CityU secondary student competition promotes urban planning

Karen Cheng

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Secondary school students displayed their talents for revitalising Hong Kong neighbourhoods in an urban design competition organised by the Department of Building and Construction at City University of Hong Kong (CityU).

The competition, which promotes awareness and understanding of urban living, attracted 38 teams from 24 secondary schools who worked on real life projects in their local neighbourhoods with the objective of improving the urban environment.

The contestants were required, between October 2007 and February 2008, to conduct research on their chosen area, including its population profile, land use patterns, traffic conditions and open space and facility provisions. They then formulated development options based on the factors they had identified.

Students further developed enquiry-based learning abilities and extended their understanding and mastery of cross-disciplinary thinking in the built environment.

The competition, sponsored by the HKSAR Quality Education Fund, underscores CityU's contributions to broadening the learning experience of students and raising their awareness of the urban environment.

Twelve teams entered the grand final on 1 March and made their presentations to the panel judges, comprising Mr Jimmy Leung Cheuk-fai, Deputy Director of Planning, HKSAR Government, Professor Alex Lui Chun-wan, Senior Advisor, Design and Architectural Services of Hysan Development Limited, and Professor Nora Tam Fung-yee, Member of

the Town Planning Board and Chair Professor of the Department of Biology and Chemistry at CityU for the senior group. Judges for the junior group were Ms Betty Ho Siu-fong, Chairman of the Conservancy Association, Mr Larry Poon Chi-fai, Senior Manager, Planning and Development Division of the Urban Renewal Authority, and Professor Lilian Vrijmoed, Dean of Student Learning of CityU.

Following a highly competitive contest, TWGHs Mrs Wu York Yu Memorial College was selected as the winner of the senior group. Their project, "Plan for a Better Community - Living with Harmony in North Kwai Chung", helped improve and enhance the living environment of the district. The panel judges praised the team for its in-depth analysis, comprehensive planning and environmental considerations.

Shun Tak Fraternal Association Leung Kau Kui College was crowned the best of the junior group. Their project "CART - The Tuen Mun Castle" brought in the elements of history, culture and tourism to revitalise the district. The panel judges considered the proposal very creative in the way it blended historical elements with sustainable development.

Speaking at the prize presentation ceremony that immediately followed, Professor (Chair) Chan Chi-hou, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering of CityU, said the competition provided a good opportunity for secondary schools and the University to work together to enrich students' learning through exposure to other disciplines.

"As Hong Kong is moving towards a knowledge-based economy, it is imperative for its citizens, especially future generations, to have a broad base of knowledge to undertake life-long learning," Professor Chan said.

Professor (Chair) Sritawat Kitipornchai, Head of the Department of Building and Construction at CityU, said the Department was pleased to host a competition that so closely aligned to their specialty area.

"The submissions are more than just competition entries, but are demonstrations of exemplary observational power, logical analysis, creative thinking and innovative presentations from our next generation," Professor Kitipornchai said.

An exhibition of the winning and selected entries will be held at the Purple Zone of the Academic Building at CityU from 12 to 16 March. These exhibits will be included in a book for distribution to all secondary schools.

Urban Design Competition - list of winners

Senior Group

Awards

School

Champion

TWGHs Mrs Wu York Yu Memorial College

- Plan for a Better Community: Living with Harmony in North Kwai Chung

First runner-up

King's College

- Sai Ying Pun: S'les Orléans

Second runner-up

St. Peter's Secondary School

- Revitalisation Plan in Aberdeen

Merit

CCC Rotary Secondary School

- Wong Tai Sin: Tai Yuen

Merit

CCC Rotary Secondary School

- Tseung Kwan O: Crystal Kingdom

Merit

Kwun Tong Maryknoll College

- Cozy Harmony: An Urban Solution of Kwun Tong Yu Man Square

Junior Group

Awards

School

Champion

Shun Tak Fraternal Association Leung Kau Kui College

- CART - The Tuen Mun Castle

First runner-up

Kwun Tong Government Secondary School

- Revitalisation of Yau Tong District

Second runner-up

Kwun Tong Government Secondary School

- Kwun Tong Ferry Pier

Merit

LST Leung Chik Wai Memorial School

- To develop Northern Tsing Yi and to create an ideal home

Merit

St. Francis Xavier's College

- Tai Kwok Tsui

Merit

Diocesan Boys' School

- Paradise Mongkok: The In-city Emporium

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