public sector reform conference 2010 experience sharing on public engagement 11 november 2010 n.
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Public Sector Reform Conference 2010 Experience Sharing on Public Engagement 11 November 2010
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  1. Public Sector Reform Conference 2010 Experience Sharing on Public Engagement 11 November 2010 Presentation by Mrs Carrie LamSecretary for Development Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

  2. Is this Public Engagement?

  3. “To strengthen interaction between the Government and the community, …. the Third Term Government to proactively reach out to the community, listen to public views and work with the stakeholders. … Reaching out to the community is a two-way communication process. Members of the community also need to organise themselves, and express their views in a pragmatic and responsible manner, so that a consensus can be reached.” (extracted from para. 109 of the Chief Executive’s 2007-08 Policy Address) Mr Donald Tsang The Chief Executive of HKSAR

  4. A recent OECD report entitled Citizens as Partners concludes that : “…. Democratic governments are under pressure to adopt a new approach to policy-making – one which places greater emphasis on citizen involvement, both upstream and downstream to decision-making. It requires governments to provide ample opportunity for information, consultation and participation by citizens in developing policy options prior to decision-making and to give reasons for their policy choices once a decision has been made”

  5. HKSAR Government is under similar if not greater pressure owing to : • Perceived inadequate democracy but growing emphasis on accountable government • Public cynicism towards political parties • Citizens more consumerist and less deferential, but consider themselves remote from policy formulation • Rapid communication through more pervasive media and the internet • Emergence of more civic organisations • Widening gap between the haves and the have-nots

  6. The challenge of public engagement is to find new ways of encouraging citizens to be meaningfully involved in public policy-making, and in playing a role in the institutions and processes through which decisions affecting their lives are made.

  7. From Public Consultation to Public Engagement: • Institutions • Processes • Means • Culture

  8. Institutions for Public Engagement: Traditional : • Legislative Council • District Councils, Area Committees • Statutory non-Government Public Bodies • Advisory Boards and Committees • Professional institutions and business associations

  9. Institutions for Public Engagement(Cont’d): New : • Enhancing role of District Councils (2006 Review, pilot scheme to involve DCs in management of local facilities in 2007, full roll-out in 2008) • Task-based interactive committees to help build consensus and identify policy options (Consultative Committee on the Core Arts and Cultural Facilities of the WKCD, Steering Committee on Review of Urban Renewal Strategy) • Advocacy-oriented committees (e.g. Harbour-front Enhancement Committee succeeded in 2010 by the Harbourfront Commission, Council for Sustainable Development) • More liberal appointments to boards and committees (e.g. Lump Sum Grant Steering Committee, Antiquities Advisory Board, Steering Committee on Review of Urban Renewal Strategy)

  10. Processes for Public Engagement: Traditional : • “Let us have your views” – one-way flows • Process starts after a long period of internal deliberations • Process ends at pre-determined date • Government leading the process New : • “Let us sit down and talk” – interactive, iterative, participatory • Process starts much earlier • End date more fluid • Inviting a neutral party to lead the process • Example : 3-stage process in Urban Renewal Strategy Review; The Council for Sustainable Development undertaking the public engagement on quality and sustainable built environment

  11. Ways and Means to engage the public Traditional : • Consultative document • Meeting with stakeholders • Public Forums • APIs • Exhibitions

  12. Ways and Means to engage the public(Cont’d) New : • Briefing sessions to disseminate information and discuss objectives • Vision sharing workshops • Competitions to generate options • Surveys and polls • Website and online discussion • More sophisticated PR (videos, models) • Citizens forums • Partnership Organisations • Idea Shop • Facebook

  13. A New Culture Public engagement is meant to be deliberative – encourage citizens to study, discuss and weigh up options to arrive at a preferred option, not just to pick an option from several provided by the Government. To do so, we need a new culture with the following characteristics : • Access to balanced information • Open agenda • Allow enough time • No coercion but not free for all • Rule-based discussion framework rather than outcome-based • Create opportunities for broad participation and free interaction

  14. Case Study – (1) Land Use Planning Kai Tak Development

  15. The Kai Tak Planning Review was commissioned in July 2004, with the main task to prepare a new development scheme for the ex-airport site under a “no reclamation” scenario so as to preserve the heritage of the harbour • The Review proceeded with extensive public engagement activities under the theme of “Planning with the Community” to help building up public consensus on the development proposals

  16. 3-tier progress approach of information dissemination, consultation and involvement to facilitate the general public to participate in the study process

  17. Throughout the whole study period (July 2004 - August 2006), all the relevant information was provided to the public. Background materials, study reports, consultation digest, study website, roving exhibition, physical model and 3D computer models were employed

  18. Besides, different scales and forms of public forums and briefing sessions targeting at different sections of the community were conducted. A total of 29 public forums and 60 briefing sessions were conducted • Apart from the public comments received in the public participation activities, 630 written comments were received

  19. To develop ‘partnership’ between the Government and the public • The Harbour-front Enhancement Committee (HEC) comprising broad-based representatives drawn from various professional institutes, academics, harbour planning and development concern groups, was set up in March 2004 to advise on planning, landuses and developments along the harbour-front of the Victoria Harbour

  20. A Sub-committee on South East Kowloon Development Review under HEC was set up in July 2004 to give advice on the Kai Tak Development and its public participation strategy • HEC and Town Planning Board Members took an active role in the public participation programme

  21. Relevant District Councils organized sub-committees to focus on the Kai Tak Development • Professional bodies organized the ‘Kai Tak Urban Design Competition’ • Political parties, local residents/interested groups organized different activities to express their concerns and aspirations

  22. After three rounds of public engagement activities, we developed a shared vision of a ‘Distinguished, Vibrant, Attractive and People Oriented Kai Tak by Victoria Harbour’. A new draft OZP was gazetted in November 2006 • The OZP, approved in November 2007, represents a collaborative effort of the Government and the community • Kai Tak Development now proceeds to implementation overseen by Head/Kai Tak Office

  23. Case Study – (2) Public Works ProjectSheung Wan Floodwater Pumping Station at former Sheung Wan Gala Point • Originally, a mere DSD flood relief project for Sheung Wan low-lying areas, which comprises the construction of: • a pumping station • underground storage tank • associated drainage works

  24. DSD actively engaged C&WDC (2002 – 2005) and HEC (2005) and took account of their views in the design and planning of the project. For instance: • Minimise blockage of sea view • Provide open space for public enjoyment • DSD modified the design accordingly: • re-oriented the superstructure to minimise blockage of sea view • reduced the building size and height • placed some equipment and facilities underground to reduce above ground footprint • released part of the sewage maintenance area to accommodate the revised design

  25. Superstructure of the pumping station • Both C&WDC and HEC participated actively in the finalisation of the design. A close partnership between the Government and the community has been developed.

  26. Public exhibition of the project in Western Market on 20-21.09.2006 Site visit by DC Members on 21.01.2009 Visit by DC Members and residents of Sheung Wan on 21.02.2009 • DSD continued to engage stakeholders during the construction stage

  27. The pumping station was commissioned in March 2009 and the promenade was opened to the public in November 2009

  28. Media briefing in 17.04.2008 Tree planting day on 28.03.2009 Site visit by HEC on 06.01.2010 “官民合作成就了公園的誕生。雖然這個細小海濱公園不是甚麼偉大建設城市地標,但個案衝破了政府部門各家自掃門前雪的一貫思維,成為實踐「還港於民」的一個重要里程碑。” (摘錄自前共建維港委員會海港計劃檢討小組委員會主席吳永順《雨水抽水站 化身海濱公園》一文)

  29. Case Study – (3) Heritage ConservationFormer Police Married Quarters Site on Hollywood Road

  30. Public engagement exercise was held between Feb and May 2008 following CE’s announcement to temporarily remove the site from sale

  31. Pursuing large-scale residential development on the Site would face strong public resistance due to the following reasons • The community is concerned about high development density in Hollywood Road/SOHO area; • Less open space if residential development is pursued; and • High-density development will result in increase in traffic flow • Historical value of the Site (Central School) should be preserved • The community has great interest in revitalizing the Site for public use, especially as art and culture, creative industry or tourism facilities

  32. Transforming into a Creative Industries Landmark – “ Conserving Central” • Collaboration between Development Bureau and Commerce and Economic Development Bureau • NGOs invited to submit revitalisation proposal • Advisory Committee on Revitalisation of Historic Building chaired by Mr Bernard Chan to select the best proposal

  33. Case Study – (4) Urban RenewalUrban Renewal Strategy Review(July 2008 – June 2010) • Response to Changing Community Sentiment towards Urban Renewal • A “People-Centred, District-Based, Participatory Approach vs Perceived “Slash and Burn” Approach

  34. Stage 1 : Envisioning (Jul 2008 – Jan 2009) • Conducted research into urban regeneration policies and practices in six comparable Asian cities, namely Seoul, Tokyo, Singapore, Taipei, Shanghai and Guangzhou • Held a total of 20 focus group discussion sessions • URS Review website to provide e-forum, e-blog and e-questionnaire • Set out 7 topics and issues for thorough discussion in Stage 2 Public Engagement

  35. Stage 2 : Public Engagement (Feb 2008 – Dec 2009) • Held 5 public forums, 8 topical discussion sessions, and 8 road shows with a total of 14 000 participants • Set up the “Urban Renewal Idea Shop” to provide the public with a venue for meetings in relation to the URS Review • Engaged 23 organisations under Partnering Organisation Programme to enhance public awareness of urban regeneration issues. 10 000 people were approached under the programme

  36. Stage 3 : Consensus Building (Jan 2010 – June 2010) • Held one Consensus Building Workshop, one Concluding Meeting and two Consultation Forums with Professional Groups with a total of 335 participants • Conducted a telephone survey to gauge public views from over 1,000 Hong Kong residents • Secretary for Development personally attended six radio programmes • Issue of the Stage 3 “Paper for the Consensus Building Stage of the URS Review”

  37. Revised Urban Renewal Strategy (draft) – published on 13 Oct 2010 • Two-month public consultation • 10 Key Recommendations Refined and 3 new Initiatives proposed: • Set up District Urban Renewal Forum (DURF) • One or two sites at Kai Tak Development to facilitate “Flat to Flat” Option • Create Urban Renewal Trust Fund

  38. Observations and Feedback • Public Engagement – a fashion or a commitment ? • Public engagement fatigue • Resource-intensive • Not broad-based participation • Do parties really engage ?

  39. Public Engagement Outlook – Public Service 2020 • Strengthen ability to execute the outcome of public engagement (Commissioner for Heritage’s Office, Kai Tak Office, Harbour Unit) • Inject greater professionalism to avoid too much politicisation(co-operate with academia, think tanks and professional institutes) • Create opportunities for citizen participation(Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme; District Urban Renewal Forum; Community monitoring regarding Public Open Space in Private Development, trees and building safety)

  40. Thank You