John Swire & Sons Ltd.

06/19/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/19/2024 05:17

Swire Properties Unveils “Taikoo Square” at Taikoo Place to Promote Urban Biodiversity and Community Wellbeing

Green open space now makes up 30% of Taikoo Place's total site area

With the completion of Taikoo Square, Swire Properties has reached a key milestone in the transformation of Taikoo Place. This landscaped area showcases our focus on biophilic design, promotes urban biodiversity and connects people with nature by offering green open space for the community to enjoy.

Designed by world-renowned landscape architect Kathryn Gustafson, Taikoo Square and Taikoo Garden (which opened last year), together with the newly-converted open space at Taikoo Piazza, add more than 70,000 sq ft of green and open space to Taikoo Place; increasing the total greenery and open space to approximately 30%1.

In an effort to increase urban biodiversity, Swire Properties has partnered with Hong Kong-based ecological expert Dr Billy Hau, from The University of Hong Kong, to assess the state of urban biodiversity in the Quarry Bay area. This study has inspired the selection of over 260 native and exotic plant species that were hand-picked to enhance the overall ecological value for local wildlife in the two new gardens.

These components form a green corridor for birds, butterflies and other insects as they move between the green areas within Taikoo Place and the neighbouring Mount Parker and Quarry Bay Park. This nature-based solution is also set to improve the microclimate, increase rainwater retention and enhance air quality.

Tim Blackburn, Chief Executive of Swire Properties, said, "We are excited to bring our vision for urban biodiversity to life by completing this crucial component that has been a core part of the Taikoo Place redevelopment master plan since inception. This also marks the next stage of our sustainability journey as we advocate nature-based solutions to address biodiversity loss and to fight climate change.

"Biodiversity is the next frontier in sustainable development. As a responsible member of the business community, we are committed to incorporating nature into our operations to encourage healthy and resilient ecosystems. This is a long-term mission. Accordingly we have created foundational biodiversity policies and guidelines which have been incorporated into our operations and the design of new development projects. This is an exciting milestone and we're keen to go even further on the biodiversity front at some of our other developments."

BIOPHILIC DESIGN

Swire Properties conducted biodiversity assessments and incorporated relevant considerations during the design stage for the gardens. The selection of over 260 native and exotic plant species drew inspiration from Hong Kong's "feng shui woodlands" - areas of biodiversity hotspots where villagers traditionally preserved native plant species and created rich habitats for wildlife.

Taikoo Square and Taikoo Garden feature a higher-than-average ratio (over 20%) of native species, compared to the city's urban areas. This makes these spaces more attractive to birds, butterflies, other insects and animals by providing suitable habitats and food sources. The Company will conduct regular ecological assessments to evaluate the area's biodiversity and will evolve its strategy to enhance urban biodiversity over time.

Vegetation at Taikoo Square and Taikoo Garden was planted in a naturalistic manner. This increases vertical layering between the groundcovers, shrubs and trees; providing wildlife with more cover and feeding opportunities. It creates multi-dimensional landscapes of differing sizes and heights that mimic natural ecosystems, so that different species can thrive.

POLICIES & INTERNATIONAL WORK

Biodiversity is a key focus area in Swire Properties' SD2030 Strategy, and the Company created its Biodiversity Policy in 2019 to fully integrate biodiversity considerations into its operations and new developments. The Biodiversity Guidelines for Hong Kong were also completed in 2023 to provide specific recommendations to enhance biodiversity across Swire Properties' projects and new developments.

The Company has also conducted asset-level mapping to understand its portfolios' connections with nature. The goal is to integrate nature-based solutions into new projects and developments to further enhance urban biodiversity, increase climate resilience, and promote the wellbeing of tenants and communities.

Swire Properties also participated in the development of the global biodiversity framework by the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures ("TNFD") which offers a comprehensive platform for organisations to disclose and manage nature-related risks and opportunities. The Company is the only Hong Kong-based and real estate sector taskforce member in the global, 40-member working group. Swire Properties is also one of the 320 international companies who have signed up to the inaugural TNFD Early Adopter programme to pilot the implementation of the TNFD framework.

For more details, please refer to Swire Properties' Sustainability Report 2023.

1 Including Taikoo Square, Taikoo Garden and the existing Taikoo Park.

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About Swire Properties
Swire Properties develops and manages commercial, retail, hotel, and residential properties, with a particular focus on mixed-use developments in prime locations at major mass transportation intersections. Swire Properties is listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong and its investment portfolio in Hong Kong comprises Taikoo Place, Pacific Place, Cityplaza, Citygate Outlets. The Company's completed portfolio in Hong Kong comprises approximately 16.5 million sq ft (approximately 1.54 million sqm) of space.

In the Chinese Mainland, Swire Properties has six completed mixed-use developments in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu. They include Taikoo Li Sanlitun and INDIGO in Beijing, HKRI Taikoo Hui and Taikoo Li Qiantan in Shanghai, Taikoo Hui Guangzhou and Taikoo Li Chengdu. INDIGO Phase Two in Beijing, Taikoo Li Xi'an, two new, mixed-use projects in Shanghai and a new retail project in Sanya are currently under development. The Company's completed portfolio in the Chinese Mainland comprises approximately 14.1 million sq ft (approximately 1.31 million sqm) of space.

In addition to Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland, the Company has investments in the United States, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand.

Visit Swire Properties' website at www.swireproperties.com

About Taikoo Place
Recognised as one of Hong Kong's best-planned business hubs, Swire Properties' Taikoo Place is home to over 300 multinational corporations, including many Fortune 500 companies. The first business hub in Hong Kong to be fully equipped with the 5G network, the portfolio houses more than 35,000 office workers, offering over 7 million sq ft of premium office space. It comprises a network of ten office towers including One Taikoo Place - the first commercial building in Hong Kong to obtain a triple Platinum rating (WELL, BEAM Plus and LEED Final Platinum certification), and Two Taikoo Place, the first building in Hong Kong awarded "Platinum" certifications for both WiredScore and SmartScore. A wide range of business and leisure amenities are situated within the area, including multipurpose venue ArtisTree, flexible workspace Blueprint, private members' club The Refinery, expansive landscaped gardens Taikoo Square and Taikoo Garden that incorporate biophilic design, and a variety of restaurants and cafes. Within a five-minute walking distance are shopping mall Cityplaza, premium lifestyle hotel EAST Hong Kong, and EAST Residences. In 2024, Taikoo Place was awarded by the LEED Communities certification programme (Gold Rating), marking the first and only development in Hong Kong to receive this level of achievement and adding another accolade to its list of sustainability credentials.