Following Grosvenor Asia Pacific’s latest neighbourhood research on Kennedy Town highlighting a strong desire by residents for the waterfront to be used in a much more effective way, the company sponsored a student design competition for THEi’s (Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong) BA (Hons) in Landscape Architecture Urban Regeneration studio. The three winning entries won by students from the studio were: Wong Yuen Ning for her submission “Energizing Kennedy Town Waterfront”; Leung Lok Lam Samuel for “Harmony” and Ho Shu Leung Sam’s submission, “Connecting Community”.
The Gold and Silver design competition entries focused on better waterfront accessibility for Kennedy Town whilst the Bronze entry dealt specifically with relieving traffic congestion and increasing places to sit in the neighbourhood. The winning submission concept plans will be exhibited at Little Creatures restaurant in Kennedy Town (5A New Praya Kennedy Town, Sai Wan, Kennedy Town) from Monday, 18th December 2017 – Friday, 22nd December 2017.
Entitled ‘Kennedy Town: A neighbourhood in transition’, Grosvenor’s research explored how developers can balance commercial interests with the spirit and desires of one community, and thereby make a positive contribution to neighbourhoods in Hong Kong and across Asia Pacific. Through qualitative and quantitative data, the research showed that Kennedy Town residents see their neighbourhood as vibrant, combining new and traditional, local and international elements. Key findings of the research included:
High levels of identification and satisfaction with the neighbourhood: 91% of Kennedy Town residents are satisfied with their neighbourhood. This is almost 20% higher than the average level of neighbourhood satisfaction in Hong Kong as measured in our 2016 study
80% of respondents think that Kennedy Town has improved in recent years
Kennedy Town residents strongly believe the neighbourhood has unique character in the context of increased homogeneity in Hong Kong. Whilst understanding that new transport inevitably brings new development, and has improved the neighbourhood, they wish to maintain the uniqueness of the community
There was a clear desire for more places in which the community can interact in an informal setting - especially along the waterfront.
Residents are mostly positive and satisfied with the neighbourhood due to its high connectivity, relative density, amenity provision and natural aspects. However they wish to see the unique characteristics of the neighbourhood maintained and enhanced. This suggests the desirability of more, and better quality, spaces for the community to interact in informal settings.
Ian Mair, Chief Operating Officer, Grosvenor Asia Pacific, who judged the design competition commented:
“As one of the largest private property companies in the world, Grosvenor has been associated with the making and shaping of great neighbourhoods for more than 300 years. We wanted to encourage students on the Urban Regeneration program to unleash their creativity to design community-focused, inclusive public spaces for Kennedy Town.
We hope this research strengthens and guides the discussion about neighbourhood developments in Asia Pacific, supported by our ‘Living cities’ philosophy, which motivates us to take a holistic approach to development. This is an exciting time for Grosvenor Asia Pacific, as we look to go deeper into our chosen cities of Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo, and further develop schemes that are aligned with the needs and aspirations of the local community.”
Grosvenor also hopes the research will further initiate a dynamic discussion of cities and their neighborhoods by engaging a diverse group of respected and leading thinkers to provide insights into the ground-level, human-scale aspects of real estate.
The Neighbourhood Series
The research underpins the second instalment of The Neighbourhood Series, a forum hosted by Grosvenor Asia Pacific. This year’s discussion, with a focus on Kennedy Town, surveyed opinions on neighborhoods and gathered a diverse panel of industry experts from arts and culture commentators to architects and designers to have an insightful dialogue on identifying gaps and opportunities for Kennedy Town.
The event featured a group of influential panellists, including Sir Terry Farrell (Architect & Urban Designer), Evan Auyang (Chairman, Civic Exchange; Head of Asia Pacific, Gerson Lehrman Group), Patricia Choi (Designer & Founder, Wontonmeen), Tobias Berger (Head of Art, Old Bailey Galleries at Tai Kwun), Stanley Wong (anothermountainman – Visual communicator) and Christopher DeWolf (Author & Journalist).
The panel concluded that in Kennedy Town there is a tension between informal urbanism, where neighbourhood business and social patterns determine development, and formal urbanism, where government imposes top-down patterns of development on a community. The panel identified the need for more quality public space in Hong Kong, including Kennedy Town. Panelists also noted the nostalgia that develops in a community as it matures over time, a longing for neighbourhoods in which everyone shares a strong sense of community identity. These needs have to be balanced with a neighbourhood’s desire for usable infrastructure, such as an MTR station or a swimming pool. Developers must take these issues into account as they design and build for the future.
THEi BA (Honours) in Landscape Architecture Urban Regeneration Studio
THEi is a newly established degree offering Institute in Hong Kong providing education programmes that are of high demand in the regions. THEi’s landscape architecture is the largest landscape programme in Hong Kong reputed for nurturing design professionals that align with the industry and society needs.
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Notes to Editors
Grosvenor Asia Pacific
Grosvenor Asia Pacific is an investor, developer and asset manager, active in the region for over 20 years. We operate across the residential, office and multi-use sectors and are currently deepening our knowledge and expertise in our core cities: Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo, whilst also increasing our development exposure. Ultimately, we aim to play an influential role in the positive transformation of these cities as they continue to grow. As at 31 December 2015, Grosvenor Asia Pacific had assets under management of HK$8.1bn.
For more information visit the website www.grosvenor.com @Grosvenor_Asia