The architecture news of the day is that Foster + Partners has been selected by the board of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority to design a massive 56-acre urban park on a reclaimed harbor-front site in Hong Kong. Designed as a carbon-neutral development, “City Park” will seamlessly blend into existing streets while creating large expanses of green space and seventeen new cultural venues. Multi-purpose facilities, public transportation links, energy efficient-design and renewable energy generation will help make the new development a prime Hong Kong destination.

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The entire district will be raised 3 meters above its current elevation to accommodate for new infrastructure below. Streets, parking, utilities and urban transport lines will mostly be located below to increase the size of the green and public spaces above. The new cultural district will include an impressive array of facilities including the Great Opera House, M+ (a pioneering museum of modern art),concert halls, and a 15,000-seat arena with an expo centre below. It will also feature arts education facilities, apartments, offices, shops, and a 2 kilometer waterfront promenade with brilliant views of the Hong Kong skyline.

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The plan focused on creating fully integrated and interconnected connections between existing transport links and the new arts district. Transportation strategies include new metro stations, walking paths and footbridges, ferries across the water, and a fleet of eco minibuses within the district itself. City Park is being designed to achieve carbon neutral status through highly efficient buildings and low-energy infrastructure. The low-energy design includes district cooling/heating, grey water recycling, energy recovery systems for sewage, recycling, a waste-to-energy plant, and provisions for solar and wind energy generation.