Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Wednesday that she hopes her planned Northern Metropolis will give residents more time to spend with their families and more quality sleep.
In a speech to the Global Conference of the Alliance for Healthy Cities, Lam said the government will try to ensure that the new metropolis is self-contained, adding that this would be a first for a new town development in Hong Kong.
She explained that with some 650,000 jobs envisaged in the metropolis, residents would not have to travel into the territory's existing urban areas for work.
“When I am driven from the urban area where I live into the new development to attend a meeting, to officiate at a function, I will always see buses coming the other way, that is from the new development areas into the urban areas, and the majority of passengers on the buses are falling asleep.”
“So you just imagine, if we have more jobs in the areas where these people live, they will have an extra hour of quality sleep, in home, and not on the bus.”
As well as more opportunities for work and sleep, Lam said the new metropolis will also boast country parks and wetlands for the people to enjoy.
“Instead of just going for intense urbanisation, which was Hong Kong’s approach previously, we are very serious about achieving better urban-rural integration,” she said, adding that that area is full of natural resources like wetlands, fishponds, country parks and the Shenzhen River.
She said the government will be adopting a "far more proactive conservation policy", rather than simply drawing up plans.
“For the first time, the Hong Kong SAR government has pledged that we will resume land. We will resume private land in order to create these integral country parks, as well as wetland parks for the people of Hong Kong.”