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“InnoFriday” Talk #4 Review: – Enhancing Idle Spaces: A Sustainable Communityscape?

Is there any idle land near your home which has been vacant for a long time? Does the idea of farming on these spaces pop-up in your mind? Two guest speakers shared their experiences on utilizing unused space with the themed “Enhancing Idle Spaces: A Sustainable Communityscape” on InnoFriday held on 9 October.

Our two guest speakers shared clever ways to maximize the use of Hong Kong’s limited land and space resources for a better environment and a lower carbon life style. Mawin Cheung, CEO of Easy Organic Farming -- with his experiences to tailor-made small farms for corporate, housing estate and schools -- shared his experiences on transforming idle spaces, such as the rooftops of commercial buildings, into recreational and educational places. Staff and the general public can enjoy farming and relax during lunch or after their work. In fact, the operation only involves a small cost and a bit of time. You may even make use of tiny spaces at home, like the top of a cabinet, to plant herbs for better air and tastier cooking.

Prof Edward Yiu Chungyim from the Department of Geography and Resource Management, CUHK, continued our focus on the use of urban space, pointing out the there are about 11,000 hectares of idle space in Hong Kong. Among these, vacant farmland and government land count for a majority of unused land. He then explained the inadequacy of current policy and the rigidity of estate management by explaining the case of the Tin Shui Wai community, which has resulted in leaving space vacant for a long time. Prof Yiu encouraged participants to record and reclaims these spaces for low carbon projects such as food sharing, community farming, etc.

Participants gained new ideas on the practical use of idle space and urban farming in these talks. During the discussion session, they thought about how to better utilise these idle spaces and integrate low carbon elements into their ideas. We welcome anyone who is interested in this topic, please leave your personal particulars here to join as a InnoTeam member and contribute to further discussions. Innovative solutions are needed to help make our city truly sustainable.