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Back Alley Project @Kowloon East @Kowloon East

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.

Working closely with the Art Promotion Office of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, artworks are painted on the external wall of a government premises. We also support a social enterprise "RunOurCity" and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University Jockey Club Design Institute for Social Innovation to collaborate with private building owners to beautify the external walls along the back alleys.

In addition, adopting a place-making approach, we support the back street run series This link will open in a new window of “RunOurCity” in Kowloon East.

We hope that the Back Alley Project @Kowloon East can attract more pedestrians using back alleys and relieve the congestion along the main roads during peak hours.

The pilot scheme is only a start to improve the back alleys. We will monitor the situation and adjust our way forward as necessary. We believe that there are a lot of opportunities to cooperate with various stakeholders to add vitality to the back alleys, and thus embracing social inclusion in the process of improving the neighbourhood.