About Walk DVRC

Walk DVRC Ltd. is an NGO that is a partner to the government, local retailers and the community in pedestrianisation and placemaking initiatives. Walk DVRC engages the public to promote walkability and liveability with the goal of creating a healthier and more inclusive city. The organisation advocates for a fairer sharing of public space between pedestrians and cars with an initial focus on Hong Kong’s Central Business District. Walk DVRC consults, educates and undertakes research on the creation and management of vibrant streets in the areas of Traffic Management, Street Management, Health Benefits, Economic Benefits, Social Benefits and Governance.

Click here for more details.

Future DVRC

Public support for walkability and pedestrianisation initiatives is high. Evidence comes from a number of sources including the media, global interest in designing a New Central in Hong Kong and numerous stakeholder engagement exercises.

In addition, two pieces of market research support the creation of a more walkable and liveable Central that is connected to surrounding cultural and historical sites as well as to the harbour.

Creating a Dynamic Public Realm

The Nielsen Company, a leading international market research firm, was commissioned to conduct a study on the 76 ground-floor businesses that will be affected by the Sheung Wan Fiesta. The research has quantitative and qualitative components with two objectives: to educate/persuade and to solicit opinions/feedback for the purpose of capturing data that can be used to demonstrate positive support of the project to stakeholders. Over 60% of respondents are in favor of and want to participate in the Fiesta.

• It represents a unique initiative in Hong Kong
• It will help to promote local culture and the importance of preserving and cherishing the past
• It will give Hong Kong a powerful example of the power of pedestrianisation-based issues
• It will increase business and sales

Full Report

Challenging Hong Kong’s Retail Competitiveness

An independent piece of market research carried out by Colliers International, “Challenging Hong Kong’s Retail Competitiveness: Exploring Hong Kong’s Digital Retail Trends and Drive to Pedestrianisation,” cites that:

• Pedestrian precincts play a significant role in future retail development
• Offering a vibrant pedestrianized space can greatly increase footfall
• Specific opportunities are available for DVRC to serve as a connector and integrator
• The Sheung Wan Fiesta is “a great way of warming residents and businesses to the new concept”

Full Report

 

Our Signature Projects

  The Sheung Wan Fiesta

The Sheung Wan Fiesta is a replicable “proof of concept” for the creation of a vibrant public space for the entire community.

The Sheung Wan Fiesta project is a 90-day closure to vehicular traffic of a two-block stretch of DVRC, from Western Market to Hillier Street. Trams continue to run and cross streets remain open. The Fiesta will be held from 10 am to 10 pm, to enable deliveries outside these hours.

The site will be curated and provide seating and shading, entertainment and local, artisanal food. It will also include cultural and heritage walk tours to surrounding areas. A tested traffic arrangement that identifies viable traffic diversions, loading/unloading solutions and bus stop relocation will be put in place. Extensive street management policies will be implemented. Considerable time, money, manpower and stakeholder engagement has already taken place to ensure that this project succeeds.

  International Design Competition

Walk DVRC Ltd. launched an International Design in April 2018 to invite top-tier teams of urban planners, architects, traffic consultants and designers to submit proposals for re-imagining a decaying Des Voeux Road Central.

Submissions featured strong placemaking and pedestrian schemes as well as highlighting neighbourhood connectivity and cultural sites. In addition, projects incorporated HK’s iconic trams

Projects from the five finalist teams portray a vision for a fantastic car-free zone with numerous facilities on DVRC in the heart of Hong Kong’s Central Business District. To see the five finalists’ visions of a future DVRC, please click here: https://www.walkdvrc.hk/design-competition/

 

The Hong Kong Institute of Planners (HKIP) proposed a pedestrian precinct in Central to the government in conjunction with Civic Exchange, City University of Hong Kong and transport consultants MVA (HK) Ltd. Hong Kong civic groups including Clean Air Network, Designing Hong Kong, Hong Kong Public Space Initiative, supported by Knight Frank, The Conservancy Association and Friends of the Earth (HK), formed the Des Voeux Road Central Initiative in 2015.

    2016 – 2018

    Walk DVRC Ltd. Established

      • Sept 2016 – A one-day closure to vehicular traffic a 200m stretch of the road was successfully completed
      • Jan 2017 – Walk DVRC Ltd was set up as a formal NGO on 26th January 2017 to spearhead the Walk DVRC initiative
      • Dec 2017 – Planning of The Sheung Wan Fiesta began. It is a trial schemes that will close a two-block stretch of DVRC, from Western Market to Hillier Street, to vehicular traffic for 90 days. At the same month, Walk DVRC participated in UABB to promote and educate walkability and encouraging flexible public space usage on DVRC
      • Apr 2018 – Walk DVRC International Design Competition launched
      • Aug 2018 – Section 88 status granted
      • Sept 2018 – Walkability Study conducted by HKSAR names Central as one of the study areas
      • Nov 2018 – Released the result of The Sheung Wan Fiesta Market Research done by Nielson Hong Kong
    2019 – 2020

    Numerous projects launched to raise awareness

      • Jan 2019 – Colliers International Hong Kong Research Report named Sheung Wan Fiesta and talk about the pedestrianisation Des Voeux Road Central (DVRC)
      • Mar 2019 – International Design Competition Digital Exhibition launched and Roving exhibition were moving around the city
      • Jun 2019 – Transportation Impact Assessment for the Sheung Wan Fiesta completed
      • Nov 2019 – Public health research completed and studied the perceptions of the respondents on air pollution along DVRC and its connection to health, especially respiratory related diseases
      • Jan 2020 – Forum for a New Central, co-hosted with Colliers International HK gathered a number of disciplines and industries to learn more about the benefits of creating a Business Improvement District in Hong Kong’s Central district
      • Feb 2020 – Walk DVRC Press Briefing of the research on walkability and public health
      • Feb 2020 – Walk DVRC commissioned Social Policy Research (SPR) to undertake a survey to gauge perceptions of air pollution and its connection to health, especially respiratory related diseases, as well as to understand participants’ experiences with traffic along DVRC
      • May 2020 – Social experiment on social distancing
      • May 2020 – Walk DVRC was featured in Zolima CityMag, interviewees included Board Chair Markus Shaw, EO Jennifer Walker Frisinger and steering committee member YY Pong
      • Jun 2020 – Walk DVRC Ltd. undertakes a large-scale public engagement exercise to test it’s Sheung Wan Fiesta concept
    2021 – Today
      •  Jan 2021 – Walk DVRC will have a new leader to work with all of you to turn Hong Kong into a walkable city. We will unveil more details for 2021 in the next few posts
    Vicky Chan
    Vicky Chan Board Chair
     Vicky Chan founded Avoid Obvious Architects in 2012 with offices in New York and Hong Kong. The firm has been pushing sustainable buildings and cities with focus on combining art with green technology. His projects have won 38 international awards and have been exhibited in 37 cities. …
    Ivan Ko
    Ivan Ko Board Member
    Ivan Ko is currently the Chairman of RECAS Group and Chairman of China Real Estate Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong and International Chapter. He is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Grand China Fund, and also a Fellow Member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. He has 25 years of …
    Alan Lo
    Alan Lo Board Member
    A restaurateur, a property investor and a leading voice in Hong Kong’s art and design scene, Alan is listed as one of Asia’s best young entrepreneurs by Bloomberg Business Week as well as one of the “30 rising power players in the eastern art scene” by Blouin Artinfo and …
    Benson Poon
    Benson Poon Board Member
    Benson obtained his Masters degree in town planning at the University of Hong Kong.  He is a registered professional town planner and a full member of the Hong Kong Institute of Planners with seven years of working experience. He is currently a Senior Town Planner at Masterplan Limited, a …
    YY Pong
    YY Pong Board Member
    YY is a former town planner with working experience in the government, in planning consultancies and with various public bodies. She has also been part of several government committees and served the Hong Kong Institute of Planners.
    Markus Shaw
    Markus Shaw Steering Committee
    Markus was the Chair of Walk DVRC Limited in 2020 and is passionate about making Hong Kong a more people-friendly environment. He is a lifelong citizen of Hong Kong. Following a history degree from Cambridge University, he spent six years as a corporate lawyer with the City law firm Linklaters in …
    Angela Pang
    Angela Pang Steering Committee
    Angela Pang is principal of PangArchitect, an independent design practice based in Hong Kong and receipient of a Special Award from the Hong Kong Institute of Architects and Green Building Award from the Hong Kong Green Building Council. Always guided by site and program, the firm questions, …
    Ian Brownlee
    Ian Brownlee Steering Committee
    Ian is a professional urban planner with over 35 years of experience in Hong Kong. He worked for 16 years as a senior and chief town planner in the Planning Department, where he gained extensive experience of the statutory planning procedures and coordination of other government departments. He has …
    Patrick Fung
    Patrick Fung Steering Committee
    Patrick Fung is the Chief Executive Officer of Clean Air Network, an NGO with a charitable status that focuses on air pollution issues in Hong Kong. During his term of service, Patrick has led various campaigns to drive cultural and policy change for cleaner air. Before joining the Clean Air …
    Tiffany Lau
    Tiffany Lau Steering Committee
    Tiffany is the Founder & Principal of Apart Companies, an advisory, project management, and development firm focused on creative repositioning and redevelopment of commercial real estate in global urban markets with a base in Hong Kong and New York. Tiffany is also the Executive Director of the …
    Jeffrey Wong
    Jeffrey Wong Steering Committee
    Jeffrey is a registered professional town planner. As the Immediate Past Chairperson of the Hong Kong Institute of Planners (HKIP) Young Planners Group and the Advisor of Hong Kong Public Space Initiative (HKPSI), he has been organising various community engagement and educational programmes to …
    Matthew Smith
    Matthew Smith Steering Committee
    Matt is Managing Director of Digital Insights (HK) Limited. A boutique consultancy form focused on assisting businesses with their digital transformation strategies. Prior to this, Matt was an 18 year veteran of Cisco. Up until October 2018, he led the company’s Global Market Development …
    Anthony Cheung
    Anthony Cheung Honourary Advisor
    Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, GBS, JP is a Hong Kong politician and academic. He was the Secretary for Transport and Housing from 2012 to 2017. He is currently the Research Chair Professor of Public Administration with the Department of Asian and Policy Studies (APS) of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and …
    Ling Kar-kan
    Ling Kar-kan Honourary Advisor
    KK is an experienced urban planner and designer. After retiring from the post of Director of Planning of the Hong Kong Government, he was appointed as Honorary Professor, Professor of Practice and Adjunct Professor by The University of Hong Kong (HKU), The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and …

    The Walk DVRC project depends on help from its collaborators and supporters and Walk DVRC Friends, a group of people who are passionate about enhancing Hong Kong’s environments. Architects, urban planners, NGOs, social enterprises, the business sector, walking enthusiasts and many others have also shown their support for the Walk DVRC initiative through the co-organiziation of events, research projects and other educational community projects.  (In alphabetical order)

     


    ADM Capital Foundation

    BENOY

    China Real Estate Chamber of Commerce

    Civic Exchange

    Classified

    Clean Air Network

    Colliers Internation

    Designing Hong Kong

    Grosvenor

    Hong Kong Design Centre

    The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects

    Hong Kong Institute of Planners (HKIP)

    Hong Kong Public Space Initiative

    Knight Frank

    Lan Kwai Fong Group

    Peter Bennett Foundation

    The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation

    The School of Architecture, Chinese University of Hong Kong

    Siemens Limited

    Steiner&Co.

    HKU Faculty of Architecture

    Urban Land Institute

    WYNG Foundation