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Policy Address

The Northern Metropolis

Planning Background

21. We will concurrently release the Northern Metropolis Development Strategy (the Development Strategy) today to give a detailed account of the planning background, general principles, objectives and action agenda of the Northern Metropolis for discussions and expression of views from different sectors of the community. Under the framework of “One Country, Two Systems”, the Development Strategy is the first strategic action agenda devised by the HKSAR Government with a spatial concept and strategic mindset going beyond the administrative boundary of Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Formulated on the basis of the Hong Kong 2030+: Towards a Planning Vision and Strategy Transcending 2030 (the Hong Kong 2030+), the Development Strategy has taken full account of our country’s support for Hong Kong as underlined in the Outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development of the People’s Republic of China and the Long Range Objectives Through the Year 2035 (the 14th Five-Year Plan), its aspirations for Hong Kong in the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), and the enormous opportunities brought about by the Plan for Comprehensive Deepening Reform and Opening Up of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Co-operation Zone for Hong Kong. Now that Hong Kong is back on the right track of “One Country, Two Systems”, this ground-breaking and visionary plan, which maps out new action directions and approaches for the long-term development prospects of Hong Kong, bears particular significance.

Spatial Layout

22. The Northern Metropolis covers two district administration areas including Yuen Long District and North District, with a total land area of about 300 square kilometres. Metropolis does not refer to a region with a statutory status or regime and an administrative boundary. On the contrary, it is a large-scale urban space which is formed by interactions among various factors including geographic characteristics, economic functions, ecological environment, transport connections and development policies. In the metropolis, the multi-functional land uses with highly concentrated residential and working population and enterprises can drive the economic development in its neighbouring areas. It is lively and attractive with radiate effect, and its people enjoy enriched lives in a unique spatial context with iconic nature, human civilisation and building landscapes.

23. The Northern Metropolis encompasses the mature new towns in Tin Shui Wai, Yuen Long and Fanling/Sheung Shui and their neighbouring rural areas, as well as six NDAs and Development Nodes in different planning and development stages, namely Kwu Tung North/Fanling North, Hung Shui Kiu/Ha Tsuen, Yuen Long South, San Tin/Lok Ma Chau, Man Kam To and the New Territories North New Town. It is the most vibrant area where urban development and major population growth of Hong Kong in the next 20 years will take place. With as many as seven land-based boundary control points, the Northern Metropolis will be the most important area in Hong Kong that facilitates our development integration with Shenzhen and connection with the GBA. Under the Development Strategy, the proposed individual development projects together with the surrounding rural and conservation areas will be integrated in an innovative and organic manner conducive to upgrading the entire region to a metropolitan area. Such an integration can create the development capacity to meet the needs of our economy and our people’s livelihood, and a quality environment for sustainable development. All these will help us better respond to the new opportunities brought about by deepened co-operation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen.