With over 7.4 million inhabiting a land area of just 1,073 square
With forecasted population growth in the next decades, addressing infrastructure demands will be the biggest challenge. Despite its lauded public transportation system, travel is becoming increasingly stressful. With nearly all of Hong Kong's easily available land already used, providing future capacity necessitates a rethink of the urban ecosystem. And against a backdrop of climate, technological, and geopolitical changes, our research reveals that many feel uncertain about the city’s resiliency.
The future is challenging, yet positive, given the mutually strong appetite of users and service providers for smarter, faster, better infrastructure. Our research indicates a good level of willingness among citizens to share personal data with the city agencies towards that.
Through the decades, AECOM has partnered with stakeholders in Hong Kong to provide infrastructure for the prosperity of the city and its citizens. The decades ahead are no less challenging, but equally bright if we all work together. AECOM’s research provides direction towards how planners, designers, engineers and management professionals can collaborate with all stakeholders to develop and deliver innovative infrastructure solutions that improve citizens’ lives and generate value for Hong Kong, its
Chief Executive, Greater China, AECOM
Chairman, Hong Kong, AECOM
Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. With a perfect fusion of oriental and western features, Hong Kong has become a world-class financial, trading and business centre. It has a population of about 7.4 million, with the distinction of having one of the world’s highest rates of urban density as well as one of the world’s highest life expectancies at birth.
Over the last several decades, Hong Kong has been dealing with one of the great challenges of its history — the task of providing new, modern housing and infrastructure for millions of people.
In collaboration with Longitude — a Financial Times Company, AECOM’s Future of Infrastructure research harnesses survey data and opinions from over 10,000 infrastructure users in 10 major global cities, including Hong Kong, to ask how satisfied, safe, inspired and engaged people feel with their roads and bridges, rail services and utilities.
Hong Kong ranks fifth out of the 10 cities in the overall index score (4.05), according to the survey. Citizens in Hong Kong have the highest satisfaction rates (7.5) for their infrastructure among all of the cities surveyed, while ranking joint fifth for its resilience score (5.5) with Chicago and Sydney. Yet, Hong Kong ranks last in the innovation (5.5) and joint last in the engagement aspects (2.7), respectively, again with Chicago and Sydney.
Our research reveals that citizens in Hong Kong generally are ‘very satisfied’ with the city’s management of infrastructure and related services, but they expect to be more involved in infrastructure delivery and development. They are also eager to help the city move forward innovatively, with a number of respondents (40%) willing to share personal data with city agencies if it helps them improve city infrastructure and infrastructure services.
Regarding the future, improving environmental sustainability is the top priority in Hong Kong. Citizens in Hong Kong also think that fibre-optic broadband is the technology that will have the biggest positive future impact on their quality of life.
With regards to utility affordability, the water supply (7.6) and power supply (6.7) in Hong Kong are considered the most affordable out of all 10 cities. Hong Kong’s reliability index score of 9.0 also shows that it has the least reported electricity outages. At the same time, it ranks fourth regarding water utility reliability with a score of 8.5.
Some 94% of Hong Kong respondents point out that their primary method of transportation is public transport — the highest percentage among all 10 cities. However, 75% believe using public transportation is becoming more stressful. Some 50% agree it is affordable and nearly two-thirds (63%) state that the public transportation they use is ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ at getting them wherever they need to be. Around 35% agree that public transportation is ‘good’ or 'excellent’ in terms of its reliability, especially regarding its timeliness. But the majority (51%), however, state it is 'acceptable'.
A total of 77% of Hong Kong respondents agree that their regular water bill is affordable, and 60% see their regular power bill as affordable. With a score of 9.0, Hong Kong has the highest index of electricity stability among all 10 cities, and 70% of the respondents claim they have not experienced a loss of power supply to their neighbourhood in the past 12 months. Water stability ranks fourth among all cities, with 64% of citizens surveyed stating they have not experienced an outage or restricted supply of water in the past year.
More than half of the respondents (53%) think that the private sector should be more involved in the development of infrastructure. Speaking of government officials, 56% of the respondents in Hong Kong agree that it’s better for city officials to take a longer-term view of infrastructure planning. Many also believe that the city planning authorities are making it easier to interact with them through social media (43%) and mobile channels (apps, text/SMS) (44%). Yet, 52% of the respondents agree that they would prefer having a longer consultation period at the planning stage to respond with their views on infrastructure improvements or investments, so as to make their influence meaningful. In addition, 63% of respondents said that they were eager for more opportunities to provide feedback to a public transportation provider.
Fibre-optic broadband is seen as the technology that will have the greatest impact on quality of life, followed by mobile payment channels. For daily usage, 35% agree that the main provider of public transportation makes available innovative payment options depending on time of day or usage, and 59% of them also use one or more mobile apps to stay current on the status of public transport. In light of innovation, 40% of the respondents are open to share personal data with relevant city agencies to help them improve city infrastructure or infrastructure services.
When it comes to the environment, 64% of the respondents believe the Hong Kong government could do better in fostering environmentally sustainable practices, 39% agree that the amount of open green space (e.g. parks and gardens) has expanded in the past two years. Some 33% of the respondents claim that they have been informed of drills or exercises that the city authorities have organised in the past two years to prepare for emergency situations.
Respondents identified improving environmental sustainability (e.g. recycling, wastewater re-use, solar power), upgrading of public transportation, protection against the impacts of natural disasters (e.g. flood protection) and upgrading of utilities (water, power) as their top four (in order of priority) most important improvements to infrastructure for the future.