Social Benefits of Landslide Prevention and Mitigation in Hong Kong, China

  • Zhong Qi Yue
Part of the Environmental Science and Engineering book series (ESE)


The urban development and infrastructure of Hong Kong are basically built on hillside slopes of 20–50°. Landslide is the severest geohazard in Hong Kong. Since 1977, engineers and researchers in Hong Kong have done tremendous work and investigations in landslide prevention and mitigation. They have made many significant contributions to Hong Kong. At present, Hong Kong slope safety standard has become one of the highest standards in the world. This paper gives a brief summary of landslide disaster prevention and mitigation history in Hong Kong. It discusses in detail eight social benefits. They are the lowest landslide fatality in mountainous urban developments, enhancing social stability and governance, job and training opportunities, sustainable development and prosperity, rehousing squatters for resolving social issues, self-restricted land use for urban development, technology innovation and advancement, and local and international recognitions. It points out five difficulties encountered during landslide disaster prevention and mitigation. They are incorrect landslide causes and mechanisms, change in slope safety standard, dramatic change in rainfall, doubts about long term investment nature, and no right on land use. Finally, it is remarked that Hong Kong has established, trained and maintained a team of hundred or thousand competent geotechnical engineers who can address any technical challenges in future urban developments in the sea and/or on the mountains for Hong Kong.


Landslides Disaster prevention and mitigation Land use Social benefits Slope safety Urban model 



The author would like to thank Mr. Y. C. Chan, Mr. G. Daughton, Dr. D.X. Pan, and Mr. J. D. Legge for their advices and cares when he came to Hong Kong from Canada and practiced landslide prevention projects from 1996 to 1999. The work is financially supported by The University of Hong Kong and the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, Grant No. 2011CB710600).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringThe University of Hong KongHong KongPeople’s Republic of China

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