Privatisation or Preservation? Strategies for a Sustainable Future of Hong Kong’s Country Park Enclaves

Student: KWONG Wai Lam Rae

Supervisor: Vincci Mak
Thesis section: Future of the Countryside
Programme: Master of Landscape Architecture
Date: June 2020


This project discusses the future of country park enclaves in Hong Kong. Over the years, the rising population has aggravated the housing problem in Hong Kong, and there has never been more tension between development and nature conservation. In 2017, the government set up the Task Force for Land Supply to explore options in tackling land shortages, among which development in the periphery of country parks is one of them. Country park enclaves, with a total area of 2076 hectares, will inevitably be included in the discussion of land supply. Nevertheless, it must be kept in mind that the enclaves are an indispensable part of Hong Kong’s rural environment and should not be developed extensively or left unattended. This project discusses the values of country park enclaves, the challenges they are facing, and provides an imagination to the future, in which the ecological and cultural values of the enclaves could be preserved while catering for the need of urban development. The proposed system provides an incentive for the stakeholders to re-establish the deteriorating ecology and preserve existing Feng Shui woodland as part of the cultural landscape while more than 70% of the enclaves are privately owned. It is also intended to prevent further destruction from human settlements for residential use and encourage more usage for ecological and educational purposes. Through monetary incentives and right of building houses, it encourages villagers to re-construct and inherit the cultural landscape and re-establish the community through monitoring and cooperation among the stakeholders. Generally, conservation banking is proposed to prevent the land from further destruction; pollinator plants & Feng Shui species plantation is intended for re-establishing the traditional community forestry management and practice; revitalising agriculture land is proposed to strengthen sense of identity, construct community with common goals, and facilitate cooperation between the villagers and incomers.

Keywords: Hong Kong; country park enclaves; incentive approach; rural sustainability; conservation banking

Enlarge Photo: Existing Issue for the Enclaves: Vanishing Cultural Landscape, Land Inequity, and Urban Encroachment. By KWONG Wai Lam Rae.Enlarge Photo: Timeline of the Country Park Policy, Small House Policy, and Enclave Policy. By KWONG Wai Lam Rae.Enlarge Photo: Projected & Existing Land Area, Houses Demand and Supply of the Enclave. By KWONG Wai Lam Rae.Enlarge Photo: Function & Impacts by the Developers, Villagers, and others. By KWONG Wai Lam Rae.Enlarge Photo: Incentive Approach: Conservation Banking. By KWONG Wai Lam Rae.Enlarge Photo: Incentive Approach: Pollinator Plant & Feng Shui Species Plantation. By KWONG Wai Lam Rae.Enlarge Photo: Incentive Approach: Revitalising Agriculture Land. By KWONG Wai Lam Rae.Enlarge Photo: Incentive Approach: Minimising Pollutants from Human Settlements through Septic Tank & Constructed Wetland Filtration System. By KWONG Wai Lam Rae.Enlarge Photo: Stakeholders' Option: Government, Landlords, 'Incomers', Villagers, and Developers. By KWONG Wai Lam Rae.Enlarge Photo: Site Implementation Imagination: Community Cooperation in Kuk Po, Development Potential in Tai Tan & Ko Tong Ha Yeung, and Nursery in Ngau Wu Tok & Tai Po Mei. By KWONG Wai Lam Rae.