The Harbour Business Forum's research agenda is developed to help turn Hong Kong's harbour and harbour-front into a vibrant, accessible and sustainable, world-class asset. Our research focuses on the process of improving harbour development rather than individual projects and promotes a holistic approach to harbour development. This has been a prerequisite in taking any important decisions regarding the harbour and contributes to a wider and richer discourse. Key areas of research include:

Pedestrian Connectivity Along Victoria Harbour (2016)

This project was conducted by a team of four students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in the United States. The purpose of this project was to provide recommendations for increasing the pedestrian continuity and accessibility of Victoria Harbour’s waterfront.

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Food and Beverage on the Victoria Harbour Waterfront (2015)
This study was conducted by a team of four students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in the United States. The purpose of this study was to determine how to improve the Victoria Harbour waterfront dining and related facilities to enable a more "human" use of the harbour, and to take advantage of Hong Kong's changing economy.

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An Introduction to Possible Mechanisms for Allocating Land to the Proposed Harbourfront Authority (2014)
This Information Paper has been prepared for the benefit of the Harbourfront Commission (HC). Its objective is to assist HC Members in better understanding the issues involved in the choice of mechanism to be used for allocating land to the proposed Harbourfront Authority (HFA). 
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Four Tourists Discovering Hong Kong's Harbourfront: A Re-evaluation of the Waterfront of Victoria Harbour (2014)
This study was conducted by a team of four students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in the United States. The purpose of this study was to reevaluate the accessibility, connectivity, and vibrancy of Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong. Through observations, population counts, mapping and gathered questionnaire survey results, general conclusions and specific improvements for each of the 19 districts of the harbour were determined.

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Principles of Comprehensive Pedestrian Networks in a Multi-layered City (2013)
This study was conducted by a team of four students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in the United States. The aim of the study was to identify the positive and negative aspects of walking in Hong Kong, as well as the priniciples of a comprehensive pedestrian network, and provide recommendations on how to make the region's current networks more comprehensive. 

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Boating Left High and Dry : A Feasibility Study of Publicly Accessible Boat Facilities in Hong Kong (2012)
This study was conducted by a team of four students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in the United States. The purpose of the study was to make vibrant waterways of Hong Kong accessible to a larger percentage of the population by determining the feasibility of public-access boat storage facilities.
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A Framework for Debating the Creation of a Harbour Authority in Hong Kong (2011)
This Information Paper has been prepared for the benefit of the Harbourfront Commission (HC).  Its objective is to assist HC Members in better understanding the issues involved in the possible establishment of a statutory harbour authority in Hong Kong.

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Victoria Harbour as a Harbour: The Importance of Integrated Land-Water Planning (2011)
For the first time, a study on Hong Kong's harbour considers both land and water-based issues in and around the harbour on an integrated basis. The study has been developed from a newly created database, which is being made publicly available to support policy formulation and decision making about the future of one of Hong Kong's greatest assets.

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Measurement and Analysis of Walkability in Hong Kong (2011)

This study was undertaken by a team of four students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in the United States over the eight-week period. The goals of the study were to develop a walking tool to assess the walkability and pedestrian experience of walking from Hong Kong’s hinterland to the harbourfront and vice versa, and to make recommendation plans for improvement.

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Victoria Harbour Marine Use and Land-Water Interfaces (2010)

Victoria Harbour is one of Hong Kong’s greatest assets; however, the balance between recreational and commercial uses of the harbour favours commercial uses. This study report examined this imbalance from the marine perspective. The study audited the 50km of waterfront twice and conducted interviews with major stakeholders to assess necessary improvements to land-water interfaces and to provide recommendations on improvements to the land-water interfaces with the goal of making Victoria Harbour a truly “living” harbour.

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Integrated Harbour Vision and Delivery Plan - The Business Case (2009)
The Research drew together all of the available information in respect of the harbour, and to formulate an integrated harbour vision to guide the future use of Victoria Harbour and the harbour-front areas. Its aim was to provide a business and development friendly overview of all harbour issues including management that the Government and the HBF could build on in the years to come.   

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Managing the Vision: Organisational Structures and Harbourfront Management (2008)

This study examined the processes and approaches used by government in countries around the world for harbour planning and development. This paper also looked at Hong Kong's current institutional arrangements and reviewed the Town Planning Ordinance and the current consultation procedures.

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Business Opinion Study (2008)

It targeted 500 business leaders to obtain their opinions about: 1) The Harbour in its current and currently planned state 2) How important the Harbour is to businesses 3) How businesses can contribute to enhancing Hong Kong's harbour.

Harbourfront Connectivity Study (2008)

The Connectivity Study provided a detailed assessment of physical connectivity for six selected waterfront areas. Proposals were recommended for improving their connectivity and usage.

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Sustainable Transport Opportunity for the Harbour-front (2008)

This study was to identify sustainable transport opportunities and options for harbour areas which supported the long term economic and physical sustainability of the Harbour

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What is on Hong Kong's Harbour? (2007)

This Harbour Audit added to the ERM audit (2005) and provided a comprehensive outline of existing land use around the harbour while reviewing the outline zoning plans and how compatible they were with existing usage.

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Guidelines for a Sustainable Harbour (2007)

These guidelines were crafted to outline specific good harbour design benchmarks. It was hoped that these guidelines would inspire best practice by both the broader community and the Government. In particular, they were structured around the three pillars of sustainable development- society (access), economics and the environment to encourage integrated planning.

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Victoria Harbour: An Economic Asset Not Fully Realised (2007)

The first environmental economics paper looked at the un-priced economic opportunities the harbour offered beyond rentals by looking at the concept of Total Economic Value.

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Harbour Values Study (2006)

The Harbour Values Study is a powerful piece of research that examined how much value Hong Kong people place on the improved planning and development of Hong Kong's harbour. The outcome concluded that Hong Kong people would be willing to pay as much as HK$73 billion and HK$69 billion under two alternative scenarios for harbour improvements. This value was calculated using Contingent Valuation (CV).

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An Evaluation of Kai Tak Stage 3 (2006)

In response to Government's public consultation on Kai Tak Stage 3 draft Preliminary Outline Development Plan (PODP), HBF prepared a Review of Kai Tak Stage 3. All of its findings were measured against the Harbour Planning Principles and a belief that holistic and integrated planning, both on and around the harbour, are essential to ensure the optimisation of land use.

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Public Opinion Survey (2006)

HBF commissioned a public opinion survey on the public's perception of, and aspirations for, the harbour. The survey was conducted in two segments including qualitative and quantitative findings. The loud and clear message from the survey was the public's concern for enhancing the waterfront and cleaning up pollution, with 88% of interviewees wanting to see more greening around the harbour, 77% more promenades, and 73% more ground level pedestrian access to the harbour-front .

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HBF Review of Central Reclamation and Waterfront (2006)

HBF was invited by the Government to review their plans for Central. To do this HBF embarked on a harbour-wide study based on the Harbour-front Enhancement Committee's Harbour Planning Principles. In summary, the HBF encouraged the Town Planning Board to revisit the Central Extension Outline Zoning Plan (OZP), adapting the plan to the new Harbour Planning Principles (HPP), engaging stakeholders and setting the precedent for a vision for the whole of Hong Kong's harbour.

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Harbour GIS Audit (2005)

ERM, a consultancy company, was commissioned to undertake a Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis of the harbour-front. Ultimately, this study provided key baseline data on land usage and ownership in and around the waterfront. The facts deliver the message that Hong Kong's harbour is a fragmented, engineering led harbour that is far removed from what we desire.