Northern Metropolis envisioned

October 6, 2021

(To watch the 2021 Policy Address speech with sign language interpretation, click here.)


Chief Executive Carrie Lam unveiled the Northern Metropolis plan which aims to transform the northern part of Hong Kong into a lively, attractive area.


In her policy speech, Mrs Lam said the metropolis will provide more land for housing and technology development.


The proposed Northern Metropolis covers the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Boundary Control Points Economic Belt, Yuen Long and North districts, with a total land area of about 300 sq km.


It encompasses mature new towns in the area and their neighbouring rural areas, as well as six new development areas and development nodes in different planning and development stages.


Mrs Lam said it is the most vibrant area where urban development and major population growth of Hong Kong in the next 20 years will take place.


She pointed out that under the framework of “one country, two systems”, the Northern Metropolis Development Strategy is the first strategic action agenda devised by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government with a spatial concept and strategic mindset going beyond the administrative boundary of Hong Kong and Shenzhen.


“Now that Hong Kong is back on the right track of ‘one country, two systems’, this ground‑breaking and visionary plan, which maps out new action directions and approaches for the long‑term development prospects of Hong Kong, bears particular significance,” she added.


Crucial integration

The Chief Executive said with as many as seven land-based boundary control points, the Northern Metropolis will be the most important area in Hong Kong that facilitates the development integration with Shenzhen and connection with the Greater Bay Area.


It will be a transport infrastructure-led development with railways as its backbone, involving projects such as the Hong Kong Shenzhen Western Railway linking up Hung Shui Kiu/Ha Tsuen and Qianhai of Shenzhen, extension of the Northern Link and the East Rail Line. An automated people mover system from Tsim Bei Tsui to Pak Nai will also be explored.


Mrs Lam noted that an extra 600 hectares of land could be developed within the Northern Metropolis for residential and industry purposes, providing up to 186,000 flats. When fully developed, the Northern Metropolis will offer a total of up to 926,000 flats - including those existing ones in Yuen Long and North districts, capable of housing a population of about 2.5 million. The total number of jobs in the area will increase substantially to about 650,000.


To offer more land for innovation and technology uses, Mrs Lam proposed to make an optimal use of the land vacated upon relocation of the Lok Ma Chau Control Point as well as part of the adjacent fish ponds and rural land.


Together with the original land use planning in the San Tin/Lok Ma Chau Development Node, this will provide about 150 hectares of additional land for I&T uses.


To fully implement the development strategy, Mrs Lam said the Hong Kong SAR Government should strengthen high-level steer, promote collaboration across bureaus and departments, and work closely with Shenzhen to take forward the relevant projects together.


“Our next step is to deliberate the details of the implementation mechanism. A possible option will be to create a deputy secretary of department post in the next-term Government to steer large-scale regional developments such as the Northern Metropolis and the Lantau Tomorrow Vision,” she added.

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