I-AUD | International Program in Architecture and Urban Design

Workshop 2013 Future Vision of Fanling


Hong Kong’s current land and housing shortage, its future population projections, and high real-estate values, have led the government to plan new residential developments around the existing new towns in the New Territories. Due to the proximity with the Shenzhen border, the North Eastern New Territories represents an ideal location for the future development.

Fanling / Sheung Shui New Town was once an historic active market town surrounded by vast fertile lands and old indigenous villages. As part of the new town programs the area quickly developed in the 1980’s to a new residential development with commercial and industrial uses, though its original indigenous villages and agricultural uses were still preserved.

Since the late 1990’s new development plans have redefined the existing land use and zoning laws to meet increased housing needs. These new plans threaten to extend outside the city limits, transforming the original green belts to dense residential development. The new government development plans of Fanling have sparked and on-going debate between pro-development entities and conservation activists due to its cultural, ecological and agricultural heritage. This workshop will review and challenge the current development proposals and will seek for an alternative planning strategy for this unique area.