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Old Police Dormitories 6 (Creative IN Zone)

HKIC Proposes 11 Recommendations to Turn Hong Kong into a Creative City


In the face of economic restructuring, the development of a creative economy has become a crucial engine of drive for the future economic growth of Hong Kong.  Having completed its study on Hong Kong’s creative industries, the Hong Kong Ideas Centre (HKIC) proposes today 11 recommendations to turn Hong Kong into a creative city.
 
Announcing HKIC’s recommendations at a press conference, Chairman of its Board of Directors Mr. Fung Siu Por, Lawrence said, “There is a worldwide trend in the development of a creative economy and one of Hong Kong’s most valued assets is the wealth of creativity embedded amongst our citizens. During the 80s and 90s, the city was regarded as the “Hollywood of the East”. In those days, our thriving movie, TV and pop music industries were drivers of creative activities in the region. How to revive our past glory is a question facing all of us in Hong Kong. HKIC hopes to gather and generate ideas that can leverage Hong Kong’s strengths in creative industries to contribute to the region’s sustainable economic growth.”

 

HKIC commenced its “Study on Hong Kong’s Creative Industries” in March 2009. It was hoped that with a better understanding of the current status of Hong Kong’s creative sectors, the experience of other countries in promoting and developing their creative industries, coupled with ideas and feedback from industry experts, the Centre could come up with concrete recommendations on how Hong Kong should develop its creative industries.

 

Official statistics showed that in the past decade, the economic contribution of Hong Kong’s creative industries has remained at more or less the same level, contributing about 4% of GDP and employing 5% of the working population, growing at about the same rate as the overall economy.

 

Responding to the identification of the cultural and creative industries by the Task Force on Economic Challenges as one of the six important pillars driving Hong Kong’s future economic growth, the study pointed out that with globalization, technological development and the growing importance of the knowledge economy, the question for Hong Kong is not whether it should develop its creative industries, but how it can best facilitate their development and their linkages with other industry sectors to maximize their contribution to Hong Kong’s economy.

 

The study showed that Hong Kong still possesses certain competitive advantages in creative industries development, including freedom of information and creativity, a pluralistic and cosmopolitan society, experienced talents with good exposure, an established quality image, good technological and communications infrastructure as well as good support services.

 

Mr Jonathan Yu, the HKIC Advisor responsible for the study, said, “To ensure the sustainable development of its creative industries in the long run, Hong Kong should build a solid foundation in the arts and culture, strengthen creative talent development, and enhance its knowledge base of the creative economy through better research.”

 

“Establishing a Creative IN Zone and promoting creativity territory-wide, making better use of established signature creative events and building more creative clusters will all help in the short term. Nevertheless, the creative economy cannot be sustained without solid foundations, long-term strategic planning by and support from the Government, as well as the close collaboration of Government, industry and academia, in which case Hong Kong’s advantages will disappear and we may well lose out to our neighbours,” Mr. Yu added.

 

In view of this, HKIC’s 11 recommendations focus on four different areas, including “Turning Hong Kong into a Vibrant Creative City”; “Providing Good Hardware and Software Support for the Development of Creative Industries”; “Laying Solid Foundations for the Development of Creative Industries” and “Strengthening and Consolidating Government Support for the Creative Industries”.

 

Recommendation 1Establishing a “Creative IN Zone” in Central District and Making Hollywood Road a World Famous Creative Street

 

The area along and around Hollywood Road is one with unique characteristics, incorporating the elements of creativity, relics, history, the arts as well as dining and leisure. With the proposed refurbishment of the historic Central Police Station by the Hong Kong Jockey Club and the proposal for turning the old Hollywood Road Married Police Quarters into a creative cluster, the region could become a vibrant creative hub attracting local visitors and overseas tourists.

 

It is recommended that with the support and cooperation of the Government, the Central and Western District Council, local entrepreneurs, community organisations as well as creative industry practitioners, Central District be turned into a Creative IN Zone and Hollywood Road a World Famous Creative Street. The region could become an engine propelling Hong Kong to be a world creative city, encouraging the development of creative clusters and creative activities in other districts of Hong Kong.

 

Ms. Leonie Ki, an Advisor of HKIC, said, “Hollywood Road was selected as one of the world’s top 10 shopping streets and it and its surrounding area has many of the elements in becoming a Creative IN Zone. Through concerted efforts by all key players and with better packaging, the area could be turned into a world famous spot with unique characteristics, attracting young people to gather and pursue creative activities, and propelling tourism, creative industries, dining and leisure activities in the region for the enjoyment of local residents and overseas tourists.”

 

Existing and proposed major attractions in the area, including new proposals made by HKIC, include:

 

Historical buildings such as the Man Mo Temple, Central Police Station, the Old Married Police Quarters and the Chinese YMCA Building.

 

Arts and cultural activities at the Fringe Club and City Hall, and arts and antiques shops and art galleries along Hollywood Road and its neighbouring area. HKIC proposes organizing more street performances and turning an old building in the area into a 24-hour Book City.

 

As for food and beverages, there are numerous dining and bar activities at Lan Kwai Fong and SoHo featuring a wide choice of culinary options. The newly developed restaurants and leisure facilities in Kau U Fong, Gough Street and Jervois Street have added more variety to the area.

 

Recommendation 2:  Organizing Creative Events in the 18 Districts of Hong Kong

 

Organize events, festivals or competitions in the 18 districts throughout the territory to promote public awareness of and interest in creativity, which could also help nurture creativity amongst the younger generation.

 

Recommendation 3:  Promoting Hong Kong as a Regional Creative Hub through Signature Asian Creative Industry Events

 

Every year, Hong Kong hosts many magnificent local and international creative events such as the Hong Kong Arts Festival, Entertainment Expo Hong Kong, and Business of Design Week. With proper packaging and promotion efforts, these events could help reinforce the leading position of Hong Kong as a vibrant creative city in Asia.

 

Recommendation 4:  Promoting Public Art

 

Provide a “Percent for Art” scheme that requires the allocation of about 1% of the construction cost of public buildings and facilities to art, and public art tax or gross floor area incentive schemes to encourage developers to provide and/or display public art in the public area of commercial developments.

 

Recommendation 5:  Facilitating and Supporting the Development of Creative Clusters

 

Identify and convert suitable venues, such as obsolete factories, schools or other Government buildings, or revitalize historical buildings into affordable cluster space for the creative industries, in particular for small players, incubation and training schemes, industry associations important for fostering cross-sector collaboration and establishing linkages with other industries, etc.

 

Recommendation 6:   Providing Support for New Entrants

 

Establish an Online Information Service for the Creative Industries to provide, on a sector-by-sector basis, information on educational, training and learning opportunities, qualification framework, career paths and job opportunities and openings, industry/professional associations, Government and industry support initiatives, and the latest sector information to help young people and students aspiring to pursue formal and informal studies or a career in the creative industries.

 

Recommendation 7:  Establishing a Television Channel for Arts, Culture and Creativity

 

Establish a dedicated free television channel for arts, culture and creativity in making the arts accessible to all and in nurturing creativity, building up the audience base for arts and cultural performances, as well as providing a useful platform for arts and creative education.

 

Recommendation 8:  Nurturing Creativity and Building Up Hong Kong’s Cultural Fabric

 

In the area of arts education, embed arts and creativity in school education through mandatory inclusion of arts subjects in the kindergarten to secondary school curriculum; deploy art, design and media as important learning tools; develop a mechanism for deploying practicing artists and creative industry practitioners in education delivery, and speed up the training of arts and culture education professionals.

 

To build up Hong Kong’s cultural fabric, consider introducing a new mechanism for public funding for the arts, promote the setting up of private foundations to support arts and culture, review the admission charges for public museums, consider the introduction of an “arts and culture voucher” scheme for underprivileged students to experience the arts, review rules and regulations governing art performances in public spaces, liven up the use of waterfront promenades and introduce arts in public buildings and facilities; review Government policies on museums and the operation of public performance venues; deploy arts and cultural tourism as a key strategy in tourism promotion for Hong Kong; review Government planning and building regulations to facilitate the provision of art and cultural space or performance venues by the private sector.

 

Recommendation 9:  Developing the Evidence Base for the Creative Industries:

Creative Industries Mapping

 

It is recommended that the Create Hong Kong Office, supported by the Census and Statistics Department and working together with industry and professional associations and academic institutions, come up with agreed methodologies for mapping the creative industries of Hong Kong, including their linkages with the wider economy, the creative workforce in other industries, and the public sector’s involvement in creative industries, and conduct detailed mapping exercises on a regular basis.

 

Recommendation 10:  Government/Industry/Academia Cooperation in Developing Creative Talent

 

The Government, working together with tertiary and sub-tertiary educational institutions and industry experts, should take a critical look at the talent and manpower requirements of the creative industries to upgrade and improve their skills and knowledge.

 

Recommendation 11:  Establishing a Creative Industries Task Force and Upgrading the Status of the Create Hong Kong Office

 

Establish a Creative Industries Task Force to determine key strategies for the promotion and development of creative industries and consider upgrading the Create Hong Kong Office to the status of a Government department.

 

With the concerted and persistent efforts of various Government departments and support from the community, HKIC hopes that Hong Kong can successfully establish itself as a “Vibrant Creative City” and open a new chapter in the development of its creative economy.

 

The full study report and recommendations can be viewed at HKIC’s website www.ideascentre.hk.

 

Enquiry:         Yvonne Kwok

Telephone:      2114 1488 / 9322 4639

 9.8.2009

 

Key recommendations

Research reports (Part 1)

Research reports (Part 2)

Conceptual Map on “Creative IN Zone”

Current scenes of proposed “Creative IN Zone”


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