This year marks five years since SupportHK.org was launched as Hong Kong’s first and still only environmental petition platform.
A lot has changed since then, including our logo! In addition, to stay up with the fast-changing digital world and offer a better user experience, the site has been revamped with a fresh design. Our new interface allows users to start petitions in just three steps. We have added a popular feature: The “one-person-one-email” function, which automatically generates an email from the user to the government, enabling a petitioner to engage instantly in public consultations.
The “Reassembly of Queen’s Pier at City Hall” petition showed the effectiveness of this function. The government had conducted a public consultation for re-assembly of the City Hall Queen’s Pier, which was demolished in 2007. The government consultation provided three options for members of the public but these did not reflect what Hong Kongers wished to see. A petition suggesting the adoption of a “Citizens Alternative Proposal” was launched and received 1,058 signatures in just three weeks, outnumbering the most popular government option, which received only 1,011 votes.
In five years, we have learned and shared with our supporters. We have had the pleasure of working with individuals and organisations to build effective campaigns. During this time, over 100 petitions have been hosted and over 86,000 signatures were received for petitions in seven categories. Let’s see what Hong Kongers are concerned about:
|Energy||Food Security||Nature Conservation||Pollution||Urban planning||Waste|
As you can tell, urban planning is a topic of great concern to the public in recent years.
We had some great victories, including:
- Cultural group Walk in Hong Kong started a campaign “Make State Theatre a Grade I Historic Building” to demand the preservation of the historic State Theatre in North Point. After a series of activities and events, including a petition, the State Theatre was confirmed as a Grade I historic building by the Antiquities and Advisory Board.
- In 2016, a Hang Hau resident started a petition “Stop Felling Trees! Put Aside The Bus Stop Expansion“calling the Sai Kung District Council to stop fell trees for an unnecessary expansion of a non-busy bus stop. After two months of persuasion, the Sai Kung District Council agreed to reduce the number of trees to be cut down from eight to two and they also promised to regrow the two trees that were felled.
- A garden in Kennedy Town that had a “temporary” status for nearly 20 years and was set to be demolished for the construction of private flats will remain open to the public after residents in the area started a petition “Save Cadogan Street Temporary Garden“. Providing strategic support, we worked with residents to protect the garden. More than 1,000 people had signed the petition to express their objection to its removal.
While most of the petitions request changes from the government, we also have a few demanding private corporations to address environmental problems.
- Local green group Go Green Hong Kong has started a petition “Shell Gas Stations to install Water Dispensers“. Their request didn’t fall on deaf ears. According to Shell, in a recently opened Shell Gas station in Siu Lam, customers and the public are welcome to use the self-serve water machine set up at the station with their own bottles or cups.
Five years is a short time for an online platform, but we believe the growth of SupportHK.org will not only stimulate civil society, but also continue to empower individuals to make positive change.
We have some exciting plans for the remainder of the year, so stay tuned and follow our social media accounts.
Follow us on: