First Urban Renewal Resource Centre of the URA opens
The first Urban Renewal Resource Centre (URRC), set up by the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) in Tai Kok Tsui, began its one-stop-shop service with its opening by the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Mr Donald Tsang, this (Thursday) afternoon.
Also officiating at the opening were the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, and the Chairman of the URA, Mr Barry Cheung. Guests attending included District Council members, Government officials, and URA Board members and management.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Cheung thanked the Chief Executive, the administration and District Councils for the staunch support given to URA in making many major urban renewal initiatives possible, thereby improving the living environment of over 90,000 residents in old districts.
He noted that 14 redevelopment projects have been launched over the past five years, with the Kwun Tong Town Centre project being the largest one in scale and magnitude. Without the strong support of the Government and the Chief Executive in particular, the Kwun Tong Town Centre project could not have taken off so smoothly, Mr Cheung added.
Mr Cheung noted that building rehabilitation including Operation Building Bright, revitalisation of the former Central Market and the flat-for-flat arrangement are also making good progress. "All these urban renewal initiatives have not only improved the rundown areas of old districts, but also enhanced local economic activities as a result."
"The URA has already geared up for an expanded role in building rehabilitation and will invest $1.8 billion in this core business over the next five years. We will expand the boundary of building rehabilitation by phases with an aim to cover the whole of Hong Kong in 2015," said Mr Cheung.
He added: "In view of the interactions with the community arising from all these urban renewal initiatives, the setting up of a multi-purpose URRC to provide a holistic service for residents in need of any such resource is user-friendly and appropriate, truly demonstrating the 'people-first, district-based and public participatory approach' that the URA has all along adopted in urban renewal."
Located at Fuk Tsun Street in Tai Kok Tsui, the URRC is part of the URA's Larch Street/Fir Street redevelopment project which is within a stone's throw of some other URA redevelopment and rehabilitation projects in the district.
Measuring 10,000 square feet in area, the URRC is divided into three storeys. The ground floor is an exhibition area where information panels are on display to vividly depict the role of the URA as an "implementer" and "facilitator" as well as the demand-led approach it has adopted in taking forward redevelopment in Hong Kong. The flat-for-flat scheme at Kai Tak development pilot scheme is also highlighted. On building rehabilitation, a specially-designed "Interactive Building Problem Model" is set up to enhance public understanding of unauthorised building works and defective drains.
The URRC contains interactive multi-media games, e-kiosks and a mediation centre and is a venue for meeting, talk, conference for urban renewal and related community activities.
In order to support ongoing projects of the URA in the district, the Mong Kok Neighbourhood Centre is also relocated to the URRC to continue and strengthen its communication with the local community.
Property owners can easily access to technical advice and assistance in building rehabilitation as well as information on urban renewal, building management and maintenance, all under the same roof.
"The URA has planned to set up this kind of one-stop resource centre in other districts gradually as we expand our rehabilitation efforts to cover the whole of Hong Kong," said Mr Cheung.
The URRC opens from 10am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and from 10am to 6pm on Saturday (except public holidays). URA staff members are on duty to handle enquiries from members of the public. For enquiries, please call 2588 2488 for details.