Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Public transit must come first to get to a walkable city - Hong Kong Transport Secretary

Speech by STH at Walkable City, Living Streets - Conference on Pedestrian Network Planning, Safety and Streets as Public Spaces in Hong Kong: "if a densely populated city like Hong Kong is to function well as a walkable city, we must first of all provide an efficient mass transit system so as to free up road space. The entire city should be well served by easily accessible public transport with good intermodal connectivity, and pedestrians should be able to move around in a safe and comfortable environment. At the same time, the needs of the elderly and disabled must be well taken care of.

...For too long, like other big cities, Hong Kong has been working hard to cope with motorised transport by building more roads and highways, yet the number of cars keeps on increasing and traffic congestion and roadside emission worsens.

It is indeed time for us to pause, to rethink the future of our city design and transport planning, and to put pedestrians back on our policy map.

When I was a young boy, I lived in Wan Chai, and I went to school by walking. I walked to the City Hall library every Saturday, and I walked to Causeway Bay and Happy Valley for leisure and shopping."

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