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SHKP PARK YOHO 'Fairyland' wins Hong Kong Institute of Planners Award
Hong Kong's first-of-its-kind successful integration of wetland conservation and residential development recognized as an industry role model

2018-12-19

Developed by Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited (SHKP), PARK YOHO, a large residential project in northern Kam Tin in Yuen Long, covers a 500,000-square-foot private wetland called 'Fairyland'. Formerly an abandoned farmland, it has been successfully transformed into a vibrant semi-natural wetland with careful restoration carried out by the planning team. This project, the first-of-its-kind to integrate wetland conservation with a residential development in Hong Kong, earned a Certificate of Merit at the Hong Kong Institute of Planners (HKIP) Awards 2018 in recognition of its unique and innovative character, a clear testament to the significance of the harmonious co-existence between environmental conservation and urban development. SHKP hopes that this successful example will serve as a role model, demonstrating how to strike a harmonious balance between both project development and wetland conservation.

Widely recognized by the industry

The HKIP Awards have been established to recognize outstanding town planning projects while promoting the importance of comprehensive planning. The widely regarded adjudication panel comprises individuals and scholars from various sectors, including the HKIP President, Director of the Planning Department, Chairman of the Antiquities Advisory Board, and member of the Hong Kong Green Building Council. Submissions are evaluated based on criteria that include: the project's originality and innovativeness, practicality, and sustainability as well as the social impact and benefits the project brings about etc. It is therefore encouraging that Fairyland eventually stood out among numerous other entrants in the assessment.

Wetland restored with care

With its ongoing commitment to environmental conservation and sustainable development, SHKP formed a cross-disciplinary consultancy team for the project that comprised town planners, ecology specialists and other professional consultants, while devoting considerable efforts and resources to carrying out wetland restoration work. PARK YOHO Fairyland was once a barren and abandoned farmland. Under the planning team's careful restoration and well-devised management measures, the area has now been given a completely rejuvenated ecological outlook.

Fairyland is one of the very few brackish marshes in Hong Kong that boasts an ecological environment of open waters, swamps and reed beds. With its self-sustainable eco-system that fosters long-term growth, the wetland is now home to over 180 wildlife species, including: 34 species of dragonflies, 88 species of birds, 46 species of butterflies as well as various amphibians and reptiles. The four-spot midgets – classified as a 'near-threatened' species and particularly in favour of brackish marshes environment – can only be found in six areas around Hong Kong of which Fairyland is one.

Planning of residences in harmony with wetland

SHKP carefully designed the layout and configuration of residences at PARK YOHO in terms of building density, height, location and orientation, so that the wetland and residential environment would be mutually complementary. In addition, reeds have been planted around the residences, providing PARK YOHO residents with expansive, natural verdant views while offering a buffer area to the wetland. Ecology specialists have confirmed that Fairyland is currently in good condition, and that after the residential units have been taken possession, the increased number of ecological species has clearly reflected the successful and harmonious integration of conservation and development.

Guided tours promote environmental conservation awareness

To ensure the sustainability of Fairyland, apart from the implementation of long-term management and wetland conservation measures, ecology specialists conduct regular on-site inspections and submit the data to relevant government departments. The property management company also organizes guided eco-tours from time to time to promote the natural beauty as well as to reinforce the importance of wetland conservation to residents and participants. The guided tours enable visitors to gain a greater close-up appreciation of the brackish marsh's precious ecology and encourage them to make nature conservation part of their lives. During the past year, the tours have attracted more than 2,000 people along with over 200 letters of appreciation, which has reflected the widespread popularity and enjoyment these guided tours provide the public.

More details about the information and photos of Fairyland:
https://www.shkp.com/Html/ebook/PARK_YOHO_Fairyland/index.html

SHKP has integrated PARK YOHO together with the wetland through careful planning, successfully demonstrating how to strike a harmonious balance between development and conservation
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SHKP has integrated PARK YOHO together with the wetland through careful planning, successfully demonstrating how to strike a harmonious balance between development and conservation
SHKP has worked with ecologists to reintroduce reeds and mangroves, transforming the formerly abandoned land into a rare, semi-natural brackish marsh in Hong Kong
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SHKP has worked with ecologists to reintroduce reeds and mangroves, transforming the formerly abandoned land into a rare, semi-natural brackish marsh in Hong Kong
Fairyland's beautiful fields of golden reeds waving in the autumn and winter winds
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Fairyland's beautiful fields of golden reeds waving in the autumn and winter winds
The near-threatened four-spot midgets inhabit Fairyland as a result of collaborative efforts between SHKP and ecologists
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The near-threatened four-spot midgets inhabit Fairyland as a result of collaborative efforts between SHKP and ecologists
Guided tours promoting  the message of nature conservation are particularly popular among children and parents living in PARK YOHO
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Guided tours promoting the message of nature conservation are particularly popular among children and parents living in PARK YOHO

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