About Urban Renewal

Hong Kong, like most developed cities, faces a formidable problem of aging buildings and urban decay. Some quarters of our community are living or operating in rundown areas which are in dire need of urban regeneration and environmental improvement. The Government set up the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) in 2001 with a mission to create quality and vibrant living in Hong Kong – a better home in a world-class city. The Government also published an Urban Renewal Strategy (URS) to provide broad policy guidance to the work of URA.

URA's Work & Achievements

Since its establishment, the URA has adopted a "4R" strategy, i.e. Redevelopment, Rehabilitation, Revitalisation and pReservation to regenerate our urban areas.

URA inherited 10 ongoing redevelopments projects from its predecessor the Land Development Corporation (LDC). In addition to these 10, URA and its strategic partner, Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS), have commenced 38 redevelopment projects (including 25 projects announced but not commenced by the LDC), 7 of which contain preservation elements, and 4 preservation-cum-revitalisation projects. Thus, URA has implemented 52 projects in total, of which 8 have been fully completed. Upon the completion of the 52 projects, they will –

(a) improve the living conditions of some 33,000 people; and
(b) produce approaching 18,000 flats, about 37,000m2 of public open space and about 55,000m2 of government / community / welfare facilities, e.g. public transport interchange, youth centre and residential home for the elderly.

In addition, URA has preserved or is preserving for adaptive re-use many historic buildings, including over 50 shophouses, 11 village buildings and features as well as market buildings in Wan Chai and Sheung Wan. In 2008, URA announced its Conservation Strategy with the aim to preserve additional pre-war verandah-type shophouses through its voluntary acquisition and voluntary restoration schemes in the coming years.

URA has benefited or is now benefiting almost 40,000 residential units in nearly 510 buildings under its own rehabilitation schemes up until March 2010. On top of this, URA has joined the Government and HKHS in Operation Building Bright (OBB) in early 2009 under which URA aims to benefit up to 38,000 units in 800 buildings out of the total of 2,000 buildings to be covered by the OBB building rehabilitation programme.

URA, in collaboration with Development Bureau and Wan Chai District Council, is adopting a district-based approach to revitalise the older parts of Wan Chai. Elsewhere, URA has now begun planning the revitalisation of a number of themed streets in Mong Kok to enhance their respective local characteristics. In the Chief Executive's 2009/10 Policy Address, URA was given responsibility for revitalising Central Market to turn it into a “Central Oasis” amidst the hustle and bustle of Central.

In May 2009, URA implemented a comprehensive policy on environmental sustainability to formalise and enhance its commitment to fostering a quality living environment in Hong Kong. In another new initiative, URA will include flats designed with elderly friendly facilities in a redevelopment project in Sham Shui Po.

More information on the work of the URA can be obtained from its URA's website www.ura.org.hk, Annual Report 2009-2010, Towards Urban Renewal v3.0 and LegCo panel paper and Annex reporting on the work of the URA in 2009/10.