To attract high-flying companies and professionals to settle in the Northern Metropolis, Hong Kong will provide a complete I&T industry ecosystem integrated with the city’s bread-and-butter financing and professional services sector, world-class research and higher education institutions, and science and technology parks. Implementing the strategy will entail accommodating some 2.5 million people with the addition over 20 years of 350,000 residential units to the existing stock of 390,000.
For sustainable land use and to optimize property values, this housing will be close to workplaces and commercial areas, reducing commuting time, avoiding traffic congestion and limiting carbon emissions. Public facilities such as extensions of the transport systems, hospitals, schools, sports and cultural venues, as well as recreation and green spaces, will be incorporated into the housing developments. This will promote life-work balance for residents and enhance family life, community building and sustainable living. The high level of integration of the new urban areas with a broader SAR development plan will contribute to meeting the Hong Kong’s economic, social and environmental goals.
Mega-regional and national frameworks
Since the 1960s, urban studies researchers such as French geographer Jean Gottmann and American socio-economic theorist Richard Florida have argued that mega-regions have become the main economic unit through which cities grow and compete globally. This is due to the agglomeration of production and supply chains, complementary economic roles, and the interaction of innovation ecosystems and consumer markets.
Over the last two decades, governments from around the world have tried to bundle adjacent cities or metropolises together for concerted regional development, harnessing the agglomeration or multiplier effects. China began to promote its mega-regional strategy in 2006. In 2018, The Economist identified 19 emerging “super regions” or city clusters across the country. Of these, the Greater Bay Area (GBA) of the Pearl River Delta (PRD) is one of the most dynamic, given that its constituent cities include China’s economic powerhouses – Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou.