Press Statement by URA
In response to a newspaper report today concerning the Urban
Renewal Authority's (URA) work, the Authority issues the following
The Government's Urban Renewal Strategy (URS), which provides a framework for the operation of the URA, was published in November 2001.
Section 39 of the Strategy states that the Strategy "will be reviewed and updated regularly (every two or three years)."
Accordingly, the earliest date to schedule the Strategy for review is November 2003. It is therefore incumbent upon the Authority to make preparations and provide input to the Government on this exercise, which the Authority is now doing.
The Authority will reflect upon the experience gained in its past two years of operation as well as changes in the overall economy and the property market and their implications for the long-term development of urban renewal work.
The sensible and cost-effective use of financial resources to achieve its urban renewal mission, rather than the fiscal condition of the Authority, will be among the more important issues to be considered.
The Authority is in an early stage of consolidating its views for the Government's consideration and has not yet come to any fixed views on this matter.
It is incorrect to say, however, that any plan for rehabilitation work by the Authority would represent a fundamental change in strategy, as rehabilitation is part of the strategy stated in the URS. And the Authority has always taken the view that given the enormity of the problem of urban decay in Hong Kong, redevelopment alone is not enough as a solution. Rehabilitation of old but structurally sound and serviceable buildings is a sensible and necessary part of the solution. Moreover, voluntary action by private owners to rehabilitate their properties must form part of a concerted community effort to fight urban decay.
Therefore, the Authority has stressed, from the outset, the need for a '4Rs' strategy to urban renewal, implementing redevelopment, rehabilitation, preservation and revitalisation in a balanced, holistic manner in its targeted action areas.
The Authority would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to the important mission of urban renewal and implementation of its 4Rs strategy for the long term.