Back alleys of Kowloon East, mainly in the Kwun Tong Business Area, are currently unattractive and underused. Being among buildings, back alleys can be integrated into the pedestrian network of the whole business area. This Back Alley Project @Kowloon East @Kowloon East is a quick-win that can be carried out in the short run. Some back alleys are included in a pilot scheme for improvement. We support involvement from cross-sector groups, including non-profit organizations, social enterprises, academic institutes, students, local and overseas artists, in beautifying the back alleys with creation of colorful street art and energizing the back alleys with induction of place-making activities. These can attract more pedestrian use and embrace social inclusion in the process of improving the neighbourhood.
We sponsored the Hong Kong Polytechnic University Jockey Club Design Institute for Social Innovation to conduct a research with experiments to examine the walkability of Kowloon East. Design recommendations for the use of back alleys were concluded. For example, the naming of the alleys was proposed in memory of the industrial heyday of Kwun Tong.
Thereafter, we have commissioned the Feasibility Studies on Pedestrian Environment Improvement Schemes for Kowloon Bay and Kwun Tong Business Areas, with an aim to formulate improvement proposals for enhancing walkability in the areas.
With the support of the Highways Department, the back alleys are resurfaced. Colours and patterns are added. We also closely communicate with departments, like the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, to improve the existing environment of the back alleys.