In a bid to relieve pressure on the city’s cramped housing stock, the Government of Hong Kong’s Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) has hired Mott MacDonald to run a feasibility study to turn areas of the city’s brownfield land into multi-storey buildings.
Hong Kong has one of the most expensive property markets in the world. The city, which has since the start of the year seen a considerable correction to property prices, remains one of the most least affordable cities in the world, with many of the city state’s seven million people living in cramped dwellings, in apartment buildings seeking to reach hubris.
In a bid to open up additional space within the city limits for residential buildings, the Government of Hong Kong’s Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) is seeking to leverage the city’s unproductive brownfield land* for re-appropriation. The stock of brownfield land in the city consists of, among others, open storage, port–backup facilities, industrial workshops, logistics operations and recycling yards. The re-appropriated land would, if deemed suitable and safe, be transformed into multi-storey buildings to meet “growing demand for public housing and other social and economic development needs.”
The task of identifying prospects for development has been given to professional services firm Mott MacDonald, who has been hired by the CEDD to run a feasibility study for the transformation of brownfield locations. The firm is tasked with consulting development stakeholders, including the existing brownfield operators, government authorities and departments, as well as investigating the economic viability and operating models for the multi-storey buildings. The firm is also tasked with the “building design works, including undertaking planning and engineering assessments.”
Sai Ching, Mott MacDonald’s Project Director, says, “We are excited to be part of this pioneering initiative by the Government of Hong Kong. The findings will set a benchmark for similar land-use improvement studies in the future.” The study is due to be completed by the end of next year.
Mott MacDonald has won several large contracts in Hong Kong in recent years, including the development of Hong Kong International Airport’s (HKIA) three-runway system, and the development of an integrated rehabilitation services complex for disabled residents from the Hong Kong Social Welfare Department.
* Brownfield land was formally industrial land, that may be contaminated or whose development faces unknown risks.