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City Gallery reopens after renovation

The City Gallery located in Central is the first planning and infrastructure gallery in Hong Kong. Resuming full operation in May 2021 after partial renovation, the gallery now houses a number of new interactive games and selfie spots. Here is a brief introduction.New interactive and fun elementsHong Kong is developing rapidly. To keep up with the pace, the City Gallery has replaced various exhibits and facilities on the G/F, 3/F and 4/F with more interactive and fun elements. Ms Chan Hau-yin, Margaret, Chief Town Planner (Atg.) of the Planning Department, says that the visitors’ refreshing experience starts right at the moment they step into the gallery, as the “Planning Eye” next to the reception counter will take them on an amazing journey to explore the challenges and opportunities faced by Hong Kong in the course of city development, and display our planning vision through the interactive videos shown on the eyeball-shaped LED and 3D geographic model of Hong Kong combined with audiovisual effect. The models are made with great precision in every detail. The aircrafts and vessels projected go along the same flight paths and fairways as in the real world. Development experiences of different citiesNear the “Planning Eye” are the new interactive exhibits “City Impression” and “Great World Cities”. With the touch screens, visitors can compare Hong Kong with other cities in terms of urban form, population density and their skyscrapers, and learn about the good practice of some cities in achieving sustainable development goals, e.g. the Cheonggyecheon Stream in Seoul, South Korea; the “SMART Tunnel” (Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and the experience in zero emission gained by Copenhagen, Denmark. A time-journey reflecting the course of developmentNew items have been added to the 3/F after the renovation, including the interactive “Planning Timeline” and “Coastlines & Skylines”, which show visitors the development and changes in Hong Kong and along the Victoria Harbour since 1900. One level up on the 4/F, the old and new photos shown on the touch screens of “Hong Kong Now and Then” enable visitors to visualise the evolvement of different places in our city. The “Treasure Hunt”, another section on the same floor, displays miniature models of modern and old buildings, passenger carriers of different periods and playground delights of the old days, such as the merry-go-round, as well as the long and tall metal slide. Inclusive facilities in the galleryMs Margaret Chan says that, taking the people-oriented approach, the City Gallery has incorporated various inclusive facilities to suit the needs of different age groups and people with disabilities. For instance, in a commanding position overlooking the Victoria Harbour on the 4/F stands an architectural illustration of the Victoria Harbour. It is equipped with a tactile-audio interaction system to let visually impaired visitors appreciate the features along both sides of our harbour through touching, braille dots and audio descriptions. Moreover, the “Community Lounge” on the same floor provides a cosy environment with seats where visitors can relax and read books about town planning and infrastructure development. The City Gallery is a unique exhibition venue. It briefs the public on the major planning proposals and infrastructure projects in Hong Kong, as well as the development directions of our city. The Government will encourage the public to visit the gallery, and to join hands to make Hong Kong a liveable, competitive and sustainable Asia's world city. (The video is in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Tree labels with QR codes

There is a large number of trees in the territory. Different tree species can be seen along roadsides and in parks. For trees to grow healthily, apart from the comprehensive risk assessment and regular maintenance of trees carried out by tree management departments, the co-operation of the public is also very important. The Development Bureau (DEVB) is now launching a scheme of tree labels with QR codes, hoping to raise public awareness of trees and their maintenance so that Hong Kong people can work together to reduce the risk of tree failure. Currently, about 1.7 million trees in Hong Kong are under the regular maintenance of the Government and amongst them, about one million are in areas of high pedestrian and vehicular traffic flow. In view of the wide distribution of trees in the territory, the Government adopts an “integrated approach” for tree management, under which departments are responsible for managing the trees in the facilities and land within their purview, so that appropriate routine tree maintenance can be carried out having regard to the characteristics and locations of different trees. On the other hand, trees located on private land are under the care of respective private lot and property owners.Facilitating the public to report problematic treesThe DEVB has been actively exploring ways to apply smart technologies in tree management to enhance its efficiency and effectiveness. Displaying tree labels with QR codes is one of the new initiatives. Tree Management Officer, Ms Chan Yuen-man, Paula, of the DEVB says that through the use of QR codes, the scheme brings convenience both to the public in reporting problematic trees and to the DEVB in providing more tree knowledge, such as tree species, whether the species are indigenous or foreign, tree characteristics and other fun facts. The work to display QR-coded labels has commenced and will be completed in phases. The DEVB expects to first display QR-coded labels on about 200 000 trees along roadsides in early 2022. Tree labels placed at pedestrians’ eye levelsMr Chan Yuen-king, Paul, Landscape Architect of the consulting company implementing the scheme, tells us that tree labels with QR codes will be hung on trees at the eye level of pedestrians. Tree labels carry basic tree information including Chinese, English and botanical names. The labels mainly have two functions. Firstly, in case a problematic tree is found, the public can report to the authorities by, for example, calling 1823. As each tree has a unique number printed on its label, the public can tell the accurate location of a tree. Secondly, the public may scan the QR code on the tree label with a mobile phone to enter the website of the tree management authority for more tree information. Covering locations with higher pedestrian flowMr Paul Chan says that the scheme of tree labels with QR codes covers the whole territory, involving trees at locations with higher pedestrian flow, such as major transport nodes which include areas outside MTR stations and ferry terminals. About 10 000 tree labels for around 100 tree species will be produced for distribution to various districts across Hong Kong in the first phase of the scheme. He says that as Hong Kong is a dense and compact city where people and trees are closely related, he hopes that the scheme will raise public concern about trees. Tree information being scientific and interestingCurator of Shiu-Ying Hu Herbarium of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Dr Lau Tai-wai, David, who is responsible for collecting and compiling tree information, says that he is excited that the herbarium can take part in the scheme. With the dedication of his colleagues to collecting information, the tree information thus compiled is both scientific and interesting. Quoting an example, he says that there is a tree species called Autumn Maple in Hong Kong. It is an indigenous species of ecological significance under the family of Euphorbiaceae. One Autumn Maple growing in Lai Chi Wo of Sha Tau Kok has a history of more than 100 years and is registered as an Old and Valuable Tree. The most interesting information is that the fruits of Autumn Maple can be used for brewing wine while leaves can be used as a spice for preparing a dish called “Jia Dong Ji (Autumn Maple Chicken)”. Harmonious co-existence of the community and treesDr David Lau says that the public can simply scan the QR codes on the tree labels for more detailed information to understand tree species from various perspectives. He hopes that the scheme will inspire the public to respect and cherish trees more to achieve harmonious co-existence of the community and trees, which is also the aim of his team in compiling tree information. Trees are integral parts of our outdoor environment. They provide amenity areas, moderate temperature, improve air quality and enhance biodiversity. It is hoped that, through the scheme of tree labels with QR codes, the message of tree care can be integrated into the daily life of the public and a positive attitude towards tree care will be fostered, so that our trees can grow more vigorously and healthily and Hong Kong will continue to be a safe, livable and sustainable city. (The video is in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Smart Planning in Digital Era

Smart city development can improve people's livelihood and make Hong Kong a more liveable city. Earlier on, the Planning Department (PlanD) has completed the feasibility study on the “Development of a Common Spatial Data Infrastructure - Built Environment Application Platform” (CSDI-BEAP Study), which aims at developing prototype applications on specific areas such as city planning, infrastructure and environment based on spatial data, in order to facilitate implementation of works and projects, increase efficiency in planning and development, and enhance collaboration among Government bureaux and departments to provide better services to the public.Enhancing efficiency in planning through technologyThe PlanD is committed to enhancing the efficiency of its town planning work through innovation and technology. These include the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in surveys and preparation of 3D spatial data; application of satellite images, remote sensing and geo-informatics to provide an updated overview on the distribution of land uses and vegetated areas; development of the 3D Planning and Design System, which displays the cityscape of Hong Kong through 3D photo-realistic models and, by applying the existing planning data and information, helps town planners to formulate and analysis design schemes. Moreover, the PlanD completed the CSDI-BEAP Study in early 2020.From “Supermarket” to “Kitchen”The Government is pressing ahead with the implementation of the Common Spatial Data Infrastructure (CSDI) to facilitate integration, exchange and sharing of geospatial information. Mr Wong Wai-yin, Vincent, Senior Town Planner of the PlanD, says that the CSDI is like a “supermarket” in which a wide variety of data and services are available, while the Built Environment Application Platform (BEAP) is like a “kitchen”, where selected ingredients (i.e. the spatial data) from the supermarket can be processed into applications relating to built environment. Under the CSDI-BEAP Study, a total of ten prototype applications on different thematic areas have been developed, including those on “planning and land use”, “infrastructure and engineering” and “landscape, environment and conservation”. Planning and land use analysisMr Vincent Wong shares with us two prototype applications relating to town planning and livelihood. The first one is on “Government, Institution or Community (GIC) Facilities and Open Space Analysis”. This prototype application displays the type and location of the existing and planned GIC facilities and open spaces in a 3D map environment, and generates a summary table to facilitate analysis of future demands for these facilities based on the population projection inputs of a particular area and the standards stipulated in the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines.Town planners are also concerned about with the spatial distribution of different types of community facilities. The prototype application on “GIC Facilities and Open Space Analysis” helps town planners conduct service area analysis to gain a better understanding of the relationship between the distribution of community facilities and residential buildings, so that new community facilities can be set up at the most suitable locations.Visualisation and Analysis of Urban Green InfrastructureThe other prototype application is on “Visualisation and Analysis of Urban Green Infrastructure”. Mr Vincent Wong says that, for a city closely packed with high-rise buildings like Hong Kong, green and blue assets (i.e. urban infrastructure relating to water and vegetation) are vital for maintaining its livability and sustainability. This prototype application displays different types of green and blue information, and provides more reference materials for built environment planning.Encouraging more greening studiesMr Vincent Wong adds that in the CSDI-BEAP Study, academic research results on green indices are compiled and added to this prototype application. With information such as vegetation covers, town planners can better analyse the impact on the green indices brought by development projects. Such information is also useful in environmental analysis, e.g. urban heat island effect and microclimate impact, and can be applied in district planning in respect of tree planting, pedestrian facilities and walking environment enhancement and more. It is hoped that this prototype application will encourage greening-related studies and thereby enhance the quality of town planning.International and local recognitionIt is grateful that the CSDI-BEAP Study won three international and local awards, namely, the best Asia Pacific Smart City project under the “Urban Planning and Land Use” category of IDC Smart City Asia Pacific Awards 2020, the 2020 Grand Award for Excellence under the International Society of City and Regional Planners, and the Certificate of Merit of the Hong Kong Institute of Planners Awards 2020. The PlanD expects to leverage the prototype applications developed under the BEAP, to help build Hong Kong into a smart, green and resilient city, and to foster co-creation among the Government, industry, academia and the public to further promote smart city development in Hong Kong for the benefit of the public. (The video is in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

EMSD’s outstanding achievements at International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva

The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) has all along been proactive in applying innovative technologies to enhance service quality, and ensuring that electrical, mechanical and energy technologies are harnessed in a safe, reliable, economical and environmentally friendly manner to continuously enhance people’s quality of life. EMSD has attained outstanding achievements at this year’s International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva. Four Gold Medals and four Silver Medals have been awarded to the department. Major annual event for inventorsThe International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva is one of the major annual events for inventors across the world. Due to the pandemic, the international jury of specialists evaluated around 600 inventions and projects from over 20 countries and regions via video conferencing for the first time. This year, the performance of the Hong Kong delegation was excellent. The EMSD teams received international recognition for quite a number of their research and development deliverables. Artificial Intelligent (AI) Nylon Optical Fibre Sensing Escalator CombsOne of the award-winning inventions is the AI Nylon Optical Fibre Sensing Escalator Combs. This Gold Medal-winning system is developed by the EMSD in collaboration with the industry, a start-up company and a university. Senior Engineer/General Legislation of the EMSD, Mr Au Tze-wai, William, says that it is of particular importance to ensure the safe operation of escalators because we use them almost every day. This newly developed system uses optical fibre sensing technology and AI big data analysis to monitor escalator operations in real time. Besides, 3D scanning and printing technology are used to enhance the design of escalator combs.Sending out alarm signals when obstacles are detectedIntroducing the features of the system, he points out that it can detect obstacles on an escalator by monitoring the vibrations of the escalator combs with the use of optical fibre sensing technology. If an escalator is stuck by obstacles, the system will send out alarm signals and alert management staff via a mobile phone application, so that the obstacles can be removed as soon as possible to reduce the occurrence of “accordion-style” escalator crash incidents. The system will also calculate pedestrian flow along an escalator to enable repair and maintenance workers to know about the utilisation rate of the escalator. Hence, workers can find out which escalator parts will have a higher level of wear and tear and carry out timely preventive maintenance to reduce the risks of accidents. Combining 3D printing technologyIn addition, using nylon material together with the latest Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology, the award-winning team has enhanced the design of the traditional escalator combs. Dr NG Chun, Curtis of the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University tells us that combs made of nylon, which is a type of plastic, have greater flexibility. In the case of traditional combs made of aluminium alloy, although they are harder, their aluminium alloy teeth are comparatively easier to break and pop out when stuck with hard objects. Also, by extending the top coverage by five millimetres to reduce the gap between the combs and the steps, the team’s design is more effective in preventing hard objects from getting stuck in an escalator.Favourable test resultsCurrently, the system is being tested on-site on eight escalators at outdoor covered walkways, government complexes and large shopping malls, and the results are favourable. Following EMSD’s effort in promoting the system, there are plans for the Airport Authority Hong Kong, the Mass Transit Railway Corporation Limited and various government premises to adopt it. The Vocational Training Council has also expressed interest in applying the invention to teaching purposes. Air Filter 2.0Another award-winning invention is Air Filter 2.0, an energy-saving air filter technology developed by the EMSD for centralised air-conditioning systems. It was awarded a Silver Medal at the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva.Incorporating a retractable deviceProject Officer (Innovation) of the EMSD, Mr YIP Kim-ming explains that Air Filter 2.0 has combined two advanced technologies, the first being a retractable mechanism that can operate on a need basis. Traditional air filters are fixed installations and air must be filtered before flowing out. Contrarily, Air Filter 2.0 incorporates a retractable device. Upon detection of good indoor air quality, the air filter will automatically retract, allowing air to pass freely without filtration. With lower resistance to the airflow, the fan can operate with reduced power and achieve energy saving; just like it is easier for us to breathe with the face mask off. Introducing acoustic-aided technologyThe second advanced technology adopted by Air Filter 2.0 is an acoustic-aided technology that can enhance filtration efficiency. Acoustic waves are injected into filtering materials, so that suspended particles in the airflow will vibrate more intensively while passing through the filter, hence more likely to be blocked by the filtering materials. As a result, filtration efficiency is improved.Reducing 20-30% of electricity consumptionMr Yip Kim-ming points out that Air Filter 2.0 has been tested with good results. Compared with traditional air filters, Air Filter 2.0 consumes 20% to 30% less electricity, attaining the goal of saving energy and reducing emissions.As the saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure”. Using innovative technologies to send alarm signals and carry out preventive repair and maintenance work has become a new direction for the electrical and mechanical industry. Moreover, energy saving has always been an important issue and is critical for Hong Kong to continuously reduce carbon emissions. (The video is in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Relocation of Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works to caverns

Rock cavern development is one of the Government’s multi-pronged strategies to increase land supply and is of great importance to Hong Kong’s long-term development. The Drainage Services Department (DSD) has commenced relocating the Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works (STW), which is currently located at the mouth of Shing Mun River, to the cavern site at Nui Po Shan of A Kung Kok at the opposite bank. The relocation will release the existing site for uses beneficial to people’s livelihood and improve the local living environment. It is currently the largest cavern development project in progress in Hong Kong. Staff members from the DSD are here to introduce the details of the works and explain how to enhance works efficiency by adopting new technologies.Releasing 28 hectares of land after relocationOccupying 28 hectares of land and handling about 250 000 cubic metres of sewage per day, the existing Sha Tin STW is the largest secondary sewage treatment works in the territory. The relocation can release the existing plant site for other development uses. The new Sha Tin Cavern STW will occupy 14 hectares of land, which is 15 times the size of the Stanley STW housed in caverns, and will be the largest of its kind in Hong Kong. Even with a smaller footprint, the new plant will have the same treatment capacity as the existing one, with the adoption of advanced sewage treatment technologies to meet the demands of the local population and to improve services for residents. Three stages of the relocation projectGeotechnical Engineer of the DSD, Mr Ko Ming-yuen, Elton, said the relocation project will be taken forward in three stages. Stage 1 works mainly include site formation works at the cavern portal area and main access tunnel construction; Stage 2 works cover the main caverns construction and upstream sewerage works; the remaining works comprise mainly the construction of sewage treatment facilities in the new caverns, and demolition of the existing Sha Tin STW. Stage 1 works commenced in February 2019 and the construction of the main access tunnel by drill and blast method is underway. The works are progressing on schedule and are expected to be completed by 2022 as planned. Construction of a temporary flyover to minimise traffic burdenRegarding the design, the caverns serve as natural barriers fully enclosing the sewage treatment facilities while maintaining the natural scenery of the hilly landscape. The DSD will also adopt odour control measures to further reduce the impact of the odour on the community to improve its environment. Besides, as explained by Engineer of the DSD, Mr Poon Sze-lim, Kenneth, the construction and demolition (C&D) materials generated from the tunnel blasting works needs to be removed by construction vehicles. To minimise the impact on the nearby traffic, particularly given that A Kung Kok Street is one of the traffic arteries in Ma On Shan, the project team has purposely built a temporary flyover across A Kung Kok Street. Using the flyover, construction vehicles can travel in and out of the construction site without using A Kung Kok Street and the pressure imposed by the works on the nearby traffic can be reduced. New technologies to enhance construction efficiencyThe project team has also adopted various new technologies, such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA), to enhance the efficiency of the construction of the temporary flyover.BIM technology can present the works design and site environment in a three-dimensional (3-D) format, enabling the project team to grasp the details accurately and to identify and handle all sorts of potential problems more easily so as to facilitate amendments. Simulated exercises can also be conducted to improve the construction programme and the temporary road closure arrangement. With DfMA, the team is able to build the viaduct piers and foundation of the flyover at the site while components of the flyover are being prefabricated at the factory, thereby significantly shortening the construction time. With both technologies at play, night-time lifting and installation works were completed in two nights instead of six nights as originally planned, reducing the impact on traffic caused by late-night road closures. Close liaison with the communityBesides, to enable the public to gain a better understanding of the relocation project, the project team has always maintained close liaison with members of the community and took the initiative to share the work progress with them. A community liaison centre is set up by the roadside of Mui Tsz Lam Road near the construction site so that residents can enquire about details of the works project.The hilly terrain with strong rocks in Hong Kong is highly suitable for developing rock caverns, particularly on the urban fringe. We can use such “hidden” land resources as caverns to support the relocation of suitable public facilities so that surface sites can be released to provide more land for Hong Kong’s sustainable development. The above-mentioned relocation of the STW to caverns can bring multiple benefits. Other than improving the environment of the current STW site and the surrounding area, it will also release land for other uses beneficial to people’s livelihood at the same time. (The video is in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Water Supplies Department’s unmanned surface vessel system

Raw water in impounding reservoirs is a major drinking water source in Hong Kong. The Water Supplies Department (“WSD”) monitors water quality and collects water samples in impounding reservoirs on a regular basis to keep track of any changes in water quality, so that drinking water safety can be ensured by more effective water treatment processes in water treatment works. To further enhance water quality monitoring, the WSD has introduced a new Unmanned Surface Vessel (“USV”) system in recent years to perform automatic water quality monitoring and sampling in impounding reservoirs, boosting efficiency through the adoption of innovation and technology.Enhancing emergency responsivenessCurrently, there are 17 impounding reservoirs for raw water storage in Hong Kong. The water quality of impounding reservoirs may sometimes be affected by natural environmental conditions or unexpected incidents. For instance, a change of weather may lead to excessive growth of algae, causing an impact on water quality. The USV “fleet” of the WSD mainly conducts water quality monitoring in the Plover Cove Reservoir (“PCR”) - Hong Kong’s impounding reservoir with the largest surface area - to keep track of water quality and facilitate immediate action in case of emergency. Equipped with water quality monitoring unitsWaterworks chemist of the WSD, Mr Tang Ho-wai, says the USV system consists of a base station computer and four electric USVs. Each USV is equipped with a water quality monitoring unit to monitor temperature, conductivity, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, pH, chlorophyll-a and blue green algae. The water sampling unit on each vessel is connected to a pipe underneath that pumps water into the water sampling tank directly. The USVs are also equipped with Global Positioning System receivers and an obstacle avoidance system for navigating around obstacles during operation.Auto-navigation along a pre-set routeMr Tang Ho-wai tells that, by using the base station computer, the WSD staff can remotely control the USVs to navigate automatically along a pre-set route, monitor water quality and conduct sampling at designated locations. The water quality data collected can be sent to the base station computer in real-time for quick analysis and generation of a surface water quality profile indicating areas with significant variation in water quality for appropriate follow-up. Endurance for a distance of 11 to 14 kmThe four USVs can in a day monitor different parts of the surface of PCR, which is 12 km2 in surface area, and also record the distribution and changes of surface water quality at the impounding reservoir. The vessels are each equipped with a battery that can support the continuous operation of about 3 to 4 hours, which is about 11 to 14 km if converted into traveling distance. However, according to Mr Tang Ho-wai, the longest hours and distance that a USV can actually operate depend on a number of factors, such as settings of the water quality monitoring work, and the day’s wind direction and speed, etc. Based on routine and USV’s monitoring data, the water quality of the PCR has been consistently steady and satisfactory.Numerous advantages of USVsCompared with traditional vessels for water quality monitoring, the USV system has many advantages. For example, USVs can be operated by a trained technician, whereas traditional vessels have to be operated by a licensed vessel operator. USVs are smaller in size and can travel to relatively narrow or shallow areas in impounding reservoirs. Moreover, they can simultaneously cover a number of monitoring points for higher efficiency. They can also generate water quality graphical reports with reference to the topographic map of the impounding reservoirs, making it easier to diagnose the distribution and trends of water quality data. With ease of deployment and transportation, the whole USV system can be deployed to work at various impounding reservoirs in the event of water quality emergencies. Furthermore, USVs of the WSD are powered by renewable energy. The WSD has specially installed a solar panel system outside the USV storage house for generating electricity to operate the USVs. Extension of the project to other impounding reservoirsLooking forward, Mr Tang Ho-wai says the WSD plans to use USVs at other impounding reservoirs, such as the High Island Reservoir, to monitor water quality and collect water samples. The department will continue to attempt the upgrading of the intelligence of the system, so that it can work in response to real-time water quality data. For example, when certain areas of an impounding reservoir are found to have a higher chlorophyll reading, USVs will automatically increase the number of monitoring points to collect more data and water samples, so that laboratory staff can conduct a more detailed analysis on the quantity and species of algae later in the laboratory.Innovation and technology development is the global trend. We can see creativity and innovation in various departments in recent years, examples include the use of the “robot dog” to enhance slope safety management; the employment of Building Information Modelling (“BIM”) technology to overcome graphical limitations and time-space constraints to improve project planning and design; the adoption of Modular Integrated Construction (“MiC”) method to speed up the building process and enhance safety; the development of the “Common Spatial Data Infrastructure” to build a Smart City; and the introduction of advanced environmentally-friendly reclamation technology. It is believed that the Government departments will continue to proactively explore and adopt innovation and technology to enhance work performance and effectiveness, increase productivity, and improve quality. (The video is in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Architectural features of Hoi Ha Visitor Centre

Hoi Ha Visitor Centre in Sai Kung West Country Park is a building with many characteristic designs. The design concept of the centre originates from the layout of traditional villages and emphasises integration with nature, aiming to provide a leisurely and comfortable activity space for visitors.The Hoi Ha Visitor Centre is located within the country park and is surrounded by woods and beautiful scenery. The ArchSD’s Senior Project Manager, Mr Hui Lung-nin, Hilman, says that there is a country trail next to the centre leading to the nearby Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park, which has a rich array of marine life, and it only takes about 10 minutes’ walk. Besides, the centre comprises a multi-purpose room where exhibitions related to the marine park and other activities can be held. In front of it is a large lawn for visitors to picnic or idle away the time. Currently, the centre has already opened for public visits. Design concept originates from traditional villages’ layoutRegarding the architectural features, the ArchSD’s Senior Architect, Mr Lau Tin-hang, Peter, says the design concept of the team originates from the layout of traditional villages that are built with “site-specific” considerations. Different facilities are set according to terrains and site situations, as distinct from the previous practice where all facilities are placed in a block-shaped building. For example, the multi-purpose room, the caretakers’ office and the reception area are located on two sides of the site embracing the central lawn, while a covered corridor and a small courtyard are built behind the office. Different varieties of veranda and courtyard spaces are closely knitted together to reinterpret the atmosphere of an old traditional village with alleys traversing in between. Integrating nature and architectureAccording to Mr Peter Lau, when designing the visitor centre, architects have contemplated how to fit it into the beautiful natural surroundings for visitors to feel the environment of nature. For example, the layout of the visitor centre aims to circumvent the trees and preserve as many of them on-site as possible for visitors to have a picnic or a break in the shades. Moreover, the design strives to achieve transparency and brightness in order to bring natural views indoors. For example, the multi-purpose room is designed as a glass pavilion, inside which people can view the lawn outside. Also, after the glass door is slid open, the indoor and outdoor areas are connected to give visitors a sense of being surrounded by nature when viewing exhibitions or engaging in other activities indoors. Using materials that emanate a rustic and natural feelingThe use of materials also strives to be in keeping with nature as far as possible. Fair-faced concrete created by formworks with wood patterns is applied to the façades of the visitor centre to give it a rustic and natural feeling. The architects have mostly used wooden slats as screens, which can help lower indoor temperatures and enhance ventilation. The wooden flooring and ceiling also bring natural coolness to visitors. In addition, a number of sustainable development facilities have been introduced in the centre, including solar panels and solar bollard lights to contribute to serving the centre’s electricity needs; a rainwater collection and recycling system to reduce the wastage of water; a bio-treatment plant system to treat sewage produced locally; and drinking fountains for the use of the public.The public and visitors can go on outings at their leisure and admire the natural beauty unique to Hong Kong. At the same time, people can feel how careful and thoughtful our architects have been in designing the outdoor recreational facilities for all. (The video is in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Drainage Services Department's BiM@D Technology and Training Centre

The Government has been encouraging the works departments to better utilise innovation and technology to boost productivity, improve built quality and enhance site safety. As early as 2015, the Drainage Services Department (DSD) started applying Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology to works projects to enhance the design and construction process. In 2018, the DSD set up the BiM@D Technology and Training Centre to further promote digital technology. In the paragraphs below an engineer of the DSD will introduce how the centre facilities can help review and improve project planning and design so as to deliver higher-quality wastewater treatment and stormwater drainage services to the public.Introducing BIM technologyIn recent years, the DSD has proactively promoted and employed BIM technology and related information technology for the planning, design and implementation of works projects. Electrical and Mechanical Engineer of the DSD, Mr Ian Leung, says that when compared with hand-drawn or computer-aided two-dimensional (2-D) plans, the BIM technology can present the design of the whole project in a three-dimensional (3-D) format, which is particularly important to drainage facilities that generally involve the design of more complex building structures and mechanical and electrical installations, BIM enables the project team to grasp every project detail more accurately.Overcoming graphical limitations and time-space constraintsBesides, BIM technology can accurately present the construction methods and workflows in sequential order, giving project staff a better understanding of the construction plans. Currently, several sewage treatment plants of the DSD are undergoing in-situ renovation. Staff members are adopting BIM technology to examine various structures of the buildings to check if there are any incompatibilities in the construction processes, monitor if the projects are implemented as scheduled and change the construction sequence if needed. Various professionals – architects, engineers and construction workers can overcome graphical limitations and time-space constraints by coming together in the same virtual space to discuss project design and construction details in a coordinated manner, so as to achieve an early resolution of all types of issues and raise the construction quality and efficiency. Advanced Virtual Reality CAVELocated in the Revenue Tower in Wan Chai, the DSD’s BiM@D is equipped with a Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE) system. The system, together with BIM technology, can present project design and construction site environment in a 3-D format, providing a highly realistic and vivid 3-D visual space that takes users virtually to the site. More importantly, the system allows the project team to grasp all sorts of information of the works project and surrounding environment more easily and accurately. Furthermore, as multiple users are allowed to “enter” the virtual environment at the same time, communication with the stakeholders can be enhanced.Point Cloud Technology for 3-D Scanning and SurveyingMr Ian Leung also introduces to us the use of the innovative Point Cloud technology to help with the planning and design of drainage projects. As he explains, the Point Cloud data acquired by colleagues of the Survey Section with 3-D laser equipment for scanning and photogrammetric surveying seem like a group of white dots at first glance when presented in CAVE. However, with specially made eyeglasses and the use of the BIM model, the site and its surroundings can be reproduced in detail accurately, which can help the project team plan the locations and alignment of the drainage pipes. This technology is vital to the planning of the village sewerage system since some areas in villages are rather narrow and the construction sites are very close to the residential areas. The application of Point Cloud technology can reduce the need for surveying and speed up construction progress.Application of the Internet of ThingsIn recent years, the DSD has also adopted the technology of the Internet of Things (IoT). In 2019, the Flood Control Section of the DSD and the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) jointly launched a trial scheme to develop a Smart Drainage – Flood Monitoring System in Sha Tin and Tai Po with the application of the Government-wide Internet of Things (IOT) Network (GWIN). The result has been very good. The department has decided to further extend the system to 10 locations that are susceptible to storm surges and overtopping waves.Innovation and technology will continue to develop and make progress in the future. The works departments will continue to proactively explore the application of innovation and technology at different levels and works stages, so as to help different experts grasp real-time data of the construction sites and related facilities more accurately to enhance construction quality and manage works projects more effectively, thereby benefiting members of the public. (The video is in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

The FEHD Skylight Market is designed with heart (by the Architectural Services Department)

The FEHD Skylight Market located in Tin Shui Wai (formerly known as Tin Shui Wai Temporary Public Market) was opened recently, providing residents with a pleasant shopping environment of fresh food provisions. The project took only about a year from planning, funding approval, construction to commissioning, enabling the public and tenants to benefit from it early. Staff members from the Architectural Services Department (ArchSD) are here to talk about how they have completed the project rapidly and share with us the architectural design features of the market.Building a temporary public market for the convenience of residentsIt was announced in The Chief Executive’s 2018 Policy Address that the Government planned to spare space at the section of Tin Fuk Road next to Tin Shui Wai MTR Station for building a new public market. Considering that it would usually take six to seven years to build a permanent public market, the Government announced in October 2019 that a temporary public market would be built at the open space of Tin Sau Road Park so that the public could have an additional option for purchasing fresh food before the completion of the new public market. Construction started at the outbreak of the epidemicSenior Project Manager of the ArchSD, Mr Chan King-tak, Alfred, says that to expedite the completion of the FEHD Skylight Market, government departments collaborated in various aspects, including the coordination over the layout arrangement of the market and tackling of technical and environmental difficulties, so as to meet the operational needs of the Market. When the contractor commenced the construction in January last year, it was at a time that coincided with the first wave of the outbreak of COVID-19. Construction materials were in short supply due to temporary closure of factories in Mainland China. The project team responded promptly and rearranged the construction procedures flexibly while the contractor liaised closely with suppliers for contingency measures. He says he is grateful to have such an efficient team that could complete the project within a designated period despite the pandemic. Completion for commissioning in about a yearRegarding the construction, Senior Architect of the ArchSD, Mr Tsang Wai-lun, says that a market usually takes about six to seven years from planning to completion. However, to cope with the community demand for a public market to be completed as soon as possible, the department adopted Modular Integrated Construction (MiC) to have most of the modules prefabricated in a factory before their transportation to the site for installation. For the main canopy, Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) was applied to avoid wet trades with cement on-site. An up-stand foundation design was adopted to minimise excavation, reduce construction time and facilitate construction. As a result, the market took only a year for completion and commissioning. Meticulous architectural designThe project team has been meticulous in the design. Architect of the ArchSD, Mr Lo Yee-cheung, Adrian, tells us that with an aim to strike a balance among aesthetics, functionality and comfort, the design focused on natural ventilation and lighting. The high headroom central corridor with openings on its two sides allow daylight to enter the market. Not only can it reduce energy consumption of lighting but can also block direct sunlight for better comfort of users. Besides, the linear layout of the market promotes cross ventilation and brings coolness and comfort. The pitched roof design copes with the rainy weather in Hong Kong and is good for draining.Creating more entrances/exits to enhance accessibilityWith 36 fixed stalls and four temporary stalls, the Skylight Market offers 40 stalls in total. The market has wide pedestrian passages and provides barrier-free facilities. Besides the main entrances/exits located on the east and west sides of the market, there are four secondary entrances/exits to facilitate access from the park, nearby residential buildings or transportation nodes. Greening and benches are provided on both sides of the building for the public especially the elderly to take a rest after shopping. The soft wood tone of the market and the theme colours of the ceiling – blue, orange and green, echo with the fresh food sold by the stalls. Bringing technology into the communityFurthermore, to help the public feel at ease shopping at the market amid the epidemic, the project team has specially introduced new technologies in collaboration with the Nano and Advanced Materials Institute (NAMI) and innovation and technology companies of the Hong Kong Science Park. For example, anti-fouling and anti-bacterial ceramic panels have been installed between stalls, “nano-coating” technology has been applied to ventilation areas to reduce dust accumulation, and smart litter recycling machines have also been installed. Other than bringing technology into the community, the market has, by providing a testing ground, also helped promote the development of innovative technologies in Hong Kong.Popular with tenants and residentsThe market has been running smoothly since its opening. Miss Lam, a vegetable vendor of the market, says that the market has the most customers from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. every day. The comfortable environment of the market has attracted many local residents to visit it. After doing business for a week, she already has many regular customers. Mr Chan, a vendor selling dry goods (figures), says that as the market is clean and tidy, parents would shop at the market with their children. His stall started running during the Christmas holidays, so business was quite good. Mrs Leung, a local resident, says that as the market has a good variety of goods and is at a convenient location, she will come shopping again for daily necessities. Markets are one of the main outlets where residents purchase fresh food. Leading the project team, colleagues from the ArchSD have overcome difficulties and challenges brought about by the epidemic to give the market a good design. Also, by collaborating whole-heartedly with various departments, they have completed the project within a short time to provide convenience for members of the public. (The video is in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Have you registered for "iAM Smart" yet?

Members of the public will be able to access more than 30 online services of the Government and the public utilities such as, COVID-19 electronic vaccination and testing records, eTAX, online application for renewal of vehicle licence, eRVD Bill, change of address, MyGovHK, eHealth and online services of the two electricity and gas companies once they register for "iAM Smart". Development of the "iAM Smart" platform is led by the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO). The platform provides four major functions, namely: (1) AuthenticationUsers will have a single digital identity that enables simple and secure login to various government and commercial online services. It brings convenience to daily life without having to manage different user names and passwords. (2) Form-Filling with "e-ME"Users can use the "e-ME" function to store their personalised data (such as name, gender, HKID Card number, date of birth, residential address, and contact phone number), and enjoy the convenience brought by auto form-filling and avoid filling in the same data for different applications. (3) Personalised NotificationsUsers can choose to receive personalised notifications from various government online services to keep up with service updates, expiry alerts and latest information. (4) Digital SigningUsers can use "iAM Smart+" to sign digitally in accordance with the Electronic Transactions Ordinance (Chapter 553 of the Laws of Hong Kong) to process legal documents and procedures online. Download the "iAM Smart" mobile app and register for "iAM Smart"Registration for "iAM Smart" is simple and easy. Members of the public can download the "iAM Smart" mobile app and perform remote registration using a personal mobile phone with biometric authentication. If digital signing for services like vehicle licence renewal is required, members of the public should go to registration service counters located at any of the 121 post offices (except mobile post offices), Self-Registration Koisk and Mobile Registration Teams to upgrade to "iAM Smart+". The "iAM Smart" mobile app supports iOS and Android operating systems and mobile phones with biometric authentication. Please visit the "iAM Smart" website for more information. “iAM Smart” is a one-stop personalised digital services platform for the public to login and use online services with a single digital identity. Curious about what its functions are? Let’s check out the video!   How to register for “iAM Smart” and what are the requirements? Let’s hear it from “iAM Smart” and register now.   As you may have noticed, “iAM Smart  Safe and Swift” is the slogan for “iAM Smart”.How could “iAM Smart” provide a new experience in our daily life ?Check out the video to know more.

Thoughtful Services to Meet Your Needs (Immigration Department)

The Immigration Department (ImmD) introduced the next generation smart identity cards in November 2018 and rolled out the Territory-wide Identity Card Replacement Exercise (Replacement Exercise) in December the same year to have the identity cards replaced in phases in an orderly manner for holders of the existing smart identity cards. At the planning stage, ImmD viewed the replacement process as an experience journey and used it as the design blueprint. A people-based approach has been adopted at all points of interaction with the public from publicity, appointment booking, replacement visits, registration to collection, creating a brand new public service experience.INNOVATIVE MEASURES AND THOUGHTFUL ARRANGEMENTS Being attentive to details is one of the ways ImmD shows its solicitude towards the public. Having regard to the habits of persons of different age groups, ImmD has formulated a comprehensive publicity strategy by publicising the exercise through various channels so as to reach out to the community and remind the public to have their identity cards replaced on time. For appointment booking, apart from the conventional telephone appointment booking, the online service and mobile application of ImmD are also available for the public to conveniently and efficiently make appointments and fill in relevant forms. Nine Smart Identity Card Replacement Centres (SIDCCs) across the territory are easily accessible by the public. Apart from Sundays and public holidays, the service hours of SIDCCs run from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, allowing flexibility for the public to make arrangements for identity card replacement. The design of the layout and facilities of SIDCCs are extremely thoughtful. For instance, the reception, registration, phototaking and card collection areas are differentiated by four colours, making it easier for the public to understand the replacement process. To create a more easily accessible environment, ImmD has even introduced various barrier-free and caring facilities, for example, an indoor navigation system for the visually impaired first introduced in Government venues. ImmD has made every effort to demonstrate its care for people and its determination to provide people-based services. To save people’s effort and time, ImmD has also made good use of technology to provide self-services in tag issue, registration and collection. In addition, the processing time for registration at SIDCCs has been reduced from 60 to 30 minutes, whereas the time for issuance of a new smart identity card has been shortened from 10 to 7 working days, representing a substantial rise in the overall standard of service.WALKING TOGETHER WITH CARE AND COHESION Care and inclusion are the core values of a harmonious society. ImmD has specially introduced the Arrangements for Identity Card Replacement with the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities so that they can be taken care of by their accompanying family members or friends during card replacement. In addition, the On-site Identity Card Replacement Service provides on-site identity card replacement and delivery services for the elderly and persons with disabilities at over one thousand residential care homes across the territory, allowing them to enjoy one-stop services at their place.The working team of the Replacement Exercise has made all-out efforts to provide the public with the most thoughtful services, showing great care throughout the interaction. Meanwhile, the support from the public has served as the driving force for the team to persevere with their best. The Replacement Exercise is expected to last for four years until 2022. ImmD will continue to listen to the opinions of different sectors with an open mind in pursuit of excellence.   (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (For more details, please visit Sevice Excellence Website)

Community Building with a Harmonised “Hui” (Drainage Services Department)

To tie in with the new development in North-East New Territories, the Drainage Services Department will kick in to turn the existing Shek Wu Hui Sewage Treatment Works in Sheung Shui into the “Shek Wu Hui Effluent Polishing Plant”, with enhanced handling capacity and environmental friendliness.CO-DESIGN WITH THE COMMUNITY In the wake of an increasing demand for sewage treatment due to rapid community development and the public’s concern for ecological conservation and the use of public space, the project team, working with the spirit of "putting people first", has adopted a breakthrough "design thinking" approach and engaged in in-depth communication with the community in planning the upgrade of this strategic sewage infrastructure. It has turned the community into a project designer to address community issues together.In 2018, the project team launched a community-based co-creation project, "Community Design for Sustainable Development @ Shek Wu Hui Effluent Polishing Plant Public Space", to co-develop the scheme with the public. The project team also kept abreast of public needs through a series of “self-experiencing” and “multi-platform” public engagement activities, including street booths, interviews, as well as workshops and visits for members and representatives of the community. ACHIEVE "CO-USE" AND "COMMUNITY CONNECTION" With the change of time, the community has high expectations for public space. In this light, the project team co-designed the “Shek Wu Hui Effluent Polishing Plant” with the community with the idea of “co-use space”. Even though the additional land available for the facility measures only 2.5 hectares, the project team has been able to identify about 2 hectares of "co-use space” for the public. A lot of greening elements, a riverside walkway, a bird watching zone, an ecological garden and planting sites will be provided for public leisure, visits and educational facilities relating to water resources management. Extending the concept of "co-use space" to the peripheral areas, the project team also worked with the nearby residents and green groups in drawing two educational routes on the themes of "Sustainable Living in Sheung Shui" and "Impact of Water in District History", thereby immersing the facility into the community and achieving the goal of “social connection”.The project team and the community have joined hands to exemplify the benefits of Community Building with a Harmonised “Hui”. It not only meets the sewage treatment demand arising from population growth in the next 20 years, but also enhances the quality of living of the community as a whole. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (For more details, please visit Sevice Excellence Website)

Architectural features of Che Kung Temple Sports Centre

Located at Sha Tin Tau Road, easily accessible from the nearby MTR Che Kung Temple Station and Chun Shek Bus Terminus, a new sports centre, Che Kung Temple Sports Centre, has just opened for public use since 17 September 2020. A lot of thought has been put into the design of this new sports centre. In particular, architects have deliberately broken the tradition of adopting an all-indoor layout for sports centres. Instead, with transparent layering, the indoor and outdoor areas are connected to integrate with the surrounding landscape. Apart from offering a wide range of recreation and sports facilities, the centre also provides a comfortable place full of nature for neighbourhood residents to hang out and take a break in. Connect different facilities with a layered layoutUnlike traditional sports centres, the Che Kung Temple Sports Centre has adopted a layered layout to maximise the sense of spaciousness. Senior Architect of the ArchSD, Mr LEUNG Kin-hong, Donald, says to us that corridors and staircases are built throughout the premises to enable visitors to easily access different floors, facilities, courtyards and terraces, and to encourage interactions among users. For example, large-size glass panels are used in the children’s playroom on the ground floor to let in the views of the forecourt; at the same time, one can see the indoor corridor and other activity rooms through the high windows on the other side, the visual connection among the three areas gives a sense of spaciousness, openness and brightness. Moreover, the architects deliberately do away with air-conditioning in all open access to promote natural ventilation and also let in sunlight, thereby protecting the environment and reducing electricity consumption. Letting in sunshine and natural sceneryThe sports centre is located in a peaceful environment with a backdrop of the mountains. Taking advantage of the natural setting, the project team has adopted floor-to-ceiling transparent glass panels to let in natural views to various indoor areas. The design focuses on brightness and transparency to give a more open view, breaking the tradition of adopting an all-indoor layout for sports centres in Hong Kong. Besides the trees specially planted by the project team in the atrium, the natural light coming in through the glass ceiling also creates a natural and comfortable environment. Different materials for indoor and outdoor areas to give different feelingsThe Che Kung Temple Sports Centre is the seventh public indoor sports centre in Sha Tin District, and provides facilities including a multi-purpose arena, which can serve as two basketball courts or two volleyball courts or eight badminton courts; a dance room; an activity room; a table tennis room; a fitness room; and a children's play room. Architect of the ArchSD, Mr SUEN Chun-sing, says that different finishes materials are used in indoor and outdoor areas to give people distinctly different feelings. Fair-faced concrete is mostly applied to the façades to give a natural and raw feeling. On the contrary, wooden and warm-coloured materials are used mainly on the walls and floors of the arena to create a relatively warm environment. An oasis in the citySince the commissioning of the facilities and public spaces of the Che Kung Temple Sports Centre, it has become neighbourhood residents’ go-to place for exercise and rest. I believe that users will be able to feel the sense of nature and comfort offered by the premises, green landscapes and surrounding scenery while using the various facilities. As colleagues of the ArchSD say, it is hoped that the new sports centre will become not just a sports centre serving the local residents, but also an oasis in the city. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

VR technology nurtures lift technicians

Hong Kong is a built-up area that abounds with skyscrapers, in which the lifts carry people up and down every day. Proper periodic examination and maintenance are important to ensure the safe operation of lifts. The Government has earlier launched the Lift Modernisation Subsidy Scheme (LIMSS) to subsidise building owners in need to enhance lift safety. Meanwhile, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) has also collaborated with the Vocational Training Council (VTC) and the Lift & Escalator Contractors Association (LECA) to strengthen the training of talents. Here we have invited a colleague of the EMSD and the representatives of the VTC and the industry to introduce how innovation and technology can be used to support training and attract more young people to join the industry.The LIMSSAt present, there are about 68 000 lifts in Hong Kong. With rapid technological advancement, modern lifts are equipped with more comprehensive safety devices than the aged ones. Government launched the LIMSS to offer financial incentive with appropriate professional support to building owners in need to encourage them to carry out lift modernisation works by installing specified safety devices or carrying out complete replacement of lifts which have not been equipped with these safety devices.According to Senior Engineer of the EMSD, Mr LAI Chun-fai, the first round of applications for the scheme has been closed and about 1 200 applications involving about 5 000 lifts have been received. The response is overwhelming. Lift training with VR technologyQuality maintenance is crucial to lift safety. However, the lift industry has been facing the problem of persistent manpower shortage, and so the Government has been playing the role of facilitator to co-operate with the industry and the VTC to enhance training for technical personnel. The three partners have worked together to develop a virtual reality (VR) system to train the both trainees and practicing technicians. The VR system allows users to complete tasks of different scenarios so that they can reinforce their understanding of the points to note in each procedure. The VR system can also facilitate the introduction of lift profession to young people and attract more new blood to join the industry.More realistic experience for traineesThe Principal Instructor of the Pro-Act Training and Development Centre (Electrical) of the VTC, Mr WONG Kai-hon, Charles, says that trainees in general need to learn how to install or maintain lifts in a realistic environment. However, it involves substantial fees and spaces to build a realistic environment. VTC has specifically introduced this brand new VR system to its lift courses together with practical training, allowing trainees to have a deeper understanding of different tasks as if they are working in real-world situations. Besides, if trainees do not follow instructions during training, they will be susceptible to danger. The VR system can simulate emergency or accident scenarios for them to learn how to solve problems in a physically safe environment. The lift trade’s keen demand for talentsThe Lift and Escalator programme offered by the VTC is very practical. The skills that trainees can learn are exactly what the trade requires, resulting in a significant increase in the intake of new trainees in recent years. The vice president of the LECA, Mr LAI Wah-hing, says that as the trade has a keen demand for talents, practicing technicians may enhance their skills and qualifications through continuous learning. Besides, a number of technicians will take examinations to obtain professional engineer qualifications, and develop a career in engineering management. Mr LAI Wah-hing believes that VR technology can strengthen professional training in the trade and deepen employees’ understanding of the importance of following safe work procedures. In addition, lift contractors will buy VR equipment to train their own employees.The work of repair and maintenance comes with great responsibilityThe trainees participating in the Lift and Escalator programme all said that VR technology adds to the authenticity of the training experience, making it easier for them to have a good grasp of their future job. The technology also helps to enhance their safety awareness and reduce the anxiety that might come during their internship. The trainees said that they want to equip themselves with a set of specialised skills through training. They also understand the level of responsibilities associated with the repair and maintenance of lifts, which are closely related to people’s daily lives. We use lifts every day. The Government will continue to strengthen cooperation with the industry and training institutions to improve the learning environment using innovative technology. In addition, we will promote safe practices for lift works and attract more young talents to join the lift and escalator trade. Regarding the way forward, given the overwhelming response to the LIMSS, the Government is actively looking at possible ways to inject new resources into the scheme for the benefit of more owners in need. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

[City I&T Grand Challenge Hong Kong] Tools and Tips 101 (for University/Tertiary Institute & Open Group)

(Image source: City I&T Grand Challenge website) Will you be Hong Kong’s next GREAT INNOVATOR? Anyone can be an innovator, whether you are a student, employee, entrepreneur or retiree. The City I&T Grand Challenge Hong Kong invites you to help transform the future of Hong Kong, one idea at a time. If you enjoy tackling big picture issues, discovering creative solutions and moving the city forward into the future, the Grand Challenge is the perfect place for you to put your creativity and innovative skills to the test. Winners will have the chance to receive mentorship and shadow startups and advisors. Selected projects may even be productised, featured in exhibitions and roadshows, and enter incubation programmes!Ready to bring your ideas to life and help alleviate Hong Kong’s imminent challenges? Get involved now.Tools & Tips 101 No ideas where to start yet? The training videos below and the "Tools and Tips 101" aim to equip you with the critical soft skills and knowledge to get started with your idea development for the Grand Challenge.Watch the videos to learn more about the two sub-themes – Environmental Sustainability and Social Connectivity, the principles of Design Thinking and Lean Canvas Model to develop your ideas and combine innovative technologies with design ideas to imagine and create new opportunities and embark on your innovation journey! "Tools and Tips 101" for University / Tertiary Institute & Open Group

[City I&T Grand Challenge Hong Kong] Tools and Tips 101 (for Secondary School Group)

(Image source: City I&T Grand Challenge website) Will you be Hong Kong’s next GREAT INNOVATOR? Anyone can be an innovator, whether you are a student, employee, entrepreneur or retiree. The City I&T Grand Challenge Hong Kong invites you to help transform the future of Hong Kong, one idea at a time. If you enjoy tackling big picture issues, discovering creative solutions and moving the city forward into the future, the Grand Challenge is the perfect place for you to put your creativity and innovative skills to the test. Winners will have the chance to receive mentorship and shadow startups and advisors. Selected projects may even be productised, featured in exhibitions and roadshows, and enter incubation programmes!Ready to bring your ideas to life and help alleviate Hong Kong’s imminent challenges? Get involved now.Tools & Tips 101 No ideas where to start yet? The training videos below and the "Tools and Tips 101" aim to equip you with the critical soft skills and knowledge to get started with your idea development for the Grand Challenge.Watch the videos to learn more about the two sub-themes – Environmental Sustainability and Social Connectivity, the principles of Design Thinking and Lean Canvas Model to develop your ideas and combine innovative technologies with design ideas to imagine and create new opportunities and embark on your innovation journey! "Tools and Tips 101" for Secondary School Group

Will you be Hong Kong’s next great innovator?

The City I&T Grand Challenge believes that anyone, regardless of age, can be an innovator to transform the future of Hong Kong! Organised by the Innovation and Technology Commission together with the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, the first City I&T Grand Challenge will be launched. In light of the new normal under the epidemic, the theme of the competition this year is “Innovating for Hong Kong’s New Normal”. All sectors of the community are invited to develop innovative smart solutions to tackle problems facing by the city and people in their daily lives as well as to make Hong Kong a more sustainable, connected and efficient city. Participants are invited to submit innovative solutions to tackle one of the following focused issues: “environmental sustainability” or “social connectivity”. Participants are required to address the environmental problems arise from disposable plastic tableware and household food waste, and the physical and social well-being of senior citizens and children under the new normal of social distancing and distant learning. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) The Challenge is open to various participant categories including Primary School, Secondary School, University / Tertiary Institute, and Open Group. Each proposal will be evaluated based on its originality, uniqueness and effectiveness, application of innovation and technology, as well as social benefits and impact. Winners will be awarded a cash prize and a trophy. For the winners of the University and Open categories, they will also have a chance to receive R&D resources and training for refining their I&T solutions for trying at a designated venue such as a government department or a public organisation. The Challenge is open for application from today till 30 June 2021. For further details on the Challenge and registration method, please visit the official website. A host of workshops, seminars and training activities will also be organised to introduce knowledge on technologies and entrepreneurship as well as topical daily life issues. All are welcome to join.

Smart sensing technology to monitor tree stability

Every year before the onset of wet season, tree management departments will complete Tree Risk Assessments (TRAs) and implement appropriate risk mitigation measures to protect tree health and public safety. In recent years, the Government has launched several pilot schemes to explore the use of technology in tree management to enhance its quality and efficiency. Here we invited a colleague of the Greening, Landscape and Tree Management Section (GLTMS) of the Development Bureau (DEVB) to talk about tree inspections before wet season. We also invited Dr WONG Man-sing, Charles, Associate Professor of the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), to introduce how to apply smart sensing technology to monitor tree stability.Risk assessments before wet seasonAccording to the “Guidelines on Tree Risk Assessment and Management Arrangement”, every year before the onset of wet season, tree management departments are required to complete TRAs in areas with high pedestrian and traffic flow professionally and systematically and implement appropriate risk mitigation measures based on the assessment results, such as crown pruning and installation of support systems. Dangerous trees with untreatable problems need to be removed as soon as possible to safeguard public safety. Mr TSANG Kwok-on, the GLTMS’s Tree Management Officer, said that tree inspection personnel mainly perform ground inspection to examine and assess various parts of a tree, including the crown, leaves, branches, trunk, roots and the surrounding environment of the tree, etc. Inspection personnel would also employ tools to aid their work, for example, using a plastic mallet to tap the trunk to assess its structural condition and using binoculars to observe the growing conditions of the higher branches and leaves. If necessary, inspection personnel would climb up the tree to inspect the hidden parts from different angles. If decay or other structural problems are found or suspected, they would use a resistograph or sonic tomograph (pictured) to examine the internal structural condition of the tree. Applying smart sensing technology in tree managementUnder adverse weather such as rainstorm or typhoon, it is inevitable that trees would suffer different degrees of damage. A research team formed by DEVB, the PolyU and other tertiary institutions is conducting a 3-year Jockey Club Smart City Tree Management Project to monitor tree stability on a large scale through smart sensing technology and Geographic Information System. The research team will assess the risk of tree failure by monitoring trees’ swaying or tilting condition, thereby strengthening tree risk management.Dr WONG Man-sing, Charles, Associate Professor of the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics of the PolyU, said that the sensors are installed at the lower trunks of the trees to assess the trees’ tilting angles and directions, and the data would then be sent to the university’s data centre via network transmission for big data analytics. If it is shown that the tilting angle of the lower trunk of the tree exceeds the threshold, the system would immediately send an alert to the designated parties to undertake timely and appropriate risk mitigation measures. Large-scale monitoring of tree stabilityDr WONG said that the Smart Sensing Technology pilot scheme started in February in 2019. An initial trial was conducted in Tai Tong, Yuen Long, to set reference for the design of sensors and monitoring system. Upon fine tuning the system, the research team has installed the second batch of sensors in Wan Chai and Kowloon East districts to test the network transmission performance in urban areas. The whole pilot scheme involves the installation of a total of 8 000 sensors on selected urban trees and all stonewall trees across Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, which will be completed in phases between the end of 2019 and early 2020. The trees are mainly located in areas with high pedestrian and traffic flow such as pavements, slopes and parks.Trees are very much intertwined with our daily lives. In an urbanised city like Hong Kong, trees let us have a green living environment. While we make our best endeavours to manage tree risks, we also need private property owners and property management companies to conduct proper tree care within their properties. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Promoting the Development and Application of Renewable Energy (Drainage Services Department)

"As an experienced propellant of renewable energy projects in the Drainage Services Department, I constantly ponder ways to introduce breakthrough improvements in this area for the department and our community." Drainage Services Department Senior Project Manager, Li Chung-leung, Ricky said."I often encourage my colleagues to proactively voice out effective and innovative methods and ideas, enabling the department to continuously enhance the renewable energy focused quality service culture. Inculcating the mindset of “You Can Do It”, we strive to overcome the challenges encountered during the application of new technologies and the operation of renewable energy facilities."Ricky said, "I encourage them to try boldly and verify carefully, inspire and lead colleagues to pay extra effort and exert team spirit to resolve problems." Today, the harbour in Hong Kong is so beautiful that citizens can enjoy swimming and experience the excellent water quality. This is the result of Drainage Services Department’s (DSD) years of hard work.In addition to sewage treatment and flood prevention, DSD has been actively developing and promoting the application of renewable energy in recent years, contributing to the sustainable development in Hong Kong.Rapid population growth coupled with the dramatic increase in economic activities have inevitably generated a large amount of sewage. DSD collects up to 2.8 million m3 of sewage every day, enough to fill up 1,120 standard size swimming pools. The collected sewage is then conveyed to sewage treatment works for treatment. The conveyance and treatment processes consume substantial amount of energy.The four major secondary sewage treatment works in DSD have been employing the latest technology to utilise the biogas produced during the sludge treatment process to generate electricity and heat for use within the sewage treatment works. To maximise the use of renewable energy, DSD sent staff on study visits to the United States, Germany, and other regions to learn from their experience and to explore effective ways of developing renewable energy in Hong Kong.Ricky said, "Apart from getting our job done, we are constantly exploring ways to bring greater benefits to the environment. Taking the Tai Po Sewage Treatment Works as an example, we need to pay over a million dollars for electricity every month. Could it be self-sustainable in energy?" Riding on the production of biogas during the sludge treatment process, DSD, in the spirit of “Daring to Try, Practising with Care”, actively explores ways to increase the production of biogas. Finally, in 2016, DSD and the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) jointly developed the “Food Waste and Sewage Sludge Anaerobic Co-digestion” Trial Scheme. As the Scheme was new to Hong Kong, the departments encountered many challenges during implementation. Electrical & Mechanical Engineer, Drainage Services Department, Cheung Kin-kuen said, "Westerners’ diets are mostly meat-based, therefore, protein is the main component of their food waste, whereas in Hong Kong, the composition of food waste is mainly carbohydrates. To ensure the viability of this technology in Hong Kong, we commissioned a local university to conduct DNA test for micro-organisms to confirm that the technology is feasible to be applied in Hong Kong. It is estimated that EPD will provide the Tai Po Sewage Treatment Works of DSD with a maximum of 50 tonnes food waste per day. The pre-treated food waste will undergo anaerobic co-digestion with the sewage sludge in the sewage treatment works. The Scheme utilises existing facilities of DSD, to harness the synergy effect in generating 30% more biogas and at the same time reducing the amount of digestate by 30%. The Scheme not only helps alleviate the burden on landfills, but also supplies a million kilowatt-hours of electricity to the sewage treatment works annually, which helps save around a million dollars in electricity cost annually. In addition, DSD capitalises on its own advantages by installing photovoltaic panels at different sewage treatment works and pumping stations. Siu Ho Wan Sewage Treatment Works is equipped with over 4,200 photovoltaic panels with an installed generation capacity of 1.1 megawatt. When it came into operation in late 2016, it was the largest of its kind in Hong Kong. DSD also set up a Renewable Energy Information Centre there. Guided tours are provided with the aim of enhancing public awareness of the government’s effort in the development and application of renewable energy. To promote wider use of solar energy, DSD is exploring the feasibility of installing hotovoltaic panels on the covers of the sedimentation tanks at the Stonecutters Island Sewage Treatment Works, which is the largest of its type in Hong Kong. However, the curvy surface of the sedimentation tank covers makes it difficult to install traditional photovoltaic panels.The then Senior Electrical & Mechanical Engineer, Drainage Services Department, Wong Ying-ying, Regina added, "There are thin film photovoltaic panels available in the market. We installed them on the sedimentation tank Number 9 as a trial. Although we encountered different technical problems in the process, we are confident that by enhancing the design, more photovoltaic panels could be installed on the covers of sedimentation tanks." The then Deputy Director of Drainage Services, Drainage Services Department, Mak Ka-wai, JP said, "The mission of DSD is to provide the public with world-class sewage treatment and drainage services. With a “Do it from the Heart” attitude, we strive to develop renewable energy. On average, we produce around 27 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, which is equivalent to 9% of our overall electricity consumption. According to statistics, Hong Kong’s potential in developing renewable energy is about 3 to 4% of the total electricity consumed. Although we have already far exceeded this figure, DSD will keep the momentum going. We hope that by around 2030, we could successfully turn the Tai Po Sewage Treatment Works into a “zero emission” facility, achieving the goal of “waste-to-energy”. I believe that with the concerted efforts of our staff, we will be able to achieve it." (For more details, please visit Sevice Excellence Website)

Advanced technologies to rehabilitate pipes

There are more than 4500 kilometres of underground stormwater drains and sewers across Hong Kong. Many of those in the old districts have been in use for over 30 years. The sewers, in particular, are more prone to ageing and deterioration due to prolonged exposure to corrosive gases brought by sewage. Drainage Services Department (DSD) has gradually rehabilitated the high-risk underground pipes by adopting a pipe repair method that requires no excavation of pipe trenches or road surfaces in order to alleviate inconvenience caused to the public during the works. Gradual rehabilitation of old pipesSerious wear and tear will cause pipe collapse and road subsidence, bringing adverse impact on traffic, environment and public safety. Since 2017, the DSD has initiated comprehensive planning for the phased investigation and rehabilitation of pipes that have been assessed to be of high risk and formulated a territory-wide replacement and rehabilitation programme. However, we have to face a number of challenges in carrying out drainage improvement works in urban areas. Hong Kong is congested not only with people and vehicles, but also with various underground utilities such as gas pipes, communication facilities and water pipes. The traditional “open trench” rehabilitation technology may inevitably affect traffic and residents. The benefit of the new trenchless technology introduced by the DSD in recent years is that pipes can be replaced and rehabilitated without the need to open up an entire road section. Only a temporary shaft is neededAccording to Engineer of the Project Management Division of the DSD, Mr CHEN Ka-yin, the trenchless pipe rehabilitation works only need to excavate a temporary shaft at an individual location to facilitate the insertion of new pipe material into an old pipe to form a new pipe. Under this method, the excavation requires less open space and a shorter duration of works, allowing traffic to resume quickly after the completion of works to minimise impacts to the public. Currently, subject to the damage of the pipes and on-site situations, the DSD mainly employs three trenchless technologies, namely cured-in-place-pipe (CIPP) lining, spirally-wound lining and slip-lining. CIPP lining technologyAccording to Mr CHEN Ka-yin, under the CIPP lining technology (that is commonly referred to as the “insertion into pig intestines” in Chinese), a soft polyester liner with a thickness of 10 to 40 millimetres is pulled into the host pipe through a “launch shaft”. The liner is then expanded and cured by steam or hot water until it hardens and forms a new pipe. This technology can be used on pipes under dry condition. In rehabilitating trunk sewers that still has water flow, we have to employ the spirally-wound lining technology instead. In this technique, a special winding machine is placed inside the pipeline to helically wind steel-reinforced polyethylene strips into circular shape to form a new pipe in the original pipe. Alternatively, the slip-lining method can also be used. As both methods are designed for the rehabilitation of running pipes, no interception is required. Slip-lining methodStanding at the construction site on Bailey Street in To Kwa Wan, Mr CHEN Ka-yin introduces the use of the slip-lining method at the site. First, a temporary shaft will be set up at an appropriate location. Part of the old pipeline will then be cut and exposed. After cleaning and inspection of the pipe, a 1.5-metre long fibreglass plastic liner will be pushed into the old or damaged pipe section by section. Then, with cement slurry filling the gap between the new and the old pipelines, a new pipe is formed. He points out that although a fibreglass plastic liner looks relatively thin, its structural strength is equal to that of a concrete pipe and its lifespan is up to 40 to 50 years. Planning for stage 2 worksAs the rehabilitation works of all stormwater drains and sewers in Hong Kong involves 18 districts, over the course of four months, colleagues of the DSD visited each of the districts to consult the relevant District Council committees and explain project details to stakeholders, so as to give an early start to the projects. Stage 1 works had begun and are scheduled for completion in 2022. Stage 2 works are scheduled to start in 2020 to conduct condition survey and rehabilitation of stormwater drains and sewers in six districts, including Tsuen Wan, Sham Shui Po and Yau Tsim Mong. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Drainage Services Department's remote-controlled desilting robot

In Hong Kong, the rainy season generally starts in April. In order to further reduce flood risks during rainstorms, the Drainage Services Department (DSD) has introduced the “just-in-time clearance” arrangement this year. It has also adopted new technologies in using a new remote-controlled desilting robot for silt clearing works at box culverts to enhance the efficiency of desilting works. Preventing silt accumulation from affecting the drainage capacityHong Kong faces an average rainfall of about 2 400 millimetres a year, one of the highest among cities in the Pacific Rim. According to Mr POON Tin-yau, an engineer of the DSD, when stormwater is discharged into the sea through box culverts, the washed-off sand, stones and dust will accumulate gradually at the drains to form silt, which will in turn affect the drainage capacity and may lead to flooding in the most serious cases. To avoid the above situation, the department inspects the box culverts on a regular basis and arranges the desilting works if necessary to ensure that the drains are functioning properly. Operating as a vacuum cleanerEarly this year, a new remote-controlled desilting robot was introduced into the DSD. The DSD conducted a pilot test on the use of the robot for desilting works at the box culverts in Sham Shui Po and Tsuen Wan with its functions monitored. The robot will be lifted up with a crane and sent into the box culvert concerned through its opening. With the help of closed-circuit television and sonic survey, the operator can then observe the conditions inside the box culvert and remotely operate the robot for desilting from his workstation. Mr POON Tin-yau says that the robot, measuring approximately 3 metres in length, and 1.5 metres in both width and height, works similarly to a vacuum cleaner. Once the silt is sucked by the robot, it will be pumped to a temporary silt container on the ground through a tube connected to the robot. The silt will be transported to a landfill only after dewatering. Enhancing work safetyAccording to the traditional desilting method, workers need to go into the box culverts for installation and operation of desilting devices. Given that box culverts are confined spaces, workers working inside will face certain safety risks. The traditional method also requires interception of water flow in the culverts to allow workers to work in an environment without water flowing through, which means the work is limited mostly to dry seasons. On the contrary, the remote-controlled desilting robot can take over diving tasks to spare workers from going into confined and submerged space of the box culverts. Apart from enhancing work safety, the use of the robot allows desilting works in rainy seasons, which in turn will expedite the progress of such works, lower the costs and significantly improve the desilting efficiency. Implementation of the “just-in-time clearance” arrangementFurthermore, the DSD had analysed more than 200 flooding cases between 2017 and 2019, finding that more than 60 percent of them were due to blockage of drains by litter, fallen leaves or other washouts carried by surface runoff. This year, the department will implement the “just-in-time clearance” arrangement. Before the onset of a rainstorm, staff will be deployed to inspect about 200 drain locations in the territory which are susceptible to blockage by litter, fallen leaves or the like, and will immediately arrange for clearance if necessary. The department will also send staff to inspect and clear all major drainage intakes and river channels to prevent blockage after a rainstorm or when a typhoon signal is about to be lowered so as to prepare for the challenges of further rainstorms. Constructing more underground stormwater storage tanksApart from strengthening the responsive management measures before and after rainstorms, the DSD will continue to press ahead with its flood prevention strategy, which includes constructing more underground stormwater storage tanks to collect and temporarily store excessive rainwater during rainstorms, thus reducing the loading at downstream drains and the consequential flood risks. At present, six locations are under planning, including Shek Kip Mei Park, Tai Hang Tung Recreation Ground (extension), the Urban Council Centenary Garden in Tsim Sha Tsui, as well as Sau Nga Road Playground, Kwun Tong Ferry Pier Square and Hoi Bun Road Park in Kwun Tong District. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Enhancement of legal aid services through innovative use of information technology (Legal Aid Department)

The Legal Aid Department (LAD) commits to providing quality customer-oriented legal aid services. Aiming to improve service efficiency and provide prompt response to customers, LAD has developed new online services with the latest information technology to keep legal aid services abreast of the times. Service 1: EFFECTIVE USE OF QR CODES The pamphlet entitled How Your Financial Resources & Contribution are Calculated published by LAD contains calculation examples of different scenarios. However, as the rates of personal allowances and financial eligibility limits for legal aid are adjusted oftentimes, the calculation examples in the pamphlet require frequent updates, which are effort and time demanding but ephemeral. Resources were squandered consequently. To resolve the difficulty, LAD has added in the pamphlet relevant QR codes, through which members of the public can access the latest calculation examples on LAD’s website. When there is any adjustment to the calculation examples, it is necessary to update only the information on the website but not the pamphlet. Not only does this help protect the environment, but printing costs and staff resources could also be saved. Service 2:  MOBILE VERSION OF MEANS TEST CALCULATOR Since means assessment involves many factors concerning a legal aid applicant, LAD introduced in December 2008 an online Means Test Calculator, which provides a convenient way for members of the public to find out whether they are likely to be eligible for legal aid on means. The mobile version of the Means Test Calculator was subsequently introduced for easy access by mobile devices anytime anywhere. Service 3: ENHANCING SERVICES BY INSTANT TRANSLATION SYSTEM To overcome the language barrier faced by people of diverse race in making legal aid applications and the shortage of interpreters, LAD has developed an instant translation system, which can display and read out questions in languages commonly used by people of diverse race. The system also connects to an online translation programme which can translate the answers provided by legal aid applicants of diverse race in their own languages into English. LAD staff may then identify and provide suitable information to them to facilitate their legal aid applications. (For more details, please visit Sevice Excellence Website)

Training beyond innovation (Electrical and Mechanical Services Department)

To support the implementation of this policy by various divisions, the Training Unit of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) has taken the lead to apply I&T in its core training and enhanced the Technician Training Scheme to cultivate young professional teams with international vision, thereby injecting new blood into the E&M trade so as to tie in with the Government’s policy objective of building a smart city and developing I&T. IMPROVING TRAINING EFFECTIVENESS WITH I&T EMSD has converted a workshop in its headquarters building into a new digitalised Interactive Learning Centre in four months. Holographic images and three-dimensional projection technology are used to present to trainees the E&M equipment in buildings in great detail, which facilitates their clear understanding of the equipment’s structure and improves training efficiency. Moreover, the Department has tailor-designed various virtual reality training facilities, which not only enhance the flexibility, safety and coverage of training activities, but also significantly reduce the consumption of physical materials to achieve environmental benefits. JOINT TALENT TRAINING WITH THE TRADE To address the problem of an ageing workforce and manpower shortage in the E&M trade, EMSD enhanced its Technician Training Scheme, under which 100 places are added every year to nurture more young trainees so as to meet the needs arising from the digitalisation development. The Department has also collaborated with the trade and arranged for trainees to undergo internship in private organisations. Their performance has won recognition from the trade. Not only does this arrangement enrich the work experience of trainees, but it also helps solve the problem of manpower shortage in those organisations, a win-win for all. BROADENING INTERNATIONAL HORIZONS THROUGH TRAINING In order to enhance the skills of trainees and promote learning and exchange between young people in Hong Kong and Guangzhou, EMSD has signed the Memorandum of Co-operation on E&M Talent Development with the Guangzhou Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau to train E&M talents for both cities and upgrade their skills as a whole. To broaden the international horizons of trainees, the Department encouraged them to participate in the biennial WorldSkills Competition. Two EMSD trainees who took part in the “Electrical Installations” and “Refrigeration and Air-conditioning” trades won in the WorldSkills Hong Kong and went on to represent Hong Kong in the WorldSkills Competition held in Kazan, Russia in August 2019. Coached by expert trainers, both trainees won Medallions for Excellence in the Competition, bringing glory to Hong Kong while proving that the technical skills of Hong Kong’s E&M personnel have attained international standards. (The video is conducted in Cantonese) (For more details, please visit Sevice Excellence Website)