Factual Statement

(November 2003) The 2022 Foundation commissioned a briefing report, "Linking the Delta - Bridging the Pearl River Delta", coauthored by Prof. Tunney Lee et al. last year, with an aim to study the environmental and physical linkages between Hong Kong and the PRD region. The report is the work of a multi-disciplinary team of Massachusetts Institute Technology (MIT) faculty and students from the Departments of Urban Planning and Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Atmospheric and Environmental Research Inc. (AER), headquartered in Lexington, Massachusetts.

The report examined the issue under several perspectives: it invoked international case studies of similar bridges/tunnels, compared the Greater Pearl River Delta Region with other regions, and studied which proposed links might maximize the flows of people and goods. The international cases were analyzed and some lessons were drawn on engineering, costs, financing, political, and environmental issues. The analyses supported Enright et al's finding that the PRD is the world's largest and densest polycentric region.

The study showed that if no bridge were built by 2010, the area covered by a three-hour (or less) drive from Hong Kong would be diminished by a substantial margin. All proposed links would open up major sections of the Delta and allow greater economic growth for the region. Using the same three-hour drive criterion, the analyses, however, did not find significant difference between the single-Y and double-Y configurations, though the construction cost of the latter would be substantially more.

The report also conveyed that the greater PRD is one of the fastest growing regions in the world; and the trend is expected to continue. Thinking beyond the bridge, the development around the link would create enormous opportunities for the Delta, such as land/water, tourism, recreation and alternative renewable energy developments, as well as environmental improvements.

The report also highlighted some issues concerning the long-term future of the regional common --- the Pearl River Estuary (PRE). Without careful regional planning and coordination, the PRE may suffer under huge economic stress, and may even diminish its capacity for providing many life-supporting functions. For instance, the rapidly expanding industrial and human activities may raise the temperature of the estuary water with potential adverse impact on water circulation, creating conditions more prone to the occurrence of devastating floods.

The 2022 Foundation is a privately funded, non-profit organization, formed by a group of concerned business leaders representing various private sectors in Hong Kong, including the CLP Holdings Ltd., Dah Sing Bank, Esquel Group, Hang Seng Bank, Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Ltd., Hong Kong Land Ltd., Hong Kong Pearl River Delta Foundation, Hysan Development Ltd., iTVentures Ltd., Kerry Holdings Ltd., Li & Fung Group and Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. The founders dedicate the Foundation to improving understanding of Hong Kong in its long-term economic and social evolutions/trajectories, by deepening and widening its knowledge platform.

For further enquiries, please contact Miss Teresa Lam of the 2022 Foundation at 2959 7388 , or by e-mail at [email protected].