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Conservation and development (29/12/2013)

Hong Kong is a small and densely populated city. With rapid economic and social development, there is only limited space for further development. As a result, many old buildings have to be demolished to make way for development and for improvement of our living environment. On the other hand, the community attaches great importance to the conservation of cultural and built heritage. Some view conservation and development as two competing claims. Actually, the balance between conservation and development is not a zero-sum game. In recent years, the Government has made great efforts in conservation through the formulation of policies and investment of resources......

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YHA Mei Ho House Youth Hostel – revitalisation of old public rental housing (22/12/2013)

Public rental housing and hostels may seem totally unrelated. Could you ever have imagined that today these two concepts would merge in one building? A few days ago, I attended the opening ceremony of the YHA Mei Ho House Youth Hostel, which is one of the Batch I projects of the Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme, and witnessed, together with other guests and friends, the remarkable results achieved by the revitalisation project. Mei Ho House evokes our collective memories. From above, its shape looks like the capital letter “H”. In fact, it is the only surviving first generation H-shaped resettlement block in Hong Kong. Mei Ho House marked the beginning of the territory’s public housing programme and was part of many Hong Kong people’s lives......

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Public engagement on Kai Tak Fantasy (15/12/2013)

The delightful and heart-warming Christmas is around the corner. How are you going to celebrate with your dearest friends and family? Will you throw a party at home or have fun at Lan Kwai Fong? Or would you like to join the crowd at the former Kai Tak Airport runway for a countdown and make a wish over the sound of ship's horn? The latter choice may seem like a distant dream, but I would like to tell you that we are gathering pace to make this dream come true by taking forward the work of Kai Tak Fantasy......

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Water management strategy responds to climate change (8/12/2013)

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirmed in its Fifth Assessment Report that the rise in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century has been caused by an increase in the concentration of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, thus providing further indication of global warming. Hong Kong cannot avoid being affected by climate change, and the Hong Kong Observatory has forecast that this trend will intensify, with increasingly frequent occurrences of extreme weather and a higher chance of long-lasting droughts or heavy rain. An increase in dry weather would inevitably affect our local yield and also the Dongjiang water resources. Coupled with our increasing demand for water, these factors pose a number of challenges for management of our water resources.....

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Ex-gratia compensation arrangements keep pace with the times (1/12/2013)

To take forward various public works projects, such as roads, public housing, public facilities and new town developments, the Government needs to resume land and carry out clearance exercises from time to time. In doing so, it is the Government’s policy that no one should be rendered homeless as a result of clearance exercises. Statutory compensation is made to landowners under the relevant ordinances, and residents are offered alternative accommodation in public rental housing (PRH) according to their eligibility. In addition, the Government will, under different scenarios, offer Ex-gratia Allowances (EGAs) to land occupiers (most of which do not have land ownership) through administrative measures...... 

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