum Streetscape of a New World - International Competition of Urban Streetscape: Re-Shanghalization The Prince of Wales Hospital Tai O Revitalising HKU Alumni Clubhouse - Aposiopesis Primitivism - Hope and Despair Pocket Park Design - Day and Night Souls in Hong Kong

Gold Overall

Silver Environmental Design / Greening Project Landscape Design Project Student

Architectural Services Department Fan ZHANG

Merit Environmental Design / Greening Project Landscape Design Project Landscape Design Project Landscape Planning Project / Research Study Landscape Planning Project / Research Study

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

Civil Engineering and Development Department and ACLA Ltd.

Project Category

Project Name


West Kowloon Express Rail Link and Public Transport Interchange Daqing National Wetland Park Extreme Sport Park Diversity of Elevated Space along Mid Level Escalator

AECOM Asia Co., Ltd.

Landscape Design Project

Man Kuk Lane Park, Hang Hau

Architectural Services Department and URBIS Ltd.

Landscape Design Project

Aldrich Bay Park

Architectural Services Department

Landscape Design Project

Pak Tsz Lane Park, Central

Gravity Green Ltd.

Landscape Design Project

Sau Mau Ping Estate, Kwun Tong

Hong Kong Housing Authority

Overseas Landscape Project

Taichung Greenbelt, Taiwan

AECOM Asia Co. Ltd. and their team of Consultants

Environmental Design/ Greening Project

Tree Transplanting at Kai Tak Development

Drainage Services Department

Overseas Landscape Project

Yi Zhong De Shang Secondary School, Shunde

Gravity Green Ltd.

Landscape Planning Project / Research Study

Study of Combining Plants Species for Application of Vertical Greening in DSD Facilities

Kenneth Ng & Associates Ltd.

Landscape Planning Project / Research Study

GEO Publication 1/2011 - Technical Guidelines on Landscape Treatment for Slopes

Mathew PRYOR, Dr. Billy HAU (HKU) and Halcrow China Ltd.


Cinematic Streamscape

Chun-ho CHAN,Chi-kong FUNG, Sze-hong LAM, Lok-lam KONG and Yuen-gwun TO and Kady Hoi-kei WONG


Sportive Floodscape

Lok-lam KONG, Ka-chuen LIU and Kady Hoi-kei WONG


Evolution of Hong Kong Military Relics War Game Landsacpe

Stephen Yat-man LAM


Productive Urban River - Restored, Refreshed, Regenerated, Urban River as Eco-Infrastructure

Kady Hoi-kei WONG

Design - Public

Sewage Interception Scheme in Kowloon City Pumping Stations

Drainage Services Department

Design - Public

Jordan Valley Park, Kwun Tong

Architectural Services Department and URBIS Ltd.


A Comprehensive Street Tree Management Plan for Hong Kong Research into Tree Transplanting in Hong Kong

Development Bureau, URBIS Ltd., NGIS China Ltd., Dr. Billy HAU and Mathew PRYOR


Fanhshan Tangshan Geopark Museum, PRC

Hassell Ltd.


Le Jardin D’Epure, Tsim Sha Tsui

Scenic Landscape Studio Ltd.

Design - Public

Joint User Complex at Bailey Street, To Kwa Wan Reclamation

Architectural Services Department

Design - Public

Transformation of Former Police Married Quarters, Central

Architectural Services Department

Design - Public

Wo Hop Shek Crematorium, Fanling

Architectural Services Department

Design - Public

D&C Cruise Terminal Building, Kai Tak

Architectural Services Department

Design - Public

D&C North Lantau Hospital Phase 1, Lantau

Architectural Services Department and ADI Ltd.

Design - Private

The Wall House, Singapore

Xiaofeng HUANG

Design - Private

Lime Stardom, Hong Kong

Clarence NG and David LAU

Merit Conceptual Conceptual Student Student

URBIS Ltd. Sampson Kar-kei MOK Siu-kan NG






Landscape Planning Project / Research Study

Mathew PRYOR


The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會


HKILA Awards on Record Project Category

Project Name


Design - Private

Airhouse, Kowloon


Design - Private

Hua Wei Gardens, Shenzhen


Design - Private

Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre, Tuen Mun



Landscape Enhancement Management Plan, Lung Fu Road, Tuen Mun

Highways Department

Landscape Planning Project / Research Study

Zero Irrigation Planting System, Lung Yat Estate, Tuen Mun

Hong Kong Housing Authority

Landscape Planning Project / Research Study

Study of Green Roof, Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works

Drainage Services Department


Myanmar Waterfront Development, Yangon, Myanmar

Jean Mei-yee CHAN


Ageing Polis, A Landscape Planning Scheme

Nathan Hing CHO


Seed Peer Structure, A Biomimicry application, HKZM Bridge, Lantau

Bosco Ho-lung SO

Zhengzhou Vanke City Gallery Central Plaza

Locus Associates

Design - Public

Wo Hop Shek Kiu Tau Road Columbarium Phase V

Architectural Services Department

Design - Public

Construction Industry Council ZCB, Hong Kong


Design - Private

Zhengzhou Vanke City Gallery Central Plaza

Locus Associates


Proactive Revitalization of Senescent Acacia Slopes

Highways Department

Planning / Master Planning

Qinhuangdao Eco-tourism Landscape Masterplan


Eco-Hydraulics Study on Green Channels

Morphis Ltd. and Perkins + Will Drainage Services Department and Mott Macdonald


Neo Wan Chai North: Bridging The Coast

Lok-wing CHAN, Oliver CHAN


The Diary of Nightscape

Charmaine Suet-ming TSANG


Slow Junk, Glenealy Road

Kitty Kit-man WONG

Design - Public

Kwun Tong Promenade

Architectural Services Department

Design - Public

Hung Fuk Estate, Hung Shui Kiu Area 13, Yuen Long

Hong Kong Housing Authority

Design - Public

Green Hub, Tai Po

Landscape Workshop Ltd. and Team 73 HK Ltd.

Design - Public

Revitalization of Harbour Road Garden, Hong Kong


Design - Public

The Rehabilitation of Shek O Quarry, Hong Kong


Design - Private

Banyan Tree Yangshuo Resort

AECOM Asia Co., Ltd.

Design - Private

TWGHs Jockey Club Rehabilitation Complex, Block A

Constance Design Studio Ltd.

Design - Private

Sha Tau Kok Organic Farm Garden

Chi-wai NG

Design - Private

Hualong North Lake Civic Park, Chongqing, PRC


Planning / Master Planning

The Core of Zhuhai City Heart

10 Design

Planning / Master Planning

Shanghai Cao He Jing Park Planning Design

LWK Landscape Ltd.


2016 Gold Overall



Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

Project Category

Project Name



The History of the Landscape Profession of Hong Kong (1978-2015): A Collection of Interviews

Yin-lun CHAN, Joanna CHOW, Paul Y K CHAN & Michael THOMAS (Editors)


Hong Kong Platforms: Towards a Sustainable City


Unplanned Vegetation in Hong Kong – Investigation for an Alternative Way to Green the City

Vincci MAK, Dorothy TANG, Yin-lun CHAN (Division of Landscape Architecture, The University of Hong Kong) Gap Wai-kin CHUNG


The Edible Roof: A Guide to Productive Rooftop Gardening

Mathew PRYOR and MCCM Creations


Street Tree Planting in Hong Kong in the Early Colonial Period (1842-98)

Mathew PRYOR


“Unplanned” Green Block for Self-seeding Plants

Gap Wai-kin CHUNG


Tai O Twin Bridges Design Competition

Constance Design Studio Ltd.


Kai Tak City Public Realm, Hong Kong

Morphis Ltd. and Buro Happold


Dreamscape Playground, Hong Kong

Morphis Ltd. and LAAB


Neo-hydrological Sandscape - Reclamation of Desert Oasis with Qanat as Framework

Jielin CHEN


Is Landscape Design Really GREEN?

Gap Wai-kin CHUNG


Socio-eco Infrastructure for Rural Urbanization

Xiaochun HUANG


Vacant Space, Yangon

Kitty Kit-man WONG


Regeneration of Lau Fau Shan, A unique Eco-cultural Tourism Destination

Aaron Ka-long YU




To be showcased in Lpod - HKILA Newsletter Winter 2018

more to come...


The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會

PUBLIC SECTOR Landscape Beyond Greening Greening, Landscape & Tree Management Section of Development Bureau


Transformation to Flourishing the Landscape Vision for Hong Kong’s Open Space and Urban Design Architectural Services Department


Integration of Landscape in New Development Civil Engineering and Development Department


Greening Master Plans Civil Engineering and Development Department 40

Landscape Approach to Erosion Control Civil Engineering and Development Department 46

Landscape Architectural Projects in Drainage Services Facilities Drainage Services Department


Creating a Resilient and Quality Highway Landscape in a Concrete Jungle Highways Department


Innovative and Sustainable Landscape Design in Public Housing Estates Hong Kong Housing Authority

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018


▲ We strive to achieve the goal of ‘People, Tree and Harmony’

Landscape Beyond Greening Greening, Landscape & Tree Management Section of Development Bureau The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

Preamble Landscape and trees are integral parts of our outdoor environment, and we value their contribution to our quality of life by providing passive amenity, moderating temperature, improving air quality and enhancing the visual appeal and biodiversity of our dense built-up city. The Government is committed to: • developing sustainable, quality landscape planning and design; • effectively implementing the tree risk assessment and management regime to protect public safety; and • promoting proper tree care on private properties; and • building capacity in the landscape and arboriculture workforce and stepping up community education

and involvement in landscape and urban forestry issues.

Urban Forestry Planning


Climate change is a global challenge. Its effect in Hong Kong can be seen by the increased frequency of extreme hot days and rainfall1. Increasing temperatures due to urban heat and climate change are threatening some tree species in other places2. Some of our ageing trees planted decades ago may not be able to withstand severe weather. Hong Kong should foster resilient, adaptable and sustainable urban forests to meet these challenges. The Government has recently completed a study on our street trees (the Study), which finds that the current Hong Kong roadside urban forest is high in species richness but low in species

▲ Urban forest helps boosting the city resilience

evenness, i.e. low in vegetation diversity with a narrow range of common tree species dominating our streetscape. This is mainly due to over-reliance on a limited variety of species, many of which were exotic species, in the past. Homogeneous planting makes our urban forests more vulnerable to outbreaks of pest and diseases. 21

The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會

On the basis of the principles of life-cycle planning and “Right Tree, Right Place”, the Study has formulated a “Street Tree Selection Guide”, recommending a more diverse tree species list in promotion of vegetation diversity and wider use of native species. In support of the vegetation diversity principle, we have increased the number of shrubs and herbs species in an existing roundabout at Tung

Chung East Interchange from three to over 10, providing a more diverse plant palette with emphasis on native species. We are delighted to have involved young future designers from the Landscape Architecture Programme of the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (THEi) participated in the planting design. Our care for trees cover their entire life cycle and beyond. In fact, the life cycle of trees does not end with their life on ground. We are actively exploring means to enhance their disposal for productive use, in particularly wood logs at source based on the 3Rs principle, i.e. reduce, reuse and recycle.

▲ Street Tree Selection Guide ▲ Implementation of Street Tree Life-Cycle in a holistic manner

▲ The principles of ‘Right tree, Right place, For us’

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

A Pilot Project in Tung Chung East Interchange Roundabout Implemented Under the Principle of Vegetation Diversity

▲ Artist’s impression

Quality Landscape Planning and Design Landscape is more than greening or planting vegetation. Landscape encompasses all aspects of the outdoor environment including hard and soft elements such as landform, water bodies and vegetation. Moreover, landscape designs must take into account making “place for people”. The planning and design of our outdoor environment should aim at enhancing the quality of life in our city, with respect to the site context including physical environmental,

▲ After implementation

social and cultural considerations, and relationship with adjacent land uses and building structures. In supporting the “Walk in HK” initiative, one of our landscape objectives is to formulate planning and design standards based on pedestrian-first principles for developing Hong Kong into a walkable city. To further enhance the liveability in our compact high-density city, a “smart, green and resilient city strategy” is

formulated under the “Hong Kong 2030+: Towards a Planning Vision and Strategy Transcending 2030”(Hong Kong 2030+). The rain garden at Wylie x Princess Margaret Road is a trial scheme to support the blue-green infrastructure initiative promoted under Hong Kong 2030+. The project has transformed an existing traffic island at the junction of Wylie Road and Princess Margaret Road into a “rain garden”. Rain garden helps our city absorb more rainwater, by allowing more

A Pilot Rain Garden Project with Seasonal Effects at the Junction of Wylie Road and Princess Margaret Road

◀ Before implementation

▲ After implementation

▲ Seasonal effect


The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會

water to infiltrate into the garden through a series of soil layers with different particles sizes. This prevents rainwater from accumulating on streets and in drains, thus mitigating the risk of flooding. The plants in the rain garden have been carefully selected to filter some of the pollutants out from the runoff, reducing pollution in our waterways and harbour. The pilot rain garden has weathered the rather severe wet season of 2018. Given its benefits in terms of healthier ecosystem and resilient landscape, we will promote the wider application of rain gardens with a view to making Hong Kong more climate-ready.

Tree Asset Management Our urban forests are valued assets that require a holistic approach for their management and care. Like other living organisms, trees grow, age, and eventually decline. The management of the life cycle of tree is important in minimising tree risks to an “as low as reasonably practicable” level for safeguarding public safety while replenishing and regenerating our urban forests. The Government adopts a holistic strategy that includes undertaking the annual Tree Risk Assessment and Management as part of the precautionary measures before the wet season, promoting proper tree care on private properties, building capacity in the workforce, and stepping up community education and involvement, etc.

Tree Risk Assessment Management (TRAM)


We have promulgated the Guidelines on TRAM, which is based on a two-step (area-basis and tree-basis) assessment to professionally and systematically identify and mitigate tree risks. In 2015, the TRAM was enhanced through the introduction of the triage system to identify trees in need of priority care. In 2017, we started a comprehensive review on the TRAM regime to optimise the TRAs workflow for handling the urban trees according to priorities and enhance the criteria to align with the latest international standards and practices, with the target of rolling out the enhanced TRAM progressively starting from 2019.

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

▲ Our TRAM regime fronts and contributes directly to public safety and liveability

Promoting Proper Tree Care on Private Properties In 2018, we launched a training programme for private property owners and property managers to enhance their knowledge on tree asset management, in particular regular care and maintenance, identification of tree risks and proper risk mitigation arrangements through seminars and field demonstrations. We will continue to collaborate with key industry sectors to promote the professionalism and image of the industry.

▲ Onsite TRA demonstration for private property owners and managers

▲ Roving exhibition to raise public awareness

◀ “I want to be a Tree Doctor”

Kindergarten School Visit Programme

Development of Professional Expertise

Education and Engagement

To promote the healthy development of the landscape and arboriculture industries, we will continue our efforts in building up the overall capacity and capability in the workforce.

The Government established the Community Involvement Committee on Greening (CICG) and the Urban Forestry Advisory Panel (UFAP) to tap expert advice from recognised practitioners and to engage the community and industry stakeholders. These bodies have deliberated on a wide range of topics including Place-based Landscape, Brown Root Rot Disease, Tree Risk Assessments Enhancement, etc.

To encourage innovation and creativity for the landscape industry, we invite overseas and local landscape experts and academia to share their experiences and views with local professionals. We are working closely with the arboriculture industry, which is in high demand but still evolving, to develop a quality workforce. In 2016, the Qualifications Framework Secretariat of the Education Bureau established the Arboriculture and Horticulture Industry Training Advisory Committee to uplift and standardise the training and operation of the industry, and to enhance the professional standing and career prospects of practitioners in the long run. The priority task is to develop the set of Specification of Competency Standards (SCS) for the industry. The SCS will set out the skills, knowledge and outcome standards required for practitioners to effectively perform various tasks of different complexity. Training courses developed and accredited with reference to the SCS will be recognised under the Qualifications Framework.


To raise public awareness and foster a culture of tree care, we organise school talks, public seminars, and roving exhibitions on various tree management topics.

“Right Tree, Right Place”, vegetation diversity for healthy urban green assets, we see the potential to build connection with the blue assets through landscape planning, design and implementation; and how we can leverage the blue-green ecological services to better serve our society and enhance our urban ecology. We see our future shaped by the cooperation, collaboration, and cocreation between the government and the public, including all ages, professionals, students, and indeed everyone. It is only with the joint effort of the community that the vision of a future-proofing city can be achieved, and our valuable landscape assets can be safeguarded for passing on to our future generations.

Landscape Beyond Greening To respond to future challenges faced by many other cities including climate change, resource scarcities, etc., our landscape should be resilient and adaptive to change. The concept of “greening” has matured over time into a holistic and integrated approach from the planning and design of urban landscapes, through to the implementation and management of our green and blue assets in achieving a sustainable and future-proofing city. While we continue to develop and enhance our initiatives in urban forestry life-cycle planning and management,

Reference 1.

Hong Kong Observatory (n.d.), Climate Change in Hong Kong. What is UV Radiation. Retrieved 18 Jan. 2018 from climate_change_hk_temp_e.htm.


Kendal, Dave, et al. (Nov. 2017), Risks to Australia’s Urban Forest from Climate Change and Urban Heat. Clear Air and Urban Landscapes Hub, National Environmental Science Programme, the University of Melbourne. Retrieved from w w w. n e s p u r b a n . e d u . a u / p u b l i c a t i o n s resources/research-reports/CAULRR07_ RisksAustralianUrbanForest_Oct2017.pdf


The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會

Transformation to Flourishing the Landscape Vision for Hong Kong’s Open Space and Urban Design Architectural Services Department

The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

Over the past three decades, Architectural Services Department (ArchSD) has been striving for excellence in undertaking a variety of public works by providing quality professional services, and thus enhancing of our urban environment and improving the living standards of our communities. The landscape architecture profession has an indispensable role to play in ArchSD especially in public open space developments. Over the years, the department has implemented a wide spectrum of landscape projects

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

including an ecotourism park, crematoria, columbaria, hospitals and playgrounds, in addition to public parks, urban squares, waterfront promenades etc. The input of landscape architects are devoted at multiple fronts – from inception, sketch design, detail design, tender documentation, construction control to post-construction maintenance within a project life cycle; in consultancy and project management, as well as research and study. All these have contributed to meeting the heightening public aspirations for a pleasant built environment as well as quality works at

into the existing topography as much as possible, resulting in a 50% reduction in construction cost. The undulating topographical design was also much less rigid and more comfortable than the original design. The landscape architect not only demonstrated his expertise in site planning and design, but also contributed to the project team on cost control which benefited both the government and the public1.

The Emerging New Towns in the 1990s Subsequent to the government restructure, ArchSD had taken up the role of the Government’s works agent for facilities development. One of the major responsibilities of the department was the design and construction of open space2 and the role and function of landscape architects in ArchSD made another leap. The flourish of large-scale open space in the 1990s came along with visionary master planning in earlier decades. Aiming to de-centralise the population from the over-crowded urban district, the development of new towns had accelerated in 1970s and 1980s. Taking on the ideas of master planning and having a landscape master plan for each new town, such as Tai Po and Sha Tin3, at early landuse planning stage, ample opportunities to play various roles were created for landscape architects to be involved in those fantastic amenity areas and open space projects. ▲ Hong Kong Wetland Park

different workstages and aspects. While ArchSD has been evolving in its work on open space projects in response to the changing social context and prevailing design trends of the time, the landscape vision in open space design has been flourishing and the manifold roles that the department’s landscape architects play has been being fully evinced.

The Original Landscape Office ArchSD was formerly the Architectural Office of the then Public Works

Department. In the early 1980s, the only landscape architect in the Architectural Office was deployed to giving landscape advice but not for running any projects. More members had joined the team later, but the role played by landscape architects was still focused on advisory nature. The first significant climacteric on the role of landscape architects was from the Sam Ka Chuen Park project. At that time, the landscape architect volunteered to draw a new plan for the park by integrating the sports grounds

Expanding the Role Landscape Architects


Occupying 22-hectare, the Tai Po Waterfront Park is a good exemplar of the era showcasing the diversified role of landscape architects in ArchSD from landscape project design and implementation to consultancy and project management. Sitting along the Tolo Habour, Tai Po Waterfront Park is a great tradition of regional park development by a landscape consultant. The concerted effort by means of coping with private sector in such a large-scale landscape project in a new town was fruitful. The principles set out in the landscape master plan for the new town was adhered to, a range of complimentary recreation experiences appealed to all sectors of the community was ensured. 27

The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會

▲ Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade

▲ Stanley Waterfront

A Fine Balance between Economic Growth and Sustainable Environment in the 2000s Efficient Landscape Design To address the economic concerns from the society and meet the expectation from the public on better living environment, the Stanley Waterfront and Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade are two landscape projects through exercising prudent professional judgement in producing efficient designs without compromising either construction cost or quality of the design. Yet, both of the projects have boosted the adjacent commercial activities and tourist spots. The Stanley Waterfront forms part of the popular beach strip that introduces a

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

▲ Hong Kong Wetland Park

spacious boardwalk dotted with alfresco dinning along the waterfront. The existing seawall along Stanley Main Street was realigned to create addition space for outdoor events and offer panoramic sea views. Furthermore, the physically and visually integrated shore belt connecting Murray House and the market village is underpinned by a row of mature trees that also softens the edge of the waterfront. The project represents a long-term strategy to reinforce Stanley’s identity as a vibrant beach town with a village-style market, restore its vibrancy and competitive tourist attractions and boost its local economic growth at the same time. The Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade needed

a facelift and renovation was chosen as the way of tidying up the waterfront. The project sought to capitalise on the harbour view while providing a commercially vibrant area to promote vibrancy of the place. Cafeteria restaurant was built on the site by removing the pump houses and more sitting out space were added. Dense foliage trees along the edge of the promenade form a green barrier in front of Salisbury Road, screening off traffic noise from the pedestrians. The facelift instills a sense of place to the Promenade and the openness of the transformed space allows spontaneous social interactions to take place.

Sustainable Design Since





incorporating rooftop landscaping designs where practicable into the appropriate new government building projects such as schools, crematoria, hospitals, offices, community centres, etc. Since 2006, rooftop landscaping has been introduced to retrofitted roof of government buildings where practicable. It contributes to the provision of extra landscaped space, improvement of cityscape and enhancement of microclimate by alleviating the urban heat island effect4. In this connection, the Wetland Park has applied massive roof greening above the visitor centre with a lawn that is easily accessible and enjoyed by the public as a viewing deck to the wetland area and a flexible space for active or passive activities. It is also one of the pioneer projects in Hong Kong for the application of sustainable design. For instance, landscaping is arranged to mitigate development impact to the wetland habitat, wooden vertical screens and horizontal louvers are constructed from sustainable timber sources shades the building from direct sunlight, gabion walls are filled with reused oyster shells from Lau Fau Shan, and old granite boundary wall from the Wan Chai Police Headquarter has been re-used as paving.

Research and Study To follow through the objective of

providing a quality living environment, ArchSD initiated 2 research studies on green roof application and universal accessibility respectively. The study report “Study on Green Roof Application in Hong Kong” completed in February 2007 mainly provides design and technical guidelines on different types of green roofs applied in Hong Kong; while the report “Universal Accessibility for External Areas, Open Spaces & Green Spaces” released in 2007 capitalises on the valuable experience earned in the area and is shared in the form of best practices and guidelines.

Embracing Sustainability Targets and People - Oriented City in the 2010s In aligning with the Government’s initiatives, ArchSD has extended the vision of quality landscaping to include other environmentally friendly and people-oriented concepts in the projects.

Integrated Landscape Design Aldrich Bay Park, where a place is created for the local community, is a successful showcase of the adoption of integrated landscape design strategy. The Aldrich Bay Park is located adjacent to the existing Aldrich Bay Promenade in Sai Wan Ho. It provides a breathing space for the local residents who can easily

access the park from all surrounding areas. The park does not only provide numerous pavilions to accommodate various leisure and recreational activities for different age groups, but also addresses the original site context as a fishing village. The theme of fishing village is articulated by adopting the contemporary design approach to redefine traditional fisherman huts, with the use of steel, glass, timber and natural bamboo to create different spaces with different levels of privacy, and adding more varieties by the layering and interlocking of space. The fishermen huts, supported by steel structure, are elevated above the water surface such that water literally can flow freely underneath the deck. A traditional fisherman boat and two small sampans are used to imitate the traditional fishing village in a contemporary way.

Design for Sustainability Located at the densely populated old district of To Kwa Wan, the Joint-user Complex at Baily Street aims to offer a human-orientated civic focus to rejuvenate the precinct by the incorporation of three closely inter-related concepts of ‘a building for landscaping’, ‘a building for the neigbourhood’, and ‘a building for environment’. To realise the concepts, extensive vertical greenery, which is the unifying feature, is introduced at all

▲ Aldrich Bay Park 29

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levels to enhance the aesthetic value as well as environmental quality. Together with sun-shading devices, the vertical greenery minimizes the heat gain into the building interior and yet allows adequate natural light penetration.

Sustaining Urban Trees and Heritage Most of the time, the existing landscape resources can be valuable assets to the development. The significant number of stone wall trees and a big mature tree with high amenity and heritage values located within the project site of Transformation of the Former Police Married Quarters (PMQ) were strategically preserved. From engaging a stone wall tree expert for carrying out tree preservation study to incorporating the expert advices into tree preservation plan; from preparing layout design, building set back to designing unconventional bamboo scaffolding method specially for preserving the existing trees and designing of new planting; every single step was taken with thorough consideration from urban forestry management perspective. The goal is not purely to preserve the trees with such high conservation value, but to facilitate their long-term growth also. The preserved trees become part of the landscape as significant backdrop. Their large canopies together with the greeneries from new planting areas provide a pleasant and green external environment in harmony with the architecture and nearby surroundings.

▲ Joint-user complex at Bailey Street, To Kwa Wan

▲ Police Married Quarters (PMQ)

Therapeutic Landscape Design Softscape is not merely a pleasing background that sustains a functional landscape, it is also a practical solution conducive to our health and well-being. The landscape design of Hong Kong Children’s Hospital, which complements the development plan of Kai Tak Green Hub, has achieved a 40% greenery coverage and provided a therapeutic landscape that forms an integral part of the rehabilitation programme for children patients. For example, the Central Rehabilitation Garden, which locates between the two main buildings, consists of an extensive lawn area, children play area, horticultural therapy garden for a variety of therapeutic purposes and pocket areas for the enjoyment of tranquility by individuals. In order to reduce children’s anxieties and the boring impression they get of hospitals,

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the overall naturalistic environment and animal-themed softscape features create a comfortable and warm atmosphere for the little souls.5; 6; 7

Symbolic Landscape Architecture From late 2000s, the ritual of paying respect to the deceased was reinterpreted. A calm, soothing and dignified place should be provided for the friends and relatives to face life’s sad but unavoidable moments. Through fully utilizing the merits of the existing sites so as to integrate the development with the surrounding natural environment; incorporating the Chinese culture by subtle symbolic landscape design; and meticulous consideration of the sequential spatial experience of the

users, the ideology of crematoriums and columbaria nowadays is totally distinct. The Diamond Hill Crematorium completed in 2009 was intended as a prototype for future crematorium development that the design priority has been shifted from functionality to feelings and emotional needs of the grieved families other than just functional efficiency. The different stages of the sacred funeral process were taken into consideration and were translated as different sequence of spaces where the grieving families can have a serene and contemplative experience. Starting from the drop-off area, a sunlit circular atrium with the square planter in the centre signifies the all-embracing

▲ Diamond Hill Crematorium

▲ Wo Hop Shek Crematorium

roundness of heaven. Mourners then ascend a circular stair to the podium as if transiting from Earth to Heaven with their beloved. As they reach the top, the space immediately opens up to reveal a whole new broad vista of luscious green hills beyond. Before making way to the service halls, the mourners find themselves surrounded by a garden of plants and lily ponds, with their gentle murmurs of running waters. Once ceremony is completed, processions exit to the garden with sweet-smelling and colourful flowers and shrubs at the back of each Hall. As a variation to the design concept of Diamond Hill Crematorium, Wo Hop Shek Crematorium attempts to pay

more emphasis on the feeling of the grieving families after the ceremonies. By making use of the roof of the cremation plant room, a large tilted lawn area with water features provides a place for meditation before the sad grieving families leave the premises. This nice landscape area with openness to nature, sounds of falling water and distant mountain view helps to reduce the sadness of the grieving families, leading them back to the real world. The Columbarium & Garden of Remembrance (GoR) at Wo Hop Shek is another exemplar which incorporates high greenery coverage and symbolic meanings into the project site. Situated in a rural setting surrounded by natural

greeneries, the project is designed as a place with park-like environment by making use of the inherent natural beauty. The GoR features a variety of flowers and plants in a scenic and tranquil environment, with memorial walls for mounting plaques in remembrance of the deceased. The lawn is constructed in a form of spiral path which symbolises the re-birth of human life. Inspired by a religious poem, the square-shaped reflecting pool is a raised water surface, over which there is a stepping path leading to nowhere in the middle. Such features provide a place for meditation and signify the revisiting of human life after death.8; 9; 10


The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會

Visions for 2018 and Beyond Despite the continuous endeavor made in previous decades, there are still a lot of stiff challenges ahead which Hong Kong have to be fully equipped in order to tackle with issues such as social inequality, climate change and rapid evolution of technology. In the latest territorial development strategy under Hong Kong 2030+, the Government proactively includes these issues into the city’s planning goals and building blocks, which sets out the direction for shaping our built and natural environment.

Inclusive Playground Design The call for equal opportunities for all ages and all people has become more apparent. Designing space for play, recreation, and gathering to reconnect all walks of life would facilitate bonding among members of our community. Tuen Mun Inclusive Playground is a pilot project by ArchSD that aims at providing a well-designed play environment which allows children of different ages and abilities to safely enjoy a variety of play experiences, including physical, sensory and social play. In Tuen Mun Inclusive Playground, children are motivated, spontaneous, challenged, accepting differences, engaged with others. This playground will provide a safe and controllable environment for children to discover and understand the world. Public engagement programme is another highlight of the project. Conceptual

design ideas were recruited through open design competition. The winning schemes are adopted in Northern and Southern Part of the playground respectively. During detailed design stage, a series of district council consultations, public consultations and focused-group workshops were organized to gather voices regarding general and specific needs from the community. The biggest challenge that the landscape architects encountered is to produce a custom-made inclusive playground design incorporating the ideas from the winning schemes and stakeholders that maintains high play value and meets stringent safety standards at the same time. Efforts are made to design an attractive, challenging but safe play environment for children with different abilities. Diverse sensory play experience and social play experience are enriched with the themed sand play area, water play area and group play setting in the playground. Physical play experience are further boosted by offering various types of custom-design play equipment, including climbing tower, contour play, tunnels, slides and swings. Ultimately, the process of developing inclusive design does not only ensure different needs of potential users are being heard and safeguarded, but also promote the idea of inclusiveness and enhance the sense of belonging to the park by the community in the future.

Biodiversity and Blue-Green Infrastructure in Urban Environment Strengthening the city’s climate resilience through development of blue-green infrastructure network and incorporation of the ‘sponge city’ concept - a modern stormwater management approach when planning for our new projects is considered as one of ArchSD’s key directions for landscape design. Fall within the Kai Tak Development Area, it is intended that the Kai Tak Station Square, which forms part of the open space network along the riverfront, will serve as the district’s green lung, scenic oasis and urban forest11; 12. This is a large scale open space project which occupies approximate 12 ha. The majority of the site is categorised as regional open space and forms part of the green corridor along the downstream portion of Kai Tak River. A 40% targeted greenery coverage with extensive tree and vegetation planting will make the attempt to enriching the biodiversity of the area by a vegetation palette of native species possible. Apart from the trial to create an ecological hub of the district, the aesthetic and amenity values of the open space will be also magnified by thematic planting that offers seasonal appreciation. In the meantime, opportunities for water sensitive designs such as bio-swale design and recycling the water drained from planters are being explored.

New Technology Software such as BIM and Virtual Reality (VR) have emerged and transformed the design and implementation of architectural and engineering projects in the last decade. The use of BIM facilitates systematic cost estimation and project control while VR provides clients and communities with a real-time, interactive and immersive view of the designs. It is also a tool for managing a project’s lifecycle and enhancing communications between different parties involved in various stages of a building lifecycle. ArchSD selected three projects namely, Hoi Shum Park, Industrial Cultural Park at Tsun Yip Street and Hong Kong Flower Show 2015 for trial of the Landscape Information Modelling (LIM) technology with the aim of evaluating ▲ Custom-made design in Tuen Mun Inclusive Playground

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

▲ Themed sand play area in Tuen Mun Inclusive Playground

the Government’s requirements on the adoption of BIM technology, ArchSD will continue trials of landscape architecture friendly software and explore their effective use in different stages of project delivery as well as compatibility with other BIM software in upcoming projects. Training will be organised regularly to equip our professionals with knowledge and skills for smooth transition.

Commemorate the Past, Relish the Present and Embrace the Future: Our Landscape Vision

1. HKILA. (2015). Thirty Years of Government Work, The History of the Landscape Profession of Hong Kong. pp.122-124.

6. DEVB. A Green, Patient-Centred Children’s Hospital, My Blog. < en/home/my_blog/t_index_id_274.html>

2. HKILA. (2015). Thirty Years of Government Work, The History of the Landscape Profession of Hong Kong. pp.119-120.

7. EKEO. Hong Kong Children’s Hospital. <https:// building_HKCH.html>

10. ArchSD. Creating Values in Delivering Public Architecture through Learning & Knowledge Management. <http://www. and_KM_2.0_v3_20160120.pdf>

3. HKILA. (2015). Urban Vegetation And Ecology, The History of the Landscape Profession of Hong Kong. pp.109-110.

8. ArchSD. Sustainability Report 2013. <https:// greening-and-landscaping.html>

4. GLTMS, DEVB (2015). Weaving green fabric to a condensed city, Yuanlin. pp.99-104.

9. ArchSD. Columbarium Garden Of Remembrance At Kiu Tau Road. <https://www.,-wohop-shek.aspx>

the performance of BIM and promoting the wider use of BIM. The scheme won the Hong Kong BIM Awards in 2015. The use of BIM software in landscape context helps synchronize the language with other professionals and facilitates cross-disciplinary communication, and VR, augmented reality or mixed reality technology helps present the data in a clear and straightforward manner for easy visualization. The 2017 Policy Address has stated that, starting from 2018, the Government will adopt BIM technology in the design and construction of major capital works projects. In keeping with

With the establishment of Landscape Division in ArchSD in April 2018, the services provided by the division will be strengthened that more new and innovative visions will be explored and materialised to enhance our living quality and create places in Hong Kong that are cherished by all.


5. Hospital Authority. Hong Kong Children’s Hospital Newsletter. < hkch/Docs/CXcfSimDe7277101.pdf>

11. PlanD. Green and Blue Space Conceptual Framework, Hong Kong 2030+. <http:// and%20Blue%20Space%20Conceptual%20 Framework_Eng.pdf> 12. CEDD. Creative Principles, Kai Tak Development. < publiccreatives/en/principles.html>


The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會

Integration of Landscape in New Development Civil Engineering and Development Department The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

History In the past, new town development was carried out to accommodate the increased population and to improve the living environment by decentralising the population from the over-crowded urban districts. The Government has been continuing to develop the new towns and New Development Areas (NDAs). With new strategies being evolved to cope with the increasing land demand, the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) is providing and upgrading the infrastructure to support the development1. The basic concept for developing a new town is to provide a balanced and selfcontained community as far as possible in terms of the provision of infrastructure and community facilities. For major developments, new land will be formed and infrastructure will be provided to tackle population growth. The functional, environmental and aesthetic aspects of the developments are given priority consideration for a quality living.

New Town Development Hong Kong has developed nine new towns since the initiation of its New Town Development Programme in 1973. The population of Hong Kong at that time was about 4.2 million in 70s, and now it is about 7.4 million. The nine new towns could be divided into three generations. The first (Tsuen Wan, Sha Tin and Tuen Mun) started works in the early 1970s; then the second (Tai Po, Fanling/Sheung Shui and Yuen Long) in the late 1970s; and the third (Tin Shui Wai , Tseung Kwan O and Tung Chung) in the 1980s and 1990s. The current population of these nine new towns is about 3.47 million and is expected to rise to 3.7 million in 2022. Land use in new towns and development provided plenty of room for housing projects. Highways, tunnels, bridges and railways were built to improve the accessibility and connectivity. The first few New Towns, e.g. Tuen Mun, Sha Tin, Yuen Long, Tai Po, are intended to be self-reliant, with residential areas, commercial, recreational areas, including town parks in each town, amenity strips along major roads, industrial areas as well as scattered open spaces, etc.; such that residents need not travel between the New Towns and city centre for work

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and leisure. Series of large-scale town parks, such as Tai Po Waterfront Park, Yuen Long Park, Sha Tin Park, etc. were provided in these new towns to accommodate the increased population, and to provide quality environment with landscaped open space.

New Development Areas (NDAs) in the New Territories Previous planning and development studies have established the feasibility of developing NDAs in the New Territories, including Kwu Tung North (KTN), Fanling North (FLN), Ping Che/Ta Kwu Ling (NENT NDAs) and Hung Shui Kiu (HSK).

Kwu Tung North (KTN), Fanling North (FLN) The KTN and FLN NDAs cover a total area of about 612 ha, which can accommodate a total population of over 170,000 and will create over 37,000 new jobs. A mix of private and public housing as well as basic infrastructure and community facilities will be provided in the NDAs, which have been planned according to four guiding principles, namely, strategic roles of the NDAs, people-oriented communities, sustainable living environment and appropriate implementation mechanism3.

Various landscape design elements, such as activity nodes, landmarks, focal points, green spine, air ventilation paths, etc. were incorporated in the NDAs. These elements will be linked up by a well-connected pedestrian and cycle track network and an open space system. The key landscape framework that has been adopted in the design of the NDAs include: • Introducing regional, district and local open space for public enjoyment as

▲ Kai Tak Development - six main districts and three waterfront areas to be developed with a strong and legible character 2

well as serving as ‘breathing space’ for spatial and visual relief; • Designing a stepping building height profile for providing visual quality to the residents; • Providing comprehensive open space, pedestrian and cycle track systems;

• Making the best use of natural features, e.g. view corridor and green walkway; • Creating strong north-south and eastwest view corridors to the existing green backdrops; • Providing breezeways to promote better air ventilation;

• Promoting a pedestrian-friendly town centre;

• Preserving significant features; and

• Providing landscaped retail corridors to enhance street vibrancy;

• Conserving resources.


heritage landscape

The main objective of the landscape design is to preserve and enhance the landscape resources to create a sense of community and uniqueness for the KTN and FLN NDAs. These landscape and open space design framework gives an emphasis on the creation of an inter-related and continuous landscape system that will connect the existing landscape areas with the proposed open space network.


The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會

▲ Photomontage of Kwu Tung North (KTN) New Development

In the KTN NDA, the proposed open space system will comprise the green spine connecting the North and the South, and the East and the West at the town centre, which includes the Town Plaza, Fung Kong Shan Park and the promenades along Sheung Yue River and Shek Sheung River. These new open spaces will link up the existing important landscape resources along Long Valley,

Fung Kong Shan and Ho Sheung Heung Fung Shui Woodland with the existing vegetated slopes along the periphery of the proposed development. Similarly, the proposed open space system in the FLN NDA, including the Central Park, district open space and riverside parks and promenade along Ng Tung River, will link up the existing

open spaces of North District Park and North District Sports Ground in Fanling/ Sheung Shui New Town. In order to ensure that these design principles can be implemented, early planning and active involvement are the key to the project success. During the feasibility study and detailed design stages, the following measures have been taken to minimise the impact of the development on the existing vegetation and the environment: • Preservation of Green Buffers Trees along the periphery of the NDAs should be considered as green buffers and they should be preserved and retained as much as possible; • Preservation of Significant and/or Mature Trees For tree preservation purposes, trees should be preserved or retained as much as possible with a view to minimizing the number of existing trees to be affected by the proposed development; • Compensatory Tree Proposal Trees are to be planted along roadside and within future development sites as far as possible as part of the overall compensatory tree proposal.

▲ Extract from KTN NDA Landscape Plan

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Urban Development Areas Kai Tak Development KTD covers over 320 hectares at exairport site, with the largest available land in our Metro Area fronting Victoria Harbour. It offers opportunities to bring the harbour to the people, provide quality living environment, as well as revitalise all of the surrounding districts such as Kowloon City, Wong Tai Sin and Kwun Tong. The planning vision of KTD is to develop “a distinguished, vibrant, attractive and people-oriented community by the Victoria Harbour”. KTD seeks to practise sustainable development4 and cultivate an inter-related and continuous landscape framework with green corridors, promenades and a comprehensive network of parks and gardens for everyone to enjoy.

Holistic Administrative Framework Strived for Success Given the scale and complexity of KTD, the project is being implemented in phases. Furthermore, a dedicated Kai Tak Office (KTO) is to lead and oversee the coordination and implementation of KTD within its intended timeframe, involving multi-disciplinary professionals.

KTO spearheads concerted efforts for a holistic and integrated approach with policy steering from the Development Bureau (DEVB) especially in the following areas: • Centralised coordination for implementation of mega interfacing projects in and around KTD under a tight programme • Close steering of the design development of KTD infrastructure works for public engagement/ consultation • Proactive enhancement of green features in KTD without compromising the implementation schedule • Heritage conservation and enhanced integration with the surrounding development of old areas • Taking forward the urban and landscape design to achieve the planning vision of KTD

Integrated Landscape Framework Strived for Excellent About one third of the site is zoned as open space. Regional, district and local open spaces form a hierarchical

landscape network with distinctive characters and landscape vistas to meet the neighbourhood requirements, link local districts and connect the adjacent hinterlands. Tree avenues along roadside provide a shaded and comfortable walking environment for pedestrian. 10m wide vehicle-free pedestrian streets are promoted in commercial and residential zones with intimately scaled urban street blocks. Kai Tak River is turned to an attractive green river corridor in urban setting, providing space for leisure and public activities serving the community while meeting the local flood protection needs. These green corridors promote safe, attractive and convenient, vehicular-free and enjoyable landscaped environments that interconnect with open space network. Together with Urban Design Guidelines and Manual to ensure consistency in the visual expression of the entire urban development at pedestrian zone, all these measures not only enhance walkability and accessibility within KTD, but last strive for excellent landscape and urban design.

▲ Kai Tak Development (KTD) Master Plan 37

The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會

Anderson Road Quarry (ARQ) Development and Development of Anderson Road Quarry Site ARQ situates at the south-western slopes of the Tai Sheung Tok hill at Kowloon Peninsula. The site is a precious piece of virgin land of 40 hectare platform and another 40 hectare slope face in urban area of Hong Kong. Since 1950s, Anderson Road Quarry was an important facility and plays a significant role in construction industry in Hong Kong for supplying aggregate, asphalt, stone and concrete. Following the accomplishment of its historical mission, the vacated quarry site will take up another new mission – land supply for future residential and commercial development to accommodate a planned population of 25,000 with the aim of addressing the acute housing shortage problem in the territory. Land will also be provided for commercial uses, government, institution or community facilities, open space and amenity areas, etc., starting from 2023-24 onwards5.

for quarries and existing environments’ compatibility, in order to recreate good wildlife habitats for flora and fauna. For enhancing and restoring Landscape Value, it is important that the site with high landscape value in the close proximity, including the “Green Belt” and “Conservation Area” zones are to be maintained at the periphery of the development, to allow a subtle transition to the natural landscape beyond.

• Smart Mobility - Pedestrian and Cycling Mobility, Interactive Urban Mobility

Apart from the Quarry rehabilitation, through enhancement of off-site pedestrian connectivity, its dominant geographical location has given the opportunity to develop the site into an exemplary and sustainable community for people living there with more smart, green and resilient living environment. A blue-green approach with smart and green initiatives would be implemented in the ARQ Site Development:

The Way Forward

• Smart Water Management, such as artificial flood attenuation lake, underground stormwater storage tank, infiltration channel, porous pavement and grey water recycling

The attenuation lake, which is not only one of the measures for Sustainable Drainage System, it can also serve for recreational and irrigation uses during dry weather period. The proposed artificial flood attenuation lake will become a key landscape feature of the proposed Quarry Park.

Hong Kong has continued to grow, and along with the rising population and maturing economy came the public expectation that our environment should be protected and quality of life should be enhanced. With all the NDAs and upcoming infrastructure works, a sustainable development is to strike a balance between the needs of the environment, society and economy in order to maintain a quality standard of life for both present and future generations.

• Smart Energy - Green Roof and Solar Panel

As a result, many statutory processes, such as Environmental Impact Assessments and Town Planning Board Applications for major housing and development projects have routinely

Shing Kai Road 承啟道

Muk Chui Street 沐翠街

Kai Yung Lane 啟融里

Distributor Road 主幹道

Local Road 區內道路

Pedestrian 步行街

Quarry Rehabilitation In the process of quarry rehabilitation, suitable species and types of plants were selected and planted on slopes

▲ Streetscape and Amenity Planting Areas in Kai Tak

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▲ Indicative illustration showing sample of Blue-green Infrastructure to be adopted in ARQ

faced well-organised challenges from the communities. These changing public expectations are fully recognised. Therefore, apart from the feasibility and design stage, the works implementation, maintenance and management are also critical in ensuring the works can be enjoyable by the public and be able to meet public’s expectation. The economic growth in Hong Kong has raised people’s aspiration for better quality of life. CEDD has targeted to adopt a sustainable design approach for the reduction of environmental impacts, but without compromising on the design quality and operational use. In terms of landscape conservation and tree preservation, in order to preserve the existing environment and habitats, some mitigation measures could be implemented, such as: • Tree protection and preservation measures since planning stage; • Areas temporarily disturbed by the projects would be reinstated in order to restore the green ambiance to blend in with the new environment as far as practicable;

▲ Attenuation Lake

• Excavated topsoil would be conserved for re-use by the projects or nearby developments; • Amenity and native plants are encouraged for open spaces, pedestrian walkways, roadsides; and • Minimise the cut and fill slopes, and design to suit the existing topography. To meet the increasing demand for housing and improving living condition, a balanced approach for development and conservation should be adopted to target a sustainable and resilient environment for our future generations.

Reference 1.

CEDD (2018). Hong Kong Fact Sheets - New Towns, New Development Areas and Urban Developments


KTD Six Districts: KT City Centre, Sport Hub, Metro Park, South Apron, Runway Precinct, Tourism & Leisure Hub; and three waterfront areas: Ma Tau Kok waterfront, Kwun Tong waterfront and Cha Kwo Ling waterfront.


KTN/FLN NDAs – A New Town for Hong Kong People <>


The World Commission on Environment and Development (1987). Our Common Future


Development of Anderson Road Quarry Site, <>


The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會

Greening Master Plans Civil Engineering and Development Department The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region ▲ Kowloon City - before and after implementation of GMPs

Project Background Recognizing the public’s aspirations for a greener and lusher environment, the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) started to develop Greening Master Plans (GMPs) for urban areas in 2004 with a view to improving our living environment. GMPs seek to define the overall greening framework of a district, and serves as a guide for all parties involved in planning, design and implementation of greening works. In addition to identifying planting locations, the GMPs establish the greening themes and propose suitable plant species.

Greening Policy The Government has been advocating

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

the “Right Species at the Right Place” principle for planting. We have considered factors such as design objectives, concept/theme, physical conditions and site constraints, environmental factors including soil condition and microclimate (degree of wind and/or salt spray), traffic and pedestrian requirements, maintenance requirements and the public’s views in determining suitable plant species and planting locations.

Dealing with Challenges Introduction of new plantings in builtup areas imposes great challenges. Issues involved are not only related to arboriculture, but also other physical and

non-physical challenges. Their resolution calls for expertise from many disciplines, including landscape architecture, town planning, civil, structural and traffic engineering and even public relations. It is through the GMP initiative, which pools the necessary fields of expertise together and coordinates their efforts, that these challenges are overcome.

Physical Challenges Visible challenges to urban greening include narrow footpath, high pedestrian flow, the need to cater for sightline of pedestrians and drivers, space required for loading/unloading and other business activities, the gigantic overhanging

signboards as well as older buildings with arcades and modern high-rise buildings blocking the sunlight necessary for healthy plant growth. We need to overcome these challenges through a careful study of the physical conditions and land use characteristics of the areas, thorough investigation of each potential planting location and careful choice of plant species for healthy growth of plants, contributing enhancements but not problems to the districts. There are also less obvious and invisible challenges. In many places, the space below ground is even more congested than the space above and it is difficult to find enough space for planting and healthy root growth. Widespread utility diversion is probably unrealistic and will cause unacceptable disruption to the local residents. Therefore, we have focused our attention on utility diversion at focal areas where we could achieve significant greening impact. Another invisible challenge is the poor soil in urban areas for planting, which often contains excessive granular materials and lacks the necessary nutrients for plant growth. The problem is exacerbated by highly compacted soil to prevent settlement of the pavement. We have addressed these challenges by selecting appropriate plant species, improving the soil conditions and constructing soil corridors with underground panels which helped take up the loading of the

▲ Central - before implementation of GMPs

pavement while left the soil suitable for healthy plant growth.

Non-Physical Challenges The greatest challenge of all is perhaps the non-physical one. While most people welcome greening of their district, some may still hesitate or raise objection if a tree is planted in front of their shops or properties. In fact, a number of overseas research studies indicate that customers are willing to pay more for equivalent goods and services in greened business districts. We gently won the affected people’s hearts and minds and persuaded them to accept the planting using a variety of means such as photomontages and photos of exemplary cases of co-existence of planting and commercial activities.

In early stage of planning, we introduced the GMP initiative to the relevant District Councils;

We invited the District Council members to form a District Participation Group (DPG) to partner with us throughout the course of GMP development and to advise us on the greening of the districts;

We organized community forums and site visits jointly with the DPGs to collect views and suggestions of residents and stakeholders;

We sought the support of the District Councils before finalizing the GMPs and proceeding to funding application and implementation;

Before executing the works, we circulated leaflets to the neighbouring residents to explain our works; and

We organized community planting ceremonies and, where feasible, invited local residents to participate in our planting activities.

Collaboration with Public We always promote to collaborate with the public in taking forward projects to improve the community. Residents are the ultimate beneficiary of the GMP initiative and the final judge as to whether GMPs meet their needs and expectation. They also have the local knowledge of the characteristics of the districts, greening conditions and potential planting sites. Public participation, therefore, is a key process in GMP development. Public participation was manifested at various stages of GMP development and implementation as below:

We believe that public participation not only enables us to tap into valuable local knowledge about a district but also promotes ownership of the GMPs by the local residents, which is instrumental to the smooth implementation and longterm caring of vegetation.

▲ Central - after implementation of GMPs 41

The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會

The concerns and comments of government departments on practical aspects have not been overlooked. We have involved the frontline working level staff and formed working groups to resolve important issues, such as traffic safety, land use planning, species selection and post-planting care of plants, that might arise during the development and implementation of GMPs.

Design and Implementation The GMPs are primarily a set of blueprints showing the locations of various proposed greening measures, including trees planting and construction of planters, for the concerned district. Generally, public footpaths and road medians are covered under the project. For major infrastructure projects to be implemented within the districts, the project proponents are encouraged to adopt the greening themes and species proposed in the GMPs wherever feasible in order to achieve synergized results complementing the whole district.

▲ Tsim Sha Tsui - before and after implementation of GMPs

▲ Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei - before and after implementation of GMPs

Greening Theme We have taken into account the local landscape and cultural characteristics, the public’s perception and future development of the districts in developing greening theme and themed tree species for individual districts through the aforementioned public participation. GMPs also recommend a palette of plant species for the districts. Apart from matching with the planting theme, the recommended plant species could cope with local soil conditions, microclimate and functional and performance requirements that the species have to achieve and enhance diversity.

developed first as a pilot scheme from 2005 to 2007 prior to full scale rollout of the GMPs. Under the pilot, 680 trees and 145,000 shrubs have been planted in Tsim Sha Tsui and 570 trees and 155,000 shrubs have been planted in Central. Through detailed study of the site conditions and selection of the right plant species at the right place, with dedicated effort from the community and the Government, we could optimize the opportunity to improve the green setting of the urban areas.

Full-scale Implementation of GMPs for Other Urban Areas Following the success in developing GMPs for Central and Tsim Sha Tsui, GMPs for the remaining districts in urban areas were then developed in phases accordingly. These include Wan Chai, Western, Yau Tsim Mong, Southern, Eastern, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon City, Wong Tai Sin and Kwun Tong districts. The GMPs for urban areas were completed in 2011. We have received positive public responses to the GMP initiative for enhancing the greenery of the urban areas.

Pilot Scheme for Central and Tsim Sha Tsui GMPs Tsim Sha Tsui and Central are the most urbanized districts in our city. The GMPs for Central and Tsim Sha Tsui were

▲ Eastern District - before implementation of GMPs

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▲ Eastern District - after implementation of GMPs

▲ Western District - before and after implementation of GMPs

▲ Southern District - before and after implementation of GMPs

▲ Sheung Wan - before and after implementation of GMPs

▲ Wong Tai Sin - before and after implementation of GMPs


The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會

▲ Kwun Tong - before and after implementation of GMPs

▲ Sham Shui Po - before and after implementation of GMPs

▲ Sai Kung - before and after implementation of GMPs

▲ Sha Tin - before and after implementation of GMPs

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▲ Yuen Long - before and after implementation of GMPs

Implementation of GMPs for the New Territories The GMPs for urban areas were successful with appreciations from the public in enhancing the green setting of urban environment. There has been public call to extend the GMPs to the New Territories. We developed the GMPs for the New Territories in 2011 for implementation progressively from end of 2014. With the practical experience gained from GMPs for urban areas, we selected suitable native species as themed planting for the relevant districts and enhanced the specifications for plant materials such as adoption of larger rootball size, etc. to facilitate better growth of new plant.

▲ School Talk

▲ Tuen Mun - before and after implementation of GMPs

Achievements A total of about 24,890 trees and 5.13 million shrubs have been planted in the GMPs for urban areas. Today, those established trees are getting bigger and they have reached semi-mature or mature tree size to fulfill the purpose to improve the greenery of urban environment. In view of the extensive geographical spread of the New Territories, the GMPs for the New Territories focused on densely populated areas (such as town centres), tourist attraction locations and major transportation routes. We have planted about 4,000 trees and 2.6 million shrubs in Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, Sha

Tin and Sai Kung districts to enrich their green setting. In addition to planting works, we have also successfully organized planting ceremonies, community planting activities and education talks, particularly for primary and secondary school students, to promote greening and arouse their interest in planting and awareness in the protection of our environment. With the joint effort from all parties concerned, the GMPs have brought about significant improvements to the cityscape. Our work is non-stop and we will continue to strive to build a better environment to serve the public.

▲ Community Planting 45

The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會

▲ After Erosion Control Planting - Pai Tau Hang, Sha Tin (2000s)

Soil and water are essential to life on Earth. The mission of Erosion Control is to improve soil qualities and conserve the water cycle on degraded land in Hong Kong so that a diverse and robust ecosystem can be succeeded for our coming generations.

Background The Erosion Control Planting Programme (保土植林計劃) originated from the Metroplan Landscape Strategy for the Urban Fringe and Coastal Areas launched in 1989. The Strategy confirmed that degraded or eroded areas near countryside required landscape restoration and rehabilitation. Under





Engineering and Development Department (CEDD, through the merger of the Civil Engineering Department and Territory Development Department) carries out erosion control planting in Unleased and Unallocated Government Land (UUGL) outside Country Park since 1980s in order to establish a primary vegetation cover to improve ecological value and enhance visual quality of urban fringe and new town areas.

Soil Quality and Land Degradation in Hong Kong Infertile Saprolitic Soil (風化土壤) Soil and rock slopes in Hong Kong are generally infertile saprolitic soils and rock lacking of topsoil (GEO, 2011). About 35% of Hong Kong is on granitic rocks, including areas in eastern Lantau, Sha Tin, the western New Territories and southern Lamma Island (PlanD, 2018). Granite is easily to be weathered when

compared to volcanic rock resulting in round and lower peaks with little vegetation. Through times, the land is eroded by wind and water, landform such as badland, boulders field and rocky slope with rills and large gullies are found.

Erosion of Sheetwash




Removal of vegetation cover results in exposed ground which is the main cause of soil erosion. When heavy rain comes, the ground is no longer intercepted by vegetation. Rain splash lossens the topsoil and the loose particles are susceptible to be carried away by sheetwash easily as there is no plant root or organic matter to hold the soil together as shown in Figure 1. As a result, rainfall cannot penetrate into the underlying soil stratum, but removing the loosened topsoil leaving the land infertile with rills and large gullies over time.

▲ Before Erosion Control Planting - Pai Tau Hang, Sha Tin (1980s)

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Landscape Approach to Erosion Control Civil Engineering and Development Department The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

Loss of Soil Nutrients by Leaching Without vegetation cover, the exposed soil is also prone to leaching in heavy rains. Water within soil transports the mineral salt (i.e. soluble minerals) and nutrients downward to the bedrock leading to infertile topsoil as shown in Figure 1. This process is called leaching. Moreover, evaporation increases in the eroded land due to the lack of vegetation. The dry particles tend to be carried away by wind and water easily.

Landscape Approach to Improve Degraded Land Soil being eroded away is almost always more valuable and nutrient rich than those left behind (Brady and Weil, 2002). Soil degradation is often caused by

▲ Figure 1 : Sheetwash and leaching in degraded land

erosion by water and wind. Therefore, the aim of the Programme is to prevent the soil from being eroded further and the rainfall discharging as surface runoff instead of absorbed by plants or store underground. It is anticipated that the land can rejuvenate with a healthy water and nutrient cycle. The best way is to help the degraded land to establish a self-sustainable vegetation cover to hold the soil particles together and act as a physical barrier to erosion as shown in Figure 2. The plants also reduce evaporation of soil moisture, trap and add moisture to the surrounding through transpiration and produce organic matter adding nutrients to the land allowing succession to take place.

To maximize the survival rate of plants and minimize future maintenance work, planting works should be carried out in early spring with light rain before typhoon season to prevent newly planted seedlings from being washed away. CEDD has also extended the establishment period for planting works under the Programme to three years according to DEVB TCW No. 6/2015 Maintenance of Vegetation and Hard Landscape Features. Hardy species that can be well established within the Establishment Period were selected. CEDD will hand over the self-sustainable vegetation to Lands Department (LandsD) for management and ad-hoc maintenance.

▲ Figure 2: Vegetation cover as an erosion control measure 47

The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會

Improvement of Soil Resilience through Erosion Control Planting Techniques Areas that required Erosion Control Planting are always degraded or eroded areas in poor condition with direct exposure to wind, rainfall and sunlight that even pioneer species cannot survive. Soil in that case is usually thin and infertile. With the aim to restore degraded areas to natural woodland wherever possible, different planting techniques have been introduced on site: Use of Native Species to Mix with Exotic Hill Fire Adaptive Species From 1940s to 1990s, Lophostemon confertus (紅膠木), Casuarina equisetifolia (木麻黃) and Eucalyptus (桉) species such as Eucalyptus citriodora (檸檬桉) and Eucalyptus robusta (大葉桉) that can regenerate easily after being burnt in hillfire were widely used in afforestation in hillsides and country park areas in Hong Kong. These exotic species grow quickly in height and act as a shelter to the native species nearby. To restore the degraded land, the exotic hillfire adaptive species are usually plant together with other native species with higher ecological value such as Bridelia tomentosa (土密樹), Litsea glutinosa (潺槁樹) and Cinnamomum burmannii (陰香) to improve the soil properties and biodiversity as a whole. The exotic species grow and deteriorate after 40 - 50 years of establishment generally. When these species die and decay in the woodland, the nutrients stored in the trees return to soil. The

1 Delivery of plant materials to remote sites by vehicle / ship / helicopter (e.g. Lamma Island)

enriched soil and open area allow the native species to succeed. Use of Legumes (豆科) to Restore Nutrient Deficient Land Legumes with nitrogen fixing capacity such as species in the following families are usually used in nutrient deficient land as they can produce nitrogen compounds in their root systems for plant growth: •

Caesalpiniaceae (蘇木科) such as Senna siamea (鐵刀木), Caesalpinia sappan (蘇木) and Peltophorum pterocarpum (盾柱木)

Fabaceae (碟形花科) such as (水黃皮), Pongamia pinnata Ormosia emarginata (凹葉紅豆) and Tipuana tipu (大班木)

As the legumes grow fast in difficult conditions, when the plants died, nitrogen is released to the soil for other plant growth. Roots of legumes also develop quickly and help to stabilize the eroded land and minimize further erosion. With the continuous supplies of organic matter from the vegetation, the soil quality of the land is gradually improved and succession can take place.

Use of Supporting Materials to Create Soil-Like Environment Soil bags have been placed at the hillside area along Tuen Mun Trail to trap soil particles that washed away from the hilltop at the middle of hill area. Though improvement in vegetation coverage is not significant, it is anticipated that adding soil-like materials help in vegetation growth. Biodegradable hessian cover with bamboo fixing is also explored to retain moisture in eroded land during the initial planting stage.

Use of Aggressive Species Wedelia Trilobata (三裂葉蟛蜞菊) for Extreme Sites There are often degraded land with sandy and shallow soil that even

2 Conduct site preparation before planting

▲ A Typical Workflow of Planting Works on Degraded Land

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(含羞草科) such Mimosaceae as Acacia Confusa (台灣相思), Acacia auriculiformis (耳果相思), Acacia mangium (大葉相思) and Archidendron lucidum (亮葉猴耳環)

pioneer species fail to grow. CEDD have experience since 2000s in using Wedelia trilobata to mix with pioneer and native species to restore eroded land in Ling Kok Shan of Lamma Island, Tsing Yi and Fa Sum Hang of Sha Tin successfully. Wedelia trilobata help to keep moisture and bind soil particles together on the exposed land which accelerate the establishment of the native seedlings. It is also found that Wedelia trilobata is less aggressive in hillside area when compared to those found in urban parks.


▲ Biodegradable hessian cover (GEO, 2011)

3 Seedlings usually plant in close proximity such as 1m spacing

Contributions to Water and Soil Conservation in Hong Kong Over the years, CEDD have been restoring degraded lands in UUGL over Hong Kong such as north Lantau, Lamma Island, Yuen Long, Tuen Mun, Sha Tin, Tseung Kwan O and Lam Tin. Ecosystem of countryside and urban fridge areas are regularly rehabilitated so that the water cycle and soil nutrient cycle could function properly. The Programme continuously mitigates climate change such as global warming and flooding and improves the landscape visual quality for better living of the public.

Restoring the Water Cycle With vegetation cover, rainfall is absorbed by plant roots, the land is protected from rain splash and runoff is absorbed or intercepted by vegetation cover that minimize flooding problem in downhill urban areas. A recent planting programme is completed for a hill fire affected area in Black Hill (五桂山), Lam Tin. When the newly planted seedlings grow and the natural vegetation cover succeeds, water cycle

of the hillside area is restored and risk of flooding to the nearby roads and housing development areas downhill is minimized in rainy season.

Reference 1.

Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO) of CEDD (2011). GEO Publication No. 1/2011 Technical Guidelines on Landscape Treatment for Slopes. Hong Kong: GEO, CEDD.

Improvement of Nutrient Content and Texture of Soil


Brady, N. and Weil, R. (2002). The Nature and Properties of Soils, 13th Edition. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.


Planning Department (2018). Analysis of the Hong Kong Landscape. Available at: http:// landscape/tech_report/ch5.htm (Accessed: 17 January 2018)

Under the Programme, bare grounds with serious erosion have been vegetated. Plants add organic matter and stimulate micro-organic activities in soil. Soil microorganisms and earthworms activities in turn improve soil nutrients and texture. Succession starts and the land begins with pioneer species and then a variety of flora and fauna over the years. Eventually, with natural succession, the ecosystem is strengthened and conserved.

Prospects In the future, CEDD will continue to carry on Erosion Control Planting Programme focusing mainly on landslide and hill fire affected areas. It is our mission to establish a self-sustainable woodland with high biodiversity and ecological value for degraded land in Hong Kong.

▲ Before and after erosion control planting - Ling Kok Shan, Lamma Island (Left: 2004; Right: 2007)

▲ Before and after erosion control planting - Black Hill (Left: 2014; Right: 2017) 49

The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會

Landscape Architectural Projects in Drainage Services Facilities ▲ Retrofitted green roof besides Shing Mun River Channel

Drainage Services Department The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

To contribute to sustainable development of Hong Kong, the Drainage Services Department (DSD) is committed to deliver quality greening and landscaping works in all our new projects and to incorporate sustainability elements into our facilities with “Blue-Green” concept, in which “Blue” refers to water bodies; “Green” refers to landscape greening. Through careful planning and design, our integrated landscape design not only beautifies our facilities, but has also turned our facilities into iconic features in the community that interweaves them with the surrounding environment smoothly. The landscape enhancement works at Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

(STW) is one of those iconic examples in retrofitting our existing sewage treatment facilities into an “oasis” with ecological values. On the other hand, Kowloon City Sewage Pumping Stations serves as a different example in urban area by integrating landscape design, architectural design and sustainability elements such as rain water harvesting system into a newly built sewage facility. Built on top of the stilling basin of Lai Chi Kok Drainage Tunnel, Butterfly Valley Road Pet Garden is a project in collaboration with Leisure and Cultural Services Department which enhances our land utilisation by opening up our drainage facilities for public enjoyment.

Landscape Enhancement Works at Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works (Completion Year: 2010) Occupying approximately 28 hectares of land, the Sha Tin STW has a footprint as large as one and a half Victoria Park, which serves a population of 600,000 in Sha Tin and Ma On Shan District. Located at the mouth of Shing Mun River Channel, the STW is surrounded by many high-rise buildings and majestic mountain scenery. The distinctive location makes the STW a prominent location within the district. To maximize greening opportunities in the STW and enhance the city environment, landscape enhancement works at multiple levels,

▲ Tree avenue along main road of Sha Tin STW

including planting 2,300 trees on ground, 520,000 shrubs and retrofitting 3,000m2 green roofs was commissioned in 2010.

Significances of Landscape Works - Enhancing Environment and Biodiversity At-Grade Planting Extensive at-grade planting has been carried out at Sha Tin STW, with formal and lined avenue trees of various species planted on both sides of driveways to create green avenues as well as to act as a natural greening screen, enabling the sewage treatment works to provide seasonal garden views and blend in with the surrounding nature for landscape improvement.

Retrofitted of Roof Greening More than 3,000 square metres retrofitted green roofs were installed on four buildings which are visually sensitive

The largest secondary sewage treatment works in Hong Kong was commissioned in early 1980s, Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works (Sha Tin STW) provides a valuable example of what can be achieved by transforming a 30 year-old functional sewage treatment facility into an oasis at Shing Mun River Channel.

to nearby residents. The 120,000 groundcovers of 8 colourful species on roofs not only enhance the aesthetic values of surrounding environment, but also improve air quality as well as reduce heat island effect. According to the findings of the “Study of Green Roofs at Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works” conducted by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2014, roof greening can reduce indoor temperature by 1.5-2.3 degree, contributing a significant role in energy saving.

Vertical Greening at Sludge Storage Tanks Apart from at-grade planting and roof greening, various climber species were also trial planted at the exterior walls of four circular 13m-high sludge holding tanks under a research “Study for Vertical Greening at Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works” carried out by Professor C.Y. Jim of The University

of Hong Kong since 2009. Through evaluating the key growth parametres such as orientation, supporting systems, growing medium and horticultural maintenance requirements and cooling effect of green walls, the study identifies those species fit for vertical greening in Hong Kong. The study finding has become a very important and useful reference for the wider application of vertical greening for both public and private sectors in Hong Kong. At present, the vertical greening at the large sludge holding tanks becomes one of the signature spots of the Sha Tin STW. With the increased amount of greenery at different levels, the plants of varies species grown also bring the concrete structures to life, making the STW a good place for birds and enriched the biodiversity of the area.


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▲ Public engagement and education activities, e.g. guided tour on Open Day

Public Engagement and Education The greening works also offer an excellent opportunity to establish a close connection with stakeholders and highly promote the image of sewage treatment facilities. By providing guided tours to the district councillors, residents and members of public, the relations with community were strengthened and their valuable comments are solicited. It helps promote greening initiatives, to share experience with the industry and to positively enhance the image of the sewage treatment facilities.

Awards of Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works Landscape Enhancement Works at Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works • Gold Award - HKILA Landscape Awards 2010 (Landscape Design Project) • Silver Award - HKILA Landscape Awards 2010 (Environmental Design Project) Study of Climbing Plants Species for Application of Vertical Greening in DSD Facilities • Merit Award - HKILA Landscape Awards 2012 (Landscape Planning/Research Study) Green Roofs at Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works • Silver Award (Government Projects) - Skyrise Greenery Award 2012 by Development Bureau • Merit Award in HKILA Landscape Awards 2014 (Research)

Standing out from conventional sewerage facilities, Kowloon City Sewage Pumping Stations Nos. 1 & 2 showcase the seamless integration of architectural and landscape design, also sustainable drainage elements into newly built sewerage facilities.

▲ Intertwined building form of Kowloon City No.2 SPS

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

▲ Vertical greening at sludge holding tanks

Kowloon City Sewage Pumping Stations (Completion Year: 2013) The two sewage pumping stations (SPS) are part of the Kowloon City Sewage Interception Scheme which is located at the rim of Kai Tak Development, aiming at alleviate the capacity problem of the existing trunk sewers and coping with the new developments in the areas.

▲ Intertwined building form of Kowloon City No.1 SPS

Significance of Landscape Works - Integration of Landscape and Building Design, Energy Use and Water Utilization

floors as well as integrating green infrastructure elements such as rain garden and permeable pavement.

Situated at the south of San Po Kong Interchange and adjacent to Olympic Avenue respectively, the two sewage pumping stations are designed with a theme to create an urban oasis by incorporating sustainable development elements into the buildings:

Water Utilization Concept

Landscape and Building Design To minimize the visual impact of the pumping stations, some of the sewage facilities are sunken. Intertwined building forms with folded and tilted roofs, appearing to be the natural landform, are incorporated into the landscape design. In addition, plants with different colours and texture is adopted to create vivid geometry which match with the building roof design and to enhance the overall visual interest.

Maximizing Greening Coverage The two pumping stations occupy a total landscape area of 5,600 square metres. Such a high green coverage (60%) is achieved by maximizing planting areas at varies levels at ground, terraces, roofs and rain garden connecting to different

The concept is illustrated in the two sewage pumping stations through rainwater harvesting system and rain garden. Through careful planning, the associated structures for these green infrastructure elements are well integrated with the adjacent water cascade and planting areas. Rainwater is harvested for irrigation and water cascade to reduce resources consumption. The water cascade together with the surrounding tree groups do not only enhance visual enjoyment, but also help cool down the high summer temperatures and improve micro-climate in the area.

▲ Planting along water cascade in No.1 SPS

Enhancing Biodiversity Despite of the construction in Kai Tak development, ecological value of the two pumping stations is not neglected. Aquatic plants are planted at ponds of different levels along the water cascade to create habitats for wildlife and to enhance biodiversity. It is recorded that, for example, birds (such as Pycnonotus jocosus, Gracupica nigricollis, Eudynamys scolopaceus)

Rain garden is a garden design integrating water management. Through the process of interception, evapotranspiration, sub-surface flow and storage by vegetation, soil mound and depression in the garden can help improve water quality, reduce surface run off, defer peak flow and sustain urban water cycle. ▲ Dragonflies and birds visited SPS 53

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are attached to the pond for drinking; whereas other species were attracted by mix shrubs species Cyperus involucratus, Hedychium coronarium, Ruellia coerulea, Nephrolepis auriculata at water cascade and rain garden. Landscape and architectural design, energy use and water utilization are all seamlessly integrated to form the new face of the pumping stations. Through strategical site planning, not only can the existing viewing corridor of adjacent development be maintained, but also enhances building thermal performance and improves outdoor comfort at a micro level. At a macro level, it provides visual relief to adjacent residents and enriches the urban biodiversity in the new development area.

▲ Rain garden at Kowloon City No.2 SPS

Awards of Kowloon City Sewage Pumping Stations • Platinum Rating - BEAM Plus Assessment for New Buildings in 2015 • Silver Award - HKILA Landscape Awards 2014 (Design - Public)

Infrastructure facilities are usually inaccessible and fenced off from the public. These two projects show how the efficient use of land for flood prevention and recreation can provide a focus for well-being and better connected neighbourhoods.

▲ The pet garden was built on top of the stilling basin and beneath the viaduct of Tsing Sha Highway

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Butterfly Valley Road Pet Garden (Completion Year: 2014) Lai Chi Kok Drainage Tunnel (LCKDT) project is part of the overall flood control strategy for West Kowloon, which consists of the construction of a 1.2 kilometre main branch, a 2.5 kilometre branch tunnel, six intakes, a stilling basin and an outfall. The project aims at providing flood relieve measures for

the low-lying urban areas at Lai Chi Kok, Sham Shui Po, and Cheung Sha Wan areas. The Butterfly Valley Road Pet Garden is built on the maintenance area above a large flood prevention infrastructure under the LCKDT project. It is a joint project of the Drainage Services Department (DSD) and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD). The garden is the largest pet garden in Kowloon (about 7,000 square metres) and is set to provide recreational space for members of the public and their pets.

Significance of Landscape Works Efficient Use of Land Resources The 7,000 square metres pet garden was built on top of the stilling basin of LCKDT and beneath the viaduct of Tsing Sha Highway. The single piece of land serves

the multi-purpose of flood prevention, transportation and recreation at the same time, enabling the full utilization of precious land resources. Themed as “Jumping on a Floating Piece of Wood”, a meandering and ripple-patterned footpath leading the visitors to go up a raft-like platform equipped with pet recreation facilities, such as pet drinking fountains, drainage pipes, weave poles and jumping hoops to nurture a joyful atmosphere.

Enhancing Biodiversity The pet garden was planted with 75 trees and more than 50,000 shrubs on 600 sqaure metres of lawn areas. More than 30 families and 58 different flora species were planted to attract fauna and butterflies such as Udaspes Moore, Suastus Moore, Hyarotis

Moore and Metallic Cerulean, so as to enhance biodiversity of the area as well as the reputation of the local Butterfly Valley adjoining the site at its northern end.

Water Utilization To preserve water resources, rainwater collected in the LCKDT is used, upon suitable treatment, for non-portable uses such as for toilet flushing, irrigation and general cleansing within the pet garden. Opened in 2014, the pet garden is an excellent example of successful collaboration between DSD, LCSD and Sham Shui Po District Council in enhancing the local living environment.

▲ Pet recreation facilities at the pet garden

Way Forward ▲ The façade of the stilling basin of Lai Chi Kok Drainage Tunnel

It is our aim to keep up our efforts in delivering quality greening and landscaping works in all our new projects, and embracing new environmental initiatives such as wider use of renewable energy, “Sponge City”, biodiversity and blue green concepts. We will continue to be bold and be innovative when carrying out our design for new facilities, and we will seize any opportunities in the improvement of existing facilities to make wider use of the concept of renewable energy. While unfolding various drainage projects, we endeavour to take forward schemes to revitalize water bodies and promote sustainable landscape and architectural design as well as to proactively address challenges arising from the climate change. 55

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▼ Highway landscapes with enriched biodiversity

Creating a Resilient and Quality Highway Landscape in a Concrete Jungle Highways Department The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

Proactive Landscape Management Strategy along Highways The identity and image of a city are always associated with the landscape along its carriageway; and the greenery of the roadside landscape is also one of the key elements of green infrastructure and an indicator of a resilient city. Hong Kong is one of most densely populated cities in the world. The challenge and need in creating a resilient Hong Kong are both pressing and important. Due to the high volume of pedestrian and vehicular traffic (about 12.6 million average daily passenger trips by public transport for a population of over 7

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

million), and the very large number of trees, i.e. approximately 0.6 million as of 2018 along expressways and slopes being maintained by the Highways Department (HyD), the department’s streetscape design and proactive landscape management play a critical role in creating a safe, resilient and quality cityscape for the community. HyD aims at providing a safe transport network and enhancing the quality of living. The projects of ‘Proactive Rejuvenation of Senescent Acacia

Slopes along Highways in Hong Kong’ (Programme) and the ‘Thematic design to highway structures’ are some recent exemplary cases to illustrate the landscape improvement and biodiversity enhancement in one hand and streetscape enhancement with district identity on the other. These projects contribute to the green corridors along road network, promote a closer association between the community and nature, and building the identity of the cityscape.

History of Acacia in Hong Kong Over the past half century, the Hong Kong Government has carried out largescale afforestation in the countryside to prevent soil erosion. Acacia confusa (Acacia) being one of the few tree species that can establish rapidly on thin and poor soil and in turn improve soil fertility was chosen as a pioneer species for extensive planting in the newly formed slopes along the roadsides in Hong Kong.

Challenges Posed by Senescent Acacia Trees, like all living organisms, will come to the end of a life cycle. With an average life expectancy of approximately 50 to 60 years only, the majority of the Acacia trees planted in Hong Kong over the past decades have gradually reached their senescent stage with deteriorating structure and health. They are becoming more susceptible to drought, compaction and secondary pathogens when injury occurs (Fakes, 2005). Furthermore, the Acacia in Hong Kong were very densely planted. Stem taper is diminished when Acacia are grown in close stands. This impacts the ability of the trees to be selfsupporting (Sellmer and Kuhns, 2007). They are also even-aged which tend to grow uniformly tall and generally have little diameter growth. These Acacia become increasingly tall and thin and develop small live crowns. Eventually, Acacia with high height-to-diameter ratios and poor stem tapers are more susceptible to wind thrown (Frelich & Ostuno, 2012). Their senescence and deteriorating health problems and declined structural stability have been posing a significant threat to public safety.

▲ Life cycle of Acacia trees

▲ Acacia with severely leaning is posing a threat to public safety

Low Ecological Value of Acacia As shown in the HyD’s maintenance record, the number of Acacia trees with poor health and structure in need of removal has been increasing steadily each year since 2010. According to the reports on tree failure cases from the Tree Management Office in November 2012, Acacia-related cases constituted around 35% of the reported total. Moreover, Acacia, being an exotic tree species, has a lower ecological value than most native species. It releases ▲ HyD’s Maintenance Record on Acacia Removal 57

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detrimental biochemical (allelopathy) to its understorey plants (Chou et al. 1998; Au, 2000), and the densely planted approach hinders the natural propagation and growth of native plants due to the reduction of light, moisture, nutrients and space available to native species. Also, it disrupts the ecology of natural ecosystems by displacing native plants and the animal species that depend upon them (Zevit, 2005).

▲ Danger poses to the public by Senescent Acacia

Proactive Rejuvenation of Senescent Acacia Slopes along Highways In order to create a safe, healthy and resilient city by better safeguarding the public and promoting the long-term sustainability of highways landscape, the HyD has initiated a 6-stage landscape improvement and habitat restoration programme proactively since 2016 with the following objectives: • to better safeguard public safety; • to promote the long-term sustainability of highways landscape; and • to enrich biodiversity

▲ Lack of understorey plants on Acacia slopes

▲ The holistic Acacia programme

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6-Stage Programme Stage 1 – Planning and Public Consultations HyD obtained expert views from academia, local and overseas tree experts, the Tree Management Office, and the Expert Panel of Tree Management of the Development Bureau. HyD has also been communicating with the local residents through the District Councils.

▲ Public consultations

▲ Consultation with District Council members to collect community view

▲ Planting Palette to enrich biodiversity on highways landscapes

Stage 2 – Prioritisation of Work

Stage 3 Strategy

HyD has been carrying out systematic surveys with a scoring system to assess the current tree health, structure and habitat conditions, and setting the order of work priority. In determining the schedule for gradually phasing out the senescent Acacia trees, a basket of factors, such as target rating, failure potential, size of Acacia, site conditions and site sensitivity are duly considered with reference to the guidelines for Tree Risk Assessment (ISA, 2013).


Prior to the replacement on site, HyD strikes a balance between public safety and social impacts, an optimum replacement arrangement is carefully outlined for each chosen site, with due consideration given to traffic impact, visual impact and site sensitivity. The replanting design focuses not only from the angle of risk management but more importantly with an objective for a long term sustainable development. The principle of “the Right Trees at the Right Place” promoted by the Greening, Landscape and Tree Management Section of the Development Bureau is applied in the design of replacement planting. Factors such as design theme, biodiversity, landscape character, environmental factors (i.e. soil conditions, microclimate, traffic, spatial factors, plant characteristics, etc.) are taken into account to determine the appropriate species and arrangement. A palette of native and naturalised plant species is selected to improve the biodiversity and to establish a self-sustaining urban forest

with multiple strata and higher ecological value (Forestry Commission, 2010). Native species, such as Pyrus calleryana, Gordonia axillaris, Bridelia tomentosa, Ilex species, Machilus species, Reevesia thyrsoidea, Rhaphiolepis indica, Rhodomyrtus tomentosa, etc., are extensively used together with some naturalised species, such as Bauhinia variegata, Camellia species, Rhododendron species, Duranta repens, Ligustrum sinense, etc., so as to establish an urban forest of higher ecological and aesthetic value, and to promote local district character with seasonal effects. As shown in the pilot case, the slopes have been rejuvenated with increased in the diversity of flora and fauna within a few years. The results of the biodiversity index, performance and survival rate of native plants were compiled. Wildlife such as birds and insects were attracted as seed dispersers in the process have greatly enhanced the richness of biodiversity. A significant increase in native species and naturalised species have been recorded in the pilot scheme.

▲ Five aspects of work prioritisation 59

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▲ Pilot Scheme Before replacement - Senescent Acacia trees

▲ Five years after replacement - The environment and ecological habitat are significantly improved by replacing the senescent Acacia with native and other plants

▲ Fauna recorded in understorey and canopy layers after replacing the senescent Acacia with native and other plants

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

Stage 4 – Acacia Logs Upcycling We manage the life cycle of the Programme namely from inception and implementation to the post planting work. In line with the government policy of waste reduction, we target to make meaningful use of the materials generated from the replacement work instead of adding burden to the landfill sites. To bring a second life to the Acacia wood logs gathered, various measures were implemented on upcycling Acacia logs generated from the Programme to bring benefits to the community. For example, through using logs for educational workshops, art work and other uses. HyD continues to explore more means and channels to upcycle the logs in a meaningful manner.

▲ Virtuous circle of increased urban biodiversity

Stage 5 – Evaluation

▲ Storage of logs



While positive results of diverse vegetation species, insects, birds, reptiles and small animals are seen in the restored habitats of the pilot schemes, improvement of the Programme relies on continuous monitoring and evaluation which help track work progress and facilitate decision making. HyD has engaged a research team to examine and quantify the various environmental and ecological benefits of the Programme and to develop a strategic plan for its further advancement. In addition, HyD monitors the progress, reviews the feedbacks received, evaluates the effectiveness, and adjusts the approaches based on continuous evaluation.

educational talks, HyD has been organizing interactive public artwork demonstrations using Acacia logs, educational workshops and tours to increase public awareness and recognition of the benefits of the Programme.

▲ Leaflet for public education on Acacia slopes and replacement programme, available for download on Highways Department’s website

▲ To bring a second life to the Acacia wood logs

▲ Regular monitoring to track wildlife activities and evaluate plant establishment

Stage 6 – Public Engagement ▲ Re-using logs as art work

▲ Upcycling logs for vocational chainsaw training purpose

Apart from gaining support from the academia, tree experts and District Councils, HyD also aims to reach out to the public in general for promoting a better understanding of the value of the Programme to the community. As such, apart from exhibitions, production of video clip, e-booklet and leaflets, and ▲ Outreach public talks 61

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▲ Expansion of ecological network

Green finger Enhancement

▲ The stunning autumn colour of Chinese Sweet Gum (Liquidambar formosana) in Tai Lam Country Park attracts many visitors


The green space network contributes to the physical and psychological health and well-being of individuals. Biophilic cities in which design of the cities includes natural elements and green space network as a crucial element can build resilience and benefit the wellbeing and health of the population. As such the road network and its associated landscape is playing an important role. International research studies confirmed the positive contribution of green spaces to mental health in relieving stress (Grahn and Stigsdotter, 2003), giving relief and providing recreational spaces and opportunities (Chiesura, 2004; Maas, 2006). There is growing recognition among international communities that mental health is one of the most neglected and pressing development issues (World Health Organization, 2013). In an increasingly compact Hong Kong, the green space network plays an indispensable role in enhancing both physical and mental health of our population. Both the quantity and quality of green spaces are essential in providing the necessary venues for developing and enriching social cohesion and interaction which are fundamental to a quality living environment. Providing green spaces close to living spaces and making them accessible also helps provide restorative

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

▲ The blossoming Bauhinia variegata enhancing the driving experience along Route Twisk in spring

environments. As such, there is a strong case to promote communal green spaces in the neighbourhood at multiple levels and scales, and to facilitate recreational and leisure functions. HyD plans to strengthen the greenfinger linkage to link green spaces by making use of the greenery under its management and reinforcing the landscape character of roadside planting. For example, the autumn colour of Chinese Sweet Gum (Liquidambar formosana) in Tai Lam Country Park has become very popular, and the greenfinger linkage enhancement in this area will strengthen the landscape character

of the place by planting the same native species along the roads leading to the country park. In Tsuen Wan and Route Twisk area where the spring blossom of Camel’s Foot Tree (Bauhinia variegata) gives a sense of place, the green-finger in the area will link up the fragmented locations under the theme of the spring bloom. These green-fingers in various districts will also become effective eco-corridors along carriageways as native and naturalised species will be planted. They connect the originally fragmented patches of greenery and therefore nurture a biophilic environment that is conducive to the sustainability of natural habitats.

monitor tree health over time as the early warning of anomalies detected can complement on-site tree inspections to better identify trees with deteriorating health conditions or under stress. Other current research topics include the use of remote sensing data in capturing tree locations and dimensions. This would be useful for managing trees in locations with difficulty in access. The GIS based spatial information facilitates planning and maintenance work, management decisions and longterm preservation of trees. By fostering innovation and leveraging research and technologies, we aim to enhance and manage the valuable green assets more efficiently.

▲ An application of remote sensing technology with the use of Infra-red image in vegetation management (source: Lands Department)

Fostering Innovation and Leveraging Research and Technologies on Tree Asset Management Trees growing in urban and surrounding areas are subject to considerable environmental stress. It is therefore essential to properly maintain them and upkeep their health and structure and avoid potential hazard to life and property. These trees are important components in the urban forestry and the sustainable urban ecology. Tree management in Hong Kong faces the challenges of the lack of space for tree growth in the urban area and in addition there are typhoons and torrential rain in summer that may cause damage or collapse of trees. Moreover, HyD is managing trees on slopes and along expressways where inspection and maintenance work alongside busy traffic is not easy. On-site inspection of the tree though provides in-depth assessment of tree conditions is labour extensive and the result is dependent on the expertise of the personnel. For the management of large number of trees, it would be beneficial to make use of technology and innovation to complement the onsite inspection work.

system to plan and priroitise work. An updated GIS-based tree database and management system for analysing data to effectively plan for tree management work is therefore necessary. The location of trees, distribution of species and dimensions, and complaint hot spots are useful information in planning work flow and prioritising operations, and devising a rapid response management plan. We are keen to explore fit-for-purpose technologies for application in tree asset management. Apart from making use of data captured by Mobile Mapping System (MMS), the latest collaboration with research institutions include making use of remote sensing techniques to

Pedestrian - friendly Design Along Highway Landscape Promoting walkability in the urban environment should form an integral part of the green space planning framework, and is a key element for sustainable cities. A comprehensive development of a pedestrian-friendly walkway system can help reduce the reliance on roadbased transport, which in turn alleviates the demands put on the transport system and lessens the impact on the environment. It can reduce the number of short motorised trips and the conflict between pedestrians and vehicles. This will increase mobility, enhance road safety and improve local air quality. It is desirable to promote walkability and applying a pedestrian-oriented approach in streetscape design that encourages community interaction and street life to replace that of ‘car-based’ approach.

For the effective management of trees over the whole territory, HyD aims at developing a tree asset management ▲ Enhancing the streetscape of our community through greening, design and selection of paving patterns and street furniture The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會


▲ Transformation of highway structures through thematic design under the theme of ‘Appreciate-Life-Colours’

It was under such background that HyD has been launching some streetscape improvement schemes that promote walkability and build the identity of a place. A recent example is the thematic design to highway structures under the theme of ‘Appreciate. Life. Colours’, which aimed to bring interest to the walking experience. Inspired by elements found in the nature and our daily lives, the design re-created delightful scenes such as walking the dog in the woods, watching wild birds with the family in the country, and the first time being in an aquarium as a child, in the style of simple silhouettes. All these happy scenes in the memories serve to slow down the pace and brighten up the mood of the passers-by. These improvement works give new energy and rejuvenated the otherwise montonous spaces.

▲ The pattern of the beautiful purple flowers and green leaves of Bauhinia blakeana in Tuen Mun

▲ ‘Country Delight’ - Using large wall surfaces of ramps and staircases as canvas at Luen Wo Hui in Fanling, the design shows the natural beauty of the North District

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Conclusion In a compact city such as Hong Kong, the green assets along highways should be leveraged to enhance livability. Through the above proactive urban forestry management strategy and landscape initiatives on pedestrianfriendly environment, HyD has demonstrated some recent progress in creating a resilient and quality cityscape in a concrete jungle for the benefits of the community and the environment.

Reference 1. Au, P.S. (2000) Vegetation Dynamics and Soil Characteristics of Acacia Plantations in Hong Kong. Hong Kong: The Chinese University of Hong Kong. 2. Chou, C.H. et al. (1998) Allelopathic potential of Acacia confusa and related species in Taiwan, Journal of Chemical Ecology. Vol. 24, No. 12. 3. Chiesura, A. (2004). The role of urban parks for the sustainable city, Landscape and Urban Planning. Vol. 68 (2004) 129–138. 4. Fakes, J. (2005) The Heritage Trees of 2115: Planting, Design and Establishment, Treenet Proceedings of the 6th National Street Tree Symposium.

▲ ‘From Land to Sea’ - The subway is turned to an aquarium setting in Sham Shui Po

5. Forestry Commission (2010) Managing Ancient & Native Woodland in England. Bristol: Forestry Commission England. 6. Frelich, L. E. & Ostuno, E.J. (2012) ‘Estimating wind speeds of convective storms from tree damage’, Electronic J. Severe Storms Meteor. Vol. 7 (9), pages 1–19 7. Grahn, P. & U.A. Stigsdotter, U.A. (2003). Landscape planning and stress. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening. 2:1–18. 8. ISA (2013) ISA Tree Risk Assessment Manual. Champaign: International Society of Arboriculture. 9. Maas, J., Verheij, R.A., Groenewegen, S. de Vries & Spreeuwenberg, P. (2006). Green space, urbanity and health: how strong is the relation? Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, Vol. 60 (7), 587–592. 10. Sellmer, J.C. & Kuhns, L.J. (2007) Chapter 12: Guide to Selecting and Specifying Nursery Stock, Urban & Community Forestry in the Northeast. New York: Springer Publishing Co. pages 199-219. 11. World Health Organization (2013). Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020. Geneva: WHO Press. 12. Zevit, P. (2005) Battling the Alien Invasion! An overview of invasive plant species impacts in the Georgia Basin. Coquitlam BC: Adamah Consultants. ▲ The theme of ‘Boundless Vistas’ in Kwun Tong depicts the natural vistas from the woodland to an open view of grassland The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會


Innovative and Sustainable Landscape Design in Public Housing Estates Hong Kong Housing Authority

Hong Kong Public Development


Hong Kong’s public housing programme began after the devastating fire at the Shek Kip Mei squatter area in 1953. With the setting up of the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) in 1973 to oversee long term public housing development policy, over 808,000 public rental housing units and 403,700 subsidised sale flats have been built over the years as at the third quarter of 2017 1. Facing continuous and increasing demands for public housing units, the HA has to constantly come up with innovative design and sustainable solutions to address the different site constraints, and community demands.

Yuan Lin ĺœ’ćž— 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

Landscape design, together with architectural and engineering design, have always been the important and integral parts of public housing planning and construction. The following projects and Research & Development (R&D) tasks completed in recent years by HA demonstrate how innovative and sustainable landscape design ideas and technologies enhance the local open space, and enrich the community life of residents in public housing estates.

◀ ▲ Open space integrated with green-roof covered circulation routes in Sau Mau Ping South Estate

▲ Eco-gardens on slopes

▲ Vertical greening system as noise barrier

Sau Mau Ping South Estate, Kwun Tong 秀茂坪南邨 Completed in 2010, this is the last phase of the entire Sau Mau Ping Estate Redevelopment Programme, which was first launched in 1987. The development comprised five Standard Harmony rental blocks with 3,995 flats for 11,000 residents.

housing flats, the estate signified a strong expression of ‘Green Enhancement Practice’ in HA’s developments, and was awarded the 2010 Green Building Award Grand Prize by the Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC).

This last phase of redevelopment, through adoption of enhanced greening measures, has achieved an overall 43% greening coverage with over 21,000m2 planting areas at ground level, roofs, vertical faces and eco-gardens on surrounding slopes. Apart from providing functional and cost effective public rental 67

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Hung Fuk Estate, Hung Shui Kiu 洪福邨 Completed in 2015, this 6.4ha site with 9 domestic blocks was planned as a low-density rural housing estate development with over 30% greening coverage. The landscape design was to incorporate conservation and education elements to reflect the local rural character of the site, and to restore the local wildlife habitats. At grade planting, green roofs, vertical green panels were widely used throughout the site with large amount of native trees and shrubs to foster ecological diversity in the planting scheme. Old construction materials such as granite blocks, mockup of precast elements, used tyres, and felled trees, were reused in the landscape design to help promoting recycling ideas and environmental awareness to the residents. ▲ Hung Fuk Estate and surrounding rural areas

▲ Reused mockup of precast bathroom in landscape area of Hung Fuk Estate

▲ Recycle granite was applied in Hung Fuk Estate landscape design

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▲ Pregrown vertical green panels installed at fence of Hung Fuk Estate

▲ Side view of Shui Chuen O Estate

Shui Chuen O Estate, Sha Tin 水泉澳邨 Shui Chuen O Estate housed some 30,000 residents in about 11,000 flats and was completed from 2015 to 2016 in 4 phases. This is a 16 ha site comprising several terraced platforms in between two country parks. The design and planning concept -- Linking with Nature, Linking with Environment for Sustainability, and Linking for People have been adopted for this unique site which calls for integrating high density living within a natural setting throughout the entire estate. To link with nature, the estate’s local open spaces were provided with 30% greenery coverage and act as “green fingers” to extend the greeneries from the adjoining Lion Rock Country Park and Ma On Shan Country Park. To link with the environment for sustainability, bio-retention rainwater harvesting system and zero irrigation system have been adopted to reduce water consumption for plant irrigation. To link for people, weather protected walkways, footbridges, lift towers and escalators are ▲ Bio-retention and rainwater harvesting system and zero irrigation system have been adopted in landscape planting The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會


linking up the different levels of the site; while activity nodes and resting places with beautiful landscaping are provided along these pedestrian networks to serve the residents.

▼ Chai Wan Factory Estate in 1960s

▲ Public rental housing block of Wah Ha Estate today

Wah Ha Estate, Chai Wan 華廈邨

▼ Overall 40% green coverage is achieved in Wah Ha Estate

Completed in 2016, Wah Ha Estate consists of one H-block building converted from a flatted factory, Chai Wan Factory Estate, built in the 1960s, which is a ‘Grade 2’ historic building. The redevelopment of this building has to retain its Character Defining Elements, including the existing building form, as far as possible and to comply with current statutory requirements. The converted factory building consists of 187 rental flats. As the existing building footprint has largely been retained, only limited open spaces are available at ground level of the development. To address this, the recreation spaces at street and roof levels are carefully integrated into the green areas for the enjoyment of the residents and to satisfy the planning standards. With the integrated design, the converted factory building is able to achieve an overall 40% green coverage by utilizing its limited ground floor and extensive roof areas.

▲ Wah Ha Estate, view from Chai Wan MTR station

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

▲ Roof top greening of Wah Ha Estate

▲ Mobile device for Tree Inventory Field Tree Assessment

▲ Schematic workflow of ETrMS

The Way Forward

Research & Development (R&D) Apart from the successful research on water saving irrigation and ground water recharging, e.g. Zero Irrigation System (ZIS), the HA has also been conducting R&D for the management and maintenance of over 102,000 trees growing in some 200 locations in public housing properties. With a strong view to protecting public safety, the HA conducts annual Tree Risk Assessment for all these trees in accordance with the latest guidelines published by Development Bureau. For enhancing working efficiency, the HA has developed a mobile application system, namely Enterprise Tree Management System (ETrMS), for this task. The system integrated WEB (world-wide web) and GIS (Geographic Information System) technologies with RFID (radio frequency identification) and GPS (global positioning system)

systems, for HA’s tree management works. ETrMS provides an effective tool for retrieving and updating tree data, and uploading the data into HA’s GIS database to facilitate routine tree inspection works by both in-house staff and business partners. The system was launched in 2016 and has been implemented for the annual Tree Risk Assessment Management (TRAM) exercise since 2017.

The HA shall continue to adopt innovative and sustainable landscape design for residents of its public housing developments, driven by its core values of “Caring, Customer-focused, Creative and Committed”.

Reference 1. Transport and Housing Bureau. (2017). Hong Kong: The Facts (Housing). Hong Kong: Information Services Department, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government


The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會

PRIVATE SECTOR Direct Correlation between the Quality of the Environment and Our Lives ADI Limited


Innovative Ideas with Aesthetics and Functionality Belt Collins International (HK) Limited


A Private Developer’s Projects for the Public Sai-hong LAI, HKILA, RLA


Landscape Design Strategies Developed for the Zero Carbon Building and Park Project; Redesigning the Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront; Hong Kong Wetland Park URBIS Limited



The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會

Direct Correlation between the Quality of the Environment and Our Lives ▲ Double Cove

ADI Limited

ADI Limited ADI Limited is driven by the pursuit of quality design, strongly believing in the direct correlation between the quality of the environment and our lives. ADI Limited recognises the essential social dimension to design and that landscape architecture is generated by both the material needs of people and their spiritual fulfilment, whilst acknowledging the significance of natural processes in all aspects of landscape architecture. ADI Limited has demonstrated a practical and technical approach to the design of landscapes, responding to the aspirations of the client, the architectural design and the existing context,

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

combined with a sense of individuality, creating relevant and memorable landscapes, greatly enhancing the user experience. To ensure that our philosophy is embedded in every aspect of the project, ADI Limited advocates the importance of being involved at each stage of the development process from strategic planning, through to conceptual and master plans, to detailed design and implementation in order to create unique and significant landscapes.

▲ Double Cove

Double Cove As an example of a recent work, Double Cove, a large residential project in Ma On Shan on the Whitehead peninsula – an ex-refugee camp, to make use of the extensive coastal views to create a charismatic residential development. Working with the concept of “Living in a Park in a Walkable Community” the design focused on retaining as much of the existing mature vegetation as possible, supplemented by extensive additional planting with 30% of trees planted being native species. With 50% of the site landscaped and a greening ratio in excess of 30%, the strategy of early procurement ensured an instant

green effect. Careful manipulation of the landscape allowed segregation of public space and private communal areas whilst giving a feeling of seamless landscapes. As is increasingly the case in the landscape architecture profession in Hong Kong, ADI Limited was able to work with the internationally renowned architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.


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Hong Kong Science Park An example of a large long term project is the iconic Hong Kong Science Park, located on the western shore of Tolo Harbour. With Phases 1 and 2 already completed, ADI Limited has been engaged to undertake the landscape of remaining areas including Phase 3 and Stage 1 Expansion projects. ADI Limited’s challenge here has been to draw together the visually disparate elements of the built environment with extensive on-grade, podium, roof and vertical greening, and to create vibrant open spaces for both occupants of the Science Park and the large numbers of visitors arriving via one of Hong Kong’s most popular recreational cycle tracks.

Ma On Shan Promenade The Ma On Shan Promenade is a very different type of project. A linear open space, it links three existing open spaces to create a series of outdoor spaces for passive and active recreation and again making use of the waterfront location to showcase the views of Tolo Harbour and Shing Mun River. The themes of light, sea and wind are used to create organic

▲ Ma On Shan Promenade

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

▲ Hong Kong Science Park

patterns and shapes in hard landscaping such as paving, shelters and planters. The use of a wind turbine to power lighting emphasises the power of the wind, which is such a characteristic of Hong Kong waterfronts and looks forward to the more sustainable lifestyle the Hong Kong community is beginning to understand is essential for our future.

▶▲ LegCo and Central Government Complex

LegCo and Central Government Complex A major focal point in Hong Kong’s CBD, the LegCo and Central Government Complex at Tamar have been in the forefront of political controversy since they opened in 2011. ADI Limited worked with Rocco Design Architects Limited to realise their central green carpet concept, Tamar Park, which is one of the most popular waterfront spaces in Hong Kong, offering the rare experience in Hong Kong of being able to sit and picnic in an urban space enjoying the unparalleled views of Hong Kong Harbour. Whilst its unique location is undoubtedly the main attraction, the design physically and visually links the ancillary spaces of the complex with the public open space, to both enhance the buildings and to create a context for the whole complex. 79

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T·PARK In T·PARK, Transformation Park, ADI Limited welcomed the opportunity to work with a client, in this case Environmental Protection Department, who wanted more than just a sludge treatment facility but an educational showcase in sustainability: “Driving Changes in Attitudes and Behaviour towards a Greener Lifestyle” to quote the site’s website. The basic function is to treat 1200 tonnes/day of dewatered sludge generated by 11 sewage treatment works in Hong Kong. But to the thousands of visitors a year, T·PARK is a unique experience – to

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

enjoy the heated spa (heat generated by the sludge processing) and the play gardens, water gardens, wetland habitats and sensational views over Deep Bay. The philosophy of reuse and recycle is effectively demonstrated by the incorporation of materials such as Eco-blocks with a proportion of recycled constituents, recycled plastic timber decking, and reuse of salvaged fenders from the old Wan Chai Ferry Pier for landscape works and up-cycled for furniture. Not so obvious to the public now, the design team had to repurpose old ash lagoons whilst keeping all

material on site. The landscape concepts for the site reflect the natural landscape context of ocean, forested hills, and grassy wetlands. Elements of these environments are woven into the landscape framework for the site. The landscape design celebrates the significance of the concepts and values being promoted, whilst creating a meaningful experience for visitors. Plant species selection of necessity respected the extreme coastal conditions of wind and salt whilst also linking ecologically with the adjacent hillsides.


The Future As to the future of the profession? A greater emphasis on tackling the greatest environmental problems humanity has ever faced: climate change with its associated rising sea levels, greater weather extremes, impacts on plant tolerances and proliferation of pest species; pollution of air and water; and on a more local level, balancing these huge environmental issues with the demands of a growing population for housing and infrastructure, whilst creating meaningful and spiritually satisfying urban spaces for Hong Kong’s increasingly crowded and stressed people. 81

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Innovative Ideas with Aesthetics and Functionality Belt Collins International (HK) Limited

Belt Collins International (HK) Belt Collins International (HK) Ltd. (BCIHK) was established in 1986. It was incorporated as a consulting civil engineering and planning firm by Robert M. Belt and Walter K. Collins. The expansion of services has continued from 1960, when landscape architectural services, land surveying and environmental consulting services were added. BCIHK pursues a landscape design philosophy that embodies the integration of innovative ideas with aesthetics and functionality. Inculcated which a culture of excellence, its design implementation adopts the current market trend, and puts emphasis

Yuan Lin ĺœ’ćž— 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

on the enduring brand value where design dominance always stand out. The protection of the environment is primordial; and, the locale history and peculiar values of the inhabitants are respected and fused in the overall design concept. The ultimate design object leads to seamless business operations and increased commercial value of the completed project. The Company has built numerous international landmark projects since its establishment. The scope of services arrays from conceptual design up to detailed design development.

With offices in three continents, over 500 multi-disciplinary professionals are behind its continued success. Welltrained teams are led by top-notch design directors with proven track records of designing-award-winning and cuttingedge projects in different countries. It takes pride for its strong database and network of designers, artists and architects developed through the years. The different design teams across territories work closely under the mobilization of resources by the Hong Kong headquarter.

of office workers. While the civil service has adopted a five-day week, private companies in Hong Kong are being dragged kicking and screaming into providing a more civilised level of worklife balance for their staff. It was the desire to create a different psychology of the office and working environment that the landscape architecture of Cyberport was envisaged. The Cyberport development was to bring about a radical transformation of the culture of work in Hong Kong. It was to be a culture where creativity was valued over caution, where unthinking adherence to rules and regulations was frowned upon. The concept of “work” is no longer about the number of hours you put in or what time you arrive and leave the office. In fact, you did not even have to work at your desk. The only criterion for a “good” worker is the quality of the work produced.

▲ Cyberport, Hong Kong

working long hours with diligence is like a deep rooted abscess that, because of its pervasiveness and acceptance by the larger society, has gradually eaten into the physical and mental wellbeing of Hong Kong people. While the situation is not as dire as that in Japan, where the phenomenon of karoshi (or death from overwork) is well documented, psychiatrists have grim predictions for the mental health of Hong Kong people if they continue to work overlong hours.

Most people would consider “living in the work place” a horrendous prospect, but Cyberport also has a residential component that provides an excellent living environment for the people working there. This self-contained mini-city for living and working is greatly enhanced by providing its residents with a variety of retail and entertainment facilities such as shops, supermarkets, cinemas, restaurants and cafés. So actually, living so close to one’s work place is not so bad after all. Think of the time and money one saves on commute!

In Hong Kong, the notion of working nine to five is practically unheard of, and overtime is de rigueur for the majority

Then there is the waterfront. Whether they are ensconced indoors in their homes or offices, or sipping their coffees

Cyberport, Hong Kong 香港數碼港 It is often said – and aggressively marketed as such – that the Hong Kong worker works very hard. If one considers the average number of hours employees spend in the workplace per day, the claim is largely true. They may work hard in terms of clocking in more than 12 hours a day, but are they working smart? While the debate on work-life balance in the West has gone on to a different and higher plane, human resources professionals, employers and employees in Hong Kong have only just begun to address the issue. In Hong Kong, the outmoded equation of

To reflect and reinforce the intended creative buzz of Cyberport and its relaxed milieu, a large expanse of space was envisioned for the development. Given the very real spatial constraints in land scarce Hong Kong, however, the Silicon Valley look of low rise buildings amidst sprawling manicured lawns was not very feasible. High rises were built for Cyberport, but the vision of a “campus green” was retained. Just like in a university, where schoolwork can be done on a laptop computer under a tree, with one’s latte by one’s side, the extensive grounds of Cyberport allows its office denizens to take their work outdoors, if they so wish.


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and teas outdoors in the green space, people who live and work in Cyberport can enjoy a breathtaking, uninterrupted view of the South China Sea. Life really doesn’t get better than this. Ultimately, however, culture is about people. All the hardware conducive to a sea change in work culture may be in place, but it is really the people – both employers and employees – who can make the actual changes. Cyberport is one commercial development that facilitates a more humanistic approach to work and living, but if Hong Kong people themselves are not willing to seek a healthier balance between their working and private lives, then any number of Cyberports would not make any difference.

Grand Millennium Plaza, Hong Kong 香港新紀元廣場 Hong Kong is a city of contradictions, and nowhere else is that contradiction better encapsulated than in the juxtaposition of Central and Western. Although, for the

purpose of administrative expediency, both areas are bracketed together under the “Central and Western District”, the two districts are as different as chalk and cheese. At the intersection of these two areas, which have long been separated by geography, culture and class, stands the Grand Millennium Plaza.

would be excluded and alienated from a place that had once “belonged” to them. For this reason, the Land Development Corporation requested that New World Development create an open plaza that was integral to the office blocks.

The Grand Millennium Plaza, completed in 1998, was a joint development project undertaken by the Land Development Corporation, a statutory body that was the precursor of the Urban Renewal Authority, and local property developer New World Development Group. The site is where cosmopolitan Central, with its gleaming office buildings and smart addresses, ends and the more grassroots-oriented area of Western begins.

When Belt Collins first surveyed the site, several interesting geographic details were, literally, unearthed. It was found that an underground stream ran down from the hills and collected at that location, which made the soil permanently waterlogged. What was even more unimaginable to many modern-day Hong Kong residents was that the site was where the waterfront once stood. It was only after a century of successive land reclamations that the shoreline had crept northwards to where it is today.

The Land Development Corporation had foreseen, as evidenced by similar developments in the past, that with the construction of a commercial complex, long-time residents living in the area

Taking into consideration the wet soil, Chinese fan palms, which grow very well wet-foot, were planted in the finished plaza. The pièce de résistance of the plaza, however, is the massive colonial-

▲ Cyberport, Hong Kong

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

▲ Grand Millennium Plaza, Hong Kong

style bronze fountain. This water feature, together with the piscine and marine-themed sculptures that adorn the fountain and the rest of the plaza, evokes the site’s historical proximity to the waterfront. Apart from its decorative function, however, the fountain serves another purpose. When the landscape architects first saw the site where the plaza was to be laid out, it was obvious that the view towards Bonham Strand would be blighted by the row of decrepit tenement buildings standing on Bonham Strand. Apart from being a piece of sculptural art in its own right, the fountain also serves to re-direct the viewer away from the unsightliness and to partially conceal the old houses on the Bonham Strand side. An open-air plaza in a subtropical climate like Hong Kong’s can be excruciatingly

hot in the summers, which, instead of drawing people in, drives them away. A multi-level plaza was thus envisioned to create an open space that could catch both the sun and the shade. That this design aspect has been a success is evidenced by the fact that even in the summer, the plaza is packed with lunchtime office workers milling about or having their lunches alfresco. The plaza has also been repeatedly used for a variety of prestigious events such as fashion shows and launches. The long-time residents of the adjacent area are not neglected. After office hours, in the evenings, members of the community reclaim the area as their own, sitting and chatting with their friends in the plaza, strolling with their grandchildren, walking their dogs, even practising their Tai Chi. Many community functions have also been held there. The plaza’s inclusiveness

extends even to the hawkers and menial workers with their pushcarts. A subtle system of ramps runs through the plaza, which allows them to traverse between Bonham Strand and Wing Lok Street at all hours of the day. All this flies in the face of traditional corporate architecture, where a plaza is often an altar for the worship and adulation of the corporate entity. The Grand Millennium Plaza, in contrast, is a “people’s plaza”, welcoming all and used by all – white-collared, bluecollared and even the un-collared.

Cheung Kong Center, Hong Kong 香港長江中心 The area on which Cheung Kong Center is located boasts a far more august pedigree than the Grand Millennium Plaza. The site of the building itself was the parade ground of the British Army garrisoned in Hong Kong when 85

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Hong Kong was still a colony. Behind Cheung Kong Center, visible on the right hand side, is the former French Mission Building, an attractive brick edifice that now houses the Court of Final Appeal. Adjacent to that is St. John’s Cathedral, the oldest church in Hong Kong and the seat of the Anglican Diocese of Hong Kong. Further uphill are the Central Government Offices, the political and administrative heart of the city and finally, Government House, the official residence of past Governors of the colony and the current Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Against such an impressive historical and architectural backdrop, the Cheung Kong Center could not simply be another corporate flagship having a typical “green and open plaza” address featuring manicured lawns and topiary, with a huge corporate tower occupying centre stage. It was obvious from the start that the historical context of the site would have to be addressed. As to how it was going to be addressed was a decision that was delightfully original. Instead of celebrating the architectural history of the site, which was the easiest thing in the world to do, Cheung Kong Holdings wanted the exteriors of its flagship to celebrate the lush and wooded hillsides that were once the distinctive features of this part

of Central. The company wanted to bring back the woodland into the middle of Hong Kong’s Central Business District, so that members of the public could walk up the hill towards St. John’s Cathedral and beyond via a green space that is as far removed from the congestion and noise of this city as possible. It would be even better if they were to stay in this green space for a while. Given this unusual and challenging brief, the designers and architects at Belt Collins went on to design an urban escape in the middle of the bustling city. With the judicious use and positioning of terraces, plants and water features, the designers transformed the space above the subterranean car park of the Cheung Kong Center into a woodland setting, where people can be cut off from the relentless urban aggression and traffic noise of the Central district. Here, they can sit and listen to the sounds of water tripping over rocks and enjoy the complex colours and smells of the plant life. To achieve a calming design, the varieties of plants were carefully chosen. There are some 400 species of plants in the garden, an astonishing number for such a compact space. The type of plant life that were chosen were all “tamed wild” rather than manicured and sterile. In this garden, the flowers play the supporting roles for the purpose of this sanctuary

▲ Cheung Kong Centre, Hong Kong

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

▲ St. John’s Cathedral next to Cheung Kong Park

is not so that people will be dazzled but becalmed. The sweet osmanthus blossoms may be tiny, but their elegant and distinctive perfume will linger on long after one leaves the garden. Finally, it is not only human beings that enjoy Cheung Kong Center’s garden, it has become a refuge for birds, especially the sulphur crested cockatoos that live on the hillsides, which flock to it in the

▲ Former French Mission Building next to Cheung Kong Centre

▲ ▼ The Park, Lohas Park, Hong Kong

early mornings and feed on the fruit that grow on the fruit trees! There is a Chinese saying, “the call of the birds and the sweet smell of flowers” (niăo yŭ huā xiāng, 鳥語花香), to describe the idyllic beauty that is found only in well tended gardens or bucolic settings. Cheung Kong Center’s green sanctuary is more than deserving of this epithet.

The Park, Lohas 日出公園 Hong Kong


The Park, formerly a vacant lot extending over two hectares, is a highly visible green space at the heart of LOHAS Park Development (LPD), a large-scale residential development of the MTR Corporation in Hong Kong. LPD advocates a contemporary lifestyle based on LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability), a concept that is gaining momentum around the world. As LOHAS represents a balance of premium living and healthy, sustainable practices, the landscape architect partners with the developer and manifests this idea by transforming The Park into a rich oasis that would encourage users to engage with their natural surroundings while providing them with relief from hectic city life. The Park’s application of sustainability objectives results in its being awarded with the Building Environmental Assessment

Method (BEAM) certificate in 2010. Design excellence and functional quality are clearly exhibited as the entire design is driven by sensitivity towards the needs of users as well as the environment. By creating multifunctional open spaces that are user-oriented, the landscape architect ensured that the Park’s garden spaces and range of amenities invite social gatherings and other recreational activities. A key feature of the Park is the Icon Building, which provides access to an elevated public footbridge across the site and whose striking architecture provides a visual point of reference for users; thus it serves both functional and aesthetic needs. The 2-hectare site is considered to be dense for a park development, however the landscape architect overcame this challenge by incorporating level changes to provide relief from the closely-packed environment and to give the appearance of expansive parkland. By using rolling mounds and gently curved ‘valley’ areas, open landscaped spaces were created, while elevated viewpoints enable users to enjoy the Park’s visual points of interest fully. The Park is a well-structured, ecologically-rich green space with a total construction budget of approximately

USD25 million for the whole site, in which environmental principles are successfully implemented through practical designs. Serving a population of approximately 58,000 people, The Park not only realizes the goals of the LOHAS concept, but also provides a green focal point within the community, leading to long-term value for the public and the city.

Zoning / Functional and Circulation The Park offers a sequence of landscaped settings in various distinctive zones, including areas that invite active recreation, namely the Active Recreational Area, Visual Landscape Area, Children’s Activities Area and Pet’s Garden. Landscaped gardens are created to 87

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provide different experiences for users, including the Symphony Garden, Eco Pond, Rolling Lawn, and the Monet Water Garden, which features a serpentine garden path linking up different areas of the Park. Buffer planting are placed against the roads and podium areas surrounding the Park. The design ensures good connectivity within the Park and linkage to the whole development. Besides creating pedestrian walkways at ground level, an elevated footbridge was designed to link the Park to the surrounding commercial and residential areas. As an additional benefit, the bridge allows public pedestrians to enjoy the sights of the green spaces from an elevated position. Level changes and access to all areas of the Park were considered thoroughly when designing the circulation routes. Therefore ramps and steps are also used to assist wheelchair users and parents with toddlers or strollers. ▲ Creating a Green Heart in Lohas Park

Cultural Aspects This new town’s cultural identity is firmly anchored in The Park. Its design features an amphitheater, which is ideal for openair events and cultural performances, as well as outdoor sculptures which are located throughout. Together these features significantly add to the cultural and artistic elements available to the community.

Natural Aspects The Park serves as an attractive urban green area as well as a community space that allows users to enjoy close contact with nature; landscape features such as the Eco Pond Garden and the Garden Trails encourage outdoor recreation.

The Pet’s Garden and its related amenities, which are designed specifically for pets, also serves as an outdoor venue for pet owners and animal lovers to interact socially.

Sculptures in different shapes of animals and insects scattered in various part of Children’s Activities Area and Garden Trail which creates an interesting natural atmosphere in the these areas.

The Eco Pond educates children about water recycling and micro-ecosystems through play, encouraging families to take part in interactive activities.

An Extended Community Influence

Physical Aspects As a recreational space for a largescale residential community, the Park is designed with children and families in mind. The Children’s Activities Area and Picnic Lawn meet the needs of family users, while the Children’s Activities Area also features animal sculptures placed around various corners, providing ‘hideand-seek’ interest to engage children in interactive play.

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

The LPD promotes a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. In line with this theme, the Park has adopted a few sustainable elements in its design and implementation. Some of the key elements in sustainable development are noted as follows: Social Sustainability - As the first high-density residential development in Hong Kong to implement water recycling facilities, the system serves as a pioneering application that encourages other developers to extend its implementation to future housing

projects. The system further reinforces the LOHAS concept and provides education for the public on green living and individuals’ environmental responsibility. Ecological Sustainability - The greywater recycling and rainwater treatment system facilitates long-term ecological sustainability for the site by providing a steady supply of fresh water of 400m3 per day, which is sufficient for use for irrigation of an eight-hectare open landscaped area, on-site water features or street cleaning. Economic Sustainability - It is estimated that the recycling system can help to save up to 440,000 litres of fresh water a day; this effectively reduces the use of potable water and discharge of sewage to the government sewage treatment system. Besides economic benefits for the developer, the system also gains favour in the eyes of local communities who are increasingly conscious of environmental protection and water-sensitive designs. The Park actively demonstrates how

▲ The recycled grey water and rain water are used in landscape irrigation, on-site water features and the Eco Pond

environmental responsibility and sustainability objectives can be fulfilled through landscape design. The design maintains respect for the site’s water resources by incorporating greywater recycling and rainwater management; this in turn meets the water demands for landscape irrigation, as well as onsite water features and the Eco Pond, reducing the site’s maintenance costs. Native plants are used to define different landscaped areas, for ornamental purposes and, most importantly, to preserve local vegetation. Their use further provides an ideal habitat for local fauna, to improve biodiversity at the site. By implementing sustainable designs for everyday living, the landscape architect ensured the social, environmental and economic sustainability of the project. The design not only reinforces the key concepts of LOHAS but also increases the community’s awareness of green living and its importance.

Greywater Recycling and Rainwater Management The Park demonstrates sustainability of water conservation through greywater

recycling and rainwater management. Drawing on environmentally-sensitive design principles, water sources (including greywater from four residential towers and rainwater as collected from the Park’s landscape area) are recycled, filtered and treated. The water recycling system is designed based on the USEPA Guidelines for Water Reuse (2004), ensuring the quality of the recycled water, with regular sampling to further protect the health of the public. The recycled greywater and rainwater are used in landscape irrigation, on-site water features and the Eco Pond.

Creating a Green Heart - Supporting Local Ecosystem A key consideration of the planting strategy has been the preservation of local vegetation. The majority of the 200 plants featured in the Park are native species, providing keystone elements for the preservation of the local ecosystem. The design focuses on enhancing biodiversity of the site as it is important for creating overall sustainability due to the specific roles each species plays in maintaining ecological balance. The use of native trees and shrubs creates

a natural environment that is hospitable to native wildlife, while flowering plants attract pollinators. By adopting native plant life, the design creates a plant community within the Park that requires low maintenance costs while significantly enhancing the biodiversity of this urban area. Since its completion, the Park has attracted more than 50 native wildlife species back to what was once sterile land. The Park demonstrates the key role of the landscape architect in creating an urban green space that is user-oriented and ecological friendly. In an innovative approach, the design incorporates watersensitive designs, native vegetation, as well as recreational facilities, making the Park the first of its kind in Hong Kong to implement sustainability principles within a residential development. The Park functions not only as an engaging open space for the local community, but also a green heart fully integrated into an urban context.


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A Private Developer’s Projects for the Public ▲ Entrance of Snoopy’s World

Sai-hong LAI, HKILA, RLA

“If you ever work as a registered landscape architect (RLA) in a private real estate developer in Hong Kong, you may find yourself constantly submitting and resubmitting tree felling applications, squeezing as many ball-shape, rod-shape topiary plants as possible into a courtyard, drawing classy paving patterns that look as classy as Burberry handbags ...”

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

My Life in a Developer This is not true. First, private developers hire “landscape designers” to draw paving patterns that look like Burberry handbags. Second, private developers employ “horticulturists” or “plant experts” to arrange extravagant gardening in which living plants are treated like cut flowers in floral arrangement that is not meant to last. Third, it is not even mandatory to submit a tree felling application by a RLA, not to mention the fact that a RLA is not even qualified to fill in a government’s tree risk assessment form; there has also been increasing allegations that we are merely “landscape designers” knowing nothing about arboriculture. The truth is private developers’ core business like a residential project do not need RLAs, except for Self-Certification of Compliance (SCC) at the end. This explains why so few RLAs work in private developers, when comparing

with their government counterparts. Most practitioners do not even bother going through HKILA’s Professional Practice Examination (PPE) or, if they have foreign LA qualifications, through Landscape Architects Registration Board (LARB)’s interviews. They may advertise themselves in Hong Kong as “landscape designers”, “landscape project managers” or RLAs from foreign countries without contravening LARO, although this does not imply they have the right to practise under the description of landscape architects. With rising social tension in recent years, many consider private developers as a synonym of greed. A private residential project using money to pile up onto a fancy swimming pool and a “goldplated” clubhouse for the exclusive enjoyment of a handful of people may

not be welcomed here. As a RLA in a developer, what do I have to offer to the HKILA 30th Anniversary Special Edition of Yuan Lin? While I mostly performed as a “landscape designer”, an “arborist”, a “landscape project manager”, or simply a problem-solver for profit-making projects, I had the luck to participate as a small part of a bigger machine for a few extraordinary projects for the public. I am not qualified in lecturing you big landscape architectural design theories. Instead, I share with you from a rather microscopic view the fun I had.

Snoopy’s World Snoopy’s World is a tiny outdoor theme park based on the American comics “Peanuts”, which was first published in USA before many of us were born. It was built on the flat roof of a shopping mall in Sha Tin. It was not meant to make profit but to open to public free of charge to raise the publicity of the shopping mall and to boost the number of visitors or customers to the shopping malls (of course, you may still say the ultimate goal is profit-making). During the planning stage in 1998, another character “Hello Kitty” were also considered (“Pikachu” was still unknown to many adults). Led by senior colleagues, I was sent to Tokyo for a research trip. We visited “Sanrio Puroland” and met their Japanese management there to discuss business opportunity in Hong Kong. We also visited “Disneyland” like tourists, and of course, we did not approach their management because they were too big for us. We visited “Snoopy Town”, which was actually a large, indoor souvenir shop in the Harajuku, Tokyo. You can imagine how excited it was for a young practitioner like me who graduated in 1996 to be sent to a learning trip, especially when visiting Japan was less common and less affordable at that time. Despite the ‘generosity’ of my company to send me to Japan, I had to share a twin-bed hotel room with another colleague (of course ‘he’) for saving cost; “landscaping” was something at the very low end of the “food chain” even for such a large, rich developer. In fact, most of my colleagues barely noticed the existence of HKILA and LARB. Entering HKILA PPE and ultimately becoming as a RLA in Hong Kong did not seem

▲ Two-dimensional comics’ characters are crafted into three-dimensional sculptures

necessarily at all, as my office, the perceivable world to me at that time, focused on “landscaping” or “landscape design”. We practised almost none of the syllabuses of the PPE, not to mention to earn working experience from practising. The senior management felt that Hello Kitty was too common in Hong Kong and gift shops were already flooded with Hello-Kitty stationery and souvenirs. They eventually selected the less common Snoopy for its longer history that might please not only children, but also their parents. No one in the design team was really a die-hard fan of Snoopy, so one of the initial major tasks was simply to read lots of “Peanuts”. Yes, we literally sat at the office and read comic books. The iconic scene of Snoopy sleeping over his hunt with Woodstock over his belly would definitely be the entrance. Other zones were developed based on adapted or modified ideas like the Charlie Brown school plaza and the canoe ride adventure. The most difficult

part of the design was actually the conversion of two-dimensional comics into three-dimensional objects to fit into the landscape. Our ambition was to make each character a truly threedimensional figure while retaining the vivid, cartoon quality of the characters. “Woodstock” was especially difficult because, although claimed to be a bird in the comics, it never looked like a bird. What we saw in Snoopy Town in Harajuku were mostly relieves popping out from two-dimensional plains like turbot fishes, and we did not like such an approach for an outdoor theme park. But, in the 90’s, information flow was still very slow. “Snoopy” or “Charlie Brown” was not something you could easily “google” on; Google Search did not exist back there. CAD was also slow and crashed a lot, and 3D graphics was an expensive option. Assisted by a bit of imagination, the traditional hand sketch design of front views, back views, side views and top views was used.


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Another challenge of the design was the canoe ride. A conventional boat ride system in an amusement park makes water and thus boats flowing down by gravity through a channel. After flowing down, water needs to be pumped back and the boats need to be conveyed back to a higher elevation to completion a circulation. Pumping water is relatively easy, but conveying a boat to a higher elevation requires mechanics of high maintenance especially in an outdoor environment. The senior management had no intention to build an amusement park from Day 1; a developer good at selling residential properties naturally feared the operational safety and the maintenance of an amusement ride. Getting it through government bureaucracy might also take years. The idea of canoe ride was almost abandoned at a point until my team came up in time with an idea of a canoe ride without elevation change. Instead of using gravity, directional water outlets or nozzles would be placed along the channel to push water to flow in one direction. It would be like stirring a cup of coffee with a spoon, even when the spoon was raised, momentum continued to drive the liquid into a whirl. No gravity and no change in elevation would involve. Despite its slow speed, the Canoe Ride has proven to be a favourite choice among children and parents. The author of “Peanuts” Charles M. Schulz passed away only a few months before the grand opening of Snoopy’s World in Hong Kong in 2000. Even today, the place is still crowded with children

▲ Canoe Ride in Snoopy’s World

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▲ Children’s play area in Snoopy’s World

and parents during weekends.

Ma Wan Park

Yuen Road at the north. It is often simply known as “Ma Wan Park” by the public and by the project team.

Ma Wan Park is a part of a large comprehensive residential development of Ma Wan Island after Tsing Ma Bridge. It was originally something else. After the confirmation of the development of Hong Kong Disneyland, our senior management repositioned our project away from an amusement park; they did not want to compete with the world’s best amusement park marker. The “Nature Garden” is the earliest phase of Ma Wan Park, located within the center of Ma Wan Island, stretching across a hill from Ma Wan Fire Station at the south to Fong

I joined the project in 2006. My job was to assist our landscape design director to finalize some details and to supervise construction. The design concept was already in place and it was simple: “Nature”. It would be a celebration and education about the natural, biophysical world – probably something that most city dwellers forgot. While numbers and mathematics have become the everyday life of our capitalistic economy, mathematical rules, such as the “Golden Mean”, are observed even in the

The mist system operates on a timer, so when the mist comes without “warning”, all walks of life scream and jump, and most prefer a metaphor of steam. It is interesting to find that “all walks of life” is indeed not limited to human beings. A park manager once organized a “Pet Day” as a part of the developer’s charity commitment to Ma Wan Park. Visitors were allowed to bring in their pets, and it turned out that dogs really enjoyed the mist too.

Wedding Garden

▲ Golden Mean Plaza in Ma Wan Park

geometry of primitive living organisms. When we talk about “nature”, superficial beings like me come up with imagines of jungles, safaris, bugs, volcanos, whales, stars etc. with David Attenborough’s narration and orchestral music at the background. I do not know how, but the senior management added to “nature” the element of “love” - a celebration of love among people in form of marriage, peace and hope. It might be Christians’ worldview of “nature” . . . my best guess.

the crack to represent a strain of DNA, but it fell into the victim of vandalism after several months. Still, children love to get their hands into the crack, and start say asking questions.

Passing the Golden Mean Plaza, the “Love Garden” is another popular photo spot. It was designed for wedding. It features a hallway of Canary Palms, a tunnel of iconic arbors with Bougainvillea, and a grand stone wall with metal gates and a clock. A time instrument is an important symbol of eternity. I myself selected from a Seiko catalogue the clock with radio wave reception for accuracy (not something a landscape architect had a chance to do very often!). A senior manager who was an interior designer by training also

Based on the design concept, the Nature Garden has been developed into several major zones:

Golden Mean Plaza Located near Ma Wan Fire Station, the main entrance of the Nature Garden is an open plaza, featuring an iconic sea shell sculpture sitting over an implicit paving pattern in the golden mean ratio of a sea shell. A mist system was also installed around the sea shell sculpture. The sea shell sculpture was in fact an after-thought from me. I figured the plaza was too blank and too boring as an entrance plaza. Having a sea shell sculpture in the center surrounded by mist seemed fun; one might take the mist as a metaphor of either the sea or steam. I specifically added a crack to the sea shell (If it were perfect, it would not be “natural”, wouldn’t it?). An opaque plastic strip lit by LED was added inside ▲ Wedding Garden in Ma Wan Park 93

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▲ Raised wooden boardwalk system connects themed gardens and Hilltop Lookout, also provides shelters for small terrestrial wildlife

Woodland Walk

▲ Changeable Lizard found along Woodland Walk

brought in Hong Kong an Italian art team to paint seven pairs of abstract wall paintings describing seven “colours” of our spiritual life. Couples and photographers love to take the advantage of free admission to take wedding photos there. With advance booking and a fee, the park manager will provide chairs and a small stage, converting the Love Garden into an outdoor wedding ceremony venue. Marriage is one of the most important events of our lives. I somehow feel honoured when wedding photos taken in the Nature Garden are shared back to the Park’s Facebook page from time to time.

The existing vegetated hill within the Nature Garden was a primary to secondary woodland. It spoke for itself about “Nature” but in order for us to appreciate or to be educated, it had to be accessible. To maximize the preservation of existing trees and landform, the project team contemplated a Woodland Walk with a raised wooden boardwalk system passing through several small, themed gardens, reaching the Hilltop Lookout as the climax of the journey. But barrierfree accessibility was a prime concern. A ramp system to the Hilltop Lookout

would require at least 400m length of space. The design had to make a balance: one on the southern side of the hill in steps, and another on the northern side of the hill in ramps. The Nature Garden has received appreciation from various societies representing physicallychallenging people. The raised wooden boardwalk has also been proven to be a great success in preserving wildlife. Small reptiles are occasionally found sunbathing in lazy afternoons on the boardwalk, and when visitors passing by, they quickly jump

▲ Hilltop Lookout for views of the Rambler Channel and surrounding islands

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▲ Main Entrance of Noah’s Ark

back into the woodland floor below. There has been no formal study, but it appears that the raised boardwalk system provides safe passages or even shelters for small terrestrial wildlife. It also reduces the chance of snakebites to visitors. Similar to the oldest landscape architecture principle of pedestrian-vehicle separation, the raised boardwalk is a mean of human-wildlife separation! A system of stream-like water features and rock works of a combination of natural rocks and artificial rock interact with the wooden boardwalk system. A few scenic spots were created by bridging the wooden boardwalk over the water features and by beefing up with a mix of native and exotic plants.

Hilltop Lookout The Hilltop Lookout is a scenic spot and is one of the high points on Ma Wan Island. Facing west, it has a distant view along the water channel from Sham Tseng, Tai Lam Chung to the northern Lantau Island where the sun sinks into the horizon. It features a large installation sculpture that appears like a random wave of giant logs painted in white. Unknown to many people, it was intended to appear like a pigeon, a symbol of peace and hope. Also designed by the senior manager (she) who was an interior designer by training, the pigeon was intended to be visible from an airplane launching from the Hong Kong International Airport. Today,

it may be easier to notice the pigeon from the satellite view of Google Map. She preferred a subtle way to present the idea and the Nature Garden’s logo also adopted a pigeon symbol. The Nature Garden has opened to the public since 2007. Admission is free. It was crowned with the highest “Grand Award” in “Private Developments” out of dozens of other entries in the 2008 Best Landscape Award hosted by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, but nothing from HKILA Landscape Award. Despite poorly served by public transportation, it has received more than 2.7 million counts of visitors and has hosted more than 130 wedding ceremonies. While some may not consider the Nature Garden a masterpiece of landscape architecture, it is definitely one of a kind, materializing years of planning and a vast amount of joint professional effort.

Noah’s Ark The Noah’s Ark is another key component of the large comprehensive residential development of Ma Wan Island. It was meant to be a theme park about the Christian Bible. Admission fee is required. Located at a rocky shore near the metallic Tsing Ma Bridge, the brownish “Ark” stands out with its unique appearance and its massive scale. It is a building structure resembling the appearance of a giant wooden ship. While most exhibitions and activities

organised by NGOs take place inside the Ark, the landscape, known as the “Ark Garden” takes the role of recreating a scene after a great flood described in the Bible. The Ark Garden shows pairs of animals leaving the Ark and thriving in a new world; it carries the meaning of rebirth and hope. It utilizes artificial rock works, natural stone paving and exotic looking plants to achieve the effect of a barren yet progressively vegetated landscape after the apocalypse. The project manager of the Noah’s Ark was a veteran architect who had led a number of successful residential projects. He was also a Christian himself. He and his assistants took great initiative and gave much personal involvement working with sculpture artists, artificial rock artists and a local landscape architectural consultant to design the Ark Garden. Various photo spots were developed. While plants were designed to match with the animal sculpture, the animal sculpture also needed the plants in order to look natural. I joined the project at a late stage, and participated in reviewing the landscape consultant’s planting design and providing site supervision. Monkey puzzle trees, palms and agaves were selected plant species to give visitors the impression of a new world landscape. Many other colleagues who were Christians provided suggestions from time to time on the design and 95

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construction; it was natural for a Christian wanting to contribute a bit to the project even though he or she might not be directly in the project team. One interesting suggestion was to plant olive trees in the Ark Garden; a colleague noticed a PRC nursery cultivating olive trees. We were not looking at olive tree seedlings like those commonly sold today at the Flower Market in Mong Kok. We were considering specimen that would be large enough to be classified as small trees in a landscape environment. Olive has been an important fruit in Western civilization since pre-historical time and it carries great religious significance. Although originated in the Mediterranean, olive trees were successfully cultivated in many countries. The senior management naturally came to me for advice , and my advice was conservative: while some nurseries successfully cultivated olive trees, there was no solid proof that the olive trees would thrive for years in Hong Kong’s climate, especially when the microclimate at the Ark Garden was somewhat opposite to the Mediterranean’s. Olive trees might live during the first few years in the Ark

Garden but they were unlikely to thrive giving few people in Hong Kong had the hand-on experience in maintaining the species. Plants are not fashion (although they are often treated like so in developers’ residential projects). I also participated in relocating and redesigning the entrance plaza. Not known to many, the original main entrance was at the other end; the entrance plaza that we see today was something else. During the final construction stage of the project, our very top management reviewed and concluded that an entrance plaza in form of a large outdoor open space would be necessary for ticketing, tour group assembly and the gathering of visitors, who might come in like tides as the major mode of transportation would be coaches. While there was not much challenge in designing a large empty space for crowds, I designed an entrance portal with a logo and a ticket booth with indoor spaces without knowing whether they would be a success or a failure. I had to study ergonomics for ticket sales and visitors using turnstiles

▲ Waterfall, pond and floral landscaping in Ark Garden, in front of Tsing Ma Bridge

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(not something a landscape architect had a chance to do very often!). Our top management never demolishes the entrance portal and the ticket booth, so I guess they are a success. The Noah’s Ark has opened to the public since 2009. It won a “Merit Award” of “Soft Landscape Design” in the 2010 Best Landscape Award hosted by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (under the same category, Kowloon Commerce Centre from the same developer won a “Gold Award”). Some politicians criticized the developer for not keeping its promise of building an amusement park after making profits from the residential development in Ma Wan Island; the developer obtained a premium deduction and land grant from the government but built a theme park for a single religion. The Ark Garden was also criticized as a boring place full of “plastic” animals. Honestly, it was above my paygrade to know the details of the original agreement and why indeed it was later revised, but, as an atheist, I do not know how a theme from the Bible could have been done better otherwise. I

▲ Monkey puzzle trees, palms and agaves were major plant species to give visitors the impression of a new world landscape

do not believe a man could have lived for 950 years and I do not believe all animals on the planet could have physically fitted into a wooden ship. What I believe is: as long as a project does not contravene the fundamental principles of landscape architecture, it should be something a professional landscape architect should help his or her client to achieve. In an occasion, a project director (who was a committed Christian) comforted us (and probably himself as well) that a visitor did not necessarily feel amused after visiting the Noah’s Ark, but if the visitor felt he or she had gained something after visiting the Noah’s Ark, the project would be considered successful.

Epilogue Private developers are one of the major players in ensuring the proper development of our profession; without private developers, our profession is one-sided. There are clear ranks within the Hong Kong government for our profession development. But for private developers or even in the private sector in Hong Kong, landscape architects remain largely optional. It has been over 30 years since the establishment of HKILA, but the only

duty that must be carried out by a RLA is the mandatory SCC of tree works under Lands Department LAO Practice Note 7/2007A introduced in 2016. To become a RLA in Hong Kong, a person has to get a degree in landscape architectural school, to practice as a graduate, to pass professional examinations and to be registered by LARB while a person who studies other subjects like interior design or even business administration may become a “landscape designer” or a “landscape project manager”. Odd enough some of us blame such a situation on the lack of supply of RLAs. It is really the time to derive a holistic development strategy for our profession in Hong Kong, especially when the previously blooming markets in Mainland China and Middle East have been shrinking in recent years.

About the Author - Sai-hong LAI Mr. Lai obtained his landscape architecture degree in Vancouver in 1996. He was employed as a landscape architectural assistant from 1996 to 2000 by a landscaping company that was a wholly subsidiary of a private real estate developer in Hong Kong. He has been employed as a RLA from 2006 to present by an architectural and engineering office of the same developer.


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Landscape Design Strategies Developed for the Zero Carbon Building and Park Project; Redesigning the Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront; Hong Kong Wetland Park URBIS Limited

URBIS has been involved in the planning and design of Hong Kong’s landscapes and urban spaces for over 40 years. As Landscape Architects, Planners and Urban Designers URBIS has played a significant role in the design of the public realm. This article presents a brief profile of URBIS and describes 3 open space projects that represent important milestones in the development of the Landscape Architectural profession in Hong Kong.

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

URBIS Limited URBIS Limited was established in Hong Kong in 1977 and has since undertaken over 2,200 projects ranging in scope from major strategic regional planning studies to the design of small private gardens. Projects have included new town planning studies, landscape and recreation studies, major reclamation projects, urban renewal studies, environmental impact studies, and the detailed design and construction supervision of a wide range of landscape projects for both public and private sector clients. URBIS was involved in producing the environmental framework for some

of Hong Kong’s earliest new towns and town centres. In recent years URBIS has played a leading role in the planning and development of Hong Kong’s Metro area, providing planning, urban design and landscape input to key urban redevelopment projects, as well as formulating planning and design strategies for New Development Areas in the New Territories. URBIS plans and designs have won more than 150 awards from local and international peer groups including a large number of Gold Medals, Silver Medals and Awards of Merit from the HKILA. Sustainable design is at the core

▲ Salisbury Garden re-opened in November 2017

of URBIS’ design philosophy and in 2015 URBIS won an award from the World Green Building Council Congress as the Landscape Architect with most BEAM Plus Final and Provisional Platinum Projects. URBIS’ history is closely tied to that of the HKILA. URBIS staff played a role in the HKILA’s formation in 1988 and since then numerous URBIS staff have contributed to the Institute over the years in a personal voluntary capacity with the full support and encouragement of the Company. A strong Institute is vital for the future of the profession in Hong Kong.

URBIS is particularly focussed on designing the public realm to meet the needs of modern society and the three projects described in this article present examples of the bespoke design strategies employed by URBIS for public open spaces at local, district and regional scales. Underpinning each project design is a philosophy that promotes sustainability and biodiversity whilst also hopefully giving people the opportunity and desire to reconnect with nature.

Redesigning the Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront In 2012 New World Development appointed URBIS Limited as the Executive Landscape Architect for the New World Centre Redevelopment project in Tsim Sha Tsui, to work alongside James Corner Field Operations (JCFO) appointed as the Project Leader and Design Landscape Architect. New World’s vision from the start was not just to redevelop their private lot, renamed as Victoria Dockside, but also to re-imagine the public realm along the entire Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront from Star Ferry to Hung Hom so as to give Hong 99

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▲ Perspective of Avenue of Stars, scheduled to open in mid-2019

Kong the world-class waterfront that it deserves. To achieve this, New World employed a large team of experienced consultants from Hong Kong and around the world and challenged them to create bespoke designs that would create unique and beautiful environments for the public to enjoy.

Context The Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront is one of the world’s most extraordinary urban sites, yet despite its dramatic setting, rich historic and cultural heritage, and popular appeal, the potential of the waterfront has been largely unrealized. Although it is close to the heart of Kowloon, the wide and busy Salisbury Road has separated the waterfront from the city, making it difficult to access. While the existing waterfront drew large crowds for specific events, such as the Symphony of Lights, Chinese New Year celebrations, and Dragon Boat Races, extensive portions of the public realm offered only the most minimal and basic amenities. Furthermore, Salisbury Garden offered no views towards the Harbour.

Key Strategies In order to capitalize on the extraordinary potential of the site and establish a world-class setting, JCFO developed an ambitious design to connect, enhance, and consequently revitalize the entire public realm of the Tsim Sha Tsui

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

waterfront. Initial plans covered the entire waterfront from Star Ferry to Hung Hom but for various reasons the plans were gradually scaled back and the final scope covers the stretch from Salisbury Garden to the former Starbucks at the east end of the Avenue of Stars. The main focus of the Master Plan is to provide an ambitious, holistic, and integrated vision for the waterfront. The plan seeks to expand physical and programmatic amenities, improve connections to adjacent areas, and enhance public use – not just by attracting and welcoming more people, but also by providing a higher quality experience for all who visit the TST Waterfront. The waterfront should emerge as a fully integrated precinct for leisure, culture, recreation, education, and tourism. It should fully capitalize on the magnificent views of the Hong Kong skyline while facilitating access and expanding appreciation of Victoria Harbour for public enjoyment. The plan also seeks to strengthen pedestrian connections between the city and its waterfront, transform Salisbury Garden into a lush and inviting landscaped garden, revitalize the Avenue of Stars Waterfront Promenade, and establish a world-class setting for Victoria Dockside.

Salisbury Garden Salisbury Garden, re-opened in November 2017, is the first of the revitalised new open spaces to be realised. Shaped by extensive input from various stakeholders, the design is highly responsive to the site’s complex technical constraints (relating largely to the underground mall beneath the garden) while striving toward a new standard of excellence in public realm design. Actively programmed, carefully designed, and richly detailed, the new garden landscape design responds to its unique setting and diverse use and provides places for people to sit, pathways to stroll, spaces for social gathering and relaxation, and a large open lawn for daily lounging as well as occasional celebrations and performances. New tree plantings offer shade around the edges of the space while lush groundlevel and “Garden Wall” plantings are intended to engage and delight visitors. The planting design performs several important functional and aesthetic roles in the Salisbury Garden design. The trees play a key role in shaping and defining the different spaces within the Garden, framing views towards the harbour, and providing the shade that will be so vital to the comfort of users in the hot summer months. The shrubs,

groundcovers and Garden Walls provide the visual interest and detail to enliven the Garden by use of flower colour and fragrance, leaf form, colour and texture. The plants are arranged together to create a more naturalistic setting than found in most parks in Hong Kong and the intention is not to prune the plants into man-made shapes and hedges, but rather to let them grow naturally to show their intrinsic natural beauty and form.

▲ Loop Path, view towards Victoria Harbour

▲ Loop Path, view towards Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

The Garden incorporates a number of sustainable design features including PV Panels, recycled rain water for automatic irrigation and paving with low thermal conductivity. The Garden and the underground mall will be accredited together under LEED (target Platinum) and BEAM Plus (target Platinum) whilst the Garden itself will be the first landscape project in Hong Kong to be accredited under SITES (target Gold), the rating system designed to evaluate landscapes with or without buildings.

As one of the largest, most visible, and most accessible parts of the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront, Salisbury Garden will hopefully serve as a new kind of public space where people congregate at different times of day and throughout the year not only to take in spectacular views and enjoy the garden environment, but also to partake in a rich diversity of activities and variety of year-round programmes.

Redesigning the Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront Project Info. Client: New World Development Co. Ltd. Design Landscape Architect: James Corner Field Operations Executive Landscape Architect: URBIS Ltd. Design Architect: Kohn Pedersen Fox Executive Architect: Ronald Lu & Partners (H.K.) Ltd. Public Toilet Architect: LAAB Ltd. Lighting Designer: Speirs & Major Loose Furniture Design: One Bite Design Studio Structural Engineer: Ove Arup & Partners H.K. Ltd. Structural Engineer for Event Trellis: Eckersley O Callaghan E&M Engineer: Parsons Brinckerhoff (Asia) Ltd. Main Contractor: New World Construction Co. Ltd. Soft Landscape Contractor: Pegasus Landscaping Ltd.

▲ Garden Grove 101

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Zero Carbon Building The Zero Carbon Building (ZCB) Project was developed by the Construction Industry Council in collaboration with the Hong Kong Government.

▲ Pre-ZCB project site in May 2011

The site was a ‘brownfield’ site, formerly used as the Hong Kong Construction Industry Council’s Construction Industry Training Ground, and earmarked for development as a District Open Space under city Outline Zoning Plans. The intention was to develop a physically, visually and functionally integrated architectural and landscape design for a Zero-Carbon-Building and Park. A zero-carbon-building is a building with zero net energy consumption or zero net carbon emissions, measured on an annual basis. ZCB is the first Zero Carbon Building in Hong Kong and it aims to showcase state-of-the-art ecobuilding design and technologies to the construction industry, and to raise community awareness of the character and achievability of low-carbon-living in

▲ Retained mature trees

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▲ ZCB project on completion in June 2012

Hong Kong. The ZCB integrates passive and active sustainable design features, generates on-site renewable energy from photovoltaic panels and a trigeneration system using biofuel made of waste cooking oil, and achieves zero net carbon emissions on an annual basis. ZCB also exports surplus energy to offset the embodied carbon of its construction process and major structural materials, and this is expected to be achieved within 50 years.

The Project Brief The Project Brief was: • to demonstrate, in the composition, construction and content of the Building and Park, the potential role of sustainable design in development projects;

▲ Gabion walls and retaining walls

• to connect, interior exhibition and demonstration spaces within the Building with an array of event spaces, demonstration and exhibition spaces and passive recreation spaces within the Park; and, • to fulfil community expectations of the Park as a green oasis for the enjoyment of the Public in the densely populated heart of Kowloon Bay.

Landscape Design Features The design of ZCB seeks to sensitively integrate the Building and Park, by immersing the building in the park and extending the park’s green surface up to and across the building’s roof-scape. Dense perimeter circumscribe the help make it a adjoining urban

▲ Urban Forest Walks

belts of trees which centre of the Park ‘green-refuge’ from streets and also

provide those streets with substantial additional greening. Demolition waste and construction waste was re-cycled on-site to create topography, and was used as both fill material for gabion retaining walls, and sub-base material for paving. Grey water and storm-water is collected, treated and re-used in ‘intelligent’ irrigation systems, and storm-water is collected and used to demonstrate the principle of using plant material to treat and recycle water. Hardscapes were minimised and porous paving surfaces were used where feasible. Material selection, ‘greening’, the retention of breezeways, and both shading and shading devices significantly reduce/ reverse the extreme Heat Island Effect generated by the site in its original state. The siting of the building within the Park, and its orientation optimises the insolation of the roof-scape so that it can become an effective solar energy collector. The greening of the site equates to 49% of the total site area and contributes to the reduction of local carbon dioxide levels. Existing trees were retained or relocated within the site and the site now integrates 399 trees.

▲ Eco Plaza

The Urban Forest A significant feature of the Project is an Urban Forest which comprises an engineered native woodland. It covers 13% of the Site. Its design seeks to emulate sub-tropical forest in terms of biomass structure and morphology. It is rare that so many native species can be seen in such concentration in an urban location. 44 native tree species are represented in the 222 native trees planted within the Woodland. Whilst the Urban Forest is relatively small in area, the intention behind introducing it is not only to enhance the biomass of vegetation within the site and to fulfil functional, spatial and visual objectives, but also to bring a representation of nature into the City; to demonstrate how this can be achieved; to introduce visitors to as wide a range of native woodland tree and shrub species as can be sourced from local nurseries; and to demonstrate the temporal nature of evolving landscapes in a city in which urban landscapes are largely designed for instant and unchanging effect. The availability of a wide range of native tree species from commercial nurseries was found to be limited, both in number and maturity. This being the case, underplanting, comprising 10 native species, plays a significant role in meeting greening objectives until such time as the intended mass of greening is achieved upon the maturing of woodland trees,

whips and seedlings. As trees mature and canopies spread, native shrub underplanting and grass cover will also adjust to changing light conditions. In this sense the Urban Forest is seen very much as an evolving landscape, and the story of its development and evolution is intended to be of long-term educational interest.

Conclusion The ZCB is a demonstration project of the principles of sustainable design in practice, and has a unique educational, construction industry and publicoriented focus. The ZCB uses the entire site to enhance public awareness of the principles and the physical and visual characteristics of sustainable development, and to demonstrate the potential for sustainable design to exceed community expectations for improved urban development and living.

Zero Carbon Building Project Info. Client/Owner: Construction Industry Council – Zero Carbon Building Project Landscape Architect: URBIS Ltd. Project Manager: AECOM Asia Co. Ltd. Project Architect: Ronald Lu & Partners (H.K.) Ltd. Project Engineer: Ove Arup & Partners H.K. Ltd. Management Contractor: Gammon Construction Ltd. Specialist Planting Advisor: Professor C Y Jim

▲ Native woodlland trees in Urban Forest 103

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Hong Kong Wetland Park The Hong Kong Wetland Park (HKWP) is located at Tin Shui Wai in Hong Kong’s Northwest New Territories and 5.5 kilometres from the border with Shenzhen. It was one of the millennium capital works projects designated by the Government of Hong Kong Special Administration Region and was completed in 2006. The total area of the park is 64Ha and, at a cost of HK$520 Million, the Park took more than five years to complete. In addition to serving ecological and environmental mitigation functions for the area the Park provides a much needed world class educational and recreational facility to Hong Kong. Originally expected to attract 540,000 visitors in its first year, the project attracted 1.2 million visitors in its first 12 months, generating HK$25 million (US$3.2 million) from admission charges and other activities. HKWP has received numerous local and international awards on architecture and landscape design granted by professional organizations including the Hong Kong Institute of Architects, Institute of Landscape Architects of the United Kingdom, and the Urban Land Use Institute of USA.

Environmental Mitigation The HKWP site was originally intended to be an ecological mitigation area for the wetlands lost due to the Tin Shui Wai New

▲ Deep Bay

Town development. Increased housing demands in the Tin Shui Wai area in the Northwest New Territories of Hong Kong required a detailed assessment of the environmental impacts resulting from such development. The proximity of Inner Deep Bay and environmentally sensitive wetland areas, including the Ramsar Site at nearby Mai Po, was a major concern due to the variety of habitats in the area and the reliance of wildlife on the habitat resources available. The Mai Po Ramsar Site supports over 120,000 migratory birds for wintering or refueling during their migration through Hong Kong each year. The park also functions as a storm water treatment facility cleaning a portion of the storm water discharged from adjacent development

areas. Construction of the wetlands for environmental mitigation purposes was completed in 2000.

Visitor Centre Feasibility Study In 1998, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) and the Hong Kong Tourism Board initiated the “International Wetland Park and Visitor Centre Feasibility Study” with an objective to expand and enhance the park to a wetland eco-tourism attraction. The study concluded that it was feasible to develop a Wetland Park Visitor’s facility at the park site without compromising its intended ecological mitigation functions. The development of the Wetland Park would also enhance the ecological function of the park to a

▲ HKWP Visitor Center

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world-class conservation, education and tourism facility. As a result the park and visitor centre project combines a number of potentially conflicting objectives in order to provide a world-class tourist attraction as well as a functioning wetland and educational facility. Designed as a demonstration site for wetland reclamation and environmental sustainability, the park/ visitor centre focuses on indigenous plants and building materials, reused and recycled building products, and energy-efficient building systems.

Visitor Centre and Park Design URBIS Limited were invited by the Architectural Services Department to prepare conceptual landscape designs for the new wetland park and visitor centre, to develop these designs into more detail for construction and to supervise the landscape construction of the external areas of the park. Working alongside the architects, ecology experts and exhibit designers, URBIS developed the design for the park layout, based on the overall Interpretative Plan, to create visitor facilities and attractions in line with the educational and recreational requirements of the park. Conceptual designs were finalized in 2002 and detail landscape designs were completed in 2003. Construction commenced in April 2003 and completed in early 2006. The Hong Kong Wetland Park demonstrates the diversity of Hong Kong’s wetland ecosystems and highlights the need to conserve them. It provides an education and recreation venue with

▲ Stream Walk in wetland reserve

▲ Grass slope roof above HKWP Visitor Centre

a theme on the functions and values of wetlands for use by local residents and overseas visitors. The ‘Mission’ of the Park is to foster public awareness, knowledge and understanding of the inherent values of wetlands throughout the East Asia region and beyond, and to marshal public support and action for their conservation. The Park is also a world-class eco-tourism facility that serves both local residents and overseas tourists.

waterfowls. It includes a discovery centre; fixed and floating boardwalks; bird-viewing blinds; and extensive plantings, wetlands, and wildlife habitats. Walkways and a series of display gardens, exhibition ponds, and re-created habitats lead from the visitor centre to the discovery centre and beyond, into progressively more remote natural areas.

The 10,000 square metre Visitor Centre is earth covered offering an extensive and dramatic grass slope roof for use by the visitors. The Visitor Centre incorporates three major exhibition galleries, an AV theatre, souvenir shop, cafe, children’s play area, classroom, resource centre, support facilities and offices. The theme of the galleries is focus on biodiversity, civilization and conservation. The Visitor Centre with its green roof is purposely hidden within the landscape; when viewed from outside the park, it appears to be a green hill. The Outdoor Park consists of existing saltwater mudflats, marshes and mangroves, constructed fresh water wetlands and re-created habitats for

Conclusion Having exceeded its financial expectations, the Wetland Park has proven a sound and successful investment of public funds. In addition, the park is meeting its educational objectives, by providing conservation education activities for thousands of primary and secondary school students and teachers, as well as by hosting international conferences. Further, now that the park has become a tourist attraction that is on tourist guides’ lists as a must-see, the new challenge the project faces is how to manage the traffic that it has generated. The Wetland Park demonstrates the viability of a sustainable lifestyle and presents an important message about the value of sustainable development to all who visit.

Hong Kong Wetland Park Project Info. Client Department: Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, HKGov. Landscape Architects: URBIS Ltd. Project Management: Architectural Services Department, HKGov. Architectural, Structural, & Building Services Design: Architectural Services Department, HKGov. Exhibition Design Consultants: Met Studio Design Ltd. Ecological Consultants: WWT Ltd.


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EDUCATION Of Rain and Wind - Two Very Different Traffic Islands Michael THOMAS, HKILA, RLA Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong



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Of Rain and Wind Two Very Different Traffic Islands Michael THOMAS, HKILA, RLA Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong

In an age of sustainable design and environmental engineering, Hong Kong is often seen to be lagging behind the landscape solutions applied in America, Europe, and Australasia to the problems of floodwater control and biodiversity. An initiative by Greening, Landscape, and Tree Management Section (GLTMS) of the Development Bureau could be the first of many to address this. A perennial problem in Hong Kong is that, while unimaginable sums of public funds are regularly spent on infrastructure works, trial projects – especially landscaperelated trial projects – struggle with tiny or non-existent budgets. In this case, however, serendipity provided the required cash in the form of the “City Dress-up” scheme intended to celebrate the 20th year of Hong Kong’s handover. With support from GLTMS, Drainage

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Services Department (DSD), and Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD), a group of four second-year students from BA (Hons) in Landscape Architecture programme of Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (THEi) were tasked with designing sustainable landscape schemes for two very different traffic islands. The first, in Tung Chung, was to showcase the aesthetic and ecological possibilities of mainly native forbs and grasses as a landscape treatment. They are common enough materials in temperate climates, but rarely used in Hong Kong where clipped shrubs are the preferred roadside planting material. The second, on Wylie Road in Kowloon, was even more radical for Hong Kong – the brief was to create a Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS), a rain garden.

▲ ‘Rains and Drains’ Traffic Island Model

Rains and Drains Hong Kong has always struggled with flooding, throughout its history and across both rural and urban areas. The usual civil engineering solutions have been applied for over a century – collecting and disposing of rainwater runoff via expansive networks of concrete nullahs and culverts, often canalising or burying rivers and streams in the process. There are, as we have known for some time, serious environmental costs associated with this approach. It might not seem like it in Hong Kong during a black rainstorm, or when our street cleaners turn on the hosepipes to scour the pavements with water piped in from mainland China, but fresh water is a precious resource. In most parts of the world water is consumed at a much higher rate than it is replaced.

Our disruption of the water cycle by collecting rainwater and transporting it to the sea instead of allowing it to infiltrate not only depletes groundwater reservoirs but also contaminates the sea. Draining floodplains, formerly for agriculture but now mainly for development, shortcircuits the ability of the landscape to buffer peak flooding, and channelizing streams merely moves the problem downstream. Even relatively clean fresh water can cause marine life kill-off when introduced into the sea in high volumes such as experienced by Hong Kong. The final irony, of course, is that even our massive drainage works designed to cope with flooding events are regularly overcome – and climate change makes such events ever more likely. A very different approach to the problem has been successfully implemented in other parts of the world for some considerable time. SUDS as they are known in the UK, are a set of landscape architectural solutions intended to infiltrate rainwater runoff back into the ground in a variety of different solutions, while simultaneously enhancing the urban landscape through attractive and

▲ Series of site constraints around existing traffic island

self-sustaining planting design. As well as sustainably and beautifully dealing with urban flooding, SUDS have become a specialism and mainstay of landscape architects in the regions where they are implemented. This is very different to

the approach of leaving the drainage to the engineers all-too-often taken by some landscape architects, which often results in poorly or too well-drained planter areas.

▲ ‘Rains and Drains’ traffic island plan 109

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▲ Artist impression of ‘Rains and Drains’ rain garden and traffic island

In recent years, DSD has often been proactive in terms of integrating landscape design into its infrastructural works. From enhancement of pumping stations through green roofs and vertical greening to gradually more sustainable designs of large nullahs in the New Territories, there is a clear drive toward more environmentally friendly approaches to drainage than the massive volumes of concrete thrown at the problem in the past. As we often remarked during the

▲ Details of rain garden

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

project, DSD’s support was crucial in even getting it off the ground.

from the sacred “Standard Details”. We needn’t have worried.

The brief given to students seemed quite daunting to their tutors – these were second-year undergraduates, tasked with researching the theory of SUDS, and its application in Hong Kong. Not only that, they had to convince our large collection of related maintenance departments of the desirability and feasibility of departing

From the start of the project the students had a wealth of experience to draw on. Some very senior landscape architects were on hand in GLTMS, THEi, and URBIS Limited, all able to offer technical know-how and past experience based on the Hong Kong Wetland Park. Australian practitioners also provided practical advice on rain

garden construction methods during a brief visit and remotely via email. As well as a valuable extra-curricular learning experience for the students, the rain garden project demonstrated clearly the possibilities and efficiencies of noncentralised, remote design of a site with complex maintenance responsibilities rather than the traditional approach of endless rounds of costly meetings we are all familiar with. How many meetings have we attended which could have been dealt with more effectively via a simple email? The students design was adapted several times to meet an evolving brief. In the end, a typical rain garden substructural profile was adopted to provide layers of infiltration and filtration in a gently dished site formation which would act as an infiltration pond. Because of the unknown performance of such a system in Hong Kong’s climate, which is subject to higher levels of rainfall during storms than the prototypes in Europe, North America, and Australia, an overflow system linked to the existing underground storm drains was included as a back-up. The planting design was the main visible element of the scheme, and together with

on-site interpretation boards would serve in the vital role of public education. Rain gardens can sometimes seem simply a badly-drained area to the uninitiated, so information directly on hand is vital to forestall negative reactions and a flood (no pun intended) of complaints to the maintenance department. On top of this, the approach was a naturalistic blend of drifts of herbaceous vegetation, in contrast to the tightly-clipped, limited range of shrubs favoured by Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD). As well as the long list of reasons this approach has long superseded “shrubberies” overseas, the species were chosen to cope with the practical constraint of having to withstand long periods of both flooding and drought without additional irrigation (currently the site is regularly tended by water trucks). This is where access to the vegetation trials for Wetland Park came to the fore.

in Hong Kong, where standing water is associated with mosquitoes and disease, so it is imperative that it is made clear these are not a risk where surface water is not expected to remain for more than a few hours after extreme levels of rainfall. An ongoing campaign of public awareness can work wonders in both reducing complaints and engaging people in their surroundings.

Also related to the need for public awareness, a seat and “photo opportunity” area was designed for the site. The traffic island is accessed as part of a pedestrian crossing system, and with a minor change in layout pedestrians are guided through the site to experience it from within. Rain gardens have the potential to be seen as undesirable

The brief for the Tung Chung site was to take an existing shrub monoculture, trimmed evenly to the regulation height of 1 metre, and turn it into a showcase for native planting and species diversity. At an early stage the design direction was determined to be grasses, or a range of plants with grass-like structure. Again, although grasses are a mainstay

Grasses in the Wind Though technically simpler than the rain garden, the second site in Tung Chung had perhaps more of an uphill battle for acceptance. In part this was because the concepts of biodiversity and “new naturalism” are younger and less wellunderstood by non-industry professionals. In part it was no doubt also due to the fact that DSD were not a driving force in this case, which left our friend LCSD as the main approving department.

▲ Sectional view of rain garden and traffic island 111

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of landscape architects across the globe, they are almost never used in Hong Kong due to the preference of maintenance departments and agencies for evergreen shrubs which can be trimmed into an unchanging scene of tortured topiary. Grasses have huge advantages as landscape plants, requiring very little in the way of maintenance, irrigation, or nutrients, and having a long season of interest. The difficulty in using mixes of grasses lies in choosing species which can co-exist in the long term without one species out-competing the others, especially when non-grass forbs are included in the mix. The 2012 London Olympic Park landscape is built on the decades of experience accumulated by Nigel Dunnett and James Hitchmough of the University of Sheffield, but there is no equivalent body of work for us to draw on in Hong Kong. Given the lack of applicable data, this design is by necessity experimental, and time (and the will of the maintenance department) will tell whether it can succeed. Another difficulty faced by the students was the relative scarcity of suitable native grasses and grass-like species in the market. Nurseries grow what nurseries sell in quantity, and grasses

are low on their list. After extensive searching through nursery plant lists and botanical databases, the fact had to be faced that grasses alone would not fill the needs of the brief, and that a nativesonly scheme could not achieve the levels of biodiversity nor the aesthetic appeal needed in a site viewed by thousands of commuters daily. Accordingly, the range was expanded to include forbs which would complement the grasses, and exotic species which could also provide an ecological benefit. “Native” is often used as a shorthand for “sustainable” in planting specification, but what really matters is ecological function. As long as a species is not invasive, and provides benefits such as wildlife habitat or food, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with using exotic species which are adapted to the local climate. Specifying exclusively native planting is really just lazy botany.

of interest, maintaining an attractive but constantly-changing outlook for the whole year.

The final design opted for drifts of plants in an ascending height profile, rising from low levels to maintain sight lines at the roadside to taller species at the back where the site was backed by an existing “woodland” of mixed plantation species. To satisfy the aesthetic requirements species were chosen for their appearance throughout various seasons

The issue in both cases was not so much technical, given that both approaches are well- established, albeit in other climactic zones. The aim of both schemes is to convince both the public, and (perhaps more importantly) the maintenance departments that sustainable drainage and biodiversity can successfully be applied to public landscapes. As is often the case, it is not science but bureaucracy which limits the potential of our industry and our city.

Necessary Compromise The culmination of the student’s conceptual design was an all-department meeting at Tamar Central Government Offices (CGO), where the four of them had to stand up in front of a room full of maintenance officials and senior industry professionals to present and defend their designs. Surprisingly (to professionals with years of experience in dealing with maintenance agencies) little resistance was offered to the design proposals in principle. It was a moment of intense pride for the tutors when the students took a stand to explain the benefits of both concepts, and to counter arguments such as cost and unfamiliar maintenance procedures. If only they were so confident in their studio finals!

There were inevitable compromises, of course. Most departments’ response was along the lines of “No objection in principle as long as none of our areas of responsibility are affected.” Thus, bespoke paving went in favour of Highways Department standard block paving, type 2 railings were retained where it was proposed to remove them, etc. Perhaps most amusingly (it pays to have a sense of humour in this

▲ ‘Grasses in the Wind’ traffic island plan

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

▲ Before upgrade project implementation

business), the Tung Chung scheme was thought to have “too many species” by every landscape architect’s favourite government maintenance department! Nevertheless, due in no small part to the support of GLTMS and DSD, the core values of both schemes remained and were approved to be handed over to CEDD to detail for construction. It would have been nice for the students to be involved in this stage, but logistical challenges prevented this. As it was, the project was widely publicised at the “Liveability by Design” exhibition in Tamar CGO during September of 2017, and has continued to arouse interest in the press. For the students, this has been a most valuable experience. Not only did they have the opportunity to delve deeply into some very specialised areas of growth in the landscape architectural field, but they got a good first-hand look into the workings of government and its myriad departments responsible for the maintenance – and sometimes, it has to be said, the failure – of our urban landscape.

The Beginning? The concepts created by the students were eventually accepted by said departments, and are now in the process of construction. We can hope that these humble beginnings will mark a revolution in the city’s approach to sustainable, landscape-led engineering. It is well past time for Hong Kong to move forward in terms of sustainable green and blue infrastructure, and to use its immense wealth to improve the urban environment and safeguard it for future generations. For or industry this could finally see the return of some of our core business, which have had to be tackled by the engineers, ecologists, and horticulturists in the absence of sufficient numbers of appropriately-trained landscape architects. Site drainage and self-sustaining ecological design should be part of the basic skill set of every landscape architect.

▲ Students’ work exhibited at Tamar Central Government Offices

Reference 1.

Dunnett, N. & Clayden, A. (2007). Rain gardens: Sustainable Rainwater Management for the Garden and Designed Landscape. Portland, OR: Timber Press.


Dunnett, N. & Hitchmough, J. (2008). The dynamic landscape: design, ecology and management of naturalistic urban planting. London, UK: Taylor & Francis.


Griffiths, D. (1983). Grasses & sedges of Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Urban Council.


Heatherington, C. & Sargeant, J. (2005). A new naturalism. Chichester, UK: Packard Publishing.


Hong Kong Flora and Vegetation,


Hong Kong Herbarium,


Ogden, S. & Ogden, L. (2008). Plant-driven design: creating gardens that honor plants, place, and spirit. Portland, OR: Timber Press.


Oudolf, P. & Kingsbury, N. (2013). Planting: a new perspective. Portland, OR: Timber Press


Rainer, T. & West, C. (2015). Planting in a post-wild world. Portland, OR: Timber Press.

10. Susdrain,

About the Author - Michael THOMAS Michael is a Registered Landscape Architect with a diverse practice background in Urbis, ACLA, and LWK & Partners covering private and institutional landscape design, housing, infrastructure, streetscape, feasibility studies, LVIA, conservation, and landscape restoration. He began teaching with the Technological and Higher Education Institute (THEi) in 2013, and took over as Landscape Architecture Programme Leader in 2018. His current research interest include abandoned military landscapes and ecological planting design. ▲ Students presented their work in an all-department meeting 113

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TECHNOLOGY A Call for an Ecological Approach to Landscape Design in Hong Kong Alexander (Sandy) M DUGGIE, FHKILA, RLA, CMLI Managing Director, URBIS Limited


Management and Control of Leucaena leucocephala Dennis YIP, FHKILA, RLA


From Seeds to Mature Plants - A Case Study on Growth / Development of the Reed-Like Grass Eric YT LEE, PhD



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A Call for an Ecological Approach to Landscape Design in Hong Kong Alexander (Sandy) M DUGGIE, FHKILA, RLA, CMLI Managing Director, URBIS Limited

Landscape design, management and maintenance in Hong Kong is dominated by what I would call an ‘ornamentalhorticultural’ driven approach that places primacy on visual appearance at the expense of all other considerations apart from cost (both capital and recurring). Furthermore the visual aesthetic being pursued by the landscape designer and (more critically) client in Hong Kong is most often a highly manicured ‘artificial’ one in which plants are clipped and/ or organised into obviously man-made individual topiary shapes and geometric layout patterns. This is part of a world-

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wide tradition in the historic development of the garden as a ‘gesture against the wild’ in which humans find pleasure and comfort in bringing a sense of visual order and structure to the seemingly random and uncontrolled natural world. Yet I believe strongly that we need to move towards a more balanced approach to the design of man-made landscape in Hong Kong that looks beyond purely visual appearance and places much greater emphasis on sustainability and ecological sensitivity.

Why Adopt an Ecological Approach to Landscape Design and Management? At a fundamental level there are two main reasons to adopt an ecological and sustainable approach to landscape design and management: • to preserve, use and manage landscape resources for the benefit of present and future generations; and • to preserve and promote biodiversity which is essential for the health of the planet.

disconnected from the natural world. Cities are intrinsically the most sustainable form of development for large populations, enabling the most efficient use of resources and potentially the smallest carbon footprint per capita whilst also raising living standards. Yet dense city living can cause a ‘disconnect’ from nature and natural rhythms and processes, especially for the young. In his best-selling book Last Child in the Woods2 (2008) Richard Louv coined the term ‘nature deficit disorder’ to describe a common malady of city dwelling kids who spend too much time indoors, in front of the TV, or on the computer, and have too little access to nature, too little freedom to explore nature and overprotective parents. We need to restore the city dweller’s connection with nature and ‘Biophilic Design’ is city planning and design that enables and facilitates the urban population to [re]connect with nature.

▲ The lowland stream, Hong Kong Wetland Park

We live in an era of rapid urbanisation. 70% of the world’s population is expected to live in cities by 2050. The resultant pressure on natural landscapes and biodiversity across the world is well documented and a source of much concern. However there are also negative impacts on humans as a result of this urbanisation process that has distanced our daily activities from the rhythms and processes of nature.

The ‘Biophilia’ Hypothesis and Biophilic Design ‘Biophilia’ means “love of life or living

systems”. The biophilia hypothesis suggests that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature. Edward O. Wilson expressed the hypothesis in his book, Biophilia1 (1984) in which he defines biophilia as “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life”. There is an increasingly large body of scientific evidence citing the many and varied physical and mental health benefits to humans of maintaining close connection with nature, yet the urbanisation process has meant that city populations are becoming increasingly

In Hong Kong, we are blessed with close juxtaposition of dense urban areas and relatively ‘wild’ natural landscapes that contain remarkably high biodiversity for such a relatively small geographical area. This is principally due to the mountainous nature of Hong Kong which has largely restricted development to low-lying areas with shallow slopes, so leaving the large intervening areas of steep terrain largely undeveloped, however it is also due to the wisdom and foresight of men and women of the previous generation who put in place a high level of statutory and non-statutory landscape protection, something that current decision makers would do well to remember. At a macro level, the sustainability of Hong Kong’s natural landscape and ecology as a whole is largely dependent on continuing to limit development within as small an area as practical in order to leave large areas of natural landscape and high biodiversity and ecological value relatively untouched, yet accessible to the public for passive recreation and reconnection with nature to promote general health and wellbeing. The ability of our Country Parks to offer a quick and 117

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▲ Statutory and Non-statutory Landscape Protection in Hong Kong

convenient getaway from the pressures of dense urban living is an asset that will become increasingly important and provide a significant advantage to Hong Kong in the face of the fast pace of urbanisation in the Greater Bay Area and Guangdong Province. Yet protecting our existing resources is not enough - we also have to design the developed areas in a more ecologically sensitive manner in order to create a sustainable and liveable city in which we can all enjoy a high quality of life yet also reduce our collective carbon footprint and maintain our connection with the rhythms of the natural world. Adopting an ecological approach to landscape design can facilitate this process.

How to Adopt an Ecological Approach to Landscape Planning, Design and Management? The ecological planning, design and management approach may be considered as a 5-step process: 1. Avoid - Plan the development to avoid impacts on existing areas of medium to high ecological and landscape value.

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

2. Minimise - Where impacts are unavoidable, minimise these as far as practical.

will serve the intended purpose, be healthy, grow well and need minimum care in the long term.

3. Mitigate - Design landscape measures that compensate for the loss of any existing resource.

• Avoid invasive plants. Much damage may be caused to local ecosystems if exotic species escape into the countryside and displace native species.

4. Create - In addition to compensating for any losses, design landscape measures that create positive enhancements and improvements to the local ecology 5. Manage - Adopt management and maintenance strategies that avoid excessive use of inorganic fertilisers/ pesticides and promote wildlife habitat. To implement steps 3 (Mitigate) and 4 (Create) there are several planning and design strategies that may be adopted by the designer to a greater or lesser degree according to the scale and context of the project to promote an ecological approach to landscape design, as listed below. • Adopt the ‘Right Plant, Right Place’ strategy. Simply put, this approach matches plants to their intended landscape design function and their intended environment and microclimate to help ensure the plants

• Promote native plants that enhance biodiversity & complement adjacent natural landscapes. • Choose plants that promote wildlife biodiversity and design for wildlife. • Incorporate water bodies and associated planting. Water is a natural attractor to wildlife. • Promote connectivity between existing and proposed plant communities. As predicted by the Island Biogeography Theory, apart from plant species, the major factors affecting the colonisation of urban landscapes by wild biodiversity are: ◦◦ the size of the landscape planting i.e. the bigger the better; and ◦◦ the degree of isolation from natural vegetation i.e. the closer and greater connection the better.

▲ The upland stream, Hong Kong Wetland Park

• Promote viable plant communities & resilient ecosystems. • Leave some areas devoid of human activity to allow natural processes to take over. The multi award winning Hong Kong Wetland Park, designed jointly by Architectural Services Department and URBIS Limited and opened in 2006, incorporates all of these design measures and is a highly successful example of ecological landscape design that delivers recreational and education benefits and has proven hugely popular with the public. How can this success be replicated on smaller projects elsewhere in Hong Kong?

Factors Hindering the Implementation of the Ecological Design Approach in Hong Kong Perhaps the biggest problem facing landscape architects seeking to implement an ecological approach to their designs in the urban area is the common public perception of what urban landscape should look like. As mentioned above, landscape design in Hong

▲ Bird hides, Hong Kong Wetland Park

Kong is dominated by an ‘ornamentalhorticultural’ driven approach that places primacy on visual appearance at the expense of other considerations. This attitude may be seen partly as a result of the aforementioned ‘disconnect’ with nature in modern Hong Kong society. This perception naturally has great influence on clients in the private sector who are developing projects to sell to the public. The only way to overcome this in the long term is to change this public perception through education and by bringing the public’s attention to the importance of working with, rather than against, ecological processes. The Government’s recently introduced ‘Hong Kong Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan’3 (HKBSAP) identifies four Action Areas, namely Conservation, Mainstreaming, Knowledge and Community, and lists public awareness and education as key areas requiring attention. Another major hurdle facing landscape architects is the lack of commercially available native plant species. Commercial nurseries stock plants they know the market demands and traditionally this has been dominated by exotic species. Increasing the

quantity and variety of native plants that are commercially available will be a slow process if left solely to market forces, since it remains easy for suppliers to substitute exotic species for native species originally specified by the designer. Therefore I believe that Government should speed up this process by initiating a programme to encourage development of native nursery stock. Planting native species is a goal of HKBSAP and creating Government nurseries for native species can greatly help achieve this for Government projects. Another challenge facing the designer is the relatively small scale of the average landscape project, and the intense competition for space in urban Hong Kong. How does a landscape designer promote biodiversity in a small to medium site? Planting one specimen each of hundreds of different species is usually not the best answer and in seeking a solution we need to consider how ecologists measure biodiversity. Ecologists distinguish between alpha, beta and gamma diversity where alpha diversity is the species richness within a community (site), beta diversity is 119

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the measure of how many species the community has that are not present in adjacent communities and gamma diversity is the total number of species in the region. So the designer interested in biodiversity conservation should assess how the alpha diversity of the site can contribute to the gamma diversity of the region. The other principal approach that designers can adopt to promote biodiversity is to design for wildlife.

Designing for Wildlife One sad bi-product of the SARs epidemic in 2003 has been an increased fear of birds and wildlife amongst some members of the public. Landscape designers are frequently requested by private clients to “choose plants that don’t attract insects and birds”, which may be the result of the client’s own prejudices but is more likely their perception of the prejudices of their prospective customers. The sole exceptions to this are butterflies that remain popular (in most cases). Of course these same clients often ask for plants with profuse flowers throughout the year, at which point I usually ask them if they know why plants have flowers - i.e. to attract insects to encourage pollination! Therefore, since most urban sites are constrained in planting opportunities, the designer has to think beyond plant species diversity, consider how their plant choices affect total plant, insect and animal wildlife diversity and choose plants that promote wildlife. To do so they may consult references such as GEO1/2011 - Technical Guidelines on Landscape Treatment for Slopes4 which has plant selection matrices providing information on ecological value, and A Comprehensive Street Tree Management Plan for Hong Kong5 prepared by URBIS for Development Bureau. In compiling

the latter document we engaged Dr Billy Hau of the University of Hong Kong to undertake a review of local literature and compile lists of plants that provide food and habitat for fauna native to Hong Kong, including birds, butterflies, bats and squirrels. The result is a series of eight tables that should prove useful to landscape designers seeking to encourage wildlife. One interesting piece of information arising from the research is the significant extent to which exotic species can provide food and shelter for native fauna, which is great news for the designer because it means that many of the commercially available exotic plant species traditionally selected for their visual qualities can also serve a useful ecological function. Nevertheless, in the absence of other supporting information, it is usually best to stick with native plant

species when seeking to provide food and shelter for wildlife. For example, at Kai Tak River in Kowloon, we have incorporated a number of predominantly native shrub and climber species to attract bees, butterflies, dragonflies and birds, as well as incorporating native mangrove species into the channel bed to create suitable conditions for young fish-fry and amphibians to develop. In addition, several other ecological enhancement measures are incorporated at Kai Tak River.

▲ Junonia orithya (Blue Pansy)

▲ Pachliopta aristolochiae (Common Rose)

▲ Preservation of existing trees

▲ Bird Perches

Aside from species selection, designers can promote wildlife by creating vertical layering within the plant community. In a natural plant community the tree canopy layer (5-15m), shrub layer (2-5m), field layer (0.5-2m) and ground layer (00.5m) each have important roles to play

▲ Kai Tak River Rehabilitation incorporates a number of predominantly native shrub and climber species to attract bees, butterflies, dragonflies and birds, as well as native mangrove species in the channel bed to create suitable conditions for young fish-fry and amphibians to develop Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

The planting at Shek O Quarry Rehabilitation incorporates a mix of exotic trees and native trees and shrubs. The exotics are incorporated so as to shelter the natives and assist their growth and development. The exotics should be thinned and eventually removed as the natives develop ▶

in providing food and habitat for wildlife. At Shek O Quarry Rehabilitation, we planted a mix of exotic pioneer trees and native trees and shrubs with the intention of creating such a layered woodland structure in the long term. Similarly, at The ZCB Park in Kowloon Bay we created an Urban Native Woodland that

incorporates over 40 different species of native trees and shrubs to simulate native woodland and provide food and shelter to attract native wildlife into the city. This latter project typified the problems facing local designers in sourcing native plants, as we were unable to obtain large stock sizes of many native trees and had to

resort to planting mostly young whips and seedlings, so it has taken several years for the woodland to establish. Hong Kong Wetland Park, Shek O Quarry and the Urban Native Woodland in the ZCB Park exemplify designs that seek a natural appearance using native plants, yet even in more consciously ‘ornamental’ planting design mixing natives and exotics, it is still possible to create a more layered vegetation structure than usually found in Hong Kong public landscapes. Many public open spaces and roadside landscapes are unfortunately characterised by over-pruned and ecologically sterile planting with shrub beds pruned at uniform heights with little or no variation of plant form, height or structure creating landscapes that can be both visually boring and ecologically sterile. Landscape designers and maintenance agents should instead seek to create more layered planting effects for visual and ecological benefits, such as we have attempted at Pacific Place and 19 Wang Chiu Road, Kowloon Bay.

▲ Shek O Quarry rehabilitation 121

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BEAM Plus Neighbourhood The BEAM Plus Neighbourhood sustainability assessment tool was launched in November 2016 by the Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC) as a means of embodying sustainable design within initial project master-planning and encouraging project thinking that extends beyond site boundaries into the local neighbourhood community. BEAM Plus Neighbourhood assists the landscape designer seeking to promote ecological design because it encourages project proponents to conserve and/or enhance the ecological value of a site in terms of the intactness of habitat and biodiversity through consideration of 5 planning and design aspects attracting 2 credits and 3 bonus credits: • 1 bonus credit is awarded where either all identified habitat types on site are of low or negligible indicative ecological

value, or all identified habitat types on site of medium to high indicative ecological value are preserved intact and are either unaffected or enhanced by the planned development. • 1 credit is awarded when applicant demonstrates the ecological value of the site is enhanced through a preliminary landscape strategy adopted in the site planning. • 1 additional credit is awarded where the ecology & biodiversity of the site would be enhanced through an ecological enhancement strategy based on accepted ecological principles & defined goals. • 1 bonus credit is awarded where site planning enables physical interconnectivity within the site to connect any existing preserved area of medium to high ecological value adjacent to the site with:

▲ Simulated native woodland to attract native wildlife into the city, ZCB Park

◦◦ Any existing preserved area of medium to high ecological value within the site; ◦◦ Any new green space planned within the site; ◦◦ Any new blue asset planned within the site; and ◦◦ The total eligible interconnected area is not less than 5% of the total site area. • 1 bonus credit is awarded where existing trees are retained in situ such that the combined girth of the retained trees, with individual girth of at least 150mm, is at least 20% of the total girth of all existing trees on site. This is because the ecological value of large preserved trees usually greatly exceeds the value of young compensatory tree planting.

▲ The Pacific Place podium planting arranged in a naturalistic manner

▲ Many Hong Kong public landscapes are characterised by over-pruned and sterile planting with no natural form or structure, Tamar Park

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

▲ The public open space at 19 Wang Chiu Road, Kowloon Bay, incorporates a large variety of native and exotic plant species arranged in a naturalistic manner

The Way Forward There is scope for many different styles of landscape design in Hong Kong to satisfy different contexts and aesthetic preferences. Yet, whatever the adopted design style, I believe that landscape designers should seek to look beyond the purely visual to promote designs that also deliver meaningful ecological benefits. The two principal reasons are firstly to support our ailing natural systems and encourage biodiversity and wildlife, and, secondly, by promoting these within the urban area, to help our society reconnect with the rhythms and process of the natural world and thereby improve public health and well-being. Landscape architects have the knowledge and skills to be leaders in creating a healthy and vibrant Hong Kong. By following the 5-step process outlined earlier – avoid, minimise, mitigate, create and manage – landscape architects can incorporate sound ecological principles into the urban design process. BEAM Plus Neighbourhood assists the landscape architect seeking to promote ecological design because it encourages project proponents to conserve and enhance the ecological value of a site from the initial project planning stages.

can and should contribute to this process but I believe Government must take the lead as it deals with the largest green infrastructure projects that have by far the greatest potential to promote biodiversity at a meaningful scale. Government also has the power and authority to drive the ecological design ethos at a strategic level. Yet each of us has our own meaningful contribution to make, no matter how small the project, and together we can make a difference and ensure that Hong Kong becomes a beacon of biodiversity and sustainable design that sets an example for the rest of the world.

Reference 1.

E. O. Wilson, 1984. Biophilia. ISBN 978067407 4422. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.


Richard Louv, 2008. Last Child in the Woods. ISBN: 9781565126053. Orange: Algonquin Books.


AFCD, 2016. Hong Kong Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. Hong Kong: Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. Con_hkbsap/con_hkbsap.html


CEDD, 2011. GEO1/2011 - Technical Guidelines on Landscape Treatment for Slopes. Hong Kong: Civil Engineering and Development Department


URBIS Limited, 2013. A Comprehensive Street Tree Management Plan for Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Development Bureau.

About the Author - Alexander (Sandy) M DUGGIE Sandy is a Registered Landscape Architect, a Fellow of the HKILA and Managing Director of Urbis Limited. He has lived in Hong Kong and worked for Urbis since 1985, during which time he has contributed to several major territorial and strategic planning studies and designed a large range of private and public sector projects from small private gardens to large scale public infrastructure works. He is particularly concerned with the promotion of sustainable design and designing the public realm to meet the needs of modern society. He is also a Director of the BEAM Society Limited, a Member of the HKGBC Green Building Faculty and sits on the HKGBC Green Labelling Committee.

All landscape architects and ecologists 123

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Management and Control of Leucaena leucocephala ▲Flower clusters of Leucaena leucocephala


Leucaena leucocephala (銀合歡) is classified as a highly invasive plant. Its invasiveness was ranked no. 46 of the “100 of the World’s Worst Invasive” published by ISSG. Some ecologists considered L. leucocephala as a potential “habitat transformer” (Henderson 2001) as it degrades the indigenous flora rapidly by preventing the establishment of indigenous species. Since 2006, the HKSAR government encourages removal of this infamous tree based on the fact that not only is it hazardous to the local ecological resources, but also is a potential threat to public safety. Based on the tree failure statistics during the period from 2010 to 2015 in Hong Kong, it is revealed that 16% of the tree failures cases belong to L. leucocephala. Lots of effort has been made to remove the trees using traditional method of regular cutting, however, this mode of removal is considered both costly and ineffective. The objective of this report is to find out the most efficient method

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

▲ Tree Failures in Hong Kong (2010-2015) by Top Ten Species (source: GLTMS, DEVB)

of preventing its invasion with a view to rehabilitating the ecosystems which has already been disturbed. Eradication of Leucaena leucocephala is not the ultimate aim of this study. An integrated

management proposal for the target species is proposed. The objective is to achieve an accelerated recovery of a stable ecosystem by bringing back native vegetation cover.

Morphological Description L. leucocephala is a small to mediumsized deciduous tree. The tree form is forked when young. The texture of bark is smooth with many prominent lenticels. Leave morphology is spineless and bipinnate with 4-9 pairs of pinnate. The colour of pinnate is slightly paler beneath than the upper. Each pinnate has (10- 20 pairs) small grey green leaflets (pinna), which is stalkless and narrowly oblong or asymmetrical in shape. A large gland is normally found at base of petiole. Similar to those of Mimosa, it produces white flower in dense globular head with over 80 flowers per head on stalk. After fertilization, cluster of dark brown flat pods are found at terminal twigs with hairy surface. Each pod contains 1822 glossy seeds with seed coat. H.M. Shelton and J.L. Brewbaker reported that at least 14 species in the L. genius can be found. Out of these species, L. leucocephala is self-pollinating while most of the others are cross-pollinating.

which the species was spread all over the world within the subtropics circle of latitude including Australia and from there; it has spread to Hong Kong for reforestation (White 1937). Bentham (1861) recorded the existence of L leucocephala in Hong Kong as early as in 1860s (Ng, SC and Corlett, RT (2002)). In 1970s HKSAR Government launched a systematic plantation in a great scale to landscape the unsightly man-made slope in town. Tree species with fast growing character were chosen as pioneer species. L. leucocephala was one of the species which was introduced deliberately for slope planting restoration. Ever since this alien species was on stage, it has created destructive impact in Hong Kong which was not predictable at the time of introduction. Brewbaker and Soresson (1990) estimated that L. leucocephala covers 2-5 million hectares of land worldwide. The species is fundamentally a tropical species requiring warm temperature of 25o-30oC for optimum growth. It grows best in areas below 500m altitudes and up to 15o-25o north or south of the equator. In subtropical areas, when the mean annual temperature is below 20oC, the tree displays reduced growth in winter.

Strength ▲ L. leucocephala (Bark with lenticels)

▲ L. leucocephala (Seed pod)

Origin L. leucocephala is native to Mexico and Central America. The precise nativity is uncertain. Since 1815, the tree was introduced to the Philippines for providing food for cattle by the Spanish (Brewbaker et al. 1985). The Philippines was believed as the starting point from

The invasive character of L. leucocephala is attributed to its physical and biological character. Owing to the fact that it is an efficient nitrogen fixing leguminous tree, which makes it highly adaptive to most type of infertile soil. After plantation, the soil fertility level is actually improved by the tree’s symbiotic association with Rhizobium root nodule bacteria that fix atmosphere nitrogen in the Earth’s atmosphere and convert into ammonia (NH3) or other molecules available to living organisms. Each mature tree could fix 500 Kg/ha/year (El Bassam, N. (1988)). Once the tree is established in a piece of land, it becomes a rapid colonizer. L. leucocephala not only capable to commence flowering as early as 4-6 months after seed germinations, but also produces flowering and fruiting throughout the year (Agroforestry Database 4.0 (Orwa et al.2009)). The tree’s prolificacy is beyond compare. It is a prolific seed producer; each tree could produce 10,000 to 20,000 seeds per year

by self- pollination (H.M. Shelton and J.L. Brewbaker). Apart from high productivity, similar to Acacia nilotica and Eucalyptus rostrate, L. leucocephala exudates allelochemicals called mimosine, a kind of plant amino acid that could suppress seedling growth of common trees such as Acacia, Liquidambar, Alus and weeds in vicinity (YL Kuo. 2007). All part of L. leucocephala, such as seed pod, root, leave, bark and even soil surface can find mimosine. The re-generative ability of L. leucocephala is amazing. It possesses the ability to re-sprout after fire or cutting. The impermeable waxy seed coat is very hard, which protects the seed from high temperature and mechanical damages. The seed could dormant for at least 1020 years after seed disposal (Cronk and Fuller, 1995). The high vitality of this species makes it extremely difficult to control artificially. L. leucocephala is a very drought tolerant species even during establishment period. Young seedlings can survive in period of extended dry weather. In general, the root system of L. leucocephala is relatively shallow. In shallow soils, the roots system may branch and grow laterally at only 300mm depth. This character probably explains why the tree is vulnerable to blown over under strong wind.

Weakness (Limitation) Some environmental factors could inhibit the growth of L. leucocephala. The tree requires good levels of Phosphorus and Calcium for best growth. Both macronutrient are essential for nodulation and vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizae (VAM) activity. The tree growth will be adversely affected by lowering the VAM activity (A. Mahmood et al., 2004). Kishchuk (2000) reported that the productivity would be decreased by 30% if the alkalinity is increased to within a range of 7.9-8.5. Most of the studies concluded that L. leucocephala is not a shade tolerant tree. The plant will remain dormant for years with very little growth until the canopy is opened. The seed will remain dormant if the daily illumination is low (Van Den Beldt, RJ, Brewbaker, JL, eds . 1985. L. Wood Production and Use).


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L. leucocephala is highly resistant to Pest and Disease. Only known limitation is a psyllid, Heteropsylla cubana and a beetle, Acanthoscelides macrophthalmus (Schaeffer). H. cubana is a jumping, sap-sucking, plant-lice which feeds on developing shoots and young foliage. The seed beetle A. macrophthalmus (Schaeffer) oviposit on the seed pods and the hatching larvae enter the seeds and destroy them during their development. A. macrophthalmus is a potential successful biological control agent but it is only commonly found in South Africa. The daily average temperature in Hong Kong suggests that it may be suitable for expanding its geographical range to Hong Kong. Further research in vitro to be conducted in Hong Kong to review its application and to assess the ecological risk.

Control Methodologies Apart from biological control, the spreading of L. leucocephala could be controlled environmentally, chemically and mechanically. ‘Environmental Control’ refers to altering the soil temperature and reducing the light intensity, which could be a potential control method to inhibit the spreading of L. leucocephala. Researches indicated that increasing the soil temperature by 10o - 20oC using a plastic sheet for one month, could be very effective in killing all L. leucocephala seedling and seeds (Verma et al., 2005). Another research concluded that the seed will remain dormant if the daily illumination is less

than 10% of the open area (YL Kuo 2007). It was hypothesized that the seed coat of L. leucocephala comprises a lightsensitive pigment called “phytochrome” which detects the light properties. When the seed is inside the area where the sunlight is blocked by tree canopy, the “phytochrome” will be deactivated and seed will not be germinated. In order to test the effect of light on seed germination, a slope in Stanley Ma Hang Park was chosen where the top soil in that locality was believed to be covered with L. leucocephala seed bank. Part of the slope (experimental plot) is covered with a polyethylene sunshade screen mesh, which would block 80% of UV radiations. The screen was a breathable material which means that the temperature underneath would not be built up. Another part of the slope was kept open to the sky (control plot) for comparison purpose. The experiment commenced in July 2012 and ended in May 2013. The mesh was regularly inspected at 4-month intervals. The seed germination rate in the covered area was compared with the adjacent uncovered area under the same climatic condition. During the 12-month observation period, 15-24 number of L. leucocephala seedlings per square meter were found germinating from the soil seed bank in the control plot. Within 6 months, each seedling can grow to a 250mm height shrub. However, it was observed that no seedling was found germinating in the area covered by sunshade screen mesh.

Chemical Control L. leucocephala can be controlled chemically. Application of chemical Triclopyr and Picloram to foliage, Tebuthiuron applied to soil and Glyphosate to the basal bark by injection are effective control (PIER 2007). After application, major of the plants displayed symptom of wilting and loss of bud sprouting ability. When chemical control is considered, the potential risk of environment pollution should be considered as some of the herbicide is hard to be degraded by microbes in soil.

Mechanical Control The traditional control method of cutting down the L. leucocephala, by removing the stem is not a cost effective approach due to the fact that L. leucocephala can withstand any type and frequency of pruning or coppicing, fire and frost (Weber (2003) Invasive Plant Species of the World. CABI publishing). When L. leucocephala was cut at the base, it can re-grow 15-20 epicormic branches or suckers vegetatively from buds on the damaged basal stem. One of the suckers will quickly ride on the stump becoming the main stem. In reality, the effect of clearing a large group of mature L. leucocephala will expose the topsoil to full sunlight. The sunlight will stimulate the seed germination inside the seed bank and triggers the growth of seedling of L. leucocephala. The coppiced stem of L. leucocephala will also be stimulated to germinate

▲ Application of black sunshade screen mesh on slope to reduce the illumination and suppress seed germination

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

▲ The sapwood together with the bark was completely removed mechanically to the root flare

▲ Development of epicormic shoot vigorously after coppicing

epicormic shoots. Within one month, the sucker can grow to 30cm. After one year, a thick blanket of vegetation is formed. Unless the entire root mass and the tree stumps are removed and the topsoil are replaced completely to clear the dormant seeds of L. leucocephala, purely relying on coppicing is not an effective method. To investigate why L. leucocephala possesses stronger epicormic budding capabilities than other trees, crosssection of the tree stems at different level were examined. It is noted that the epicormic buds of L. leucocephala, which are developed outside the apical meristem, are highly protected by setting deeply beneath the thick bark than in other tree species, allowing both the buds and vascular cambium to be insulated from the intense heat. The growth of epicormic buds were normally suppressed by hormones from active shoots higher up the plant. When a tree is under stress such as fire and coppicing, the epicormic buds which lie dormant beneath the bark may be activated. This hypothesis explained that it would be a waste of effort if the epicormics buds are not removed during the cutting operation.

▲ The regenerative ability of this species was shut down after removal of sapwood down to root flare level

In order to verify the hypothesis of “bark removal will directly affect the growth of epicormic shoot”, 500 nos. of L. leucocephala in Stanley Ma Hang Park were pruned down in the springs of 2012 and 2013. The sapwood together with the bark was completely removed mechanically to the root flare. The response of tree stumps were recorded at 4 months intervals. The data was compared with those tree stumps where the bark and sapwood were retained. It was found that the regenerative ability of this species was shut down after removal of sapwood down to root flare level. The number of epicormic shoot was drastically reduced. Due to weak attachment of epicormic shoots to the stem, most of the shoots are unable to thrive well in the next season. Within 12 months, most of the stumps become dead wood and displayed discolouration caused by wood-decaying saprophytic fungus.

Integrated Management Plan In dealing with single tree, removing the bark completely from the stump could be one of the horticultural good practices to stop the L. leucocephala from growing vegetatively. However, when dealing with a slope which has already been colonized with L. leucocephala, none of the single control methods mentioned above could effectively remove the species. The objective of the Integrated Management Plan (IMP) is to rehabilitate the ecosystem which has already been disturbed. It is an attempt to bring back native tree and shrubs cover by inhibiting the spreading of L. leucocephala using a combination of control methods mentioned above, and at the same time, creating an opportunity for the establishment of native species and enhancing the biodiversity level.


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An Integrated Management Plan (IMP) Covers the Following Four Stages LEGEND LL DBH > 150

LL DBH < 150

Native tree seeding

Fast growing native shrub

LL seed LL DBH < 150 after chemical treatment


sunscreen sheet

▲ Typical section of slope being colonized by Leucaena leucocephala (LL)

Thinning Stage

All medium to small L. leucocephala are cut down and the bark of the stump removed. All existing mature L. leucocephala (DBH>150m) including native trees are retained. The stems of L. leucocephala trees are injected directly with environmental friendly herbicides. The recommended herbicides are Glyphosate or Triclopyr. The chemical are injected by syringes to the stem through pre-drilled holes. The ailing tees are utilized to provide shade and protection for the newly planted native species in the coming stages. ▲ Small LL are removed and mature LL are injected with chemical.


First Planting Stage

The soil surface is covered with a sunshade mesh. A mixture of fast growing and shade tolerant species will be planted on the slope. Retention of tree canopy and the sunscreen will reduce the direct sunlight to the lower canopy where lots of seeds are buried. As a result, the seedling will not be germinated. This arrangement will provide a better chance for the establishment of newly planted seedling/ground covers.

▲ Placing of sunshade screen mesh on the soil surface, and planting of fast growing shade tolerant species


Second Planting Stage

Removal of all ailing L. leucocephala (DBH>150mm) mechanically. Planting of a mixture of slow growing woodland species after the slope was partially open up. The smaller, faster-growing, and shorter- lived early-successional species planted at stage 2 will be replaced by the larger, longer-lived, slowly-growing late-successional species. Melastoma sanguineum, Gordonia axillaris, Mallotus paniculatus, Ficus superba ‘Japonica’, Ligustrum sinensis are the recommended species. ▲ Removal of all matured LL and planting of slow growing native shrubs


Establishment Stage

Operations such as thinning and occasional removal of L. leucocephala seed sprouts may be required.

▲ Thinning and occasional removal of LL

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

Conclusion L leucocephala possesses intrinsic invasive character which makes the species extremely hard to be eradicated completely. Restricting the tree propagation and encouraging the establishment of natural vegetation is a recommended arrangement. It is believed that a sustainable and selfperpetuating ecosystem with diverse community could better resist invasion of this exotic species.

About the Author - Dennis YIP Dennis is an experienced LA with professional tree inspector qualification. In 2012, he was tasked to implement a slope revegetation programme in Stanley Ma Hang Park. This article depicts the countless challenges in removing this highly invasive tree species, L. leucocephala. The writer exhibited a skill and an indomitable spirit in proposing an innovative mechanical control method and an Integrated Management Plan to accelerate the rehabilitation of the native ecosystem in Hong Kong.

Reference 1. Anonymous (1990) leucaena an important multipurpose tree. NFT Highlights 90-01, Hawaii: NFTA.

12. Cronk Q.C.B. & Fuller J.L. (1995). Plant invaders: the threat to natural ecosystems. London: Chapman & Hall.

24. Mahmood et al. (2004). Some observations on mycorrhizae of Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de Wit. Pak. J. Bot. 36(3). pp.659-662.

2. Bassam, N. El (2010) Handbook of Bioenergy Crops: A Complete Reference to Species, Development and Applications. Oxford: Routledge.

13. Davison, S. (1987) Adopting leucaena achievement and a new problem. Rural Research. 134. pp.22-27.

25. Maleko, D. & Mtupile, E. (2012) The Potential of Leucaena leucocephala Pioneer Trees and Cenchrus ciliaris understory grass species in Soil Improvement and Forage Production at Wazo Hill Quarry. Quarry Life Award Report: September 2012

3. Benjamin, A., Shelton, H.M. and Gutteridge, R.C. (1991) Shade tolerance of some tree legumes. In: Shelton, H.M. & Stür, W.W. (eds), Forages for Plantation Crops. ACIAR Proceedings No. 32, Canberra, pp.75-76. 4. Bray, R.A. & Woodroffe, T.D. (1991) Effect of the leucaena psyllid on yield of Leucaena leucocephala cv. Cunningham in southeast Queensland. Tropical Grasslands. 25, pp.356357. 5. Brewbaker, J.L. & Sorensson, C.T. (1990) New tree crops from interspecific Leucaena hybrids. In: Janick, J. and Simon, J.E. (eds), Advances in New Crops. Portland: Timber Press. pp.283289. 6. Brewbaker, J.L., Pluckett, D. & Gonzalez, V. (1972) Varietal variation and yield trials of Leucaena leucocephala (Koa haole) in Hawaii. Hawaii Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin. 166, 26. 7. Brewbaker, J.L., Hegde, N., Hutton, E.M., Jones, R.J., Lowry, J.B., Moog, F. and van den Beldt, R. (1985) Leucaena - Forage Production and Use. NFTA, Hawaii. p.39

14. Duke, J. A. (1983). Handbook of Energy Crops. Available at: newcrop/duke energy/Leucaena leucocephala. html. [Cited, 23 January 2007] 15. Gordon, D. 2001. Cronk, Q. C. B. & J. L. Fuller. (2001). Plant invaders: the threat to natural ecosystems. Conservation Ecology. 5(2) p.3. London: Earthscan Publications. 16. ICRAF. AgroForestry Tree Database “Leucaena leucocephala”. Kenya: World Agroforestry Centre. Retrieved 15 October 2018. 17. Information Services Department. (1983). Hong Kong: The facts (1983). Hong Kong: Information Services Department, HKSAR Government. 18. Isarasenee, A., Shelton, H.M. and Jones, R.M. (1984) Accumulation of edible forage of Leucaena leucocephala cv. Peru over late summer and autumn for use as dry season feed. Leucaena Research Reports. 5. pp.3-4. 19. Jones, R.J. (1979) The value of Leucaena leucocephala as a feed for ruminants in the tropics. World Animal Review. 31. pp.13-23.

8. CAB International. Updated by Julissa R.S., Pedro, A.R. & Pasiecznik, N. Leucaena leucocephala datasheet. Washington DC, CAB International. Available at: datasheet/31634. [Accessed 23 September 2013].

20. Jones, R.M. and Carter, E.D. (1989) Demography of pasture legumes. In: Marten, G.C., Matches, A.G., Barnes, R.F., Brougham, R.W., Clements, RJ. and Sheath, G.W. (eds), Persistence of Forage Legumes. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, Madison, pp.139-158.

9. CAB International (2018). Invasive Species Compendium. Wallingford, UK: CABI

21. Kuo, Y.L. 外來入侵種生態衝擊與防制。屏東大 學森林系。

10. Chen, R.F., Wang, C.Y. & Wang, H.H. (1989) Dissipation of Glyphosate Injected into the Lead Tree (Leucaena leucocephala). Different Seasons in Taiwan. Taiwan J For Sci 23 (4). pp.375-387.

22. Kuo, Y.L.(2007) 入侵樹種銀合歡生態性狀及管 理方案。台灣博物季刊 86-89 頁。臺北:國立臺 灣博物館

11. Cooksley, D.G., Prinsen, J.H. and Paton, C.J. (1988) Leucaena leucocephala production in subcoastal south-east Queensland. Tropical Grasslands. 22. pp.21-26.

23. Little, E.L. & Skolmen, R.G. (1989) Common Forest trees of Hawaii (native and introduced). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Agriculture

26. Ng, S.C. & Corlett, R.T. (2002) The bad biodiversity: alien plant species in Hong Kong. Biodiversity Science. 10(1). pp.109-118. 27. Normaniza, O., Faisal, H.A. & Barakbah, S.S. (2008) Engineering properties of Leucaena leucocophala for prevention of slope failure. Ecological Engineering. 32. pp.215-221. 28. Orwa, C., Mutua, A., Kindt, R., Jamnadass, R. & Simons, A. (2009) Agroforestree Database: a tree reference and selection guide version 4.0. Kenya: World Agroforestry Centre 29. Puri, Sunil & Shamet, G.S. (2012) Rooting of Stem Cuttings of Some Social Forestry Species. International Tree Crops Journal. Available at [Accessed 7 May 2014]. 30. Shelton, H.M. & Brewbaker, J.L.. (1994) Leucaena leucocephala the Most Widely Used Forage Tree Legume. Forage Tree Legumes in Tropical Agriculture (R.C. Gutterige and H.M. Shelton, eds.). CAB Internation, Wallingford, UK. 31. Ter Meulen, U., Struck, S., Schulke, E. & El-Harith, E. A. (1979) A review on the nutritive value and toxic aspects of Leucaena leucocephala. Trop. Anim. Prod. 4:113-26 32. Wolfe, B.T. and van Bloem, S.J. (2012). Subtropical dry forest regeneration in grassinvaded areas of Puerto Rico: Understanding why Leucaena leucocephala dominates and native species fail. Forest Ecology and Management. 267. pp.253-261. 33. Wu, L.H., Wang, C.P. & Wu, W.J. (2013). Effects of temperature and adult nutrition on the development of Acanthoscelides macrophthalmus, a natural enemy of an invasive tree, Leucaena leucocephala. Biological Control. 65. pp.322-329.


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From Seeds to Mature Plants - A Case Study on Growth / Development of the Reed-Like Grass Eric YT LEE, PhD

Ornamental grass is defined as annual or perennial grass valued for its texture and color in landscaping application. In the last four decades, I have witnessed the ever-increasing popularity and acceptance of ornamental grass for landscape uses in United States. With the demand, a big market of ornamental grass was noted and the market has since become bigger and bigger, an industry of ornamental grass hence was formed. At the same time, I also noticed that quite a few of the early species / cultivars of the ornamental grasses in United States were known with its origin of China. With this inspiration, I have sidelined my study on the local grasses with potential ornamental value commencing in my study. Presentations on this topic were given in various relevant conferences in Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Nanjing and Beijing as early as in 2008. Based on my previous study, some 20 local or naturalized grass species found in Hong Kong were considered with potential ornamental value (see Table 1).


Scientific Name

English Name


Arundo donax

Giant Reed



Coix lacryma-jobi

Job’s Tears



Eragrostis curvula*

Weeping Lovegrass



Imperata cylindrica var. major

Lalang Grass



Melinis repens*




Miscanthus spp.




Neyraudia reynaudiana

Reed-like Grass



Panicum maximum*

Guinea Grass



Pennisetum alopecuroides

Plume Grass



Pennisetum ploystachyon

Mission Grass



Pennisetum purpureum*

Elephant Grass



Phragmites australia

Common Reed



Phragmites vallatorius




Saccharum arundinaceum

Reed-Like Sugarcane

斑茅 (大密)


Saccharum spontaneum

Wild Cane



Setaria palmifolia




Sorghum bicolor*




Thysanolaena latifolia*

Tiger Grass



Spinifex littoreus

Littoral Sprinegrass



Vetiveria zizanioides*

Vetiver Grass


* Naturalized / introduced species ▲ Table 1: Grasses with Potential Ornamental Value found in Hong Kong

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Chinese Name

As part of a recent study on the use of local grasses with ornamental potential for landscaping uses in public estates in Hong Kong, various methods were tested in propagating those grasses. These methods included (a) by seeds, (b) by direct transplanting and (c) by division. Of the three methods used, propagation by division and transplanting were proven to be effective in propagating plant material in relative short period of time and with high success rate as well. For propagation by seeds, after a preliminary screening, eight species of grasses were chosen in three germination tests performed. In the first test, of the newly harvested seeds from eight species tested, germination only took place in Melinis repens. Seedlings eventually developed into fully mature plants in 8-10 months. Reasons accounted for the poor success rate among the grass species test were not fully known. However, seed trays placed in open area and subjected to exposure of harsh environment factors such as hot sun, strong wind, heavy rains, draught, etc., also dormancy of grass seeds, requirement of vernalization might have a direct impact on it as well (see Table 2). In the second test, newly harvested seeds from four species were tested. This time, all the pots were placed inside a greenhouse. Of the four species, germination were noted in two species, namely Neyraudia reynaudiana and

No. Grass Species

English Name

Chinese Name



Miscanthus floridulus

Many-flowered Silvergrass




Neyraudia reynaudiana

Reed-like Grass




Pennisetum alopecuroides (two types)

Plume Grass




Pennisetum ploystachyon

Mission Grass



Imperata cylindrica var. major

Lalang Grass


Local Local


Melinis repens



Exotic / Naturalized


Pennisetum setaceum cv. ‘Rubrum’

Red Plume Grass




Pennisetum alopecuroides

Green Plume Grass



▲ Table 2: Selection of grass species for germination tests in this study

again Melinis repens. Development of the two grass species from seeds to full grown mature plants in an 8-10 month period were recorded. Photograph taken roughly regular intervals in this period will be used to exemplify the full development of a local grass with ornamental value from seed to full grown plant. In the third test, newly harvest seeds from tow exotic Pennisetum species, i.e. Pennisetum setaceum cv. ‘Rubrum’ and P. alopecuroides were tested inside the greenhouse. Germination took place in the latter species in about 5 weeks. All the seedling developed into healthy plants up to 800mm tall in five month and expected to flower in another few months.

Development of a Local Grass with Ornamental Value from Seeds to Mature Plants In the various germination tests, site visits were carried out on regularly basis to monitor the growth / development of the germinated seeds. During those visits notes and photographs were taken to record the growth / development of seed from seeds to fully mature plants. Photograph record of the Reed-Like Grass (Neyraudia reynaudiana) is chosen to exemplify the “life cycle” of a local grass with ornamental value, the very first time of such study in record.

General Description of Neyraudia reynaudiana 類籚 Tall reed-like perennial grass 1-3m tall. Apical inflorescence a large plumose panicle, 30-70cm long, primary branches in clusters or solitary, quite showy. Calms is bamboo-like, 3-10mm in diameter quite “woody” with nodes and internodes. Commonly found in stream sides, hillslopes, rocky place and abandoned fields. ▲ Neyraudia reynaudiana


The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會

Growth and development of Neyraudia reynaudiana from Seed to Mature Plant 2017-04-19 • Seeds were collected from mature grass in the field and planted in a pot filled with fabricated soil mix; • Seeds were sown into the soil; • After sowing, the soil was topped with a thin layer of potting compost and watered thoroughly then left on the nursing bench inside the greenhouse; • Watering was carried out when needed.

2017-05-09 • Seeds germinated and seedlings emerged from the soil surface in 20 days; • Height of seedlings ranged from 4-8 mm tall. A total of some 30 seedlings were noted.

2017-05-31 • Seedlings were growing well and attained the height ranged from 80-100 mm.

2017-06-02 • Seedlings were divided into five groups and transplanted into bigger pots.

2017-06-15 • Seedlings settled well in the new pots; • Seedlings continued to grow and attained the height ranged from 150-200mm.



Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018



2017-10-24 • Young inflorescence began to develope.

2017-11-11 • Grasses flowered profusely.

2017-12-26 • Grasses continued to flower and some of the florets had turned into fruits.

2018-01-05 • Front view of the grass showing flowering and fruiting stalks; • Fruits were fully mature and could drop-off any time.

2018-01-16 • Nearly all florets turned into fruits; • This is worth to note that it took less than 9 months from seed to grow up to be a mature plant.


The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會

▲ Recording Neyraudia reynaudiana on open-ground field

Discussion and Conclusion In this study, a list of local grasses with potential ornamental value was given. Of these hidden beauties in our surrounding, six local species plus two exotic ones were chosen for testing of various propagating methods. Both methods including that by seeds and vegetative parts were carried out, however, only results of propagation by seeds as exemplified by Neyraudia reynaudiana are covered in this paper. Of the three germination tests done, poor germinations were noted among the local grass species except perhaps the Melinis repens, a naturalized species as it was the only one species with seeds germinated in both the first and second tests. High germination rate of this species may be the major reason accounted for its success in naturalized in Hong Kong’s urban and rural areas.

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

In the first germination test, seeds were sown on seeds trays and placed in open areas subjected to severe environmental conditions such as exposure to hot sun, drying winds, heavy rains and drought, etc. The intact protective newspaper sheet put on top of the soil surface when not broken down in early days might seal up the surface preventing the newly germinated seedling getting through, resulted in death of the seedling underneath.

germination took place in Neyraudia reynaudiana and Melinis repens and the two exotic Pennisetum species respectively. For germinated seeds of Neyraudia reynaudiana as shown above, time required for development of the seedling to mature plant laden with flowers and fruits was a mere 8-10 months: A phenomenon first recorded and documented among local grasses with potential ornamental value collected in the wild.

This would explain why in the second and third germination tests, no newspaper was used. Also all the seed trays/pots were place on a bench inside a greenhouse, i.e. under a protected environment free of any adverse impacts by weather.

Similar duration for developing from seedlings to mature plants was recorded for Malines repens (first and second germination tests) and the two exotic Pennisetum species (third germination test).

In the second and third germination tests,

In all three tests, it was noted that there was no apparent dormancy observed

among the newly collected seeds of Neyraudia reynaudiana, Melinis repens, Pennisetum setaceum cv. ‘Rubrum’ and P. alopecuroides in this study. Although there were no statistic figures to indicate that no dormancy among all the other grass species tested, it is still fair to conclude that it may be the case pending for further studies. In the sister part of this study, it was proven that propagation of the local grass with potential value by vegetative means, i.e. by direct transplanting of young plants, by division of the basal turfs and even by cuttings (not included in this study) would be an effective way in getting large number of mature plants to be used for landscaping purpose. As a matter of fact, mature grasses produced in this study had already used in a pilot landscape site in Public Housing Development at Anderson Road in April 2018.

Acknowledgements The above paper is the result of part of the study supported by Housing Authority’s Study on the Application of Ornamental Grasses cum Review of Turf Construction and Maintenance in Public Housing Developments. I am in debt to Mr. S.C. Lo, Senior Landscape Architect and Mr. Thomas Tai, Mr. Dean Tam and Miss Carmen Lee, Landscape Architects of the Housing Department for their guidance and support throughout the entire course of this study. My gratitude is extended to Mr. D.N. Kua, Mr. Kevin Kua and Miss Kinsey Fan of Pegasus Greenland Ltd. for the provision of nursery site and staff in maintaining the grasses in this study, and to Dr. Anthony Tse of Clover Seeds Company Ltd. for the use of their greenhouse facility in the second and third grass seed germination tests.

In spite of the primitive nature of this study, e.g. limited number of species tested, insufficient sampling, etc., we managed to open a new frontier and learnt that local ornamental grasses could be propagate effectively in large numbers and in a relatively short period of time. With that, this group of untapped local beauties in the wild can be incorporated into our urban landscaping designs in the future, the site in Anderson Road would serve as an example on it. It is anticipated that this study can be further expanded to cover more species and executed in a more scientific way so that results derived from this study will be more conclusive and convincing.

About the Author - Eric YT LEE, PhD Dr. Lee is Senior Honorary Research Fellow of the School of Life Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the Founding and Immediate Pass President of Hong Kong Institute of Horticultural Science. Dr. Lee is also a renowned turfgrass expert, local and international. Previous paper published in Yuan Lin (Issue 2015): Amenity and Sports turfgrass in Hong Kong.


The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會

OPINION Landscape - The Next 30 Years John DAINTON, FHKILA


The Case for a Landscape Archive Yin-lun CHAN, HKILA, RLA

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018


Landscape - The Next 30 Years John DAINTON, FHKILA

I arrived in Hong Kong in 1982 and joined the Institute closely thereafter, however, having switched into Construction, I haven’t acted as Consultant for the last 25 years, but I like to think that I have acted Professionally throughout all that time. To act Professionally is what we ask of Candidates when they interview for Membership of the Institute. To be a Professional requires not only knowing the requirements expected by the Institute, it requires a Member to understand them and to act upon them. We are required to be dutiful and to act, as it were, within the strictures of a ‘Moral Code’. Unfortunately, during last years’ verbal examinations, we noted a disconcerting number of Interviewees who seemed to believe that it was sufficient to learn the requirements by rote and therefore be able to provide a stock answer to a stock question. Not so. Understanding involves having the ability to adapt the prevailing principles to a changing dynamic - and the dynamic is certainly changing. I do not envy the Candidates for this coming years’ examinations as our Profession has become ever more complex and Professionalism ever more difficult to define and practice. To be dutiful, we must understand that which is required of us and, if those requirements are unjust, we cannot simply say to ourselves, “Oh well. Those are the rules. Black and White. Keep your head down and get on with it.” Rather, it is necessary that we should object and do what we can to get things changed, so that other things can be done correctly. It is essential that we defend our integrity lest we fall into the trap which appears to have befallen Hong Kong Politics whereby, in an effort to ensure that everything is politically correct, nothing gets approved. We cannot afford to be afraid of making mistakes, this is a cancer that has grown in our Government and our Civil Service, resulting in an almost complete inability to make value based decisions. Decisions

that may not please all the People but which are for the common good. Yes, there should be Interest Groups, but should every Interest Group command our attention? We have the Financial Interest Groups, those who are only concerned with profit and lessening the risk of exposure for those profits. Blame them for the ever increasing sterility of our environment, particularly playgrounds and anything remotely educational, and take them to task. We have the Safety Interest Groups, hand in glove with the Financiers, they appear to have completely subjugated our fellow Professionals, the Engineers and seem intent on subjugating our environment until it becomes one vast, formless, grey, rubberised mass. We have the Green Interest who appear to view the Environment as sacrosanct, okay it is, but not to the exclusion of all else. There are a myriad others. When I arrived in Hong Kong, I had the privilege of working for a while with Michael Kirkbride, one of, if not the, founding father of Landscape Architecture here. When he had first arrived, a considerable area of the Territory was still denuded, forests having been logged into extinction by the Japanese army and local people in need of fuel, they never had the chance to regrow. Michael told me, gleefully, how he had begged tree seed from every Botanic garden in Asia and then begged a ride from the Government Flying Services.

Much of Hong Kong was re-seeded, by air with the view that, “If it grows, all well and good and if it’s not indigenous, well Mother nature will sort that out.” Can you imagine the furore if that were attempted now? But Mother Nature does indeed appear to have sorted it out and there are some very interesting specimens growing in gullies and secluded spots all over Hong Kong as a result. If Michael had been hamstrung by Committees and ISO 9000 nonconformities, that never would have happened and our environment would be the poorer for it. I’m all for Integrity, but sometimes it is in our interests to be a little bit Piratical and, after all, this ought to be a fun way to make a living. I have generally found it so, although greyness seems to creeping round my feet. The point I’m trying to make here is that sometimes it is worth thinking outside the box, sometimes it is worth taking a risk, sometimes we have to rely on our Professionalism to know what’s right and what needs to be done, to make the decision and follow it through. We might make a mistake which, all things considered, is unlikely to be the end of the World but, if we never stand up for our principles and never make a decision , then it might just be the end of the World worth living in. Good luck with that and don’t forget the fun.

About the Author - John DAINTON John worked as a Landscape Architect for 6 years in the UK before coming to Hong Kong in 1982. He worked for 10 years in Consultancy here before accidentally ending up in Construction, which has been his passion for the last 26 years. As a Contractor specializing in theming works he has constantly pushed the envelope to deliver ‘Creativity’ while battling the strictures of the rigid disciplines that increasingly fetter our thinking. John is now working as a solo Consultant working with Professionals and Contractors on anything weird. Motto – “Rules can be changed”.


The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會

The Case for a Landscape Archive Yin-lun CHAN, HKILA, RLA

The illusive and transitory nature of landscape marks landscape architecture apart from other disciplines of the construction industry. Documenting changes of the landscape and its profession becomes an often neglected but unique art. For a long time, landscape documents in Hong Kong have not been systematically archived for historical research. The author argues for the setting up of a cross-sector landscape archive, in which the HKILA could play a central role. One of the most beautiful things about landscape is its illusive and transitory nature. Its spatial qualities changes day and night, and fluctuates through the seasons. Trees grow bigger each day, as their larger ecology matures. Inhabitants come and go, their appearances reflecting cycles of fashion. There are indefinite number of ways to archive a landscape, whether by photographs, drawings of realised or unrealised designs, diagrams, charts, literary accounts, specification and contracts, evaluations and assessments, videos and films, they all capture snippets of a landscape at particular time and condition. Out of all these ‘debris’ of history, the landscape historian attempts make sense of landscapes, create narratives, and enable us to further understand their processes, contemplate their very nature, and layer new meanings. To begin, one might ask, where should the curious student of landscape history search in order to look for that marvellous moment of encountering that one piece of historic puzzle that would point its way towards uncovering an entire field

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

of untold mystery? The investigator could probably start with the government archives, company records, building periodicals, and other published sources to try his or her luck. But in the context of Hong Kong, the availability of archival material for landscapes as compared to architectural and planning documents appear scarce or unsystematic. Landscape submissions to government are minimal, and documentary requirements for projects vary. Individual companies may have better organised archives than others, but Hong Kong’s earliest landscape consultants date only up to the 70s and management changes over time. Perhaps more so than many other places, Hong Kong’s cost for space is high, and archival materials more often than not get discarded over time. Landscape projects sometimes appear in construction periodicals, but specialised publications on landscape appear sporadic, to say the least. The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects (HKILA) is stepping into the celebration of its 30th anniversary, and there is a growing desire to write accounts of Hong Kong’s landscape

history, whether from the perspective of the development of its material landscape, the business side of the landscape profession, the growth of landscape education, or the populace’s changing attitudes towards landscape. Tied to Hong Kong’s larger cultural history, we are also interested to know more about the transnational flows of personnel, ideas, fashion, capital, and materials over the different periods of history. How has people occupied and inhabited our designed landscapes? How has the ecological and natural systems developed over the years? How have these systems been sustainable or resilient over development pressures and other foreseeable or unforeseeable changes? These are all topical research questions that is not possible to answer without the availability of documented data. Overseas organisations such as The Cultural Landscape Foundation have over the last 20 years been actively establishing a comprehensive database of North America’s important cultural landscapes. Closer to us, the Asian Cultural Landscape Association have

also been drawing together landscape scholars from across Asia to discuss different aspects of documenting and evaluating heritage landscapes. At home, there have been a number of individuals and organisations who have continuously advocated for a conservation policy that accounts for entire pieces of cultural landscapes, rather than the current system which only grades and lists individual buildings and monuments. Regretting the irreversible loss of culturally significant sites such as the Tiger Balm Garden, community groups and the public have, with various successes, stopped the demolition of places like the King Yin Lei and the West Wing of the Central Government Offices, partly for their significance as important pieces of cultural landscapes. In 2014, the Pokfulam Village was included on the World Monuments Watch list as a piece of important heritage landscape under the threat of development. Much of these efforts have gathered pools of information that are rather important for the historical development of Hong Kong’s landscapes. What would be helpful is a more systematic archiving and storing of these information collected over the years, and making them available for access. The job of the archivist is one quite uniquely of its own kind. It is different from that of the historian’s, and comes before it. The archivist collects, out of the vast universe of documents and data, those considered worthwhile, and systematically categorises them to make them searchable and retrievable. Without appropriate regulations and practices, information is lost as time passes, and the possibilities of generating historical accounts are lost in the process. Archiving and sorting through materials is one of those jobs that cannot be rushed, cannot be done overnight, but rather, must be conducted studiously and continuously. A properly resourced archive would, in addition to the collection of materials, also be periodically exhibiting and publishing its collections, organising forums, setting agendas for research and discussion. Much of this requires a close collaboration among cultural institutions, academics, and professional organisations. Within this, it is not immediately obvious where the landscape archive would be situated,

and managed by who. Potentially, the landscape archive may be part of a larger museum institution such as the Leisure and Cultural Services Department or M+; or perhaps part of a university of public library network; or perhaps, an independent institution similar to the Asia Art Archive, and possibly affiliated to professional institutions such as the HKILA and supported by private practices; or perhaps, run by university research programmes. Anyhow, there is an overlap of responsibilities and what is most clear at the moment is the absence of the role of any archivist at work. The HKILA, like many other developing organisations, upon becoming 30 years of age and growing larger in size, is in need of a thorough examination of its existing archive, and the planning of its expansion. Over the years, we have maintained the regular publication of newsletters and journal Yuan Lin (previously Yuen Lin); biannually awarded the HKILA Design Awards; commissioned studies and reviews in relation to the status of our profession, policies, and programmes; issued public statements and corresponded with government departments and other professional institutions; and organised seminars and conferences for the facilitation of dialogue and the continuing professional development of our members. These are all valuable resources for the understanding of the development of the landscape profession in relation to Hong Kong’s urban development and also the regional development of landscape architectural practice, and they should be systematically organised and made available for the future research of historians, or other interested members. The digital turn has created both opportunities and challenges for the maintenance and storage of materials. On the one had, the digitised archive has significantly resolved the issue of physical space. However, without the constraint of volume, one is easy to

become off-guard. For without sufficient discipline or a strict filing system, digital files are easily devoured by vortexes of the epic data universe, rendered unretrievable from their data black holes. Given such context, the HKILA is now undergoing a review of its existing materials and its overall archival system. The intention is to make this material more accessible for researchers and historians who are interested in this part of Hong Kong’s development history. Furthermore, this material would be made ready to become part of a larger landscape archive, which would form the basis of a more critical debate culture for Hong Kong’s landscape practice. Landscape architectural discourses in Hong Kong has historically been rather thin, to say the least, and in order for the profession and the discipline to mature, this is an indispensable aspect that has been somehow neglected. This returns to the purposes for studying and writing history in the context of the landscape profession. It is not possible to situate our current practice without knowledge of the path trodden before reaching our current status. There were reasons for things to have taken certain paths, and varying successes and failures to strategies tried. Whether stylistic and material developments, changes in attitudes and what are considered best practices, our position in the regional and global contexts, geopolitical climate, or socioeconomic aspects, landscape architecture in Hong Kong has developed amidst our changing sociocultural and natural environments, and in order to make sense of these historical processes, and be able to make strategic plans for our future, it is only fit that we continue to build knowledge upon these intertwined historical trajectories and their influences to our landscapes and our profession.

About the Author - Yin-lun CHAN Yin-lun is a landscape architect and urban historian. He is currently Honorary Secretary of the Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects and is the editor of The History of the Landscape Profession of Hong Kong.


The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會

Lpod - HKILA Newsletter The HKILA Newsletter - Lpod, offers a platform to exchange information and ideas in relation to all aspects of landscape architecture. Articles cover: • • • • • • •

Landscape projects; Landscape designs over the world; Commentaries on landscape publications; Interviews with practitioners / scholars; Landscape technologies; Major events; and Education activities.

Yuan Lin 2019 Landscape for Resilient Cities Yuan Lin is an official journal of the Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects, which promote the work of landscape architects and related professionsand advancement of the landscape architectural profession. Topic of Yuan Lin 2019 is “Landscape for Resilient Cities”. More details will be provided in early 2019.

The past issues of the HKILA Newsletter Lpod and Yuan Lin are available for review at For suggestions and contributions, please e-mail to or send to the Publications Committee, Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects, P.O. Box 20561, Johnston Road Post Office, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018


Our Mission 1. To act as a training ground for young members to familiarize with the Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects operation with the aim to succeed the management of the Institute in the future; 2. To create a platform for younger members of the Institute to discuss and express views on the profession, and to ensure that these voices are represented in the larger body of the Institute; 3. To facilitate connection among Student Members, recent graduates, and senior members of the Institute through mentorship programs and other activities and events;

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4. To encourage active involvement from younger members of the Institute; 5. To liaise with the Young Professional Groups of related local, regional, and international professional bodies; 6. To advance the influence of young Landscape Architects by connecting them with leaders in relevant fields; 7. To promote the profession of Landscape Architecture to the wider community of youngsters, including high school students and university students from related disciplines through outreach activities, with the aim to attract more Student and Affiliate Memberships; 8. To contribute to local communities through participation in public discussions and volunteering professional services to those in need.

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YLAG Committee Members 2018-2019 Position


Chairperson Vice-Chairlady Vice-Chairlady (THEi Representative) Secretary Treasurer (THEi Representative) Social Relations Publications Committee Committee Committee Member (BCU Representative) Committee Member (HKDI Representative) Committee Member (HKU Representative) YLAG Helper YLAG Helper YLAG Helper YLAG Helper

Keith HUANG Katherine WONG Crystal CHENG Aaron YU Alex YUNG Emma TAI Yeva YEUNG Ruby SUEN Justin YIP Ronald CHEUNG Ken KWONG Angel WONG Calvin CHU Hendron CHU Raymond HO Jack MOK

9. To assist the Institute in the organization of functions and events, formulation of views/comments on landscape related issues, and communication with other professional institutes.

How To Join Us All members of HKILA who have accumulated less than 10 years of membership after graduation from accredited programme (or equivalent) or university students from related disciplines are included as a member of the YLAG. Membership application package form can be found at YLAG welcomes more committee members or voluntary helpers to help with our events. Should you be interested, please email us at Find us on our social media platforms:


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Registered Practices ACLA Limited 傲林國際

(852) 2893 3933 (852) 2832 2110 Tel: Fax: Email: Website: Address: 1901, AXA Tower, Landmark East, 100 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong 香港九龍九龍東巧明街100號Landmark East安盛金融大樓1901樓

ADI Limited 雅博奧頓國際設計有限公司

(852) 2131 8630 (852) 2131 8609 Tel: Fax: Email: Website: Address: 10/F, Bangkok Bank Building, 18 Bonham Strand West, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong 香港上環文咸西街18號盤谷銀行大廈10樓

AECOM Asia Company Limited

(852) 3922 9000 / 3922 8014 (852) 3922 9797 Tel: Fax: Email: Website: Address: 7/F, Grand Central Plaza, Tower 2, 138 Shatin Rural Committee Road, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong 香港新界沙田鄉事會路138號新城市中央廣場第2座7樓

Axxa Group Limited 景峰國際(香港)有限公司

(852) 2893 8586 (852) 2893 8997 Tel: Fax: Email: Website: N/A Address: Room 4501-02, 45/F, China Online Centre, 333 Lockhart Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong 香港灣仔駱克道333號中國網絡中心45樓4501-02室

Belt Collins International (HK) Limited 貝爾高林國際(香港)有限公司

(852) 2528 9233 (852) 2520 0878 Tel: Fax: Email: Website: Address: 21/F, AXA Southside, 38 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong 香港黃竹坑道38號安盛匯21樓

Constance Design Studio Limited 安騰園林規劃顧問

(852) 3590 5248 (852) 3590 5249 Tel: Fax: Email: Website: Address: 1201, China Resources Building, Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong 香港港灣道26號華潤大廈1201室

Earthasia Limited 泛亞環境有限公司

(852) 2559 9438 (852) 2559 9841 Tel: Fax: Email: Website: Address: 11/F, COFCO Tower, 262 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong 香港銅鑼灣告士打道262號中糧大廈11樓

Kenneth Ng & Associates Limited 吳振麒園境規劃事務所有限公司

(852) 2866 3903 (852) 2866 3923 Tel: Fax: Email: Website: N/A Address: Room 501B, Block B, Sea View Estate, 4-6 Watson Road, North Point, Hong Kong 香港北角屈臣道4-6號海景大廈501B室

Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018

Listed in alphabetical order

KO Landscape Architects Limited 高天佑景觀設計有限公司

(852) 2793 9237 (852) 2780 5855 Tel: Fax: Email: Website: Address: The HIVE, 5 Tai Mong Tsai Road, Sai Kong, N.T., Hong Kong 香港西貢大網仔路五號

LWK Landscape Limited 梁黃顧境觀設計事務所有限公司

(852) 2574 1633 (852) 2572 4908 Tel: Fax: Email: Website: Address: 15/F, North Tower, World Finance Centre, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong 九龍尖沙咀海港城環球金融中心北座15樓

Otherland Limited

(852) 2893 0270 (852) 2893 3139 Tel: Fax: Email: Website: Address: 2/F, On Tin Centre, 1 Sheung Hei Street, San Po Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong 香港九龍新蒲崗雙喜街1號安田中心2樓

Scenic Landscape Studio Limited 新域園境規劃有限公司

(852) 2468 2422 (852) 3016 2422 Tel: Fax: Email: Website: Address: Room 2004, 299QRC, 299 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong 香港中環皇后大道中299號2​ 0樓2​004室

TEAM 73 HK Limited 地利環境顧問有限公司

(852) 2865 5713 (852) 2865 4809 Tel: Fax: Email: Website: Address: Units 1301-1304, 13/F, Wayson Commercial Building, 28 Connaught Road West, Hong Kong 香港​上環干諾道西28號威勝商業大厦1301-1304室

The Design Catalogue Hong Kong Limited 境思香港有限公司

(852) 2832 9993 / 9386 6248 Tel: Email: Website: Address: Room 2402, 24/F, 101 King’s Road, Fortress Hill, Hong Kong 香港北角英皇道101號成報大廈24樓2402室

URBIS Limited 雅邦規劃設計有限公司

(852) 2802 3333 (852) 2802 8662 Tel: Fax: Email: Website: Address: 11/F, Siu On Centre, 188 Lockhart Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong 香港灣仔駱克道188號兆安中心11樓

For latest information, please visit The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects 香港園境師學會


Government Bureau and Departments with Landscape Teams Development Bureau 發展局 Works Branch, Greening, Landscape and Tree Management Section 16/F, West Wing, Central Government Offices, 2 Tim Mei Avenue, Tamar, Hong Kong

Architectural Services Department 建築署 Architectural Branch, Landscape Division 40/F, High Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong

Civil Engineering and Development Department 土木工程拓展署 Headquarters, Technical Branch, Landscape Unit; and Civil Engineering Office, Land Works Division, Landscape Section Civil Engineering and Development Building, 101 Princess Margaret Road, Homantin, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Drainage Services Department 渠務署 Headquarters, Technical Support Group 43/F, Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Highways Department 路政署 Headquarters, Landscape Division 6th Floor, Trade and Industry Tower, 3 Concorde Road, San Po Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Housing Department 房屋署 Housing Authority Headquarters, 33 Fat Kwong Street, Ho Man Tin, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Lands Department 地政總署 Lands Administration Office, Tree Unit Level 2, Sceneway Plaza, 1-17 Sceneway Road, Lam Tin, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Planning Department 規劃署 District Planning Branch, Special Duties Division, Urban Design & Landscape Section, Landscape Unit 15/F, North Point Government Offices, 333 Java Road, Hong Kong

Water Supplies Department 水務署 Supply and Distribution (Urban) Branch, Slope Safety Section Immigration Tower, 43rd Floor, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong For latest information, please visit Government Telephone Directory or website of related Bureau/Departments Yuan Lin 園林 30th Anniversary Special Edition 2018