LCQ14: City Gallery
Question by the Hon Chan Chun-ying :
The City Gallery is Hong Kong’s first exhibition hall with the theme of urban planning and large-scale infrastructure development. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland, the Development Bureau and the Planning Department jointly hosted a special exhibition with the theme of Envisioning Beyond Legacy at the City Gallery from July to November 2022, which included displaying an exhibit to collect the views of the public on the uses of land on the future Kau Yi Chau Artificial Islands. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the number of thematic exhibitions held at the City Gallery in each of the past five years (with a breakdown by theme (i.e. (i) Hong Kong’s major planning proposals, (ii) Hong Kong’s major infrastructure projects, and (iii) the city’s future development outlook), and the contents of those exhibitions;
(2) of the total attendance at the City Gallery in each of the past five years;
(3) of the respective numbers of secondary schools and primary schools participating in the City Gallery’s School Thematic Tour Scheme in each of the past five years, with a breakdown by the learning unit (i.e. “Today’s Hong Kong” as well as “Energy Technology and the Environment”) in which they participated, and the number of students participating in the activities each time;
(4) of the amount and contents of public views collected on the uses of land on the future Kau Yi Chau Artificial Islands in the special exhibition of Envisioning Beyond Legacy; and
(5) whether it has plans to adjust the exhibition contents and directions of the City Gallery and introduce innovative elements; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Reply by the Secretary for Development, Ms Bernadette Linn:
The reply to the various parts of the questions is as follows:
(1) The City Gallery (CG) showcases the achievements of Hong Kong’s planning and infrastructure development. It provides a venue for permanent exhibitions and thematic exhibitions, and acts as a platform for collaboration and exchange of planning ideas as well as public engagement. Besides permanent exhibitions, 40 thematic exhibitions were conducted in the past five years. The number and the contents of the thematic exhibitions in each of the past five years are set out at Annex.
(2) The total number of visitation at the CG in each of the past five years is set out below:
(3) From September 2014 to June 2019, CG organised “School Thematic Tour Scheme” programmes with different themes each year. This Scheme mainly aimed to introduce the interactive exhibits of the CG systematically via guided tour, encourage students to learn proactively and enhance their understanding about the planning and infrastructural developments of Hong Kong in the past, present and future. The themes for 2019 were “Today’s Hong Kong” and “Energy Technology and the Environment”, with six participating schools (a total of 10 tours) and 274 participating students in total. The breakdown is set out below:
In addition to the above, the CG had arranged 67 other guided tours for 43 schools (a total of 2 498 students had participated) in 2019. To maintain the provision of services during the pandemic and the renovation works from late 2019 to early 2022, the CG had continued to organise online guided tours and workshops for schools in situations where on-site educational activities and public guided tour services (including “School Thematic Tour Scheme” programmes) had to be suspended. The CG has resumed guided tour services since May 2022, with a focus on the permanent exhibits and “Envisioning Beyond Legacy”, an exhibition staged to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. In addition, the CG has organised summer planning schools for primary and secondary school students, as well as Youth Ambassador Schemes for university students and youths. Riding on the recent renovation of the CG with new exhibition themes and innovative curatorial models, we will actively reach out to more schools and provide students with guided tour services with a view to enhancing the new generation’s understanding of the future planning and development in Hong Kong.
(4) The “Envisioning Beyond Legacy” thematic exhibition was open at the CG from July 6 to November 30, 2022, and one of the thematic exhibition areas introduced the preliminary planning concept and infrastructure development proposal of the Kau Yi Chau Artificial Island (KYCAI) project. Visitors had the opportunity to understand some of the considerations in land planning, and plan for their ideal KYCAI through the “Build the Islands of the Future” town planning game. Later on, from December 2022 to March 2023, the study team launched public engagement activities on the preliminary proposals for four aspects (including the reclamation extent, broad land use, strategic transport infrastructure and possible financing options) of the project. About 7 800 public comments were received and the relevant Public Engagement Report has been uploaded to the website of the project study (www.centralwaters.hk).
(5) We will update the exhibits in a timely manner so as to provide the latest information on Hong Kong’s planning and infrastructures for visitors through interactive and user-friendly means. The five floors of the CG had been or planning to be renovated in recent years, including the works on the G/F, 3/F and 4/F were completed in 2021 to update the exhibits regarding the planning history of Hong Kong, the evolution of skylines and coastlines, the contrast of Hong Kong now and then and so on. In addition, renovation works on the 2/F have just been completed to showcase, in an innovative interactive way with technology, Hong Kong’s macro planning, the two major strategic growth areas (Northern Metropolis and the KYCAI), transportation and other infrastructure projects. We are planning for the renovation on the 1/F, and exhibits in relation to the theme on sustainable development will be included upon completion of works, such as green living and nature conservation, and interesting parent-child interactive curatorial models will also be adopted to attract more different types of visitors.
Note 1: The CG was closed intermittently from January 29, 2020 to April 25, 2022, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Note 2: The number of visitation of the exhibition “Envisioning Beyond Legacy” (264 000 in total, including on-site: 111 000 and online: 153 000) has been included. The exhibition, jointly presented by the Development Bureau and the Planning Department, was held from July 6 to November 30, 2022, (the outdoor exhibition ended on January 2, 2023) to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Note 3: The CG was closed from December 20, 2022, to March 31, 2023, to facilitate repair works of air-conditioning facilities.