URA initiates area-based revitalisation plan for Mong Kok
The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) announced today that it
proposed to implement a major revitalisation plan at a cost close
to $100 million to uphold and enhance the local characters of a
number of themed streets in Mong Kok. Input and support from
the Yau Tsim Mong District Council and the local community will be
sought to finalise the plan.
The URA has been invited by the Government to implement some improvement projects under the "Area Improvement Plan for the Shopping Areas of Mong Kok", which was studied by the Planning Department between February 2006 and May 2009. Public consultation was also conducted and the public is generally supportive of the proposal.
On the basis of the Government's area improvement plan, the URA has taken a step further and expanded the scope to an area-based revitalisation plan for Mong Kok.
Presenting the proposed plan at a media briefing this afternoon, the Chairman of the URA, Mr Barry Cheung, said it would cover five themed streets: Flower Market Road, Tung Choi Street, Sai Yee Street, Fa Yuen Street and Nelson Street in Mong Kok.
"Mong Kok is already well known for leisure, shopping, entertainment and sporting activities. After upgrading works and with appropriate branding, the revitalised area would serve to further enhance the area's appeal and vibrancy. We are excited with this proposal, and we hope the local community and the Yau Tsim Mong District Council will provide advice and be supportive as well," said Mr Cheung.
He added "The URA has to date implemented three redevelopment projects in Mong Kok, namely, the Langham Place, Sai Yee Street and Macpherson Indoor Stadium. We have also helped or are helping owners of about 100 buildings in the district to rehabilitate their homes, and we have commenced two preservation projects involving 20 shophouses at Prince Edward Road West and Shanghai Street, so we see the whole area becoming even more colourful and vibrant as a result of this initiative." The revitalisation efforts would also allow for linkages and synergies to be created among the URA's redevelopment and preservation projects.
Careful consideration would be given to the unique character of the themed streets as well as their existing conditions. Streetscape and pedestrian walkways improvement, and greening of the environment would be carried out to enhance the street ambience, to match and enhance the specialty of each of the five themed streets, and to highlight the variety and character of Mong Kok. The plan also calls for the installation of themed street furniture, special directional signage and decorative pavements.
The URA plans to adopt themed plans that feature cheerful scenes of birds and flowers, ideal fish environments, leisurely shopping and the sports world. For example, Flower Market Road is noted for its floral business while Tung Choi Street is nicknamed Goldfish Street. Sai Yee Street and Fa Yuen Street are often called Sneaker Street while Nelson Street links up Sneaker Street with Lady's Market and Electric Appliance Street.
"The URA will commission a consultancy firm to study and work out an implementable design proposal in greater detail. We will then work closely with relevant government departments on the proposal and will also consult the Yau Tsim Mong District Council and stakeholders," said Mr Cheung.
If everything proceeds smoothly, the streetscape improvement plan would commence in 2011as an initial phase.