Sustainability Summit launches interdisciplinary dialogue in Hong Kong

Chan Pui-fun

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Academics from overseas and City University of Hong Kong (CityU) plus policy experts, government, business and NGO leaders shared their insights on the sustainability challenges facing Hong Kong and the East Asia region at the “Sustainability Summit– Pathways to a Sustainable Hong Kong” organised by CityU on 22 and 23 October 2014.

The two-day summit was a signature event for the University’s 30th anniversary celebrations. A number of activities and forum discussions were held to raise awareness and open dialogue about the subject at CityU and in the community.

One of the highlights was the Roundtable about sustainable policy-making in the context of a mega-city on the second day of the Summit, concluding the three interdisciplinary forum discussions held earlier the day. The fields of enquiry were: Arts and Humanities; Business and Social Sciences; and Science and Engineering.

There were two panels of speakers at the Roundtable. The first, the Policy Panel, featured senior government officials and policy experts who discussed the challenges to sustainable policies and policy-making. The second, the Commenting Panel, consisting of international speakers and CityU academics, reflected on sustainable policy challenges from both academic and comparative perspectives.

The experts included Dr Rob Melnick, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University; Dr Christine Loh Kung-wai, Under Secretary for the Environment, Hong Kong SAR Government; Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, Secretary for Transport and Housing, Hong Kong SAR Government; The Honourable Anna Wu Hung-yuk, Chairperson, Competition Commission of Hong Kong; Ms Florence Hui Hiu-fai, Under Secretary for Home Affairs, Hong Kong SAR Government; Professor Michael Douglass, Asia Research Institute and Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore; Professor Natalie Jeremijenko, Department of Art and Art Professions, New York University; and Professor Linda Li Che-lan, Associate Provost (Strategic Planning), CityU.

Mr Wong Kam-sing, Secretary for the Environment, Hong Kong SAR Government, officiated at the Welcome Reception on the first day of the summit where a student-led fashion show took place. Joining Mr Wong was Professor Way Kuo, CityU President.

“We need urgent actions to address the issues arising from sustainability development not only in Hong Kong but also around the world,” said Mr Wong. “I am pleased that CityU organised this thoughtful event to mark its 30th anniversary.”

 “This Summit provides an ideal platform for experts in a range of areas to network, swap ideas, discuss research and in general maintain a high level of dialogue,” Professor Kuo said.

The fashion show, another highlight of the event, demonstrated how used clothes can take on a new look with creative mix and match, and at the same time contribute to sustainable development.

“The message behind the fashion show is simple: we need to be aware that our societies are consumer-driven and we need to pay more attention to recycling and re-using,” Professor Kuo added.

Some of the University’s green campus initiatives, such as waste reduction, energy conservation and process sustainability were introduced to the guests at the reception by Mr Sunny Lee Wai-kwong, CityU’s Vice-President (Administration), showcasing CityU’s commitment to balancing growth with sustainability.

In addition, a collection of projects by students and staff related to the Summit’s broad sustainability theme is on exhibition on campus until the end of the month.


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