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|Official name||Western District Public Cargo Working Area|
|Locale||Junction of Hill Road at Connaught Road West|
Sai Wan, Hong Kong
|Owner||Hong Kong Marine Department|
Instagram Pier (officially the Western District Public Cargo Working Area, Chinese: 西區公眾貨物裝卸區) is a pier located on the waterfront of Sai Wan, Hong Kong. Originally a container terminal, the cargo dock has become a popular attraction and location for photographers. Instagram Pier is well known by the public because of its clear view of Victoria Harbour, a major tourist attraction of Hong Kong. From Instagram Pier, the view of the Hong Kong's skyline, sunsets, old lamp posts, caution barriers, cargo pallets, etc. can be captured.
The public cargo working area gained its nickname due to the huge amount of Instagram posts taken in this working area, the pier has since been named as the "Instagram Pier". It has also gained large amount of media coverage.
The Instagram Pier was originally mainly for freighting, and has been known as the Western District Public Cargo Working Area. It is one of the six public cargo working areas managed by Hong Kong's Marine Department. Since the replacement of small and medium companies by large transportation corporations, the usage of the Western District Public Cargo Working Area has become more infrequent. Together with the lack of amusement parks in the Western District, people begins to occupy the area for walking dogs or even fishing. Starting from around 2010, it is known for its scenery for watching the sunset which makes it a good place to shoot.
The area has become a popular place for witnessing sunsets and shooting photos. The picturesque surrounding area seen from the pier has taken on the nickname – "Mirror of the Sky", since many photographs are taken of the reflective shoreline there. The name refers to the natural phenomenon of reflections seen on the unusually thick layer of water remaining on the ground after rainfall. The water clearly reflects the sky and shadows of people and objects standing on the horizon. Sunsets often add a stunning effect to this "Mirror of the Sky" phenomenon.
In 2013, Instagram Pier won in the "Outstanding Public Space Elections" jointly organised by Designing Hong Kong, Hong Kong Public Space Initiative and other groups. While Instagram Pier received the highest number of votes in that election, Instagram Pier is technically not a public place. In fact, the Marine Department has posted notices at the pier entrance, citing public safety regulations. Only those engaged in loading and unloading operations are officially allowed on the pier.
After the introduction of the West Island line in the MTR in the first quarter of 2015, the pier has become more famous. In addition, the huge network through the internet has even attracted more visitors, especially those from overseas. When the workers finished their work, it is the perfect timing for sunset. Photographers would line up with their tripods waiting for the sun to fall on the horizontal line.
Due to no railing for protection, there is a potential danger of falling down to the ocean. In fact, there were some accidents that happened at the pier. Hence, it is potentially possible to be closed. The Hong Kong government suggested renovating the whole pier for the relevant town planning. It planned to build extra railings and construct landmark buildings in the tail of the extended part. In addition, parts of the location might be re-established as waterfront promenade. The planning generally aimed to build up railings for the pier, and it would be transferred to the Leisure and Cultural Services Department for administration.
In the middle of 2015, a Hong Kong newspaper office exposed the news about this town planning, and received a large amount of negative feedback from residents. Afterward, the District Council denied the possibility of that project. However, the government has not forgotten the project. It has still been persuading the operators to retreat from the berths for building waterfront promenade. On the other hand, the society has been considering other substitutions for this project. It plans to rebuild the pavements of Fung Mat Road, Shing Sai Road eastbound, and parts of the Western District Public Cargo Working Area as waterfront promenade and cycle track; besides, these relevant facilities would be separated by railings or lines.
In 2017, The Government of Hong Kong has published their policy address in October, amended plans to portion off 7500 square metres (over 70%) of the "Instagram Pier" to be converted into a community garden. This sparked widespread criticism and concern groups protested against this decision.
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- 發自香港, 端傳媒攝影記者 林亦非. "西環碼頭：被圍欄包圍之前的Instagram Pier｜端傳媒 Initium Media". 端傳媒 Initium Media (in Chinese). Retrieved 2018-02-15.
- "Gov't scales down community garden plan at popular 'Instagram Pier' amid criticism | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP". Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. 2018-01-03. Retrieved 2018-02-15.
- "Concern groups fight to save 'Instagram Pier' – RTHK". Retrieved 2018-02-15.
- HK, Southside (2018-02-11). "Public push to protect Instagram Pier – Southside Magazine". Southside Magazine. Retrieved 2018-02-15.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Western District Public Cargo Working Area.|
- B. Pong, Unfolding the Western District Public Cargo Working Area in Hong Kong, 2017. An introductory text in the Harvard University Graduate School of Design website.