Arup have been at the forefront of slope engineering and landslide prevention in Hong Kong for over 40 years since our involvement in the aftermath of the tragic 1972 Po Shan Road landslides, even before we set up our permanent office in the city in 1976.
Our established geotechnical engineering expertise is one of the initial pair of consultants under the Landslip Preventive Measures (LPM) Programme in 1992 and the subsequent Landslide Prevention and Mitigation (LPMit) Programme in 2010 for man-made slope/retaining wall stabilisation and hazard assessment and mitigation for natural terrain hillsides respectively, during which we were responsible for the investigation, design and construction management of stabilisation works, geohazard assessments and also design and construction management of hazard mitigation works.
13 consultancy agreements completed
95hazardous catchments with hazards mitigated
300+man-made slopes upgraded
Ensuring public safety
While Hong Kong is well-known as a densely developed city, it may be surprising to learn that over 60% of the total land area is natural terrain. The city suffers, on average, about 300 landslides each year. With a shortage of flat available land while developments and infrastructure increasingly encroaching into steep hillside areas, the threat from landslides has been a constant part of Hong Kong life.
To help manage this threat and minimise the risk to the public, the Hong Kong Government implemented a series of programmes to systematically investigate and mitigate landslide hazards from man-made slopes and retaining walls, and later on the hazards from natural terrain hillsides too. Arup is having continual involvement with LPM/LPMit since our initial appointments. Arup have been a constant partner on this journey.
Advancing analytical approaches
Throughout the programmes, Arup have worked closely with the authority to develop and implement state-of-the-art and pioneering approaches for the assessment of landslide hazards. This included the pioneering use of tools such as finite element analysis and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in the 1990’s, through to our more recent development of approaches for the use of laser scanning for site surveying, three-dimensional analysis of landslide debris run-out and barrier interaction, as well as the use of artificial intelligence (AI) for the mapping of landslide locations from aerial photographs.
Delivering sustainable, cost-effective, yet robust solutions has always been at the forefront of the design approach throughout our involvement. This has included the use of a number of pioneering initiatives, such as fully integrated 3D-models to minimise material usage and ensure buildability, up-cycling and re-use of construction spoil to avoid off-site disposal, through to the use of soil bioengineering approaches to rehabilitate shotcrete covered landslide scars and promote biodiversity.
Learning from the past
In addition to the design services provided for slope stabilisation and landslide hazard mitigation, Arup have also provided landslide investigation services for a number of major landslide incidents in Hong Kong. The findings from these investigations have provided valuable insight into the key factors influencing landslide occurrence, allowing our engineers to learn from the past and implement subsequent refinement and enhancement of the approaches adopted for hazard assessment and mitigation on future projects.
The LPM/LPMit Programmes have formed a core part of Arup’s Hong Kong geotechnical business for over 30 years, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future too. ” Stuart Millis Project Manager for multiple LPMit Agreements