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Opinion

Hong Kong wants a massive new island, but where will it get the sand?

Carrie Lam's plan to fix area's housing crisis risks calamitous environmental damage

| Hong Kong
Residential flats on Lantau Island, pictured on Jan. 15: Lantau Tomorrow is a plan to build 17 sq. kilometers of artificial land with housing for up to one million people in the ocean waters off of the island.   © dpa/AP

Award-winning writer Vince Beiser is the author of The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization.

Plagued by a shortage of land on which to house its swelling population, Hong Kong has come up with a simple-sounding solution: make more! That's the central idea behind "Lantau Tomorrow," a plan to build 1,700 hectares (17 sq. kilometers) of artificial land with housing for up to one million people in the ocean waters off of Lantau.

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