Classic Case - Reclaiming Land from Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor: The Public Demands a Voice

Reclaiming Land from Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor: The Public Demands a Voice


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  • Product Description

    For more than 150 years, Hong Kong has periodically reclaimed--or filled in--land from Victoria Harbor, to expand and develop the otherwise limited space. During the colonial era, such decisions fell under the purview of the British-appointed executive branch. But in the mid-1990s, as Hong Kong shifted from British to Chinese authority, challenges arose over the scope of "executive-led" decision making, and the continued reclamation of the Harbor.

    Learning Objective:
    This case describes the emergence and evolving role of citizens' groups in the public planning process. It focuses specifically on the tactics, between 1997 and 2005, of the Society for the Protection of the Harbour, an advocacy group which seeks to preserve Victoria Harbor. The Hong Kong government intends to use the reclaimed land for a highway, designed to ease urban congestion in the city center. This case explores the relative legitimacy of civic groups and government agencies, in a polity where formal democracy is limited, but the culture of free press and expression is strong. It also allows for discussion of operational strategies, deployed by civic groups and government officials, in the context of a disputed policy. This can also be read in conjunction with the case Executive-led Government and Hong Kong's Legislative Council: Debating Harbor Protection(1431.0), for those interested in Hong Kong during the so-called "changeover" from British to mainland Chinese rule.

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: January 01, 2006
    HKS Case Number: 1838.0
    Case Author: Susan Rosegrant
    Faculty Lead: Herman B. Dutch Leonard
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 22
    Setting: Hong Kong
    Language: English
    Funding Source: Civil Service Bureau for the Leadership Enhancement and Development (LEAD) Program 2006
    _pages: 16-25
    _geography: Asia
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