Waterfront development and planning control : a case study of Victoria Dockside in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

1 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations



Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
Journal / PublicationUrban Design International
Online published12 Dec 2022
Publication statusOnline published - 12 Dec 2022


Planning control and building regulations are necessary tools for the safety, comfort, and well-being of the end-users of urban architecture. In capitalist societies, the government intervenes to balance the profit making of private interests with the needs of the public. However, this balance takes time to be formulated and perfected. This article reviews the evolution of Hong Kong’s building regulation after World War II and checks the example of Hong Kong’s urban waterfront to demonstrate how a private developer avoided various planning barriers to erect a bulky and tall building, namely K11, in a prominent waterfront location. Although K11 is an award-winning building, it sacrifices the sea view of pedestrians and inhabitants of other buildings. It is an out-of-context structure that has a negative visual impact. This type of dominating building seems alien in a modern society that values public well-being and engagement. Compared with the amendment of urban building regulations, this article examines the key moments in K11’s development and identifies the formation of loopholes in planning control. The case study provides insights into urban design controls and lesson for the stakeholders of prominent urban areas.

Research Area(s)

  • Waterfront development, Urban design control, Hong Kong, Public interests