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Society

Educating the Community

To align with the Government’s anti-pandemic measures, the URA closed its public facilities including the Urban Renewal Exploration Centre (UREC) and the Urban Renewal Resource Centre (URRC) for more than three months respectively from March to May 2020 and December 2020 to February 2021. Despite the closures, the UREC still received 844 visitors while the URRC served around 15,745 members of the public addressing enquiries, conducting briefings, meetings and community activities on matters relating to building repair and maintenance in 2020/21. Since 2014, the URRC has also been serving as a meeting venue for mediations relating to building repair and maintenance, property valuation and construction arranged by the Joint Mediation Helpline Office. A total of 23 mediation meetings were held at the URRC during the year.

Although docent tours at the UREC were suspended, the URA produced a three-minute video to take the public on a virtual tour of the UREC to promote the work of the URA and the significance of urban renewal. The video, which was published on the URA’s Facebook page, has reached around 5,000 target audience.

 

 

Reaching Out to the Community

Our care for the people extends beyond our urban renewal works. As part of the Corporate Social Responsibility programme, the URA has partnered with local universities and NGOs in the Community Service Partnership Scheme (CSPS), in which URA colleagues and university students join hands to serve residents in old districts through various programmes. In 2020/21, our volunteers, whose number increased by over 30 to more than 160, took part in a wide range of activities including making bespoke furniture for families living in sub-divided units, producing handy study toolboxes to give children living in subdivided units a better home-learning environment, arranging online visits to elderly care centres during festive occasions and making cupcakes with the elderly. More than 120 household beneficiaries in districts covering To Kwa Wan, Kwun Tong, Central & Western District and Sham Shui Po were served. Since the launch of CSPS in 2012/13, more than 1,500 volunteers have achieved a total of 11,000 service hours, benefitting over 2,500 people.

For more details on other initiatives to engage the community across urban renewal districts for social harmony and caring, please visit youth education and volunteer services.

 

Bespoke furniture for families

Caring for the underprivileged

Besides adopting a people-oriented approach when delivering our core businesses of redevelopment and rehabilitation, the URA also seeks opportunities to engage our partners and help people in need. During 2020/21, the URA continued to offer some renovated flats in the acquired properties at Wing Lee Street and Staunton Street as well as units at our rehousing blocks to NGOs and SEs, who can in turn provide underprivileged residents with short-term tenancies below the market rent.

In 2020/21, the URA’s ‘Home Repair Services Community Programme’ has benefitted approximately 800 families with poor living conditions in aged buildings in Kowloon City, Yau Tsim Mong and Sham Shui Po. Another pilot scheme, the ‘Home Improvement Community Programme’, was launched in the year to improve the living condition of elderly tenants in URA projects through comprehensive refurbishment of the public rental housing units where they were rehoused. A total of six cases were completed in 2020/21 under this pilot scheme with customised furniture and facilities provided to cater for the elderly tenants’ current and future physical needs.

In view of the pandemic, the URA partnered with a local community organisation in Sham Shui Po to launch a new service programme to step up infectious control measure for households living in sub-divided units in Kim Shin Lane and other three-nil (no management, no owners' corporations and no maintenance) buildings in the district. The service programme provided cleaning of 20 patios of old buildings that were without Owner Corporations, serving 300 households. In partnership with another local community organisation in Sham Shui Po, the URA additionally launched a new service programme to provide inspection service and minor repair of sewage systems, as well as cleaning of patios for three-nil buildings in the Nam Cheong area, serving more than 500 households.

 

Home Improvement Community Programme

Patio Cleaning

 

Cultivating Arts and Culture in Old Districts

Neighbourhood is more than its physical environment. It is the local culture and characteristics that create its identity. An appreciation of the local arts and culture will allow a deeper understanding of the community while providing enjoyment. In 2020/21, our ‘Arts and Cultural Partnership Programme in Old Urban Districts’ supported a total of six new and ongoing programmes and reached out to about 9,600 people. These programmes included activities to enliven old urban districts by bringing enjoyment to local residents and the general public who gathered to appreciate the local characteristics. Since its inception, the URA has supported a total of 65 arts and cultural programmes, benefitting more than 680,000 people. 

For more details, please visit: community arts and culture programmes.

 

Art and cultural activities

 

Diversified Urban Space for Health and Happiness

Over the years, as far as practicable, the URA has endeavoured to include open space and community/institutional areas in our moderate to large scale projects. Our redevelopment projects in various districts have provided easily accessible community and institutional facilities, including residential care homes for the elderly, youth centres, health centres, markets, cooked food centres and an indoor stadium to meet different needs of the residents. The highlight of the year would be the provision of the city’s first-of-its-kind indoor PTI facility in the Kwun Tong Town Centre Project, where passengers can enjoy more comfortable commuting.  For better utilisation of open space for public enjoyment, the URA continued its place-making initiatives to create synergies in the open spaces of its projects.

 

 

Promoting Walkability

The URA puts much effort in creating walkable urban neighbourhood to improve the living quality of residents, and brings social benefits by easing the pressure on transport infrastructure, reducing car dependency, alleviating traffic congestion, and supporting the local economy and mixed communities. To this end, the concept of pedestrian priority must be embraced at all levels of planning and design in its projects to promote walkability. Redevelopment projects in Kowloon City and To Kwa Wan, launched under the district-based approach, envision to create a pedestrian-friendly and accessible neighbourhood through restructuring and replanning of the existing pedestrian and vehicular traffic network. The URA will continue to hasten efforts to cultivate a healthy and low-carbon neighbourhood and elevate the quality of life for the local community.

 

Enhanced walkability