In redeveloping the industrial Kowloon East brownfield into a thriving business district, Hong Kong is using innovative infrastructure to reduce energy consumption, improve mobility, and conserve resources.

The Challenge

Hong Kong had the double challenge to render Kowloon East economically attractive while ensuring the area’s CO2 mitigating abilities and resilience to climate change in the face of increasing water levels. The city integrated green development directives and policy into the neighborhood’s redevelopment plan to ensure that climate impacts were mitigated.

The Solution

The Energizing Kowloon East redevelopment project aims not only to transform Kowloon East into an additional central business district of Hong Kong but also a resilient, low-carbon community. To achieve this, the city has installed a large-scale district cooling system, serving about 1.73 million m2 of floor space. Furthermore, both new and existing buildings in the district will have to adopt green certifications and provide electric vehicle charging facilities. So far, the 30 green building projects in Kowloon East have reduced CO2 emissions by 56,100 metric tons annually. In addition to reductions in energy use, the city is promoting active mobility in Kowloon East by improving walkability and well-integrated pedestrian networks. The district is also conscious of its adaptation measures, working to improve drainage and water quality while ramping up flood protection capacity. Boosting this effort, one-third of Kowloon East will be public space, and 60% of that land will consist of green areas.

Environmental Benefits – Compared with the 2011 base value, NO2, PM10, and PM2.5 concentrations in the Kwun Tong section of Kowloon East had decreased by 12.7%, 10.2%, and 12.9%, respectively, in 2015.

Social Benefits – The remediated waterfronts have become popular destinations for art and cultural events in the district.

Economic Benefits – The district cooling system saves up to 10% of the private capital required to build conventional cooling plants and enables more flexible building design.

Health Benefits – Various pedestrian-centric improvements promote active mobility, which will result in positive health outcomes for the community.

About Cities100

In its second year, Cities100 – presented by C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), Sustainia and Realdania – showcases leading solutions to urban climate challenges in ten sectors, ranging from solid waste management to transportation. For the first time, this year’s publication features solutions that address the nexus of climate change and social equity.

Available online and in print, Cities100 provides stakeholders an accessible format to explore achievable solutions for climate action in cities, and will be a useful tool for relevant groups ranging from impact investors and development organizations, to mayors and city governments.  You can access the full Cities100 2016 publication online here and read more about how may­ors will de­liver the aims of the Paris Agree­ment in a fore­ward by Anne Hidalgo, C40 Chair and Mayor of Paris, here.

  • Economic
  • Environmental
  • Health
  • Social
Key Impact
59,500 tons of CO2 emissions per year will be reduced due to Kowloon East's district cooling system
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