Research & Resources

The Walk DVRC initiative

All Wheels Friendly City

Benefits of Walkable Network

Skateboarding may seem like an extreme sport on the outside and at the Olympics level, but like biking and walking, we believe they can be used as a day to day commute method. Wheels friendly city has a lot to do with accessibility for wheelchairs, strollers, and other special needs.We think by making the city more skatable, it is really about making the city all-wheels-friendly. It is part of our inclusive requirement for our city to be more livable. The educational benefits of skateboarding is well documented. In developing countries, it helps to put young adults on the right track of career development. In developed countries, skateboarding is a way to trade CEOs and professionals to make instant designs and be laser focused in the present.

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Survey of Tramways Air Quality

Air Quality changes over time. They vary with wind direction, traffic pattern, and building configuration. Our research in August 2021 put a timestamp along the tramways from 11am to 6pm on a weekday to see how different areas along the Tramways were exposed to pollution. Due to the pandemics in 2021, there were more people working from home. Areas along the business district like Central, Wan Chai and Causeway Bay didn’t show signs of bad air quality. Surprisingly, residential areas like Kennedy Town and North Point have significant bad air quality. It is worth further study to understand how we can improve air quality across Hong Kong. Equipment used in the research was Air Spot and Plume Lab’s Flow. The sensors were lent to Walk DVRC by Clean Air Network.

Traffic Count

Walk DVRC conducted a half hour-long traffic count on 6 pm 25th May 2021 at the corner of Western Market. It provides up-to-date datum for our further pedestrianization analysis. Not surprisingly, private cars are the major type of vehicles occupying the street. The major traffic jam was caused by private cars, vans and taxis, while it was rare to see a bus blocking the road, even with the total number of 45 buses.

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Economic Benefits

We always emphasize the environmental benefits brought by pedestrianisation to the Central and Western District. Indeed, the pedestrianisation of De Voeux Road Central builds a solid ground for sustainable city development. However, have you ever thought about how Walk DVRC could actually bring economic benefits back to society? No doubt, we pay into the system every time we travel. At the same time, we also cost our society. In other words, society and we put money into the transportation system whenever we travel. In the diagram below, the contribution and burden is shown according to different traveling behavior.

Read more: Walkable City Rules | Jeff Speck

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Street Survey

The street forum was successfully held. Thank you to all of the “Walkers” for visiting our booth, we are so glad to collect opinions from different points of view. We shortlisted some of your interesting comments and feedback. Feel free to talk to us anytime.

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Walk in DVRC Past

Back then, we still had a straight shoreline in Central, while Connaught Road was still a seaside avenue. As the only spacious public space in the city center, it is naturally a popular place for large-scale events. Back to the present, Des Voeux Road seems to have forgotten its original function and allowed it to evolve with the city. In recent years, it has become a gathering place for foreign domestic helpers. We hope that through the upcoming Sheung Wan Fiesta, we can regain the functions of the streets, not just for vehicles.

 

How to Start a Walking Movement

Walk DVRC has accumulated 20 years of research and brought actual built projects to improve walkability across Hong Kong. We believe our success and path to overcome certain obstacles should be shared to other cities. We want to expand our movement into a global trend to reduce our reliance on motorized vehicles and increase our global liveability.

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Railing over railings

There are 456 railings, eastbound and westbound, from Pedder Street to Western Market on Des Voeux Road Central. 105 of these have been removed to the benefit of pedestrians. These barriers should not be replaced and the remaining 324 barriers should be taken down.

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Walkability and Public Health Research

Key findings:

  • A high number of respondents believe pedestrianisation of DVRC would encourage them to walk more. But they don’t understand the concept of “walkability”.
  • While many of the respondents have suffered respiratory irritations on DVRC, they don’t connect the conditions to road-side pollution in the area.

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Walk DVRC Position Paper - Creating spaces that deliver better lives to Hong Kong citizens

Nielson Market Research on Sheung Wan Fiesta

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

 

Proposed Tram & Pedestrian Precinct in Des Voeux Road Central: Summary Report (2014)

Proposed Tram & Pedestrian Precinct in Des Voeux Road Central: Appendices Booklet ( Appendix 1: Air Quality, Appendix 3: Urban Design Proposal) (2014)

Proposed Tram & Pedestrian Precinct in Des Voeux Road Central: Appendix 2: Traffic Review For Potential Tram Precinct on Des Voeux Road Central

Improving Our Central City Area: The First Phase of the Des Voeux Road Pedestrian Precinct (2003)

Policy responses and recommendations

Is Convenient the same as Smart?

The government should go further to make the city more liveable, rather than more convenient.

 

How a walkable Hong Kong can make the city smarter

Holistic thinking will amplify the government’s efforts in promoting walkability and liveability through the smart city investment.

 

Useful information on walkability, liveability and holistic planning & design

Measuring and Improving Walkability in Hong Kong Introduction of CEx WALKScore – An Assessment Tool

Hong Kong 2030+: Towards a Planning Vision and Strategy Transcending 2030

Cities Alive: Towards a walking world

Step Up Downtown: Vision & Tactical Plan for Downtown Cleveland

Tactical Urbanism 4 - Australia and New Zealand

The Urbanite Project - Open City Challenge

Tactical Urbanism 5 - Italy

Tactical Urbanists Guide to Materials and Design Version 1.0

Designing Sustainable Cities

Public Space and Public Life

PM2.5 Pollution along the Tramway Study

Cities safer by design guidance and examples to promote traffic safety through urban and street design

The city at eye level

Global age friendly cities: A guide

The Neighborhood series

Local leaders_ Healthier communities through design

Street Design Manual

Placemaking and the future of cities

Streets as public spaces and drivers of urban prosperity

Tactical Urbanism 2

The case for healthy places

Streets as places: using streets to rebuild communities

Walkable and Bikeable cities_lessons from Seoul and Singapore

Measurement and Analysis of Walkability in Hong Kong