Tin Shui Wai

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Tin Shui Wai New Town
天水圍新市鎮
Tin Shui Wai Sports Ground
Tin Shui Wai Sports Ground
SAR  Hong Kong
District Yuen Long District
Established 1993
Area
 • Total 4.3 km2 (1.7 sq mi)
Population (2014)
 • Total 292,000
 • Density 67,906/km2 (175,880/sq mi)
Website Yuen Long District Council
Mean solar time   UTC+08
Tin Shui Wai New Town
Traditional Chinese 市鎮
Simplified Chinese 市镇
Cantonese Yale Tīnséuiwài Sānsíhjan
Literal meaning Sky Water Walled Village New Town

Tin Shui Wai New Town is located in the northwestern New Territories of Hong Kong. Originally a gei wai fish pond area, it was developed in the 1980s as the second new town in Yuen Long District and the eighth in Hong Kong. It is situated 25 kilometres due northwest of Central, Victoria, Hong Kong on land reclaimed from low-lying areas south of Deep Bay, next to historic Ping Shan. As of 2014, the new town had a population of 292,000, while the total projected population for when the town is fully built-out is about 306,000.[1]

History[edit]

Tin Shui Wai in 2005
Tin Shui Wai in 2016

The land on which Tin Shui Wai was built did not exist at the beginning of the 1900s, while the adjacent Ping Shan was by the sea. The water north of Ping Shan gradually turned to marshes and villagers converted it into pools and rice paddies. The pools became gei wai fish ponds where most of the residents were fishermen before the new town was developed. With the decline in aquaculture, most of the fish ponds were abandoned. The Hong Kong Government developed the area into a new town through land reclamation.

The new town, conceived in 1987 to house 140,000 people, was constructed on 2.4 square kilometres of reclaimed fishponds and wetland representing one quarter of the flat land in the New Territories.[2] The process of land reclamation for the new town was completed in 1990.[3] Formation of the 2.4 km2 was estimated to cost HK$820 million in a contract signed with a Chinese joint-venture company. 20 million cubic metres of material would be required for the landfill. Maximum possible land formation was 4.88 km2.[4]

The government was accused by the developers of stalling the release of land for political reasons. Tin Shui Wai Development, a company 51% owned by China Resources and 49% by Cheung Kong Holdings, sued the government for damages caused by delays in handing over 388,000 m2 of land for development originally promised for 1985. The land was eventually handed over in May 1989.[2]

The first occupants moved into the new town in 1991.[4] The Housing Authority launched 6,459 Home Ownership Scheme flats in the area at steep discounts to an adjacent private estate, and attracted some 90,000 applications.[5]

A new modular style of construction for the public housing estates allowed rapid development and, in a first for a new town, on 26 March 1993 Tin Shui Wai was officially opened by Governor Chris Patten. By that time, some 30,000 people were already living there.[3]

The Development Zone of 220 hectares, located in the southern part of the new town, has been developed to house about 200,000 people. An LRT line and new roads linking the new town to the trunk road network provide good connections to the Yuen Long and Tuen Mun districts and to the urban areas beyond.

Further expansion of the new town into the remaining areas to the north, known as the Reserve Zone, with an area of 210 hectares, commenced in July 1998. The infrastructure was completed in stages from 2000 to 2004 to cope with population intake of the housing developments. West Rail and the extension of the LRT service to the Reserve Zone were also commissioned in late 2003. To the northeastern portion of the new town, a constructed wetland has been completed which serves as a buffer between the developments in the Reserve Zone and the Mai Po Nature Reserve. The constructed wetland has been further developed into the Hong Kong Wetland Park, opening to public in May 2006. The total planned population of Tin Shui Wai new town is about 306,000 while the current population is about 292,000.[6]

Environment[edit]

Wetland Park
Tin Shui Wai Park

Parts of Tin Shui Wai have a picturesque and tranquil environment. The Hong Kong Wetland Park, demonstrating the diversity of the Hong Kong's wetland ecosystem, is located in north Tin Shui Wai.

Tin Shui Wai consists of both public and private housing estates. Tin Wah Road separates the south and the north development zones of Tin Shui Wai. The south development zone first started in the early 1990s, and has since become a unique community. Since Tin Shui Wai was planned and developed from scratch, locals enjoy wider walkways and larger open areas when compared to other urban developments in Hong Kong.

Following the completion of the north development zone, the government planned to build 85,000 units and apartments annually in Hong Kong after 1997. As such, the north development zone has residential apartment buildings that are generally taller and denser than those in the south zone. The population of Tin Shui Wai rose rapidly over the last part of the century, but has since stabilised. The government has been criticised for maintaining insufficient level of services and facilities to meet the rapid population growth in Tin Shui Wai.

Social issues[edit]

In recent years, the town acquired a rather dubious reputation in Hong Kong for being an area where numerous serious family and social issues, including domestic violence, mental illness, and suicide occurs. The collective suicide of three girls through coal burning took place, attracting extensive reports from the local media. According to some social workers, Tin Shui Wai is prone to family tragedies because of its remote location, limited employment opportunities, and high density of public housing estates.[7] Some also argue that the large number of new immigrants from Mainland China in the area, struggling to adjust to the different cultural and social dynamics of Hong Kong, also contributes to the problem.

A number of incidents and personal tragedies have occurred in the town. In 2003, a mainland woman, who had sought help from both social services and the police, and her twin daughters were stabbed to death by her husband who then fatally wounded himself.[8] In April 2004, a man killed himself after stabbing his 31-year-old mainland wife and two teenage daughters to death in their flat in Tin Shui Wai.[9] The accumulation of events caused the Director of Social Welfare, Mrs. Carrie Lam, to label Tin Shui Wai "City of Misery" (悲情城市) in July 2006. Lam's comment was criticised because it did nothing to solve the social problem within the town[10]

In October 2007, Mak Fu-tai, a 36-year-old woman suffering from mental illness bound the hands and feet of her 12-year-old daughter and nine-year-old son, and threw them out of a window in their 24th floor flat at Yiu Fung House, and then jumped to her death. Mak's husband, also with a history of mental illness, was hospitalised with terminal cancer. The deaths spurred a review of the inadequate social services provision.[11] This spurred some 20 non-governmental organisations to plead with the Legislative Council's welfare panel for more resources to deal with the problems there.[7]

On November 25, 2007, numerous residents rallied outside government headquarters to push for more aid and reform for the area. Many demanded the government to create new hospitals, jobs, and increase police enforcement in the town.[12]

Sights[edit]

Tin Sau Bazaar, a local marketplace
Tin Shui Wai Kingswood Plaza
Tin Sau Road Park

The new town is centred on the Tin Shui Wai Park, which offers many gardens and activities.

The Tin Sau Bazaar is a local marketplace in the northern part of the town managed by the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals.

Parts of Tin Shui have a picturesque and tranquil environment. The Hong Kong Wetland Park, demonstrating the diversity of Hong Kong's wetland ecosystem, is located in Tin Shui Wai. The route 705 and 706 light rail stop at Wetland Park Stop.

Public facilities[edit]

Ping Shan Tin Shui Wai Public Library

Culture and leisure[edit]

Tin Shui Wai has two public libraries. Ping Shan Tin Shui Wai Public Library is located in the south, directly beside the railway station. It opened in 2013 and is the second-largest public library in Hong Kong, behind only the Hong Kong Central Library.[13] Tin Shui Wai North Public Library is a small library, located at Tin Chak Estate in the far north of the town.

The town also has two public swimming pools, namely: the Tin Shui Wai Swimming Pool (opened 1994) and the Ping Shan Tin Shui Wai Swimming Pool (opened 2011). As these two pools are undersized in comparison to standard Hong Kong swimming complexes, both lacking a standard 50-metre pool, they are very overcrowded. A new, standard-sized swimming complex has been planned for many years at Tin Shui Wai Area 107, a vacant piece of land in the north of the new town.[14] However, as of 2017, construction has yet to begin.

The largest sports ground is the Tin Shui Wai Sports Ground, a stadium with a capacity of 2,500 spectators. It also has a 400-metre running track. There are other football/rugby pitches at Tin Sau Road Park and Tin Yip Road Park in the northern part of the town.

There are four indoor sports centres in Tin Shui Wai. They are Tin Shui Wai Sports Centre, Tin Shui Sports Centre, Tin Fai Sports Centre and Ping Shan Tin Shui Wai Sports Centre. Also, there is an outdoor sports area in Tin Sau Road for volleyball, basketball and football court.

Medicine[edit]

After years of planning, the Tin Shui Wai Hospital opened in January 2017. The hospital's Accident and Emergency Department opened in March 2017 on a part-time basis.[15] Smaller public medical facilities in Tin Shui Wai include the Tin Shui Wai Health Centre and the Tin Shui Wai (Tin Yip Road) Community Health Centre, in the south and north of the town respectively.[16]

Housing[edit]

Sherwood Court
Tin Yiu Estate shops

The main residences of Tin Shui Wai are the public housing estates and the 58 residential blocks of Kingswood Villas.

Public estates[edit]

Home Ownership Scheme estates[edit]

Private housing estates[edit]

  • Central Park Towers (柏慧豪園)
  • Kingswood Villas (嘉湖山莊) – one of the largest private housing estates in Hong Kong
    • Chestwood Court (翠湖居)
    • Kenswood Court (景湖居)
    • Maywood Court (美湖居)
    • Lynwood Court (麗湖居)
    • Sherwood Court (賞湖居)
    • Locwood Court (樂湖居)
  • Vianni Cove (慧景軒)

Education[edit]

Chiu Yang Primary School
Tin Shui Wai Government Secondary School
  • Primary schools
    • Buddhist TCFS Yeung Yat Lam Memorial School – special-needs school for intellectual disability
    • Caritas Lok Kan School – special-needs school for intellectual disability
    • CCC Fong Yun Wah School
    • Chinese YMCA Primary School
    • Christian Alliance S. Y. Yeh Memorial Primary School
    • Chiu Yang Por Yen Primary School
    • Chiu Yang Primary School of Hong Kong
    • Christian Alliance S. Y. Yeh Memorial Primary School
    • C.P.C. Yao Dao Primary School
    • Cumberland Presbyterian Church Yao Dao Primary School
    • Gigamind English Primary School
    • Ho Ming Primary School (Sponsored by Sik Sik Yuen)
    • Hong Kong Student Aid Society Primary School
    • Lee Shau Kee Primary School
    • Ling Oi Primary School
    • Lions Club International Ho Tak Sum Primary School
    • Lok Sin Tong Leung Kau Kui Primary School
    • Lok Sin Tong Leung Kau Kui Primary School (Branch)
    • Methodist Primary School
    • Queen Elizabeth School Old Students' Association Primary School
    • Queen Elizabeth School Old Students' Association Branch Primary School
    • Shap Pat Heung Rural Committee Kung Yik She Primary School
    • Shun Tak Fraternal Association Wu Mien Tuen Primary School
    • Tin Shui Wai Catholic Primary School
    • Tin Shui Wai Government Primary School
    • TWGH Leo Tung-hai Lee Primary School
    • TWGH Yiu Dak Chi Memorial Primary School
    • W F Joseph Lee Primary School
    • Ying Yip Primary School
    • Xianggang Putonghua Yanxishe Primary School of Science And Creativity

Transport[edit]

Commuter railway[edit]

Tin Shui Wai Station platform

The town is served by Tin Shui Wai Station on the West Rail Line. The station borders the south of the town, near Ping Shan, and is adjacent to Tin Yiu Estate, Tin Shing Court and Tin Yau Court. It is elevated over the junction of Ping Ha Road and Tin Fuk Road. Several bus stops serve the station. Three footbridges are constructed along Tin Fuk Road and Ping Ha Road to connect the station to the town. The West Rail Line directly connects Tin Shui Wai to the neighbouring new towns of Tuen Mun and Yuen Long, as well as Tsuen Wan and Kowloon via the 5.5 kilometre Tai Lam Tunnel.

The entrances/exits of the station are:

  • A: Public transport interchange, Hang Mei Tsuen
  • B: Tin Shing Court, Tin Shui Wai Police Station
  • C: Tin Yiu Light Rail Stop, Tin Yiu Estate
  • D: Tin Yau Court, Tin Tsz Estate
  • E1: Tin Shui Wai Light Rail Stop (Platform 1)
  • E2: Tin Shui Wai Light Rail Stop (Platform 2)
  • E3: Tin Shui Wai Light Rail Stop (Platform 3), Pagoda, Ping Shan Heritage Trail, Sheung Cheung Wai

Light railway[edit]

A light rail vehicle at Tin Yuet Stop

The district is also served by the Light Rail, with Tin Shui Wai Station serving as the main interchange point for the local branch of this network, which runs in a circle around the new town, called Tin Shui Wai Circular. The light rail network, in conjunction with the West Rail Line, connects the townships of Tuen Mun and Yuen Long. The light rail is divided into fare zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 5A. All of Tin Shui Wai's 16 light rail stops fall within zones 4 and 5A.

The Tin Shui Wai Stop of the Light Rail network belongs to Zone 4 for single-ride ticket. It is located underneath the West Rail station at ground level. Platforms 1, 2 and 3 can be reached by escalators at West Rail exits E1, E2 and E3, respectively.

Routes[edit]

Route Destination Tin Shui Wai Station platform
     705 Tin Shui Wai Circular (Anti-clockwise) 1
     706 Tin Shui Wai Circular (Clockwise) 3
     751 Yau Oi 3
     751 Tin Yat 2
     761P Yuen Long n/a
     761P Tin Yat n/a

Bus and road[edit]

A well-developed bus network is also an important transport element in Tin Shui Wai, with buses running to most major destinations in Hong Kong.

Main roads connecting the township to surrounding areas are Ping Ha Road, Tin Ha Road, Long Tin Road, Yuen Long Highway and Tin Wah Road (to Lau Fau Shan).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tin Shui Wai New Town". Civil Engineering and Development Department. 7 July 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Ng Kang-ching, "Developers sue over delay, The Standard, May 22, 1990
  3. ^ a b Serjeant, John (26 March 1993). "Official opening is a New Town first". South China Morning Post. 
  4. ^ a b $820m new town deal will give homes to 140,000, Maureen Fan, South China Morning Post, October 27, 1987
  5. ^ Ng Kang-ching, Big rush for new release of HOS flats, South China Morning Post, December 18, 1991
  6. ^ CEDD - About Us
  7. ^ a b Carol Chung, "`Town of sadness' pleads for help", The Standard, October 31, 2007
  8. ^ Carol Chung, "Mother, baby saved from suicide attempt", The Standard, November 10, 2007
  9. ^ Marco Lui and Daniel Pang, "Father, child in murder-suicide", The Standard, July 9, 2007
  10. ^ 天水圍vs「悲情城市, Wen Wei Po, July 18, 2006 (in Chinese)
  11. ^ Scarlett Chiang, "Tragic deaths spur action on mental health", The Standard, October 16, 2007
  12. ^ "Residents in Hong Kong's 'City of Sadness' march for better social services". International Herald Tribune. 2007-11-25. Retrieved 2007-11-25. 
  13. ^ "Public to enjoy outdoor reading at new Ping Shan Tin Shui Wai Public Library (with photos)". Hong Kong Government. 25 February 2013. 
  14. ^ "天水圍 107 區游泳池興建進度匯報" (PDF). Working Group to Follow up on the Construction Progress of the Swimming Pool in Area 107 Tin Shui Wai. Yuen Long District Council. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  15. ^ "Tin Shui Wai Hospital commences A&E services". Hong Kong Government. 14 March 2017. 
  16. ^ "Opening ceremony held for Tin Shui Wai (Tin Yip Road) Community Health Centre (with photos)". Hong Kong Government. 5 June 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Chan, Eva (2009). Voices of Tinshuiwai Women. Hong Kong: MGuru Ltd. ISBN 9789889947873. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 22°27′39″N 114°00′04″E / 22.4608°N 114.0012°E / 22.4608; 114.0012