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Reimagining Des Voeux Road Central

A new exhibition offers innovative proposals for greening one of Hong Kong’s busiest and most polluted areas.

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BY janice

March 3rd, 2016


Severe traffic congestion, consistently high levels of air pollution – these are some of the critical problems facing Des Voeux Road Central. Located in the Central Business District of Hong Kong, the street is one of the busiest and most polluted areas in the city. Urged by the alarming situation, the DVRC Initiative is proposing to redevelop the area into a Tram & Pedestrian Precinct. As part of this initiative, an exhibition entitled “Reimagining Des Voeux Road Central” will be held at Central Oasis in Central. On show will be a selection of visionary ideas by DVRC Design Studios that aim to engage the public in a dialogue on our sustainable future.

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According to a study conducted by The City University of Hong Kong and Civic Exchange, the air pollution along DVRC is worse than Connaught Road Central and Queen’s Road Central, despite lower traffic flow. On average, there are 4,000 to 8,000 pedestrians per hour on DVRC. These pedestrians are severely affected by DVRC’s crippling air quality. Tall buildings with contiguous facades line both sides of DVRC, creating a canyon effect that greatly suppresses the dispersion of air pollutants. The crowded and unpleasant pedestrian environment drives people to take road transportation, even for short walking distances, further exacerbating traffic, congestion and air pollution along the stretch.

Co-organised by DVRC Initiative, University of Hong Kong and Columbia University GSAPP Studio-X, the exhibition aims to spark the public’s imagination about how Des Voeux Road Central can be transformed into a pedestrianised, green thoroughfare – and one of Hong Kong’s great public spaces – in the CBD of Central.

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Focusing on the HKU-Columbia research and collaboration, within the context of the broader initiative, the exhibition will present both the conceptual and very real possibilities for reimagining Des Voeux Road Central and rethinking the entire Central Business District through design, architecture, and urbanism. These ground-breaking ideas envision a highly possible lush-green precinct for pedestrians and trams, and reviving the area with an abundance of public spaces, cultural elements and artscape. DVRC Initiative believes Des Voeux Road Central can be an experimental start, from which directions for the city’s future sustainable planning can be shaped.

Besides this exhibition, another initiative, “Let’s Play in the Tak” will be held on the streets, where playful installations and a series of activities spanning alleys and lanes will reconnect people with their city. The general public are invited to join the conversation by expressing their views at the exhibition, or on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #dvrc

Reimagining Des Voeux Road Central exhibition will be held from 15 – 28 March 2016, Zone C, Central Oasis, 2/F Central Market, 80 Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong. Visit their event page for more information.