Public gave views on urban renewal at forum

About 180 members of the public attended a public forum on the proposed Urban Renewal Authority Bill today (Saturday).

The forum is one of the activities organised by the Planning, Environment and Lands Bureau to gather views on the proposal to adopt a proactive urban renewal approach and to set up a new Urban Renewal Authority (the Authority) to tackle the problem of urban deterioration.

Deputy Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Stephen Fisher said, "under the new approach, urban redevelopment and rehabilitation will be comprehensively planned for larger areas, with a view to restructuring and replanning more effectively the older built-up areas.

"The Authority will also help rehabilitate buildings in need of repair, and preserve buildings of historical, cultural or architectural interests in the project areas."

In implementing urban renewal projects, the Authority will provide more open space and community facilities. More effective and environmentally-friendly local transport and road networks could also be designed in the process.

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

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

Participants at the forum included provisional district board members, academics, representatives from professional institutes, community service groups, the real estate sector and members of the public.

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 ninth floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Central or by e-mail to

End/Saturday, November 13, 1999