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Managing Director of URA, Ir Wai Chi-sing (centre), attends the finale event of the URA’s summer programme to understand the thoughts and aspirations of young students on urban renewal in Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok.
Managing Director of URA, Ir Wai Chi-sing (centre), attends the finale event of the URA’s summer programme to understand the thoughts and aspirations of young students on urban renewal in Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok.

URA’s summer programme takes students to Yau Mong to explore urban renewal

About 100 primary and secondary school students from various districts joined the summer programme organised by the URA this year to explore the local cultural and historical characteristics in Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok (Yau Mong), and to understand urban renewal from different perspectives through experiential learning and interaction with the local people.

A finale event was held today (Thursday) at the Urban Renewal Resource Centre for participating students to share their learning experience and utilise their creativity to depict their impression and vision for the Yau Mong district in the form of drawing.

In partnership with five community organisations, the URA organised the experiential learning programme during this summer covering interactive workshops to equip the students with knowledge about urban renewal and interview techniques.   They also joined the docent tours led by the Young Ambassadors, which is a scheme organised by the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups and Tourism Commission, to the URA's projects and several cultural spots in Yau Mong where they experience the local characteristics of the district and interviewed longtime residents and shop operators.

Speaking at the finale event, Managing Director of the URA, Ir Wai Chi-sing, said, "Yau Mong, a densely populated area with 50 percent of the building blocks over 50 years old and ageing infrastructure and facilities, is one of the many old districts in Hong Kong that requires urban regeneration.  The URA has commenced a comprehensive district study for Yau Mong in May this year with a view to identifying new solutions of urban regeneration, which could also be applicable to other old districts, to improve the living condition of the residents, and to enhance the built environment including road network, infrastructure, community facilities and public open space for the enjoyment of the community.  The aim is to regenerate 'Yau Mong' into a vibrant yet progressive community with distinctive character."

He added that it was interesting to understand the thoughts of young people on Yau Mong and their aspiration for this district which is full of local character and diversified economic activities.  

One of the participating students, Mathurs Hui, said: "I have learned more about old districts from this summer programme and experienced the fun of interviewing people.  Through talking to residents in Yau Mong, I realise that redevelopment and rehabilitation can inject vitality into old districts."

The five partnering organisations for the summer programme are: Hong Kong YWCA Western District Integrated Social Service Centre, Christian Family Service Centre, The Mongkok Kai-Fong Association Limited Chan Hing Social Service Centre, the parent association of Christian & Missionary Alliance Sun Kei Primary School and The Boys' & Girls' Clubs Association of Hong Kong (Kwun Tong district).

More information and photos of the URA's summer programme are available at the Facebook Page of the Urban Renewal Exploration (www.facebook.com/UrbanRenewalExplorationCentre).

 (ENDS)