Survey Findings on Views about the Lantau Tomorrow VisionReleased by Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at CUHK
Chief Executive Carrie Lam in her 2018 policy address has put forward the “Lantau Tomorrow Vision” (the Vision) which includes the creation of artificial islands with a total area of about 1,700 hectares. A telephone survey was conducted from 18 to 26 April 2019 by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, to gauge public views on the project. A total of 46.7% of the respondents supported the Vision, mainly because of land shortage in Hong Kong (67.5%); 37.9% did not support the plan, mainly because they were worried that construction would damage the natural environment (51.3%).
Major findings are summarised as follows:
The Vision proposes the creation of artificial islands by reclamation in the central waters between Lantau and Hong Kong Island. Of the respondents, 48.2% agreed to this reclamation, 31.5% disagreed, and 16.7% answered ‘in-between’. Some people thought that although the Vision’s cost is huge, the land revenues accruing from the project can offset the cost. A total of 32.6% of the respondents disagreed with this view, 30.5% agreed, and 20.0% answered ‘in-between’.
The government estimates that the artificial islands can accommodate about 260,000 to 400,000 housing units. Of the total respondents, 42.4% thought the number of housing units was ‘appropriate’, 22.6% said it was ‘too low’, and 10.0% answered ‘too high’. The government projects that 70% of the housing units will be public housing. More than half (58.6%) of the respondents thought that the proportion of public housing was ‘appropriate’, 15.1% said that it was ‘too low’, and 14.9% answered ‘too high’. It is estimated by the government that the first group intake will be in 2032. When the respondents were asked if they had any confidence in the government to achieve this goal as scheduled, 50.4% had no confidence in the government, 31.9% answered ‘in between’, and only 12.6% were confident that the government could compete it as scheduled.
In general, 46.7% of the respondents supported the Vision, and 37.9% did not support it. The major reasons for supporting the project were ‘Land shortage in Hong Kong’ (67.5%), ‘Help to solve the housing problem’ (46.8%), and ‘Hong Kong government can afford the project’ (23.1%). The major reasons for not supporting the project were ‘Damage the natural environment’ (51.3%), ‘Cost is too high’ (49.7%), and “There are other practicable methods to increase land supply’ (48.3%).
In this survey, a total of 707 respondents aged 18 or above were successfully interviewed, with a response rate of 34.7%. The sampling error is estimated at plus or minus 3.70 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.