The Central Business District of Hong Kong: Spatial and Functional Changes Since the 1990s

By Wai-San Sancia Wan.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The central business district (CBD) has traditionally been the economic heart of the city with the greatest concentration of offices and retail establishments. The CBD boundary and internal structure indeed change constantly over time, as a result of interactions among activities within and outside the CBD, as well as due to the influence of external environments. Hong Kong and, in particular, its CBD have not only been affected by regional and local factors, including the intensified socio-economic linkages with the mainland of China and the local economic transition from manufacturing to services, but also by global forces, such as economic globalization and advancement of information and communications technologies (ICTs). In view of its dynamic nature, this paper aims to trace the development path of the CBD from the early 1990s to the start of this new millennium. I firstly examine the functional changes of the CBD by using sectoral employment statistics. Upon demarcation of the CBD, I subsequently analyze changes in its territorial-spatial extent throughout the past decade. This study throws light on the dynamics of the CBD in both the physical and functional dimensions. Instead of being deteriorated, Hong Kong's CBD continues to grow both laterally and vertically. The purification processes, i.e. more high-order services and retailing activities but fewer low-order ones, are also intensifying. The findings generate a foresight analysis on the development trends of the CBD of Hong Kong.

Keywords: Hong Kong, Central Business District, CBD, City Center, Land Use, Urban Planning

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.53-64. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.222MB).

Wai-San Sancia Wan

School of Geography, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong


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