Kowloon City District Urban Renewal Forum formulates Preliminary Urban Renewal Proposals

The following is issued on behalf of the Secretariat of the Kowloon City District Urban Renewal Forum:

     The Kowloon City District Urban Renewal Forum (DURF) held its meeting this afternoon (May 2). At the meeting, members endorsed the Preliminary Urban Renewal Proposals for Kowloon City.

     To implement the new Urban Renewal Strategy's "People First, District-Based and Public Participatory" approach in carrying out urban renewal, the various urban renewal areas and revitalisation proposals were formulated based on the local views collected and the comments from DURF members after the various site visits, and with reference to the criteria of building age and building condition, the living environment of the residents, the opportunity brought by the development of transportation systems, the local character and historical and cultural background of the district, etc.

     The Preliminary Urban Renewal Proposals will be the basis for extensive public engagement, planning study and the social impact assessment, so as to formulate the Urban Renewal Plan for Kowloon City for the Government's consideration. Implementation of the Urban Renewal Plan will be considered by the Government with regard to the actual situation at the time. The DURF proposed the following vision for the Urban Renewal Plan:

     "Through urban renewal, to inject new vitality into the Kowloon City District which has rich historic and cultural resources, to achieve a synergy effect with the Kai Tak Development Area, and to release land for housing, leisure and community facilities, thus creating a quality living environment for residents within and outside the District."

     In the proposals, "Redevelopment Priority Area" refers to the areas where the majority of buildings are either varied or poor and are generally aged 50 years old or above, or facing serious environmental hygiene and air/noise pollution problems. It covers "5 Streets" and "13 Streets", Kowloon City Road/Lok Shan Road, and Eight "Wan" Streets/Ngan Hon Street/Sung On Street in To Kwa Wan. Redevelopments within the Area can be undertaken by private developers (including owner-initiated groups), or undertaken by the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) by way of their redevelopment projects, the "demand-led" model under which building owners would jointly initiate redevelopment to the URA or the "facilitator" model under which the URA would assist building owners in amalgamating their property interests.

     "Rehabilitation and Revitalisation Priority Area" refers to areas with local character and revitalisation potential, or those which do not meet the redevelopment criteria but are in need of environmental improvement. It is intended that through various revitalisation programmes, new vibrancy can be brought to the district. The Area covers the surroundings of Nga Tsin Wai Road in Lung Tong and Winslow Street/Gillies Avenue South in Hung Hom.

     "Mixed Redevelopment and Rehabilitation Area" refers to the areas in which some buildings are in need of redevelopment while some are rather newly built. The Area includes Ngan Hon Street/Sheung Heung Road/Kwei Chow Street/Yuk Yat Street in To Kwa Wan, and Bailey Street/Chun Tin Street/Sung On Street and Whampoa Street/Bulkeley Street/Wuhu Street in Hung Hom.

     "Revitalising Business Area" covers the industrial buildings in Hok Yuen Street/Hok Yuen Street East/Man Yue Street in Hung Hom. It is proposed to implement beautification and revitalisation works for the streets to cater for the development of business, tourism and retail industries in the district.

     Other proposals include setting up a heritage trail linking the Ex-Ma Tau Kok Animal Quarantine Depot (the "Cattle Depot") with various heritage sites in the area, as well as revitalising the waterfront and piers.

     The DURF will consult the public on the proposals widely in the third quarter of 2012. Different sectors of the community and local residents are invited to give their views in order to formulate the Urban Renewal Plan for Kowloon City with local character and reflecting the will of the district as well as in the overall public interest.

     In addition, the members agreed to the DURF's involvement as one of the supporting organisations of the old district revitalisation project "Revitalisation of To Kwa Wan Setting off from Cattle Depot", proposed by the Kowloon Federation of Associations. This will be the forum's first old district revitalisation project to be undertaken in association with a non-governmental organisation to facilitate urban renewal in Kowloon City, strengthen the public's sense of belonging towards the Kowloon City District and revive local vitality.

     The Kowloon City DURF was established on June 1, 2011, and comprises a total of 20 non-official and official members appointed by the Secretary for Development. Dr Greg Wong was appointed as Chairman of the forum. Non-official members include three incumbent members of the Kowloon City District Council, two Area Committee members who are centres-in-charge of local non-governmental organisations and professionals from relevant fields.

     Members of the public can visit the DURF website at www.durf.org.hk for the latest information and meeting updates.

Ends/Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Issued at HKT 19:15