Mui Wo is a rural town located on southern Lantau. Lantau is Hong Kong’s largest island located at the mouth of Pearl River. Lantau has majorly developed sustainably over the past few years, Over 50% of Lantau consists of national parks, including a large number of well-marked trails, Tian Tan Buddha Statue and of course, The Hong Kong Disneyland, Lantau’s main attraction attracting thousands of tourists every year since it is very close to the airport and includes its own accommodation. However over the past few, Mui Wo hasn’t been very successful in attracting tourists compared to other towns in Lantau. Since, I work for “Living Island Movement”, a Hong Kong community-based organisation who’s aims is to promote sustainable development on Hong Kong’s outlying islands. We also aim to encourage enrichment and animation in these islands to attract tourists for the benefit for the entire population of Hong Kong.
I have been asked to create a report consisting of 2 sustainable ideas that will develop the area of Mui Wo and make the town eco-friendly. I will work and interview local’s, asking about their ideas to keep residents happy with new sustainable developments. In addition, I will ensure for the protection for the well being of the island, using sustainable strategies and renewable sources of energy. However, the Hong Kong Government already has proposed a bill because Mui Wo is experiencing a numbers of difficulties because South Lantau is the 3rd poorest district in Hong Kong. This the proposal passed by the Hong Kong Government which, contains a number of proposals which aims to improve the economic difficulties:
(1) Provision of amenity areas and facilities in villages and attractions;
(2) Improvement to visitor information and signage;
(3) Improvement to Civic Square;
(4) Improvement to north waterfront promenade;
(5) Realignment of Mui Wo Ferry Pier Road and modification of car park;
(6) New cooked food market and covered cycle parking area;
(7) Improvement to south waterfront promenade;
(8) Enhancement of Entrance Plaza;
(9) provision/improvement of cycle track network in Mui Wo; and
(10) Provision of a heritage trail.
The Government plan to use this development scheme modernize Mui Wo, turning the island into a major tourist attraction and targeting that this development will increase the economy, lowering numbers of unemployed and most importantly promote hoping that there plan will result in a huge economic boom for Lantau island, providing employment and filling the job vacancies with locals, and in general promote Mui Wo as a key tourist destination Hong Kong. This is a perfect plan to modernize and attract Mui Wo however, locals are against these ideas. Sadly these ideas have been treated by disrespect by local residents living in Mui Wo. They say that if the redevelopment plan is approved Mui Wo’s
However, these set of government proposals have been treated with scorn by local residents. Mui wo residents argue that if this redevelopment plan was to be fully implemented by the government this surely would destroy Mui Wo’s individual rural lifestyle would be ruined by touristic sites, from agriculture to tourism. In addition, locals state these are one of the only rural villages which makes Mui Wo unique and distinctive to the rest of Hong Kong. After several interviews, research and surveys it can be proved that Mui Wo villagers are content with its town, social state and don’t want to make major changes, however villagers agree that something should be done to improve Mui Wo’s economic state because they are concerned and fear the current recession. In this investigation task I will try to design two sustainable development ideas that wil finanacially help benefit Mui Wo and also find a balance being able to develop Mui Wo while not aggravating locals by trying to destroy Mui Wo’s rural identity. Due to this, I will analyze 2 potential ideas that can develop in Mui Wo sustainably, making locals content while keeping Mui Wo’s distinct culture. Sustainable Redevelopment Ideas:
1. Multi-sports Center
My first redevelopment plan for Mui Wo island is to create a sports facility on silver mine beach (currently undeveloped. This will be completely funded by the government and will need assistance of locals working at the facility will receive a good monthly wage. This center will offer a wide variety of sports from beach ball and mountain biking to jet ski and banana boating. All in one peaceful and clean town, 20 minutes away from Disneyland Resort and 40 minutes away by ferry from Hong Kong’s city. Mui Wo offers many unique adventures to get away from the stressful and polluted city and relax over in the countryside, offering a green and beautiful landscape.
In addition, Mui Wo offers a distinct adventure tourism, including hiking and outdoor sports, nature tourism, and even beach recreation. In addition, people can spend the weekend in Mui Wo they could stay at Lantau’s most established hotel This would create a chain of advantages for the transport, New World First Ferry, the watersports center and the hotel. The advantage of building a water sports center on Mui Wo is the facility all funding and investment will be provided for the government Mui Wo rural village council for investment in the island. In addition a water sports center is extremely unique to Hong Kong city, and by building one in Mui Wo this surely would popularize the image of the island and attract a lot of clients and tourists to the center. Furthermore by installing a government owned property center on Mui Wo Island this has potential to create jobs for local residents. Location on Virtual Map:
SWOT Analysis Of Idea 1: Multi-sports center
The biggest advantage that presents itself from developing a water sports center on Mui Wo Island is it provides a standard amount of monthly local income for the town, which can be used to redevelop the island such as building schools, restaurants, more public transportation, a hospital. In addition, provides jobs for Mui Wo residents, has the potential to reduce unemployment rate and providing. Also adding a water sports center is very distinct and rare to Hong Kong, this will popularize the image of Mui Wo and make more people come here to spend weekends and maybe invest in property here for holiday houses. All equipment materials used during the construction of this project will be extracted from environmentally selective methods e.g. for wood materials will be only extracted from selective cutting, metal will be only used if extracted from a metal manufacturing plant, therefore with selecting my materials carefully from environmentally sustainable manufactures this reduces the affect of any damage done to the environment. This will also Increase tourism in Mui Wo, creating more jobs for locals making them content and agree with major development.
One of the main weaknesses that threatens the idea of the sports center, by the beach is that local residents are extremely against redevelopment in Mui Wo. After interviewing different people at Mui Wo, they argue that they are very hapy with their town identity as a farming village. They state that if the government modifies it, Mui Wo will lose its distinct culture. But on the other hand, they aren’t very content with Mui Wo’s economic state, because it is very poor compared to other districts in Hong Kong. So basically villager want to keep Mui Wo’s culture and increase it economy at the same time without major interference of the government. So a sports center, Water sports recreation center plan most villagers seem supportive of the idea due to its economic and job creation potential however they are skeptical of the government owning the land and subsidizing the property, as they believe the government will use this a stepping stone to totally redevelop Mui Wo with their mass redevelopment project will totally obliterate Mui Wo’s rural atmosphere. At the moment Mui Wo residents feel very strongly against the majority of development projects that are taking place on the island. If villagers oppose this then it will also be very hard tot get staff because people may not volunteer to, which will not improve Mui Wo’s economy.
The main opportunity of this sustainable project is to popularize Mui Wo, which will increase tourism, encourage investors to invest in Mui Wo. Basically the sports center will be an example on how Mui Wo can develop from its condition on to a bery high tourist attraction with a very high economy. This will lead the government taking interest in other development projects similar to mine, such as hospitals, hotels farms to keep Mui Wo’s culture. In addition, the sports center will make local resident for redevelopment in Mui Wo. Threats
This idea doesn’t present any major threats unless the idea fails to attract customers. The fees of all equipment can be very expensive and if the government denies to fund this idea it would be to expensive to be funded by locals so an investor would be needed, which would be a big risk. If the idea fails it will be a major loss of hundreds and thousands of Hong Kong dollars and will make locals be more against the idea of redevelopment.
Annotated Google Sketch up Of Location For Idea 1
2.Organic Agricultural Farm
My second sustainable idea is to start an organic agricultural farm. This idea is about making an organic farm in an empty space of land close to the ferry pier so it can be transported freshly right after it has been grown. This idea will help people get jobs and also encourage Mui Wo residents to start their own businesses to improve its town economic state without interference of government and modern development. This idea will provide assistance with local families who need quick money to provide for them selves or to help their family if it’s in some sort of struggle or trouble. Also the population of Mui Wo are mostly farmers so they are going to be very good at their job. In addition, Hog Kong also has a high demand for organic products.
So if they start a small business if they are successful they can become a very known company and make Mui Wo known for its organic products.. This is going to be located in the land before the Mui Wo cave waterfall, or before the uphill trail with the house in the middle of the area. A barn 1could be used a main storage house to supply all kinds of equipment such as shovels or seeds. I think this idea will be very much supported by locals because their job would be their specialty in local farming and would be very content if we gave them the opportunity to open a local organic farm since they enjoy this. This will also keep Mui Wo’s distinct culture and lifestyle.
Location on Virtual Map:
SWOT Analysis Of Idea 2: Agricultural Farm
The farm could provide fresh organic food for the Hong Kong residents, instead of receiving packaged organic products. In addition, this helps provide money and jobs, which can help the economic status of Mui Wo. In addition, this idea can be improved on and evolution to big scale and grow more different types of vegetables to grow a chain. This is a major idea that will make locals very content because it will not require any major changes. It will also make Mui Wo more popular and known that tourists would visit the farm and get a tour to see how this small business can become a worldwide chain. Weaknesses
One of the main weaknesses of this idea is that Hong Kong weather is very unreliable. Many hazards occur with very short warning such as rainstorms, typhoons and many thunderstorms. This would spoil and damage the crops, which could be a loss of money. In addition, maybe there might be a small chance that workers would not want to work for this idea. In addition Hong Kong is very polluted and contaminated so many times pollution levels are very high, which contaminated crops, fruits and vegetables making it very dangerous if they are sold and consumed opposing a health safety rule. Opportunities
These ideas present a lot of opportunities that can especially increase the low economic state of Mui Wo. First of all, this idea creates many jobs for local residents and making them content at the same time because farming is like their passion and hobby. In addition if the local organic agricultural farm would be succesful, it would also encourage local people to open many small businesses. This would not only decrease the number of unemployed in Mui Wo but also increase the economic state and value of Mui Wo. In addition, if this idea would be very successful, they could modernize the farm and use technology to increase efficiency and make the workers life easier. The use of machines would also create a opportunity to sell these products to local supermarkets and overseas for example, Shenzhen since pollution is a massive problem there and fresh vegetables would sell very well there. Threats
This idea doesn’t present any major threats unless local residents do not take their job seriously, which is very unlikely since they have been farming since they have been very young for their own food. In addition, there might be a threat because many other local residents might open small businesses to compete with others causing distress, tension and lack of concentration in their job. As you can see this idea doesn’t present any sort of major threats that could harass our idea.
Annotated Google Sketch up Of Location For Idea 2
In conclusion, I think Mui Wo is a very nice place with a very distinct and diverse culture which is supported by locals. However, Mui Wo needs to be redeveloped in some way due to its very low economic state, but local residents are completely against this because they think that developing Mui Wo will completely against this because they have the wrong image of Mui Wo. They think that Mui Wo will lose its culture and become a city like the rest of Hong Kong. However, redevelopment is just an idea to modernize Mui Wo and improve its economy. To prove the locals that redevelopment is good I will slowly create a redevelopment project that will involve local residents working. This project will be the multi-sports center that will be a stepping-stone to major redevelopment. This will make locals very content and make them realize that redevelopment is good. This will lead to government plans on redeveloping Mui Wo while keeping its culture at the same time and improving Muo Wo’s economy.
3.Google Sketch Up