Green Hong Kong Prison Draws Criticism

HONG KONG — Hong Kong opened its first green jail last August, featuring a green roof, solar panels, natural lighting system and enhanced ventilation system but the environmentally friendly attributes drew a barrage of criticism from the public and press earlier this month.
After winning a green building award in early November, critics seized on Lo Wu to accuse the government of favoring the prison population over law-abiding citizens. While Lo Wu’s inmates live in healthful conditions, they argue, citizens live in dark, unventilated public housing estates and tiny, overcrowded high-rise apartments.
A spokeswoman for the Correctional Services Department, which runs the prison, said that the department plans to continue incorporating green features in to its prison projects.
A spokesman with Hong Kong Architectural Services commented that Lo Wu’s green features cost less than 1 percent of its total price tag.
The 570,000-square-foot facility took three years to complete. It is located in Hong Kong’s New Territories bordering China.