Raymond W. M. Wong
To accommodate somewhat 7 million people in a piece of land of size slightly bigger than 1050 sq km like Hong Kong is not an easy task. Needless to mention the 240 outlying islands and hilly topography that contributes to about 62% of the total land area which cut the territory into bits of almost disconnected lands.
The overall population density per sq km in Hong Kong is about 6300 in 1999. The figure conceals wide variations among different areas in the territory. The density in the metro areas is about 28000 per sq km, while in the New Territories it is around 4100. Thanks to the continual development of new towns outside the metro areas since the 70's, the difference in population density is gradually dropping in the recent years.
For the last 3 decades, growth of population is quite steady roughly at a rate of 1 million every 10 years. However, as Hong Kong has returned to the sovereignty of the People's Republic of China in 1997 that created more active social and economical interactions between people of the two places, it is expected a faster growth will be envisaged in the coming decades. As a result, more lands with acceptable infrastructure facilities have to be provided to cater for the expected growth as well as to improve existing quality of living inside the territory. This paper aims to provide a summary of what has been done in the recent years as a means of strategic improvement to the territory of Hong Kong.
The territory of Hong Kong can be sub-divided into 4 main geographical regions, namely the Island of Hong Kong, Kowloon Peninsula and New Kowloon, New Territories and the outlying islands. Map as shown in Figure 1 provides a rough idea of the physical environment of Hong Kong.