Launched in 2019, the award-winning Swire Properties Placemaking Academy (“SPPA”) offers Hong Kong university students the opportunity to design, plan and execute the White Christmas Street Fair – the Company’s annual year-end community celebration event. The SPPA is a crucial part of our placemaking work with a goal of empowering Hong Kong’s youth to build vibrant and sustainable local communities.
During this half-year experience, students gain hands-on skills and are mentored by Swire Properties’ senior management and some of the most prominent personnels in the fields of placemaking, creativity, sustainability and communications to become “creative placemakers” and community builders.
The SPPA aims are to:
- Nurture talented Hong Kong youth and showcase their creativity and ability to bring original ideas to life.
- Transfer creative knowledge and skills to participants and empower them to support Swire Properties’ long-term community-building initiatives.
- Offer students and alumni job opportunities and exposure, working with the Company’s extensive community network and learning from event-planning experts and marketing specialists to further develop their innovation skills.
As part of Swire Properties’ 50th anniversary festivities, in addition to the White Christmas Street Fair, 40 SPPA students and alumni collaborated to create urban furniture pieces for the community. With support from up-and-coming industrial designers, the students created a strategic plan, moved through the design-thinking process and engaged the Taikoo Place community to produce three state-of-the-art pieces.
The final products will be displayed at Swire Properties’ headquarters in Taikoo Place in 2023.
Swire Properties Placemaking Academy Key Figures
students from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and City University of Hong Kong
masterclass lectures by industry-leader in sustainability, placemaking, design thinking, stakeholder engagement, communications, and more
Over HKD 0
in employment support
In a further nod to the SPPA’s contribution to Hong Kong, in November 2022, the SPPA was placed first in the “Excellence in Social Impact” category at the Awards for Excellence in Training and Development 2022, presented by the Hong Kong Management Association. This placement was a recognition of the excellent work done by the students in fully designing, executing and running a physical street fair from conception to execution.
White Christmas Street Fair 2022
The White Christmas Street Fair was even more special in 2022 as it celebrated both Christmas and our 50th anniversary. The festival was themed “Bloom & Beyond”, in recognition of our commitment to the next generation and the fact that our decades-long placemaking efforts are blossoming. The fair filled Tong Chong Street with 5,000 upcycled poinsettias made with used materials collected from Swire Hotels and Cathay Pacific.
The White Christmas Street Fair once again supported and raised funds for Operation Santa Claus, raising HKD862,000 this year and bringing the 10-year total to over HKD8 million.
Working towards a zero-waste event, the SPPA team kept a mind-set of upcycling and recycling from the start, collaborating early on with designers, suppliers, vendors and the Company’s sustainable development team to plan and manage the materials that were used and discarded.
Several of the fair’s installations were built using a new technology that 3D prints “reversible sand”, which, upon the completion of the event, allows the sand to be recycled. Designated recycling points were also set up to collect paper, metal, glass, plastic and compostable waste. By developing innovative waste prevention and recovery measures, material consumption was reduced by 23% while the waste diversion rate was over 90%. For more details on the resource and circularity measures used at the fair, please click here.
Now in the post-event phase, the SPPA team is conducting a comprehensive assessment of the fair’s carbon footprint, which will help facilitate strategic carbon reduction measurements, benchmarking and future target setting.
Bi-city Youth Cultural Leadership Programme
In 2022, Swire Properties began partnering with the Hong Kong Palace Museum (“HKPM”) on a two-year “Bi-city Youth Cultural Leadership Programme”, which aims to nurture a new generation of cultural leaders in Beijing and Hong Kong.
The programme offers hybrid learning and training activities focusing on fundamental art and cultural knowledge, innovative thinking, cross-disciplinary capacity building, and internship opportunities. The goal is to provide a platform for young people in Beijing and Hong Kong to connect, share experiences and exchange cultural ideas.
The leadership programme is the HKPM’s flagship youth learning initiative, and Swire Properties is the lead sponsor. The programme offers hybrid learning and training activities focusing on fundamental art and cultural knowledge, innovative thinking, cross-disciplinary capacity building and internship opportunities. The goal is to provide a platform for young people in Beijing and Hong Kong to connect, share experiences and exchange cultural ideas.
In 2022, around 80 university students from Beijing and Hong Kong began participating in a four-month online exchange programme. In 2023, about 16 university students will join a two-month summer learning programme and participate in visits, talks and workshops in Beijing and Hong Kong, and take part in summer internships at leading arts and cultural organisations and companies in Hong Kong.
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