(ACE Paper 31/2001)
This paper seeks Members' views on the draft urban renewal strategy which has been published for public comments in accordance with section 20 of the Urban Renewal Authority Ordinance (Cap. 563).
2. The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) was established on 1 May 2001 to carry out urban renewal. The urban renewal strategy will provide policy guidelines to the URA for the implementation of a 20-year urban renewal programme consisting of 200 new projects and 25 uncompleted projects of the Land Development Corporation.
KEY POINTS OF THE URBAN RENEWAL STRATEGY
3. Under Government's strategy, urban renewal is not a "slash and burn" process. Urban renewal is the rejuvenation, replanning and restructuring of older urban areas by way of redevelopment, rehabilitation and heritage preservation.
4. The purpose of urban renewal is to improve the quality of life of residents in older urban areas. The strategy is based on the principle that "people come first". In line with this approach, the Government will ensure that -
owners whose properties are acquired/resumed for the implementation of redevelopment projects are offered fair and reasonable compensation;
tenants affected by redevelopment projects are provided with proper rehousing; and
the community at large will benefit from urban renewal.
5. The URA should be open and transparent. In addition to the statutory planning procedures stipulated under the Urban Renewal Authority Ordinance and the Town Planning Ordinance (Cap. 131), the URA should also consider -
establishing district advisory committees to give advice and assistance to the URA with regard to its urban renewal projects;
holding public meetings to inform affected residents of its projects and to gather public views on these projects;
conducting social impact assessment studies to assess the social impact of proposed projects and the needs of the affected residents; and
setting up urban renewal social service teams to provide assistance and advice to residents affected by URA redevelopment projects.
THE WAY FORWARD
6. The consultation exercise will last until 30 September 2001. The Planning and Lands Bureau will then finalize the urban renewal strategy and issue it to the URA. Under section 21 of the Urban Renewal Authority Ordinance, the URA is required to follow any guidelines set out in the urban renewal strategy when it prepares its five-year corporate plan.
Planning and Lands Bureau