Editorial﹕''Walkable city'' plans have to be well thought-out

【明報專訊】IN a bid to build Hong Kong into a "walkable city", the government has chosen Central and Sham Shui Po as pilot areas and proposed measures to enhance the pedestrian network, including the creation of more pedestrian precincts in Central and Sheung Wan. Globally, the concept of a "walkable city" has been advocated by many advanced cities and seen as part of sustainable development. As cars are numerous and roads are congested in Hong Kong, good planning about the city's walkability can indeed encourage the public to walk more and rely less on cars, thereby contributing to the reduction of carbon emission. The idea of pedestrian precincts has attracted some bad publicity after the closure of the Sai Yeung Choi Street pedestrian precinct in Mong Kok due to the noise made by street performers. Some may wince at the mention of pedestrian zones. However, as long as there are appropriate planning and comprehensive regulations, the problem is not unsolvable. To build Hong Kong into a "walkable city", comprehensive supporting facilities that can dispel the worries of residents in the communities are necessary.