SCMP – A pedestrian-friendly approach could transform key urban areas into vibrant social and retail hubs

A pedestrian-friendly city centre, efficient business operations and smooth traffic can coexist through a holistic approach.

Which areas in Hong Kong could we pedestrianise? Transforming Des Voeux Road Central (DVRC) into a vibrant urban space could be a great start. Its location in the city centre makes it a prime candidate to become an integrated commercial and leisure hub that conveniently connects adjacent districts. In this more walkable and connected district, residents and tourists alike could walk to the future Central Harbourfront development with ease.

The existing Walk DVRC proposal aims to partially pedestrianise 1.4km of Des Voeux Road from Pedder Street in Central to Western Market in Sheung Wan by restricting vehicular access to trams and leaving one lane open for loading/unloading and emergency vehicles. This would allow people to enjoy a greener DVRC with reduced noise and improved air quality. As more residents, tourists, and office workers are likely to be attracted to the area, businesses could benefit from increased visibility, and consequently, higher revenues. In this case, landlords would see reduced vacancies and increased property values, paving the way for more vibrant neighbourhoods and aiding the city’s future competitiveness.

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