14,400 citizens enjoyed temporary Pedestrianisation of DVRCTemporary Pedestrianisation of Des Voeux Road Central
14,400 citizens joined, results in a lower air pollutions than neighbouring streets and 92% growth in consumer traffic/
Hong Kong, 25 September 2016 – Today from 10am to 4pm, a 200-metre section of Central’s Des Voeux Road Central (from Man Wa Lane to Morrison Street) transformed into a temporary pedestrian and tram precinct, as Very DVRC – co-organised by Clean Air Network, Walk DVRC (formerly known as DVRC Initiative) and Hong Kong Public Space Initiative; and curated by Very Hong Kong – experimented with over 14,400 visitors the possibilities of public space in Hong Kong, building a major milestone for the initiative which was first proposed in 2000. As results of this temporary pedestrian and tram precinct, air pollutants in Des Voeux Road Central dropped lower than neighbouring streets and benefited surrounding merchants with an 92% growth in weekend consumer traffic, which is usually low at weekends.
Very DVRC inspires the public to recognise the right of way and to reflect on Hong Kong’s car-oriented planning approach through engagement in a wide range of activities curated to explore the possibilities of public space if vehicular traffic gives way to pedestrians. Curated by Very Hong Kong, 47 collaborators brought to the site community activities such as street sports and outdoor cinema, while designers and architects restructured the space with awe-inspiring architectural interventions.
As part of this history-making social experiment, the Very DVRC team conducted on-site measurements at several points to evaluate if a pedestrian and tram precinct on Des Voeux Road Central would improve the air quality of the surrounding area by reducing vehicular traffic. The team measured the average concentrations of Fine Particle PM2.5on Connaught Road Central (CRC), Des Voeux Road Central (DVRC) and Queen’s Road Central (QRC), and found that DVRC’s PM2.5 level was 26.3µg/m3, 41.8% and 40.3% lower than those of Connaught Road Central and Queen’s Road Central, which were 37.3µg/m3 and 36.9µg/m3 respectively.Table 1 – Average fine particle (PM2.5) levels
|Des Voeux Road Central||26.3 µg/m3|
|Connaught Road Central||37.3 µg/m3|
|Queen’s Road Central||36.9 µg/m3|
Table 2 – Pedestrian and vehicular traffic comparison of DVRC, CRC and QRC
|Average hourly vehicle volume (Statistics from a 2014 study by City University)||Average peak pedestrian traffic in 15 minutes (Statistics from a 2014 study by City University)|
|Des Voeux Road Central||0 / (300)||1230 / (640)|
|Connaught Road Central||1285 / (6750)||Not measured|
|Queen’s Road Central||596 / (500)||Not measured|
As indicated by the statistics above, vehicular traffic was partially diverted from Des Voeux Road to Connaught Road Central and Queen’s Road Central. During the event, the average PM2.5 concentration level of DVRC was approximately 40% lower than that recorded at Connaught Road Central and Queen’s Road Central, proving that a pedestrian and tram precinct would help cutting roadside pedestrians’ exposure to PM2.5.
The temporary pedestrian zone also marked a significant growth of pedestrian traffic, which was 1230 in 15 minutes on average – 92.19% higher than the usual 640 on weekends and holidays.
Very DVRC opening ceremony was successfully hold this morning and guests of honor has made speech to the event:
“Very DVRC has undergone more than a decade of negotiation between the government and different parties. We wish the event could happen regularly in the future,” said MR. Ian Brownlee, Fellow Member of The Hong Kong Institute of Planners.
“Very DVRC is a great result achieved together by the government and local parties. We wish the government and citizen could continue to work hand in hand to build a better city to live,” said MR. Raymond Lee, JP, Acting Director of Planning Department.
“The Environmental Department has been devoting to regulate diesel vehicles to reduce air pollution. Very DVRC explores the possibilities of car-free zone, which provides a good reference for the Department,” said MR. Mok Wai Chuen, JP, Assistant Director of Environmental Department.
“Before it happened, pedestrianization seems to be a mission impossible. However with the effort from different parties, it is really not that difficult to put in place. We wish such meaningful event could happen regularly in the near future, “said MS. Maggie Brooke, Founder of Very Hong Kong.
“We would like to sincerely express our gratitude to all visitors today, as well as 300 volunteers, Hong Kong Tramways Limited, HKSAR Government, Very Hong Kong and 47 collaborators, to make this dream come true. We wish the public space could extend to Pedder Street next time and more citizens could participate this event,” said MR. Patrick Fung, Walk DVRC.Press Coverages: TVB Pearl – SCMP – HK Free Press – The Standard