Title Abstract Evaluation Scientific Committee

Our Fading Daily Life and It's History : the demolition of the Origin of Public Transport in Hong Kong ­ Tsim Sha Tsui Transport Interchange

Ref.: 135
Key theme: 02 Functional integrity of historic urban landscapes
Date of reception: 15/11/2008

AUTHORS (*Main author)

Chan Ka-Long, Leslie * - Say No to relocation of Tsim Sha Tsui Bus Terminal (China)

FINAL EVALUATION OF SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE: Pending evaluation

ABSTRACT

Using the demolition of Tsim Sha Tsui Transport Interchange as an evidence, this paper is trying to work out a picture of Hong Kong's disappearance of original history of the city & civilization history and real life - the still existing living history of how ordinary daily life surrender bit by bit for commercial incomes and tourism attractions. In this paper, we demonstrate the term "Historic Urban Landscape" by reveal the true value of the site : the Origin of Public Transport in Hong Kong and Heart of the Landmark in Kowloon..

Hong Kong is one of the cities in the world with a good public transport infrastructure ­ which ran over 110 years. Ferries, Double-Deck Buses and Railway are one of our impressive urban scenes, and all of them origin from one place ­ the TST Transport Interchange.

The TST Transport Interchange is the first of its kind developed in Hong Kong and still reminds the same function as one of the and busiest transport interchange in the Kowloon side of the famous Victoria Harbour. Since 1888, ferries operate between the Island side (Central) and Kowloon (Tsim Sha Tsui), and later Railway and Buses start their services in 1911 and 1920 respectively. `Star Ferry' was the major mode of transport for citizens to cross the Harbour, and passengers can interchange with buses and railway at the transport interchange to other parts of Kowloon side and the New Territories.

Ocean Terminal was built in 1966, and it is the still only Ocean Liner pier in Hong Kong till now. Between it's frontdoor and Ferry Pier, stood the "Five Flag Poles", which has been a famous landmark and gathering point.

The relation of the Ferry and railway ended in 1975 when the railway terminal moved to Hung Hom, while the clock tower of the railway station was kept as a monument in order to memorize the railway station and became another landmark of Kowloon.

Although the launch of Cross Harbor Tunnel and Mass Transit Railway have attracted a significant number of passengers from the ferry, the function of this interchange still stands an important role for both citizens and tourists. Nowadays, there are over 70000 passenger trips by taking the Star Ferry, and many of them take buses to the Ferry Pier for interchange. Despite the 88 years long bus-to-ferry relationship, the Government is planning to delink it by relocating the bus terminal and build a 15-metre-tall shopping mall at the site.

This change will totally disconnect our memory of the place and affect citizen's daily life. The Clock Tower, the Five Flag Poles, Star Ferry Pier and Bus Terminal are the most important set of landmarks in Kowloon. While the Bus Terminal provides convenient access, it sustains the vitality of Star Ferry as a daily transport but not an expensive tourism facility like Peak Tram. This makes the site the best place to experience the rhythm of city. This paper will come with suggestions for the conservation of this Historic Urban Landscape, while providing public space in the same time.

REFERENCES

EVALUATION OF SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE

Scientific_Committee_696
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Scientific_Committee_818
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Title Abstract Scientific Committee