| Dec 29, 2009 |
Conference focuses on the urbanism and vertical density
Boh staff
By Staff

Organized by the Hong Kong SAR Government and the Shanghai World Expo 2010 Executive Committee and presented by the Hong Kong - New York Urban Exchange Group, AIA Hong Kong, and The Skyscraper Museum, "Vertical Density: The Public Dimension" will take place on January 21 and 22, 2010 in Hong Kong as the second of an ongoing exchange between the world's great skyscraper cities.

The international conference will explore how the vital concentration and growth of global cities can be balanced with an enlargement of the civic realm. It will also look at how the essential character and cultures of a place can be promoted, and how government and private interests can work together to create, maintain, and celebrate a positive public dimension. The extreme vertical density of Hong Kong, New York and Shanghai has been driven by market forces and private investment coupled with municipal regulation and planning.

The first conference, presented in New York in October 2008 by The Skyscraper Museum, examined the extreme density of Hong Kong and Manhattan, and explored the models of efficient mass transit as a necessity for successful cities.

The first session of the 2010 Conference extends its focus to include Shanghai, which is rapidly transforming into one of the world's premier skyscraper cities, and will also host the 2010 World Expo under the theme 'Better City, Better Life'.

Carol Willis, Founder and Director of The Skyscraper Museum, says: "New York and Hong Kong share exceptional affinities, both historical and contemporary: evolved from colonial ports into dominant centers of international finance and commerce, each embraced the skyscraper as the principal instrument of modern urbanism."

"While New York's high-rise history evolved over a century, Hong Kong's vertical density has developed since the 1970s and Shanghai's skyline has ascended in just the past two decades."

Dr. Bruckner, President of the AIA Hong Kong Chapter, emphasizes that: "the conference offers an excellent opportunity to learn from a century of explorations and successes in New York and to explore their relevance for growing Asian cities today by bringing together urban experts to celebrate public space and vibrant, livable cities."

Among the speakers are: Mr Henry Tang Ying-yen, GBM, GBS, JP, Chief Secretary for Administration, HKSARG; Zhou Hanmin, Deputy Director of the World Expo 2010 Shanghai Executive Committee; and, Mrs Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet- ngor, JP, Secretary for Development, HKSARG.

As one of the presenters, Nicholas Brooke, Chairman of Professional Property Services Limited and Chairman of Hong Kong Science Parks Corporation, explains how this event serves as a good platform for dialogue: "The value of exchanges of this nature cannot be underestimated as the three cities strive to balance the challenges of vertical density with increased aspirations for quality of life and a better and sustainable urban environment. This is a cross-industry and city region initiative which it is hoped will further enhance the knowledge and understanding of those responsible for the planning, design and upkeep of the urban fabric in major cities worldwide."

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