In This Chapter

Risk management of rock slopes in a dense urban setting

Authored by: K.K.S. Ho , D.O.K. Lo , R.W.H. Lee

Rock Mechanics and Engineering

Print publication date:  June  2017
Online publication date:  June  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138027633
eBook ISBN: 9781315364223
Adobe ISBN:


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The acute slope safety problems in Hong Kong can be attributed to high seasonal rainfall together with intense urban development on a steep hilly terrain. The dense urban environment gives rise to a vulnerable setting in which a relatively small landslide or rockfall can result in casualties or significant socioeconomic impact. Since 1977, a comprehensive Slope Safety Management System has been developed and implemented by the Geotechnical Engineering Office to combat the slope safety problems in a holistic manner. This paper outlines the characteristics of rock slope failures in Hong Kong, the landslide risk management framework adopted and the prevailing rock slope engineering practice. The key lessons learnt from studies of notable rock slope failures are presented and the experience in managing some 9,000 man-made rock cut slopes, as well as the hazards associated with rockfalls and boulder falls from natural hillsides over the past 40 years or so, is consolidated.

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