Population in Hong Kong is climbing steadily since the past decades. The need for housing is becoming more demanding. Unfortunately, insufficient number of housings makes its price keep rising and the resident land use is share about 7% in total.(Planning Department, 2016), the new generation is more difficult to buy a flat. Therefore, the government is exploring the possibility of putting up public housings on the periphery of country parks. There are numerous advantages towards the action of building public housings on the fringes of country parks. Firstly, for social aspect, this action can push down the property prices. Ray & James (2004) stated that Hong Kong residents are unable to get a property due to the fast inflation.
Thus, there are more than 275,000 applications for public housings nowadays. Meanwhile, country parks cover 40% of the total area of Hong Kong. If the fringes of country parks are used to build public housings, this can reduce the insufficient housing problem and people are easier to get a property. (SCMP, 2017)Secondly, for economic aspect, putting up public housings helps produce job opportunities. Eddie, Albert, Francis, Andrew, Barbara(2000) found that land development helps bolster economic growth, is an important role to sharp economies. In 2017, there are around 117,800 unemployed.
Exploiting the country park lands helps the unemployed get a job so as to bolster Hong Kong’s integral development and economic growth. Thirdly, for environmental aspect, this action results in a win win situation of solving housing problem and rearranging the land use. As there are insufficient number of lands for building more public housing, rearranging the derelict land to build public housings helps group the scraped lands into a complete soil. We can also utilize the land efficiently. Although there are many pros towards putting up public housings on the periphery of country parks, every coin has two sides, the disadvantages of this action are as follows.
Firstly, for social aspect, building public housing on the fringes of the country parks cuts off the green area for relaxing. According to an article , once the government gives the project a green light, this affects people’s quality of lives(HKEJ, 2017).As Hong Kong is an international financial center, most urban lands are used to build commercial buildings or shopping centres.
Hence, if country parks are also developed, there will have even less amount of green areas for citizens to do exercises or to relax. In the long term, this may affect human’s health which is unfavourable to Hong Kong’s social sustainability. Secondly, for economic aspect, this action creates a large scale of construction cost. Since country parks are remote area from city centre, it may not include sufficient facilities for living, such as transportation and infrastructure. More facilities are needed which consists of high construction cost, which is detrimental to economic sustainability.Thirdly, for environmental aspect, developing the fringes of country parks destroys the environment and animals’ natural habitat (HKEJ, 2017). Due to the rapid development in Hong Kong, many natural environment has been already exploited. Once estate developers start putting up public housings at those areas, more trees will be cut down.
In the meantime, bulldozers and concrete mixer trucks roar across country parks. Ultimately, the ecosystem is affected by the noise and muddy environment and animals are more difficult to survive. All in all, developing the fringes of country parks leads to numerous pros and cons in three aspects. There is no doubt that putting up public housings at country parks can help reduce the insufficient housing problems. However, this would result in the decrement of green areas as well as destroying animals’ living places. It is challenging for the government to take a balance between the supply of housings and the environmental sustainability.
Taking all factors into consideration, developing the periphery of country parks seems to be a great idea which can help Hong Kong citizens earn a better life. Building more housings by transforming derelict land into residential land can enhance residents’ quality of life.