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URA 20th Anniversary Video Series: Building Community Beyond Urban Renewal

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Introduction

The URA has been bringing forth urban regeneration on all fronts to improve the living environment of older areas for the past 20 years, creating quality, environmentally-sustainable and liveable homes.  To promote urban renewal work, the URA launched a 20th Anniversary TV series titled “Building Community beyond Urban Renewal” in September 2021 in collaboration with the TVB News and Information Division. The series, comprising ten episodes, aims to showcase the URA’s good work over the past 20 years in enhancing the built environment of old districts and the living standard of the people through human-interest stories, covering the URA’s 5R businesses from Redevelopment, Rehabilitation, pReservation, Revitalisation to Retrofitting as well as various community care programmes.

 

 

Episode one (Cantonese only)

The first episode highlights the URA’s achievements in implementing Kwun Tong Town Centre Redevelopment Project. The Project took a forward-looking planning and development approach to rejuvenate old urban areas. Through restructuring land uses, it created a better transport and pedestrian network, improving public facilities and liveability.

 

Episode Two (Cantonese only)

The second episode features the URA’s best endeavours in preserving local characteristics in the course of urban renewal by providing modernised facilities and market blocks upon redevelopment, enabling affected business operators from street shops, hawkers and unauthorised building structures in the area to continue their businesses in the same locality upon redevelopment.

 

Episode three (Cantonese only)

The third episode highlights that the URA has adopted a people-first approach in carrying out urban renewal. While launching various initiatives to enhance the acquisition and compensation policies for the redevelopment projects, flexibility has been given to those affected owners and tenants to cater for their needs.

 

Episode four (Cantonese only)

The fourth episode features the URA’s efforts in putting forward various supportive measures to assist building owners in organising building repair and maintenance works. The episode shares the case of Yee On Court in which the URA’s Smart Tender (ST) Building Rehabilitation Facilitating Services has facilitated the owners in organising the tender, which attracted a number of contractors to submit competitive tender bids, thereby reducing bid-rigging risks.

 

Episode five (Cantonese only)

The fifth episode continues to feature the URA’s efforts in promoting building rehabilitation.  In the case of Koon Sheng Building, which does not have owners’ corporations (OCs) or any form of residents’ organisations or has not engaged property management companies (PMCs) (commonly known as “three-nil buildings”), the URA has not only assisted the owners in forming owners corporation’, but also provided financial and technical assistance in carrying out repair works. Regarding another case of Gee Chang House, the URA assisted owners to undertake building rehabilitation through various Government subsidy schemes, improving building safety.

 

Episode six (Cantonese only)

The sixth episode features the endeavour of the URA in preserving and revitalising historic buildings. The episode showcases how the Central Market and “618 Shanghai Street” project went beyond preserving building structures and achieved adaptive reuse by adding local characteristics and culture into the sites, giving them new lives and new uses.

 

Episode seven (Cantonese only)

The seventh episode highlights the URA’s ‘community-making’ approach in project planning and implementation. In the Staunton Street / Wing Lee Street Project (H19) project, the URA collaborates with local organisations and residents to carry out various revitalisation initiatives, including an urban farming project, to strengthen neighbourhood relationships and build a better community.

 

Episode eight (Cantonese only)

The eighth episode features the URA’s effort in bringing care to the tenants within the neighbourhood of the URA’s projects, particularly those families and kids who moved out from the community upon relocation, retaining their social network in the community beyond improving the living conditions. The episode highlights the establishment of ‘oUR Amazing Kid Band’ by the URA, which allows the kids to reunite and enhance social bonding with families from To Kwa Wan through performances and regular practice. The project helps keep the social network and community sentiment within the old district.

 

Episode nine (Cantonese only)

The ninth episode showcases the URA’s new thoughts in tackling the aggravating problem of urban decay. The episode cites the Yau Mong District Study, in which a Master Renewal Concept Plan has been developed with recommendations for a number of development nodes and new planning tools. By enhancing the efficiency of land use and the redevelopment potential in the two districts, the study aims to establish an implementation mechanism for the sustainable development of urban renewal.

 

Episode ten (Cantonese only)

The final episode concludes the series with the URA’s vision in continuing urban renewal to improve the overall living environment of the residents, creating a liveable, lower-density and sustainable city. This vision could be achieved by a forward-looking and comprehensive strategy. Meanwhile, reserves on financial and land resources should also be built to provide sufficient resources to sustain urban renewal work in the implementation of three cycles.