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Hong Kong set to be transformed into a green metropolis

Proposals have been put forward to revamp Hong Kong to make it a hub of green activity in the midst of busy city life. 
Hong Kong has often come in for criticism for lagging behind some of its Asian neighbours but if the plans are put into action, the nation will become one of the most eco-friendly countries in the world. 

Opposition for government plans

In such a thriving cityscape, there is unsurprisingly pressure on resources, particularly those relating to waste disposal and use of energy. The government has recently found itself under fire after announcing plans to extend landfill sites with critics pointing to nearby countries such as South Korea who have a far better rate of recycling. 
The government has now withdrawn its proposals for the new extension to the landfill site at Tseung Kwan O and says it will re-table new plans next year.
In the meantime, the Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing described how installing new incinerators and charges for disposal would help the country to reduce the reliance on landfill and increase recycling rates amongst the residents.
 


Hong Kong is a great country
Hong Kong is a great country
Wong Kam-sing said that one of the problems Hong Kong faces is a lack of farmland which allows waste to be actively recycled, unlike many other Asian nations. By introducing incinerators he believes that waste can be used to generate energy instead of lying in landfill. 
However, improving the waste management systems in the country was just a small portion of the ideas which were put forward at a recent conference which Wong Kam-sing addressed. Many other speakers described other measures which will transform Hong Kong into what has been dubbed a 'green metropolis'.

Looking after the land

With a new bridge due to open in 2016, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau link, traffic is expected to flood into the province, raising concerns about the levels of pollution. 
Wong suggested that the introduction of more electric cars could be the answer; allowing commuters and residents to retain their independence, without the effects on the environment. 
Dr Hung Wing-tat, a Transport Analyst from Polytechnic University, suggested that electric cars could be one of the greenest solutions in addition to promoting the country's tram system. Using clean energy and cheap, trams have been singled out for modernisation in a bid to make the island easier to navigate without a car. 

Hong Kong is becoming more environmentally friendly

Hong Kong is becoming more environmentally friendly
Hung also suggested that government may consider helping bus companies replace their fleet with green electric buses, which would mean that fares would not need to be increased to subsidise the cost. 
As well as revolutionising the transport system, Dr Hung Wing-tat suggested that the entire landscape could also be improved and given a greener look by the use of better road surfaces and barriers, which actively reduce traffic noise and work on helping cut pollution. 

Campaign group

The CEO of Designing Hong Kong, an urban campaign planning group, Paul Zimmerman also addressed the conference to highlight the importance of the island's parks.
Helping to provide lush green spots of tranquillity in the midst of the cities, Zimmerman argued that they should be preserved at all costs in order to make Hong Kong a more pleasant place for residents to live. 
The CEO also called on the government to introduce measures to make it easier to travel around the island by foot, with new paths and seats constructed, as well as traffic reduction measures introduced during busy periods and at road junctions. 

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