Stephen Davies - Back To The Future

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China Maritime Conference 2010, Hong Kong.



2. WORKING PORTS WORK FOR EVERYONE Once upon a time ours did then Hong Kong government planners got to work 3. 1950s a beach at the dockyards in Hunghom 1950s busy and accessible in Wanchai 1950s dragon boating in the harbour no sharp chop 4. 1960s busy water use and accessibility in Causeway Bay (remember the floating restaurants and the flower boats?) 1960s murky but accessible in Western 5. 1970s - busy, getting less accessible (spot the railings-on-everything fever beginning) but stillswimmable, though on government figures, it was more polluted then than now! 6. A dynamic, modern, attractive waterfront and a people friendly harbour are going to require creative destruction of an order of magnitude far beyond the imaginations and capabilities of Hong Kongs planners and planning system now or at any time in the future Todays harbour50% smaller than in 1841 and 35% smaller than in 1965Its shores used for decades as a waste dump for service buildings, roads, badly designed piers and sea walls and screened by tower blocks commanding harbour views from their windows while blocking everyone elses! 7. 8. Compare Britains over 40 maritime museums with Hong Kongs one and a half Heres why its such a mess and is likely to remain so Almost no one involved in decision making has any sympathy for, understanding of, emotional attachment to or interest in matters maritime whether heritage, commercial or recreational.

  • For example, the Sea Vision UK campaign 2004 assessed a wavering Britannia and found the average Briton is increasingly divorced from the sea:
  • 75% of respondents wouldnt take any job in the marine sector
  • 25% of the supposedly seafaring nation fear or dislike the sea
  • Only 1% is aware that Britain depends on marine transport!

In Hong Kong the numbers are probably95%, 50-75%+ and


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