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SDEV attends 2011 Mainland and Hong Kong Construction Industry Forum in Luoyang (with photos)

The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, led a 250-strong Hong Kong delegation to attend the 2011 Mainland and Hong Kong Construction Industry Forum in Luoyang today (May 28) sharing Hong Kong's experience and achievements in heritage conservation with Mainland professionals.

Themed "Sustainable Urban Form: Preservation and Development of Historical and Cultural Cities", the forum was opened by Mrs Lam, the Vice-minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, Mr Guo Yunchong, and the Vice-governor of the People's Government of Henan Province, Mr Zhang Dawei, this morning. More than 400 professionals, government officials, academics and industry players from Hong Kong and the Mainland participated.

In her opening speech, Mrs Lam said, "In the process of urban development, we should give due consideration to environmental protection and heritage conservation. A suitable balance of these two aspects is essential for sustainable urban development. Based on this principle, the HKSAR Government established the Development Bureau (DB) in 2007 and formulated a new heritage conservation policy in order to strike a pragmatic balance between urban development and heritage conservation."

"The DB is responsible for urban planning, lands management and urban renewal policies. For historic buildings with high heritage value worthy of preservation, we can consider the conservation aspects thoroughly at an early stage of urban development. We can also preserve privately-owned historic buildings through planning and lands means to achieve a win-win situation with the owners."

Mrs Lam added that by coordinating with Government departments like the Planning Department, Lands Department, Buildings Department and other works departments, the Commissioner for Heritage's Office, established by the DB in 2008, has made remarkable achievements in heritage conservation. She quoted the conservation and restoration of King Yin Lei as an example demonstrating the success of heritage conservation in Hong Kong using a coordination of policy and Government departments.

Today's forum comprised two discussion sessions with separate topics -- "Sustainable Development and Preservation and Development of Historical and Cultural Cities" in the morning and "Capability Building" in the afternoon.

Chairman of the Antiquities Advisory Board, Mr Bernard Chan, told the forum about his experiences as chairman and in the revitalisation of Government-owned historic buildings. Later, participants from the Mainland and Hong Kong held an in-depth discussion on the relationship between heritage conservation and building of a sustainable city.

The forum was jointly organised by the DB of HKSAR Government, Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of the People's Republic of China and the People's Government of Henan Province, and was sponsored by the Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of Henan Province and the People's Government of Luoyang City.

Mrs Lam arrived at Luoyang from Xian by the Zhengzhou-Xian high-speed train yesterday afternoon. Accompanied by representatives of the Xian Railway Bureau, she toured Xian North Railway Station. She met the Vice-governor of the People's Government of Henan Province, Mr Zhang Dawei, and attended a dinner hosted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development in the evening.

Mrs Lam will conduct the forum's site visits with the Hong Kong delegation tomorrow (May 29). They will visit Luoyang Museum, Dingdingmen Heritage Site Museum, Luoyang Ancient Street Area and Longmen Grottoes, all of which represent major heritage conservation projects in Luoyang.

Mrs Lam will then proceed to Zhengzhou on May 30. She will visit Shaolin Temple at Songshan Mountain, Kangbaiwan Mansion and Zhengzhou New District to learn more about local heritage conservation and urban development works.

Ends/Saturday, May 28, 2011
Issued at HKT 19:05

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The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, briefs the Vice-minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, Mr Guo Yunchong, on Hong Kong's heritage conservation work today (May 28).. Mrs Lam delivers a speech at the opening ceremony of the 2011 Mainland and Hong Kong Construction Industry Forum today .. Accompanied by representatives of the Xian Railway Bureau, Mrs Lam toured the Xian North Railway Station yesterday (May 27).. Mrs Lam met the Vice-governor of the People's Government of Henan Province, Mr Zhang Dawei, yesterday..

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