Hong Kong’s Southern District is changing fast. This has led to disconnected neighbourhoods, an underutilised waterfront, and a negative mental impression of the area. Our project, Sampan, makes this neighbourhood a destination by creating a distinct identity for the Southern District. It connects the area through new waterfront spaces and an autonomous boat trip that can be called directly from a game-like app. The goal of the project is to enhance connectivity, promote liveability, and ensure sustainability for residents, workers, and visitors in the Southern District.

Sampan uses a few new technologies. First, it introduces autonomous boats, docks, and new water routes to enhance connectivity between key nodes in the district. This includes adding new features to the MTR app so that residents, workers, and visitors can more effectively plan end-to-end trips (including by autonomous boat). The project also includes a location-based AR experience via a game-like app to help the public connect with the cultural heritage, history, and natural elements of the district.

Sustainability is at the heart of the project. Our design prioritises eco-friendly transit with solar-powered e-boats, bike paths, and walkways. It also improves the connection to nature with links to trails and water. Further, Sampan considers economic and social sustainability. It aims to create new economic opportunities with added retail spaces, more foot traffic from tourism, and reinvestment in local businesses through the game-like app, as well as encourage more public input in current and future city projects.