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The URA unveils first batch of projects

The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) today announced the implementation of three redevelopment projects, the first batch of a massive programme the URA has undertaken to improve the old urban area of Hong Kong.

The three projects are Cherry Street in Tai Kok Tsui, Fuk Wing Street/Fuk Wa Street in Sham Shui Po and Johnston Road in Wan Chai. It is estimated that some 3,000 people, involving 1,100 households will be affected by these projects. 

Outlining details of the redevelopment programme at a media briefing, URA Managing Director Mr Billy Lam said the URA was established to take forward a comprehensive and holistic approach in urban renewal in Hong Kong.

"With support from Government and co-operation from business partners, stakeholders and the affected community, the URA will work hand in hand with all concerned to fulfil the new mandate of the Authority, which includes redevelopment, revitalisation/rehabilitation and preservation."

Mr Lam then explained the criteria for selecting these projects as the first batch of URA projects ahead of others included in the Draft Business and Corporate Plans. 

Apart from financial viability and adequate rehousing resources, he said the projects were selected as a first attempt by the Authority to fulfil its new mandate.

The Cherry Street project is the first project in Tai Kok Tsui. It involves the comprehensive redevelopment of a group of buildings over 40 years old and in poor structural condition. The project will incorporate a much-needed residential care home for the elderly upon completion.

The Sham Shui Po project demonstrates the determination of the URA to renew and improve conditions in this district, which will be provided with some well designed public open space.

The Johnston Road project is a major revitalisation and preservation initiative for the Wan Chai district where the essential character of the area will be retained and enhanced. A highly visible group of shophouses along Johnston Road will be preserved and adapted for modern use.

"Through a combination of redevelopment, revitalisation/ rehabilitation and preservation, the URA strives to improve the overall environment of older built-up areas, promoting business and employment opportunities, preserving heritage, boosting tourism and enhancing the quality of life for everyone in Hong Kong," said Mr Lam.

To tie in with the implementation of the projects, the URA will carry out a four-day occupancy survey to ascertain the exact number of households and people that would be affected by the projects, starting today.

To facilitate communication with the affected residents, the URA has scheduled more than 50 briefing sessions on acquisition and rehousing arrangements for the affected owners and tenants starting 15 January 2002. The URA has set up three temporary neighbourhood centres in Tai Kok Tsui, Sham Shui Po and Wan Chai. Residents are welcomed to approach its staff on duty if they have questions about the redevelopment or call the URA Hotline at 2588 2333.