Hong Kong has a long history of landslide disasters. The Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO) of the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) looks after slope safety in Hong Kong. Through the support of the Development Bureau and policy makers, it has developed a comprehensive slope safety management system that is making Hong Kong a much safer place. The system is well recognized globally for its thoroughness, rationality and effectiveness. It comprises seven key result areas:
Mobile Mapping and Slope Information System
"Prevention Begins with Information". Use of information technology to collect and disseminate slope information has greatly enhanced the service to the community in improving slope safety in Hong Kong. The efforts have been recognized by the international community, including two recent international awards to the systems developed by GEO of CEDD in combating landslide risk in Hong Kong.
The first award was a "Special Achievement in Geographical Information System (GIS)" by ESRI, the world leader in GIS software, for the novel application of mobile mapping in geotechnical engineering in 2002 developed by GEO. The award was to recognize the achievement in pioneering the application and advancing GIS technology via the Mobile Mapping System.
In 2003, the computerized Slope Information System (SIS) was awarded the "Geospatial Achievement Award - CERTIFICATE of MERIT" by the Intergraph Corporation, a worldwide leader in Mapping and Geospatial Solutions. This award was to recognize the extraordinary contribution of GEO to the public through the innovative application and implementation of geospatial technology and solutions for free dissemination of slope information on the Internet.
The SIS contains information on some 60,000 sizeable slopes in Hong Kong and is one of the largest of this kind in the world. Please click here for further information on SIS.
Application of the Quantitative Risk Assessment in Landslide Hazards
GEO of CEDD has pioneered the novel application of quantitative risk assessment (QRA) techniques to greatly enhance slope safety management in Hong Kong. QRA enables informed decisions to be made on resources allocation, prioritisation of slope safety actions and cost-benefit calculations. Goals in terms of reduction in risk to life posed to the community are explicitly incorporated as part of the public pledge on the slope works programme by the government, a first in the world for landslide risk management. The achievements are highly regarded by the international geotechnical community. GEO staff have delivered keynote lectures at major international conferences to share the state-of-the-art on landslide QRA. A member of the GEO staff is also invited to be one of the five core members of the prestigious international Technical Committee on risk assessment and risk management, i.e. the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering - Technical Committee TC32 on Risk Assessment and Risk Management.
Photo Award in the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR) of the United Nations - Prevention Begins with Information
GEO of CEDD won the best Photo in the Category of "Prevention Begins with Information" in the 1998 International Photo Contest organized by the Secretariat of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR) of the United Nations. The HKSAR Government was awarded a cash prize of US$500. The photo was published in "Stop Disasters" and "IDNDR Informs" magazines and displayed in IDNDR exhibitions around the world.
Outstanding Green Projects Award 2000
The GEO Publication No. 1/2000: Technical Guidelines on Landscape Treatment and Bio-engineering for Man-made Slopes and Retaining Walls won a Silver Award under the "Planning/Research" category in the "Outstanding Green Project Awards 2000" in Hong Kong. The Publication was subsequently considered alongside the winners of other categories and finally won the Grand Award among the five Silver Awards.
A lot of developments in Hong Kong are on hilly terrain so there are many man-made slopes around us. There has been public concern in the growing use of shotcrete hard cover for man-made slopes. GEO produced the Publication in September 2000 in order to provide a guidance to the professional community on good practice for landscape treatment and bio-engineering for man-made slopes and retaining walls in order to address the public concern.
The event of the "Outstanding Green Project Awards 2000" was organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Institute of Landscape Architects and the Society of Horticulture, Hong Kong. According to the jurors, top award was given to the Publication because the technical guidelines for reconstructing slopes will also become a good illustration to provide safety, beautify and improve our environment. The outcome will be beneficial to society.