If there is one postcard image that represents Hong Kong, it has to be the neon skyline view across the harbour from the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade.
No surprise then, the 457-meter waterfront Avenue of Stars was one of the territory’s most visited attractions before it was closed for an upgrade in 2015.
“The Avenue of Stars is part of an ambitious revitalization project, through which we are transforming this heritage site into a world-class waterfront, and a cultural destination for the Hong Kong people and the world,” says Adrian Cheng, executive vice chairman of New World Development.
First opened in 1982, the promenade stretched along the then-prosperous eastern shore of Tsim Sha Tsui. It was rebranded as the Avenue of Stars in 2004, with a cinematic theme similar to Los Angeles’ Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Today, together with its adjacent Salisbury Garden and the old New World Centre, the Avenue of Stars is part of a HK$20 billion (US$2.6 billion), three-million-square-foot redevelopment project called Victoria Dockside.
The much-anticipated project — set to open in phases — will be home to the new K11 MUSEA museum and shopping mall, the first Rosewood Hotel in Hong Kong plus residential and office buildings.
Before its renovation, the Avenue of Stars was criticized for its lack of seating, greenery and character. Its upgrade mirrors the evolution of other public spaces around the world in recent years.
In addition to lifting the hand prints of celebrities from the floor to the shoreline handrail, the new design doubles the available seating area. It provides seven times more shade and eight times more greenery than the old Avenue of Stars.
Statues of stars like martial arts legend Bruce Lee and pop music queen Anita Mui will no longer be behind barricades but will stand on a fountain platform.
Transformable kiosks will sell local foods and brands, while the Salisbury Garden will offer green resting space as well as a small-scale performance area.
Sustainability is another highlight of the new Avenue of Stars.
It boasts the first wave energy generator in Greater China and uses solar panels to power some of the lighting along the promenade. Plastic water bottles will not be sold in the kiosks. Instead, drinking fountains have been installed.
(Source: Cable News Network)