Hong Kong’s $80B plan to fix housing crisis is “disastrous,” critics say

Government has proposed building artificial islands in the South China Sea

National /
Apr.April 03, 2019 10:50 AM

A crowded residential building in Hong Kong (Credit: iStock)

Hong Kong’s government wants to build 4,200 acres of artificial islands in the South China Sea, hoping to solve a housing crisis that’s gripped roughly 20 percent of its population.

But the first phase of the plan, called Lantau Tomorrow Vision, which would create nearly 2,500 acres of space for a new office district and up to 260,000 apartments, has drawn heavy criticism, according to the LA Times. Opponents say the proposal is expensive and disastrous for the environment and for its residents if a typhoon were to hit.

Construction of Lantau Tomorrow Vision would cost $80 billion, more than half of Hong Kong’s total cash reserves.

Typhoons are expected to become stronger, and sea level rise could double previous projects, Lam Chiu-ying, a geography professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, wrote. “To go for a gigantic artificial island facing the open sea in a warming world is an unequivocally disastrous move,” he said in a South China Morning Post op-ed.

The city, one of the most expensive housing markets in the world, also has one of the biggest gaps between rich and poor.

More than 1.37 million people in Hong Kong are below the poverty line, crammed in illegal “coffin apartments” and rooftop shacks. The government has proposed solving the problem in the past by looking to create more land. Officials last year proposed blasting caverns into hills and mountains throughout the city to free up 69 acres of land, a project that would take eight years and cost $265 million. [LA Times] — Katherine Kallergis

 

Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
The current Miami Beach North Shore library with Mayor Dan Gelber (Google Maps, Gelber)
Miami Beach seeks buyers for city-owned development sites
Miami Beach seeks buyers for city-owned development sites
The partially collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building (Getty)
Inside the tug-of-war over the Surfside condo site’s future
Inside the tug-of-war over the Surfside condo site’s future
 Adam Neumann (Getty, Bal Harbour Florida)
Ex-WeWork CEO Adam Neumann inks $44M deal for Bal Harbour properties
Ex-WeWork CEO Adam Neumann inks $44M deal for Bal Harbour properties
Alex Sapir and Giovanni Fasciano with Arte by Antonio Citterio in Surfside (Photos via Arte by Antonio Citterio/PR Newswire)
Miami penthouse sets cryptocurrency sale record: $22.5M
Miami penthouse sets cryptocurrency sale record: $22.5M
(iStock)
South Florida resi construction starts soar in March
South Florida resi construction starts soar in March
Eden Multifamily heads Jay Massirman and Jay Jacobson with Cypress Equity Investments CEO Michael Sorochinsky (rendering courtesy of MSA Architects)
Eden Multifamily, Cypress Equity score $24M construction loan for Tamarac apartments
Eden Multifamily, Cypress Equity score $24M construction loan for Tamarac apartments
(iStock)
Home prices across globe hit records, prompting worries of bubble
Home prices across globe hit records, prompting worries of bubble
Steven and Beth Millner with One Thousand Ocean (Patrick McMullan/Getty, Google Maps)
Private equity honcho pays $5M for Boca Raton condo
Private equity honcho pays $5M for Boca Raton condo
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...