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URA to build Hong Kong a better home

The Board of the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) today (25 April 2002) endorsed the Vision and Mission statements of the Authority which have been put forward as the guiding principles after thorough deliberations among Board members and URA staff.

"Our Vision is to create a quality and vibrant urban living environment in Hong Kong----a better home in a world-class city. To realise our Vision, our Mission is to act on our priorities with ingenuity and sensitivity, join forces with our partners and nurture our people," a URA spokesperson said.

The priorities of the URA are:

  • To accelerate redevelopment by replacing old buildings with new to provide a better living environment; 
  • To enable and encourage the rehabilitation of dilapidated buildings to prevent urban decay;
  • To preserve by maintaining and restoring buildings of historical and architectural value, and to sustain local characteristics;
  • To revitalise through enhancing and strengthening the socio-economic and environmental fabric for the benefit of our urban communities.

The Board also discussed ways to optimize utilization of the Western Market. The Western Market, one of the rare examples of Edwardian architecture still in existence in Hong Kong, is a preservation project undertaken by the former Land Development Corporation in 1991. To achieve optimal use of this 100-year-old building, the Board agreed that a detailed study should be carried out for that purpose. This will also fit in with the plan to revitalise the area. Interested parties will be invited to submit proposals.

At today's meeting, the Board noted progress of the three early launch projects in Wan Chai, Tai Kok Tsui and Sham Shui Po. It also approved the Memorandum of Understanding to be signed with the Housing Authority (HA) on the provision of rental units for the affected residents of these three projects. 

Under the memorandum, the HA will act as a rehousing agent of the URA and provide up to 1,000 flats each year for residents affected by URA's projects.

"The URA will ensure that comprehensive rehousing arrangements are in place for people affected by its projects," the spokesperson said.

Members today also endorsed the criteria for compassionate rehousing and the setting up of a panel to consider such applications from the affected residents of the project areas.