By 2030, in a study reported on in the HK Standard, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong will have merged into one Pearl River Delta spanning mega-city, home to some 50 million people. Anyone travelleing on the KCR will have the disturbing feeling this has already happened. From Guangzhou Railway Station, all the way to Dongguan, halfway to Hong Kong is an unbroken artery of industrial cities and manufacturing belts that wouldn’t be out of place as Saruman’s orc mines in Lord of the Rings. From there to Hong Kong, besides some scant pieces of rapidly vanishing remnants of tropical forest, mostly on the Hong Kong side of the border, it’s exactly the same.
Even before the borders between Hong Kong and the mainland are scrapped, Shenzhen’s existing downtown would have moved west to Baoan district, an area currently outside the “second border” that separates Shenzhen from the rest of Guangdong.
This new area, which would be bordered by extensive land reclamation, would have begun to attract leading Hong Kong commercial institutions as tenants. The existing central business district in Luohu and Futian districts would become, in effect, Shenzhen’s suburbs.