HKUST PPOL Newsletter Spring 2023

t was raised by Prof. Cheung that development without damaging the resources of the environment exists only in an ideal sense, but in reality, there are a lot of conflicts involved because of diverse interests, priorities, and power politics, taking the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as an example, Prof. Cheung pointed out that some of the Goals may be conflicting each other during implementation while taking environmental protection and country park conservation into consideration in land use and urban planning fulfills the goal of sustainability, the current situation of having only 7% of Hong Kong’s land for residential development resulting in inadequate living is not sustainable. He further pointed out that the present land use may not be entirely fair and efficient and that land use is a political issue. Then, Prof. Cheung touched on some myths about urban development in Hong Kong, for instance, it is commonly believed that reclamation is not necessary, and idle brownfield and private agricultural land can be used for housing, the reality is clearance of brownfield and agricultural lands also take time, and reclamation is unavoidable. 2nd, the small-house policy in the New Territories is blamed for land shortage, the reality is the application for smallhouse land use is confined to Village Environments & Village Type Development and is not suitable for largescale residential development. He also questioned the notion that “Fanling Golf Club cannot be touched”. Drawing on Singapore’s Garden City story, Prof. Cheung suggested that authoritarian environmentalism still needs to face a lot of trade-offs and dilemmas. Looking forward to the Northern Metropolis that will 28 The Public Policy Dialogue Series on 3 December 2022 invited Professor Anthony Cheung, Professor Tak-lok Lui, and Professor Christine Loh to share their views and insights from different angles on the topic of “Development vs. Environment-An Irreconcilable Dilemma?” and gave constructive suggestions for policy making regarding land use, sustainable development, and urban planning. Development vs. Environment: An Irreconcilable Dilemma? I It is strange to let “development vs. environment” continue as a non-death discourse, he argued that it should not be an either/or question. Public Policy Dialogue Series