Clean Air Network welcomes the CE’s aspiration to make Hong Kong a livable city, however, we are disappointed to see public health is not emphasized in its framework under livable city.
The Policy Address fails to offer any new solution to alleviate the health consequence suffered by general public especially the underpriviledged due to the long time exposure to unsafe roadside air quality. If there is no new solution, according to the projection by Environment Bureau, Hong Kong’s roadside pollution (nitrogen dioxide) will still be 62.5% beyond the safe level in 2020.
Besides, the provision of the public transport fare subsidy is good to alleviate the financial burden of travelers, however, the government should not neglect the other aspects of high quality transport – including time consumption and health consequence due to exposure to air pollution. A research by Moovit in 2016 showed that, over 21% of Hong Kong commuters spend 2 hours on daily travel. We agree reducing traffic congestion would be beneficial to reduce commuting time and commuters’ exposure to roadside air pollution. However, the Policy Address fails to offer any solution to tackle the culprit of traffic congestion – uncontrolled growth of motorized vehicles.
In summary, we believe the concept of Healthy Transport in crucial in making a livable city. Without a target, there won’t be effective delivery. CAN urges Chief Executive to set an air pollution reduction target for the Transport and Housing Bureau to deliver.