HKUST PPOL Newsletter Spring 2023

eventually accommodate 2.5 million residents and create 650,000 jobs, Prof. Cheung remarked it will be a big test case considering ecological conservation and urban development. Prof. Lui approached the topic from a different angle. He pointed out that sustainability can no longer be seen as a matter of secondary importance, and that 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, our impacts on the environment cannot be contained by technology, or left to our neighboring regions/countries – the negative outcomes will come back and hit us, but he admitted that the reality is this discourse still serves as a policy strawman pushing us to make a choice. Instead, Prof. Lui suggested the discussion should move to the next level, such as accessibility and effectiveness of regulations and measures to embed sustainability in all planning and development matters. From Prof. Lui’s point of view, Norther Metropolis can serve as a test case in a way that prohibition of cutting corner behavior (e.g. dumping inconvenient facilities in spaces of “lower opportunity cost”, there should be shortterm tacit measures to compromise longer-term development. He concluded that there will inevitably be debates and disagreements and there is no perfect planning but a planning mindset should be adopted instead of dwelling on the “development vs. environment” argument. Fusing the former two speakers, Prof. Loh compared the case in Singapore and Hong Kong, such as Singapore has 25% of its land reclaimed, while Hong Kong has only 6%, Hong Kong has its unique landscape of having extreme density, large elevated green areas, and extreme engineering on 29 HKUST PPOL | Newsletter Spring 2023 Public Policy Dialogue Series