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7 November 2018

Sheung Wan retailers show strong support for a Fiesta to showcase historic trade

The Sheung Wan Fiesta, a two-block, 90-day trial scheme, will serve as the model for a pedestrian-friendly CBD. Planned for April to June 2019, the Sheung Wan Fiesta will see the blocks between Morrison to Hillier Streets of Des Voeux Road Central closed to vehicular traffic and transformed into a walkable, inclusive and culturally vibrant area that will provide food, entertainment and relaxation spaces for everyone.

Walk DVRC commissioned The Nielsen Company (HK) Limited to undertake a research study of the affected businesses in the Sheung Wan Fiesta area. The objective of the study was to collect opinions and evaluate the attitude of business operators about closing off a stretch of DVRC from Morrison to Hillier Streets as an experimental exercise.

Thirty owners and holders of managerial positions, representing more than a half of a total of 58 ground-level establishments along the strip, were interviewed between July and August 2018. They included restaurants, retailers, two banks and a post office.

Local Culture and Heritage

In general, most of the interviewed (56%) support the idea of a festival to display both the local culture, and historic vendors and craft-based businesses in the area.

“Nowadays when people mention Sheung Wan they can only imagine office buildings and dried seafood. The initiative can be one of the memory point of this area,” said a restaurant owner.

“Sheung Wan is an integral part of the history of Chinese entrepreneurship in the early days of Hong Kong. It is of significant value how the historic trades like dried seafood, bespoke shoe-making and stamp carving have continued to strive alongside the large-scale local and international companies in the Central Business District. The Sheung Wan Fiesta will provide a platform to celebrate the vibrancy and time-tested resilience of home-grown economy of Hong Kong,” said Markus Shaw, Board Chairman of Walk DVRC.

Environment and Community

Apart from the cultural aspect, the establishments also hope that the initiative will overhaul the physical conditions of the area. Up to 60% feel it will help improve air quality while 40% believe it will have a direct impact on improving overall public health. They also think the programme will improve the overall environment (57%) and neighbourhood access (57%).

“Through the Sheung Wan Fiesta, we will demonstrate that the decaying part of the city can have a renewed vigour by giving the space back to the makers of the local cultural and heritage – who are the local traders and craft businesses as well as the community. The success of the Fiesta will pave way for a full-blown iconic world-class open space, which is what the Walk DVRC project has been endeavouring to achieve. ” said Walk DVRC CEO Jennifer Frisinger.

Full Survey report on http://www.walkdvrc.hk/research.php