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Idea Shop to facilitate sharing of views on urban renewal strategy (with photo)

People were welcome to go to the Urban Renewal Idea Shop to share and express their views on the future development of urban regeneration in Hong Kong, the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, said today (March 25).

Mrs Lam was speaking at the official opening of the Idea Shop, at 38 Tai Yuen Street, Wan Chai, and is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday every week between 11am and 9pm.

Mrs Lam said the setting up of the Urban Renewal Idea Shop was an innovative idea to facilitate public engagement in the Urban Renewal Strategy (URS) Review.

"The Idea Shop provides a walk-in opportunity for the public to discuss and share their views on the future development of urban regeneration in Hong Kong in a comfortable environment.  Various organisations, particularly those recently accepted as partnering organisations in the URS Review may also make use of this free venue to conduct meetings, workshops and other activities related to the review," Mrs Lam said.

The Idea Shop is designed with a home-feel atmosphere.  There are exhibition areas and a computer corner for the public to browse information on and express their views on URS Review website (www.ursreview.gov.hk).

Mrs Lam said that during the "envisioning" stage of the review, a lot of ideas had been collated. These ideas would be further explored and studied in greater details in the second, "public engagement" stage of the review, which would be conducted in the most open and transparent manner.

Various activities, including road shows, public forums and topical discussion sessions would be organised from early May to the end of this year to further discuss the topical issues identified in the first stage. District Councils would also be invited to co-organise public forums in different districts as a means to widen the district network to reach more people, she added.

Mrs Lam also took the opportunity to visit some of the stall owners in Tai Yuen Street. She was briefed by the Convener of the Old Wan Chai Revitalisation Initiatives Special Committee, Mr Ng Kam-chun, on the proposed improvement works for the open market in Tai Yuen Street and Cross Streets, which include provision of proper electricity supply, canopies for the hawker stalls and entrance gateways.

Also present at today's ceremony were the Chairman of the Urban Renewal Authority, Mr Barry Cheung, and Vice-chairman of the Legislative Council Panel on Development, Professor the Hon Patrick Lau Sau-shing.  

The URS Review, launched in July 2008, was structured into three stages - "Envisioning", "Public Engagement" and "Consensus Building".  The whole review process is expected to be completed in about two years' time.

Ends/Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Issued at HKT 18:47

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The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, officiates at the opening ceremony of the Urban Renewal Idea Shop today (March 25). Other guests include (from left) Vice-chairman of the Legislative Council Panel on Development, Professor Patrick Lau Sau-shing, the Chairman of the Urban Renewal Authority, Mr Barry Cheung, and Convener of the Old Wan Chai Revitalisation Initiatives Special Committee Mr Ng Kam-chun. 

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