Difficulties of Building atop Existing Infrastructure

Difficulties of Building atop Existing Infrastructure

Building flats on top of existing infrastructure is possible but it involves many technical difficulties.

Speaking to the media after the Task Force on Land Supply meeting today, its Chairman Stanley Wong said it would be better for the Government to plan building housing and public space above infrastructure when that infrastructure is being designed, rather than building over existing infrastructure.

He said: “There are examples of topside development over transport infrastructure in Hong Kong, but the general approach is the planning, design and construction of the transport infrastructure and housing development atop are carried out concurrently to better integrate the topside development and infrastructure facilities, and resolve complex interface issues.

“Decking over existing transport infrastructure for housing development is not unprecedented, demonstrating the suggestion per se is not technically infeasible; nonetheless, the existing transport infrastructure facilities, which have been completed for a period of time, would impose certain constraints onto the planning, design and construction of topside housing development thereafter, rendering the project more complicated as compared to cases adopting an integral approach at the outset.”

Mr Wong added members felt that when planning transport infrastructure and other public facilities in future, the Government should consider how best the topside of these facilities can be utilised from the perspective of integrated and three-dimensional planning to provide more usable space to meet the needs for housing, open space and other community facilities.

With existing transport infrastructure, if the suggestion of topside housing or other developments are to be further explored, the Government should identify sites with development potential and conduct detailed studies on various issues, including compatibility of the topside housing development and the surrounding environment, as well as the traffic, environment and visual impact.

If proven technically feasible, members suggested it should only be considered as a land supply option in the medium to long term.

Click here for the discussion papers.

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