This is a session of collective issues spotted by Gracias’ researchers. 



Industrial Land Use

Built more than 30 years ago, most of the industrial buildings in Kwai Chung are worn-out with low market value. In order to attract new capital inflow, the government actively formulates new revitalisation projects. The emergence of studios, workshops and galleries creates an innovative and creative climate, changing the industrial ecology, enlivening the area. 

Civic Pride

The site is a desolate land where people could not establish relationships with. People do not take pride in belonging to or claiming the ownership of their land. The received complaints reflect a high level of dissatisfaction with the environmental and hygienic conditions of the district, concerning serious problems of illegal parking and paraphernalia. This indeed reduces the amount of time residents spend in their neighbourhood. The low sense of civic pride blurs people’s identity. 


In 1997, severe flooding occurred in Tsuen Wan and Kwai Chung districts. As the city drainage is incapable of holding massive amounts of rainwater from the mountain, the Drainage Department proposed the construction of the Tsuen Wan Drainage Tunnel. To minimise disturbance to the densely populated city centre, tunnels were built upstream to intercept surface runoff from four intake mouths, the rainwater will then be directly discharged into the sea.


Vertical landscape

Due to the stress of flat land, vertical landscape in both natural and artificial aspects could be observed easily. Slope is common in the site contributed to the original hilly landform which directly influenced urban planning and design. Many non-human scale infrastructures are positioned at a high level by adapting the terrain as well as to accommodate the urban hectic workflow. Vertical landscape could be a physical and visual barrier for the public.




Large-scale road infrastructures are frequently found in Kwai Chung due to its importance in city-scale connections. As such, navigation within the district is very difficult. Moreover, many of the unreachable facilities have become abandoned or closed, furthering the inaccessibility of the site.



Unwelcomed- facilities

The Kwai Chung waterfront is permeated with unwelcomed facilities according to general public perceptions. These facilities were undesirable and despised by the residents nearby. For instance it includes, the crematorium, public cargo working area, container terminal, public mortuary and the slaughterhouse. Air pollution, noise pollution, bad odor and unpleasant feelings caused by these facilities are the main concerns from the residents 

Illegal parking

We identified that the illegal parking problem is relatively severe and it is affecting other drivers and pedestrians in the area. While goods vehicles and cargo trucks are two main vehicle types that are often being illegally parked throughout the site. Some of them are even being parked at stopping restriction areas, while few of them were parked on the pedestrian sidewalks.




Footbridge is an important component in the pedestrian walkway system in Kwai Chung. As the urban planning is prioritised to roads and crossings are limited, it facilitates connections of different zones. Commercial areas are highly connected to nearby areas, while footbridges provide convenience to residents living on different levels of hills.




Users face different barriers while visiting the area. These barriers range from environmental to socio-economic, visual to physical,  ownership to land use. Barriers not only affect the perception of the area but highly impact  accessibility, connectivity and continuity of the site. 




This part focuses on natural habitats and plants and trees of ecology, especially on old valuable trees. There are several habitats classified in the district, including the woodland, cemetery, meadow and park. Several tree species, Ficus microcarpa, Ficus Elastica, Cinnamomum Camphora and some other trees are planted in the area and identified as Old valuable trees. There are some compensatory planting regarding the felling of tree applications, as to retain and transplant the trees.



User conflict

On our site, some Industrial and residential areas are planned too close to each other and hence some user conflict can be seen. For instance, Tsuen Wan Slaughterhouse is just 111m  away from Riviera Garden and hence there were residents complaining about the smell and noise from the industry. However, the slaughterhouse existed 7 years earlier than the latter, so is this the fault of the developer? 


Recreation facilities in Tsing Yi are abundant and new, while those  in the Kwai Chung area are rather inadequate. At the site the most popular activities observed are fishing, jogging, cycling. On the other hand, there are not enough toilets or resting space for workers near Rambler Channel PCWA. Hygiene and space for recreation are some opportunities to deal with.






There are three types of atmosphere found by walking through the site and asking the users. The first one is the bad FengShui which is mainly caused by the places related to grim situations. The other two are Abandoned and unfriendly feelings. They are caused by the abandoned facilities, restricted accesses, poor footway clearance and the lack of public facilities such as toilets.



Regional function

Kwai Chung district is a particular district that contains specific functions. It is an industrial hub of Hong Hong including traditional industries, logistic industry, and emerging industries. Also, Kwai Tsing Container Terminal, which is one of the busiest cargo terminals in the world is located in lower Kwai Chung, making Kwai Chung an important harbor district. Besides, Kwai Chung district has complete funeral facilities. These businesses altogether make Kwai Chung become a district that is special in regional function.

Nature conservation

Since Kwai Chung is an important industrial center, it ‘suffers’ from serious noise and air pollution, water contamination, and serious land contamination. These pollution would cause great damage to the local environment. Sing Kwai Chung is an area with great diversity in species. Therefore, the issue of natural conservation needs to be taken into consideration. Several approaches have been conducted and expect further potential.




Our site has not only a land transportation system but also a water transportation system. On land there are flyovers for vehicles and footbridges for passers by; on water there are bridges used as highways and railways and also for ships and cargos to go through under them.

Undercroft here means space covered by the transport structures. The land croft is much larger than the water undercroft which means there is more possibility of land undercroft. As for the current situation of the undercroft, there are undercrofts that are used as bottom roads which people can’t enter and half of it are used for greenery or temporary parking that is not under good management.

Cemetery area

The cemetery is called Tsuen Wan Chinese Permanent Cemetery and is for the Chinese descent who resides permanently in Hong Kong or his spouse or children. 

The most space in the cemetery is used for the urn lots and there are two main areas for the niches.Although the urn lots occupy the most space, the number of urn lots is about half of the niches. The urn lots are 100 times more expensive than the niches, and there are many qualifications.The position is far behind the requirements and thousands of people are queuing . There are also memorial gardens for specific groups of people like the organ donors.



Noise Pollution

The noise level in the Kwai Chung area is 10dB higher than the average level(70dB vs 60dB). Such noise levels cause bad mental health and are related to certain domestic violence issues. Causes of noises include heavy traffic located right next to residential areas, as well as lacking effective  green belts to filter sound.

Water Quality

As complained by the residents along the coastline, bad scent was a serious issue along the waterfront. Rubbish was observed along Ramblers Channel as the underground drainage pipes in Kwai Chung lacked maintenance. Illegal connection of underground drainage and the  illegal dumping along PCWA are also sources affecting water quality. The intensive marine industry is also suspected to be sources of sewage and rubbish.



Recycling business

Almost all recyclables are exported to China for further processing and reuse purposes due to the lack of demand of recycled raw materials in HK. In fact HK recycling business shares the market by performing the sorting, compressing and transportation of the recyclables.

illegal dumping

Actually Kwai Tsing district has sufficient rubbish bins and collection stations and these bins are collected very frequently. However, illegal dumping is serious. The litter that got dumped on the street are mostly stale fruits and boxes, sometimes old furniture and used toilets set in the industrial building.



Land contamination
Land contamination included illegal disposal of construction wastes and leakage of landfill gas.The waste is occupying the space of pedestrians and some is destroying the green belt.

Restored landfill

Lap Sap Wan landfill is also an important issue, it has been closed since 1979. It was planned for restoration. However, after almost three decades it remains closed. This area had long been denounced as a waste of land. In the past, the government has planned to develop 30 hectares of land in Kwai Chung Park to fulfil the great demand of the recreational area in Kwai Chung.




Microclimate is a composite of topography, aspect, ventilation and urban morphology. In the Kwai Tsing area, wind blows from the Rambler’s channel along the urban infrastructure lanes. Despite rigid regulation in sustainable buildings, Kwai Tsing experiences a serious heat island effect, especially around the city centre due to compact buildings, concrete cover, lack of connective green belt and traffic congestion at the city centre.



Lifestyle and working environment of workers

Kwai Chung is the only place for the Cargo industry in Hong Kong and supports 158, 400 workers currently. The regular changes in the owners of the terminals lead to negligence to the needs for basic resting facilities. Their improper practices of handling waste also lead to land contamination and water pollution. As a result, the poor working environment harms the health of the workers.



Public spaces

Development of proper open spaces, mainly Kwai Chung Park, are slow and limited. The issue of land leased to private associations also contributes to the low utilization of Kwai Chung Park, while  workers and residents in Kwai Chung use street spaces to carry out economic, industrial, as well as recreational activities.




Although some graffiti and murals can be observed in the area, they are not common as they are officially illegal. In 2019, drawings and posters relating to the anti-extradition protest, once fully covered the walls of the tunnel near MTR Exit C but were soon removed. Yet, a costly ‘legal’ brick wall art installation located on a traffic island called ‘Safe Island’ received much criticism and was also removed. Arts could have made the area more lively and attractive but there was not much room so far. With the abundant low-rent vacant flats in industrial buildings, the area has some qualities to attract artists into it and decorate the area.