Hong Kong jots down plan to build the world’s largest artificial island at a cost of US$ 79 billion, its city officials announced on Tuesday.
The Hong Kong government’s billion dollar proposal will reclaim 1,000 hectares (2,471 acres) of land around the territory’s largest island, Lantau. The move comes after it became the most expensive city to live, making housing extremely expensive. The government hopes to bring a solution to the present housing shortage in the city.
Work would begin by 2025, and residents would be able to move to the island in by 2032.
The artificial island will become the city’s most expensive infrastructure project till date. The project is 5 times expensive than Dubai’s famous palm tree shaped Palm Jumeirah, which costed US$ 12 billion to build.
The man-made island will provide up to 260,000 apartments, and more than 70 percent of the island would be used for public housing. Activists and environmentalists say that the project was too expensive and could damage the environment, especially marine life.
Authorities were also planning to build another 700 hectare artificial island around Lantau, but have not released any details about that project as yet.
The world’s longest sea bridge was inaugurated last year in Lantau island, connecting Hong Kong to neighbouring Macau and mainland China. Thousands of citizens have taken to the streets to protest the plans for the artificial island.
Campaigners have warned about the dwindling number of pink dolphins in waters surrounding Lantau may disappear altogether due to such large scale infrastructure projects.