Project Title : A Public Web-GIS Platform for Analysing Visual and Environmental Impacts of Construction Projects in Hong Kong

Applicant : The University of Hong Kong (Dr. Lai Poh-chin)

Total Approved Grant : $148,380.18

Duration : 1/6/2004 to 31/3/2005

Project Status/Remarks : Completed

Scope : To implement a methodology that allows the public to undertake visual assessment and inspection of possible environmental impacts of construction projects. The PI intends to use the reclamation proposals of the Victoria Harbour as the starting point for a web-GIS platform that offers mapping, realistic 3D models and spatial analytical capabilities to improve public awareness on environmental issues.

Summary of findings : A methodology for establishing a web-based platform for public enquiry and participation will result at the conclusion of this project. The reclamation web site can be used as an educational tool or exemplary case to demonstrate the utility of visual communication and to encourage public participation in environmental matters. This research has potentially far reaching implications for policy making within the Hong Kong planning system as it actively updates the public with objective and correct information. The methodology is also in line with a new practice termed Continuous Public Involvement adopted by the Government in September 2003. A better-informed public will hopefully lessen worries on many controversial projects. Also, greater involvement in the planning process may lead to greater understanding and acceptance of the plans which the community jointly create for a better future.