WIT Press

Is Hong Kong Transport Sustainable?


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WIT Press


J. Karakiewicz


Different transportation systems produce different types of cities and therefore places and spaces within them. The forms of modern cities are therefore subject to modes of movement and transportation, namely, walking, mass transit, and personal automobiles. Walking cities are usually associated with European towns, which gained their vitality from their compactness of the dense city centres. In these cities pedestrians come first. Most of them have also high quality and integrated public transport. The compact nature of Hong Kong’s urban form may be compared with the form of the European medieval city. But instead of being compacted by walls Hong Kong is compacted by its topography: the sea and the unstable hills. As a result, Hong Kong has become a great example of a compact city, one of the very few in the world. The Hong Kong transport system works extremely well. It is probably the only public transport system in the world that makes a profit. But is Hong Kong transport sustainable? Keywords: sustainability, high-density, layering, mix-use, accessibility. 1 Definitions of sustainable transport In April 2001 the EU Ministry of Transport and Communication at their meeting in Luxemburg adopted the following statement as European Union’s definition on Sustainable transport: \“A sustainable transport is one that: •Allows the basic access and development needs of individuals, companies and societies to met safely and in a manner consistent with human and ecosystem health, and promotes equity within and between successive generations; •Is affordable, operates fairly and efficiently, offers choice of transport modes, and supports a competitive economy, as well as balanced regional development;


sustainability, high-density, layering, mix-use, accessibility.