Blueprint for a Better Future

Hong Kong has come a long way in the last 60 years. Indeed the Hong Kong of today – a metropolis of more than seven million people and a thriving centre for global finance and trade – is almost unrecognisable from the city depicted in photographs taken immediately after the Second World War.


The reason is simple. Hong Kong has re-built itself, several times over. And, if anything, the process is accelerating. It is driven by a combination of strong economic growth and the pressure of a population that has grown tremendously in recent years, fuelled largely by immigration from Mainland China. The result is that Hong Kong has truly become a "world city" which plays a significant role in international commerce as well as having a direct and tangible effect on global affairs.


While Hong Kong's success is often attributed to its geographic location – on the doorstep of Mainland China and close to the major trading ports of Asia – it is Hong Kong's infrastructure that truly sets it apart from regional competitors. Infrastructure underpins the entire economy, from the ports – both sea and air – that facilitate the movement of people, to telecommunications without which most businesses and in particular the banking and financial sector could not function.


Energy infrastructure which keeps homes and businesses running, and environmental infrastructure, from the treatment and supply of drinking water to sewage and refuse management, help to preserve the reputation of the Hong Kong as one of the most popular places to live and work in Asia.


While Hong Kong's growth has been spectacular, the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE) recognises that ensuring the city's continued development and success poses significant challenges in a number of key areas. This report – the first of what we hope to be a series to come – is designed to provide an unbiased and professional assessment of the state of key areas of Hong Kong's infrastructure from the experts in these fields – the engineers that created it.

The report is broken down into five Chapters – Buildings, Energy, Environment, Information and Transport – and draws on published information sources. Furthermore, comments and insight from HKIE members from consultation forums and further online consultation conducted in May and June 2007 have been incorporated where appropriate.


Each Chapter provides an analysis on the current state of Hong Kong's infrastructure, the future demands the city and its population may place on the infrastructure, as well as the critical areas the HKIE believes need to be managed more effectively if Hong Kong's quality-of-life and its commercial success are to be sustained.


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