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High 5-in the Sky!

Let’s take a walk along DVRC…

A walk along Des Voeux Road Central brings you on a journey along one of the world’s most engaging streets. DVRC, the most important street in Hong Kong is now organised around a central Sheung Wan Square and 5 iconic tramstops, each with an elevated parklet on its roof.
Together they create a cohesive 21st-Century public realm with a global identity defined by traditional Hong Kong streetscapes.

High 5-in the Sky!

Let’s take a walk along DVRC…

A walk along Des Voeux Road Central brings you on a journey along one of the world’s most engaging streets. DVRC, the most important street in Hong Kong is now organised around a central Sheung Wan Square and 5 iconic tramstops, each with an elevated parklet on its roof.
Together they create a cohesive 21st-Century public realm with a global identity defined by traditional Hong Kong streetscapes.

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Pedestrian Modelling

Level of Service Space Utilisation
Current
Current
Proposal
Proposal
The analysis of Des Voeux Road Central focuses on a specific segment where tram stops, bus stops, metro exits and numerous attractors are assembled together. Based on the data provided by the traffic study (Appendix 2 traffic review – Potential tram precinct on Des Voeux Central) the origin/destination flows were quantified, and simulations were run. Thanks to this process it was possible to carry out the spatial analysis of two different layouts: the current situation and the project layout.

The Level of Service maps of the current situation show several points of congestion recorded in proximity of the pedestrian crossings, especially where they are managed by traffic lights. This lack of transversal connectivity encourages pedestrians to cross the road irregularly causing danger and conflict with flows vehicles. The same analysis performed on the project layout shows that no congestion occurs, and the pedestrian Level of Service is high and largely uniform in the entire analysis area. Furthermore, the new configuration of the pedestrian crossing guarantees a considerable reduction of the journey times as well as less risk and a greater connectivity along the desire paths.

The level of service maps also allow to pinpoint the critical points such as corners and restrictions that cause abrupt increases in pedestrian density, leading to overflow or danger, the adequacy of the position and size of pedestrian crossings to cope with the pedestrian flows, etc.

Comparing the before and after results, it appears clear that the enlargement of the sidewalks, the reduction of the vehicular lanes section, the increment of the pedestrian crossings, the removal of the traffic of private cars and the reconfiguration of the public space, all contribute to dramatically raising the level of comfort of the pedestrian flows with a consequent increase of the attractiveness of the area and, by consequence, business development opportunities.
Pedestrian Modelling
The analysis of Des Voeux Road Central focuses on a specific segment where tram stops, bus stops, metro exits and numerous attractors are assembled together. Based on the data provided by the traffic study (Appendix 2 traffic review – Potential tram precinct on Des Voeux Central) the origin/destination flows were quantified, and simulations were run. Thanks to this process it was possible to carry out the spatial analysis of two different layouts: the current situation and the project layout.

The Level of Service maps of the current situation show several points of congestion recorded in proximity of the pedestrian crossings, especially where they are managed by traffic lights. This lack of transversal connectivity encourages pedestrians to cross the road irregularly causing danger and conflict with flows vehicles. The same analysis performed on the project layout shows that no congestion occurs, and the pedestrian Level of Service is high and largely uniform in the entire analysis area. Furthermore, the new configuration of the pedestrian crossing guarantees a considerable reduction of the journey times as well as less risk and a greater connectivity along the desire paths.

The level of service maps also allow to pinpoint the critical points such as corners and restrictions that cause abrupt increases in pedestrian density, leading to overflow or danger, the adequacy of the position and size of pedestrian crossings to cope with the pedestrian flows, etc.

Comparing the before and after results, it appears clear that the enlargement of the sidewalks, the reduction of the vehicular lanes section, the increment of the pedestrian crossings, the removal of the traffic of private cars and the reconfiguration of the public space, all contribute to dramatically raising the level of comfort of the pedestrian flows with a consequent increase of the attractiveness of the area and, by consequence, business development opportunities.
Level of Service Space Utilisation
Current
Current
Proposal
Proposal

5-Step Strategy

To create an inclusive pedestrian realm on one of the world’s most congested streets

A Improve the street profile

We begin by re-aligning the tram. The tram currently occupies the centre of the DVRC along its length. By moving the tram slightly away from the centre we create an asymmetric street profile, alongside this the buses share the tramway when they enter DVRC from Rumsey Street. These two moves enable the making of a larger pedestrian space at the centre of DVRC connected with Sheung Wan MTR. This will be Sheung Wan Square.

Next to this along its eastern section the tram moves slightly to the south side facilitating a dedicated bus corridor and improved waiting spaces for bus passengers.

B Different street characters meet at Sheung Wan Square

Sheung Wan Square now becomes the centre of DVRC and a point from where the visitor can orient themselves in the wider context. The streets lead into the square and they establish their function as the predominant place of interaction in the wider context.

C Re-define the Tram

In addition to the new street layout we also re-imagine the tram stops. They enable the ground plane of DVRC to connect with the upper level walkways and complexity of the surrounding context. They also increase the efficiency of the tramway system with the improved pedestrian connections.

Next to this each rooftop acts as an elevated parklet and each provides 400m2 of programmed public space, in total we can create 2200m2 of new public space in the very heart of one of the world’s most densely built districts.

D Add Five iconic tramstops

The five iconic tramstops become the link between:
•   the upper level skywalks,
•   the pedestrianised Des Voeux Road Central,
•   the surrounding culture and heritage,
•   the tram transportation system

Each rooftop is programmed in relation to its surrounding context, they act as landmarks as you enter DVRC, gardens where you can escape the commotion, contemporary arts venues, playgrounds in the sky and elevated food markets.

E Connect with the wider context

The area surrounding Des Voeux Road Central constitutes a complex tri-dimensional pedestrian environment that comprises several levels: at grade sidewalks, elevated walkways and underground passages connecting the metro stations. This environment should be recognised as one single, complex, multi-layered pedestrian environment, leading to an optimal and integrated design of all its elements to the advantage of pedestrian mobility, safety, wayfinding and comfort.

The pedestrianisation of DVRC will be the catalyst for a wider change across the districts of Central and Sheung Wan, the linear connection of DVRC should be matched with lateral connections of equal quality. Safe pedestrian crossing points are needed all along Queen’s Road where the cross streets meet and continue towards DVRC. The topography while posing a challenge also offers many opportunities for micro interventions that serve pedestrians but which simultaneously improve the public realm through greening strategies. A high quality public realm affords its users with opportunities to stop and socialise, meet and gather, sit and watch.

At the eastern end skywalk connections from the ferry now directly connect with DVRC, and at the western end the pedestrian can continue their walk along the elevated connector which connects back to the waterfront, or in the other direction to Sheung Wan market and Lascar Row. These wider connections and interventions establish DVRC as the primary link across the wider district. A role which it already has but now it becomes much more efficient, easy and convenient to be a pedestrian here, while there are increased opportunities for social meetings and interactions along the routes.

The wider context and its complexity really asks for a full and complete modelled pedestrian simulation to be carried out. Pedestrian flow analysis allows the organisation of all the interactions between pedestrians and other vehicles with the aim of gaining a deep understanding of the pedestrian dynamics to identify opportunities that provide guidance to designs starting from the basis of pedestrian flows.
5-Step Strategy
To create an inclusive pedestrian realm on one of the world’s most congested streets
A Improve the street profile
We begin by re-aligning the tram. The tram currently occupies the centre of the DVRC along its length. By moving the tram slightly away from the centre we create an asymmetric street profile, alongside this the buses share the tramway when they enter DVRC from Rumsey Street. These two moves enable the making of a larger pedestrian space at the centre of DVRC connected with Sheung Wan MTR. This will be Sheung Wan Square.

Next to this along its eastern section the tram moves slightly to the south side facilitating a dedicated bus corridor and improved waiting spaces for bus passengers.

B Different street characters meet at Sheung Wan Square
Sheung Wan Square now becomes the centre of DVRC and a point from where the visitor can orient themselves in the wider context. The streets lead into the square and they establish their function as the predominant place of interaction in the wider context.

C Re-define the Tram
In addition to the new street layout we also re-imagine the tram stops. They enable the ground plane of DVRC to connect with the upper level walkways and complexity of the surrounding context. They also increase the efficiency of the tramway system with the improved pedestrian connections.

Next to this each rooftop acts as an elevated parklet and each provides 400m2 of programmed public space, in total we can create 2200m2 of new public space in the very heart of one of the world’s most densely built districts.

D Add Five iconic tramstops
The five iconic tramstops become the link between:
  • the upper level skywalks,
  • the pedestrianised Des Voeux Road Central,
  • the surrounding culture and heritage,
  • the tram transportation system
Each rooftop is programmed in relation to its surrounding context, they act as landmarks as you enter DVRC, gardens where you can escape the commotion, contemporary arts venues, playgrounds in the sky and elevated food markets.


E Connect with the wider context
The area surrounding Des Voeux Road Central constitutes a complex tri-dimensional pedestrian environment that comprises several levels: at grade sidewalks, elevated walkways and underground passages connecting the metro stations. This environment should be recognised as one single, complex, multi-layered pedestrian environment, leading to an optimal and integrated design of all its elements to the advantage of pedestrian mobility, safety, wayfinding and comfort.

The pedestrianisation of DVRC will be the catalyst for a wider change across the districts of Central and Sheung Wan, the linear connection of DVRC should be matched with lateral connections of equal quality. Safe pedestrian crossing points are needed all along Queen’s Road where the cross streets meet and continue towards DVRC. The topography while posing a challenge also offers many opportunities for micro interventions that serve pedestrians but which simultaneously improve the public realm through greening strategies. A high quality public realm affords its users with opportunities to stop and socialise, meet and gather, sit and watch.

At the eastern end skywalk connections from the ferry now directly connect with DVRC, and at the western end the pedestrian can continue their walk along the elevated connector which connects back to the waterfront, or in the other direction to Sheung Wan market and Lascar Row. These wider connections and interventions establish DVRC as the primary link across the wider district. A role which it already has but now it becomes much more efficient, easy and convenient to be a pedestrian here, while there are increased opportunities for social meetings and interactions along the routes.

The wider context and its complexity really asks for a full and complete modelled pedestrian simulation to be carried out. Pedestrian flow analysis allows the organisation of all the interactions between pedestrians and other vehicles with the aim of gaining a deep understanding of the pedestrian dynamics to identify opportunities that provide guidance to designs starting from the basis of pedestrian flows.


About the Team

We are an international team brought together for the Walk DVRC design competition.
MLA+ is an international architecture, planning and strategic consultancy firm. We are the international office and brand name of Maccreanor Lavington Architects established in 2012. Since 1992, we have completed an award winning portfolio of architectural and planning projects in Europe, Asia and South America. Over the course of the last 20 years we have been steadily growing to become one of the most respected firms in the field of urban development and architecture. Throughout our history we have delivered high quality projects that consistently and continuously won prestigious prizes, both for the buildings realized and for innovative masterplanning.
dmau is a studio for public space design and research based in Amsterdam NL. We create high quality public spaces which are essential for healthy urban environments, citizens and societies. We strive to make great spaces where people can meet, play, hang out, exercise, learn and have fun. To achieve this our public space designs combine formal placemaking with informal participatory spaces; to create places that foster connections with their surrounding communities. The results are inclusive, people centred spaces that are open to multiple different uses and users.
Mobility in Chain MiC is an international transport planning firm founded in 2009. Based in Milan, Moscow and New York City MIC operates on an international level. MIC’s most specific component is the ability to talk the language of transport engineering, using the latest and most sophisticated modelling simulation but also to understand the impact of transport on urban quality and ultimately on real estate value, sustainability and the quality of life, bridging two traditionally distinct fields as transport engineering and urban planning into an overarching approach.
olaCola (Cola Zhang) is a Chinese animator / multimedia designer based in the Netherlands. She contributes in cross-cultural communication with appealing storytelling and audiovisual language, to create vivid and inspiring stories for everyone.
About the Team
We are an international team brought together for the Walk DVRC design competition.
MLA+ is an international architecture, planning and strategic consultancy firm. We are the international office and brand name of Maccreanor Lavington Architects established in 2012. Since 1992, we have completed an award winning portfolio of architectural and planning projects in Europe, Asia and South America. Over the course of the last 20 years we have been steadily growing to become one of the most respected firms in the field of urban development and architecture. Throughout our history we have delivered high quality projects that consistently and continuously won prestigious prizes, both for the buildings realized and for innovative masterplanning.
dmau is a studio for public space design and research based in Amsterdam NL. We create high quality public spaces which are essential for healthy urban environments, citizens and societies. We strive to make great spaces where people can meet, play, hang out, exercise, learn and have fun. To achieve this our public space designs combine formal placemaking with informal participatory spaces; to create places that foster connections with their surrounding communities. The results are inclusive, people centred spaces that are open to multiple different uses and users.
Mobility in Chain MiC is an international transport planning firm founded in 2009. Based in Milan, Moscow and New York City MIC operates on an international level. MIC’s most specific component is the ability to talk the language of transport engineering, using the latest and most sophisticated modelling simulation but also to understand the impact of transport on urban quality and ultimately on real estate value, sustainability and the quality of life, bridging two traditionally distinct fields as transport engineering and urban planning into an overarching approach.
olaCola (Cola Zhang) is a Chinese animator / multimedia designer based in the Netherlands. She contributes in cross-cultural communication with appealing storytelling and audiovisual language, to create vivid and inspiring stories for everyone.