This is the submission by Community Development Initiative (CDI) on the Stage 3 Public Engagement Exercise of WKCD.By reviewing the whole process of the 3rd stage of Public Engagement by the WKCDA, CDI suggest thatall stakeholders should have equal opportunity to express their view regarding both hardware and software development of WKCDso as to enhance the comprehensiveness of the consultation exercise. . Nonetheless, there is only a month for the 3rd PE which separate master plan from arts development. Therefore, it is concerned that community opinions will be less represented inthe latter part. Apart from this, at this stage, we would like to focus on the following issues:
Although there is a Xiqu Center in WKCDand will be built in the first place, Literacy Artshas been absent from the emphasis. As a short term measure to address this weakness, it should actualize the plan to place Literacy Arts Center for facilitating relevant education. As for the long term, it is necessary to place a small scale Literacy Arts Museum and relevant facilities (such as library) for promoting Xiqu, new Xiqu and contemporary literature.
It is also noted that the current round of PE has yet emphasized the importance of art cultivation and synergy of current art sector and community in the city. It would be doubtful if the proposed model of art cultivation and sponsorship of WKCD could be sustainable and contented without inputs from the art sector and community.
In the stage 2 of PE, CDI has requested to concern the visual impact regarding the XRL station development. If there is no change on XRL office and residential building plan, it will block the visual landscape from Yau Ma Tei and Jordan area to WKCD. Therefore, WKCDA should cooperate and communicate with MTRC for this issueso as to avoid disconnection between WKCD and the already-built community in Jordan and Yau Ma Tei area as promised.
WKCD will be a place to provide an opportunity for appreciating beautiful landscape. Therefore, CDI suggests setting up cycling lanes to connect WKCD to the neighborhoods (for example, from Canton to West Kowloon Shelter then to Olympic Station and so on).
Public Open Space
CDI has also noticed the public open space (i.e. the park and the square) within the WKCD available in the project and would like to express our concern to the rules of utilization. In order to facilitate art cultivation and exchanges between audiences and any art forms, public open space specified in the WKCD premise should free from bureaucratic procedure that hinders art development and cultivation. It is expected that WKCD will not suffer issues arisen in current privately managed public open space debate.
Electric BRT as an alternative in transition
Referring to the Master Plan, the reserved space for monorail proposed by Foster & Partners has been cancelled. However, it is necessary to build it for improving the transportation in WKCD especially between M+ and Canton Road. It should be noted that building therailway connectionis an important investment with low reversibility. For this, at this stage, bus rapid transit (BRT) may be a possible alternative transportation system which combines the advantages of rail system (reliability) and bus system (lower operating costs and flexibility). As it is a flexible system, it can be regarded as a supportive system for the underground in the long run.
Community Development Initiative is a thinktank for incubating and facilitating initiatives for community and social development. Apart from submissions being made in previous PE sessions of the WKCD, CDI had also organized ‘Dialogue with the Architects’ series with the objective of facilitating exchanges between 3 designing firms in the 2nd PE and the general public.