Tin Shui Wai New Town
|District||Yuen Long District|
|• Total||4.3 km2 (1.7 sq mi)|
|• Density||67,906/km2 (175,880/sq mi)|
|Website||Yuen Long District Council|
|Mean solar time UTC+08|
|Tin Shui Wai New Town|
|Cantonese Yale||Tīnséuiwài Sānsíhjan|
|Literal meaning||Sky Water Walled Village New Town|
Tin Shui Wai New Town is a satellite town 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 25 kilometres (16 mi) due northwest of Central, on land reclaimed from low-lying areas south of Deep Bay, next to historic Ping Shan. The population was 292,000 in 2014, while the total projected population for when the town is fully built-out is about 306,000.
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. The process of land reclamation for the new town was completed in 1990. 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.
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.
The first occupants moved into the new town in 1991. 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.
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 living there.
The Development Zone of 220 hectares, 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 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.
In the early 2000's, Tin Shui Wai developed a notorious reputation as a "city of sadness". The town was criticized for its cramped public housing, isolation, and lack of employment opportunities. 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.
West Rail and the extension of the LRT service to the Reserve Zone were 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 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 is about 306,000 while the current population is about 292,000.
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 in north Tin Shui Wai.
Tin Shui Wai consists of public and private housing estates. Tin Wah Road separates the south and the north development zones. 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 an insufficient level of services and facilities to meet the rapid population growth.
The new town is centred on the Tin Shui Wai Park, which offers many gardens and activities.
The Tin Sau Bazaar is a 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 in Tin Shui Wai.
The routes 705 and 706 light rail stop at Wetland Park stop.
Tin Shui Wai has two public libraries. Ping Shan Tin Shui Wai Public Library is in the south, directly beside the railway station. It opened in 2013 and is the second-largest public library in Hong Kong, behind the Hong Kong Central Library. Tin Shui Wai North Public Library is small, at Tin Chak Estate in the far north of the town.
The town has two public swimming pools: the Tin Shui Wai Swimming Pool (opened 1994) and the Ping Shan Tin Shui Wai Swimming Pool (opened 2011). These pools are undersized in comparison to standard Hong Kong swimming complexes, both lacking a standard 50-metre pool, and 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. As of 2021, the pool is under construction and is expected to be completed in 2022 or 2023.
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. There is an outdoor sports area in Tin Sau Road for volleyball, basketball and football court.
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. Smaller public medical facilities 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.
The main residences of Tin Shui Wai are the public housing estates and the 58 residential blocks of Kingswood Villas.
Main article: Public housing estates in Tin Shui Wai
The town is served by Tin Shui Wai station on the Tuen Ma 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 Tuen Ma 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:
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 Tuen Ma 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 in zones 4 and 5A.
The Tin Shui Wai stop of the Light Rail network belongs to Zone 4 for single-ride ticket. It is 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.
|Route||Destination||Tin Shui Wai station platform|
|705||Tin Shui Wai Circular (Anti-clockwise)||1|
|706||Tin Shui Wai Circular (Clockwise)||3|
A well-developed bus network is 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).
Two 2008 Hong Kong films were set in Tin Shui Wai: The Way We Are, directed by Ann Hui and Besieged City directed by Lawrence Ah Mon. The 2009 Ann Hui film Night and Fog is also set there.