URA holds international conference to take forward urban regeneration
The Urban Renewal Authority today (Friday) organised an international conference entitled "Bringing Innovations to Urban Renewal" on the occasion of its 15th anniversary providing a platform for the exchange of knowledge and ideas to take urban regeneration in Hong Kong to the next level.
The one-day conference was opened by the Acting Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Honourable John Tsang, and was attended by about 200 experts, scholars and practitioners in the urban planning and building industry.
Speaking in the opening speech, the Honourable John Tsang, said: "The URA's greatest achievement must be the benefit that it brings to people and also their living conditions."
Welcoming all participants to the conference, Chairman of the URA, Mr Victor So, said the URA has come a long way in bringing forth urban regeneration to improve the living environment of older areas in Hong Kong through redevelopment, rehabilitation, revitalisation and preservation.
A total of 69 redevelopment projects have been implemented providing around 1.3 million square metres and over 650,000 square metres of residential and commercial floorspace respectively, over 3.5 hectares of public open space and some 75,000 square metres of Government, institution and community facilities. The URA's rehabilitation efforts have also helped over 2,400 old buildings to improve building condition and living environment.
"Urban decay is moving at a fast pace, much faster than our efforts to redevelop or rehabilitate our older districts. We should therefore not just 'think outside the box' but also need to secure major breakthroughs for bringing more innovations and new means to our urban renewal mission in the years to come.
"That is why we are so glad in our conference today, we shall learn from the world-renowned intellect and practitioner in city planning and regeneration, Dr. Liu Thai Ker, the first Chief Executive Officer and Chief Planner of Singapore Urban Redevelopment Authority. We also have experts on how to renew and restore our old cities from around the world, including the Mainland," said Mr So.
Dr Liu Thai Ker, as the conference keynote speaker, talked about the transformation of Singapore to a modern metropolis through a multi-pronged systematic approach. A range of topics was also discussed by other distinguished conference speakers who include:
- Mr Yang Chengzhi, Director-General of the Guangzhou Urban Renewal Bureau Municipality;
- Mr Yuzuru Teramoto, Director of the Development Coordination Division, City Planning Bureau, Osaka City Government, Japan;
- Mr Andrey Valuy, Head of Department of Urban Development and Department of Urban Planning Policy, Government of Moscow, Russia;
- Professor Pamela Jerome, President of Architectural Preservation Studio, PC, and Adjunct Associate Professor of the Historic Preservation Program at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, USA; and
- Professor Teng Jin-guang, Ko Jan Ming Professor in Sustainable Structures and Materials, Chair Professor of Structural Engineering & Director of Research Institute for Sustainable Urban Development at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
The conference is concluded with a remark by Professor David Lung Ping-yee, a registered architect and Lady Edith Kotewall Professor in the Built Environment at The University of Hong Kong.