Public views on urban renewal solicited

The new approach to urban renewal would enable comprehensive planning for larger areas in the Government's plan to renew and restructure old urban areas.

This was stated by Deputy Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr. Stephen Fisher, at a public forum on the Urban Renewal Authority White Bill today (Saturday).

The forum, attended by some 300 members of the public, is one of the events organised by the Planning, Environment and Lands Bureau to gather views on the Urban Renewal Authority to tackle the problem of urban deterioration.

Mr Fisher said under the new approach, the 200 urban renewal projects identified under the Urban Renewal Strategy could be completed in about 20 years, instead of a schedule of 30 years or more under the existing approach.

"In implementing urban renewal projects, the Authority will preserve buildings and sites of historical, cultural or architectural interests in the project areas.

"It will provide more open space and community facilities. More effective and environmentally-friendly local transport and road networks will also be included in the design," he said.

Under-utilised industrial areas will also be included in the urban renewal programme for the re-vitalisation of economic activities within these areas. Incompatible land uses will be replaced.

"The Government's urban renewal programme aims at achieving a "win-win-win" situation bringing benefits to tenants, owners and the community", he said.

Commencing on October 22, the public consultation on the White Bill will last until the end of December.

Representatives of the Bureau and the Planning Department have briefed community organisations, the real estate sector, professional institutes and the public on the White Bill at some 20 seminars and briefing sessions, and the Government has received over 50 written submissions on the White Bill so far.

Mr. Fisher encouraged the public to give their views on the Bill before the consultation closes on December 31.

Written comments can be sent to the Planning, Environment and Lands Bureau at 9th Floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Central or by e-mail to <>.

End/Saturday, December 18, 1999