Arcadis talks with Hong Kong authorities about land reclamation with polders
International consultant Arcadis presented Hong Kong the option to create a polder as a mean to tackle the issue of land scarcity. Hong Kong wants to build a group of islands and considers the usual reclamation by infilling with sand.
Arcadis’ Global Leader for Water Management, Piet Dircke presented the Polder method at a recent stakeholders meeting and discussed the potential application in Hong Kong projects.
Islands in sea
Hong Kong needs to find land for the future housing of 1,1 million people. Last year, Chief Executive Carrie Lam unveiled the government’s ‘Lantau Tomorrow Vision’ which looks to create 1,700 hectares through reclamation.
Piet Dircke of Arcadis presented the polder method to the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce as a much cheaper alternative to create this new land.Piet Dircke of Arcadis addresses the stakeholders during a meeting at the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce (Photo: Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce).
Less upfront construction costs
A polder is created by building a dike around the area to be reclaimed and draining water from it, creating a low-lying tract of land below sea level. The water levels in the polder are controlled by drains and pumps.
Compared to the traditional method of infilling with sand, this will reduce the amount of sand needed for reclamation and save on upfront construction costs.
In his presentation Dircke said: "There is huge opportunity for Hong Kong to consider alternative, more cost-effective and sustainable methods of land reclamation. I am excited to be sharing the Polder concept along with coastal resilience, a solution that can improve quality of life in Hong Kong for its citizens."
Understanding the risks of a polder
According to Arcadis the Hong Kong administration needs to understand that should it decide to construct a polder, it is important that the community has a full understanding of the potential risks and benefits.
As a Dutch consultancy, Arcadis has been involved with Polder developments for over a century, providing design and construction inputs to almost all polder projects in the Netherlands, as well as in other countries.
Hong Kong is no stranger to land reclamation with the first project undertaken by the British colonial authorities in 1851. Now around 6% of Hong Kong’s total area is reclaimed land, accommodating about 27% of the city’s population, and as much as 70% of Hong Kong’s commercial activities.
First polder in Singapore
Singapore is currently constructing its first polder to reclaim land on Pulau Tekong island. When the polder is completed around 2022, it will add an additional 810 hectares of new land to Singapore.
Dutch research institute Deltares and consultancy firm Royal HaskoningDHV have supported the Singapore authorities with an environmental study and an extensive review of the detailed design and contract documents.
This news item was originally published on the website of Arcadis Asia.
(Top photo: Arcadis)
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