Secretary for Development speaks on Urban Renewal Strategy Review

Following is the transcript of remarks (English portion) by the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, at a media session after a ceremony at the Pawn in Johnston Road, Wan Chai, today (July 17) to mark the completion of the restoration and revitalisation work of the historic building by the Urban Renewal Authority (URA):

Secretary for Development: Today I am formally launching the commencement of this major review on the Urban Renewal Strategy. Some of you will recall this Urban Renewal Strategy was promulgated in 2001 as a guiding principle for the work of the Urban Renewal Authority (URA). In the last seven years, the URA, in accordance with the stipulation in the strategy, has done a lot of work. But having regard to the public aspirations that we have seen in recent years, for example, the aspirations to maintain the social network, to preserve heritage and also to respect local culture, we feel that it is really very timely to start a comprehensive review on the Urban Renewal Strategy. I can promise the community, through you, that this is a very open-minded review. We have no pre-determined agenda, we have no conclusion whatsoever on how we are going to do future urban regeneration. So I sincerely invite members of the community to take an active part in the review discussions. To facilitate members of the public to express views, we will be distributing extensively a pamphlet to outline the work that URA has done in the past several years according to the strategy and also to highlight a few issues that we realise would warrant a discussion. We are also commencing a dedicated website to enable people to communicate with us electronically. So this is going to be a very comprehensive review. To ensure that it will be able to obtain the views of many more people, I have invited 10 distinguished members of the community who have a lot of experience and views on urban regeneration in the past to join me on the Steering Committee to steer the work in the next two years. So you will be able to get the membership of the Steering Committee afterwards. Thank you very much.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Thursday, July 17, 2008
Issued at HKT 19:33