Director of Planning,
The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Mr Raymond Lee is currently the Director of Planning Department in the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. He is also a member of the Planners Registration Board. From late October 2012 to May 2014, Mr Lee was the Head of Energizing Kowloon East Office responsible for facilitating the transformation of Kowloon East into another core business district of Hong Kong. He was the Secretary to the Town Planning Board from May 2014 to November 2016.
Mr Lee has extensive experiences in town planning. He has previously been involved in planning for the old airport site at Kai Tak, review of the Town Planning Ordinance, harbour-front planning and development, boundary closed area and cross-boundary planning, and planning for new development areas in the New Territories.
Cavern and Underground Space Development: Towards Sustainable City Development in Hong Kong
With a view to creating capacity for sustainable growth, the Hong Kong 2030+: Towards a Planning Vision and Strategy Transcending 2030 undertaken by the Hong Kong SAR Government advocates a multi-pronged strategy on smart use of our scarce land resources. Technological advancement has allowed us to explore different innovative land supply options including the use of rock caverns and underground space to release more surface land for better uses.
Hong Kong with its characteristic hilly terrain and highly favourable geological setting is well placed for cavern development. Through the concerted engineering and land use planning efforts, a comprehensive planning and implementation strategy – the Cavern Master Plan (CMP) was formulated in 2017. The CMP is a strategic planning tool, which outlines a holistic approach to unlock Hong Kong’s hidden land resource for suitable land use development. It is a sustainable and innovative means for expanding our land supply in the long term. The CMP together with its recommended planning and design guidelines as well as potential land uses within caverns would be incorporated into the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines. With the guidance provided by the CMP, it is expected that there will be wider application of cavern development both by the public and private sectors in Hong Kong.
To spearhead the cavern development concept, the Hong Kong SAR Government is examining relocation of suitable government facilities into caverns. An example is the proposed relocation of the existing Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works into a nearby cavern, thus releasing a prime river-side site of about 28 ha for other beneficial uses.
As for underground space development, Hong Kong has a long history of such usage for both public and private facilities. The Hong Kong SAR Government is now exploring an integrated planning and engineering approach for wider application of underground space development for creating space, enhancing connectivity and improving the congested urban environment.