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Urban renewal: Roving Exhibition on Stage

The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, and the Chairman of the Urban Renewal Authority (URA), Mr Barry Cheung, today (Monday) kicked off the opening of a roving exhibition entitled "Towards Urban Renewal 3.0", which is being staged to tie in with an extensive public consultation exercise on the Urban Renewal Strategy (URS) Review to solicit views from all walks of life on the way forward for urban regeneration in Hong Kong.

On display are plans, pictures, cage home model, video shows, illustrations and 3-D computer animations giving visitors a full view of the key issues of urban regeneration, the projects undertaken by the former Land Development Corporation (LDC) and its successor the URA.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the exhibition, the Chairman of the URA, Mr Barry Cheung, said the timing of the URS Review is appropriate amid the rapidly-changing social sentiments and community expectations about urban renewal initiatives.

"Urban renewal in Hong Kong could first be dated back to some 20 years ago when the LDC was established to take up this task, subsequently replaced by the URA in 2001.    While in retrospect, we should take stock of the practical experience of the URA, in particular its 4R strategy, namely, redevelopment, rehabilitation, preservation and revitalisation in our reflection and deliberation on the way forward," said Mr Cheung.

Mr Cheung stressed that urban regeneration is a long-term social mission as some 110,000 people are still locked up in the old urban areas where the living conditions are greatly undesirable.  Noting that urban renewal is a daunting task which cannot be accomplished by URA alone, Mr Cheung appealed to all stakeholders in the community and the District Councils to join hands to make it a success.

"On this, we have worked closely with the Government and the stakeholders in the review process to look into the key issues, challenges and the possible way forward," said Mr Cheung.

In addition to the roving exhibitions, the URA will hold a seminar on urban renewal in the middle of next month when overseas and local experts and participants are invited to share their experience with a view to coming up with ideas and proposals for further contemplation.

"We sincerely hope that the public and all stakeholders will actively participate in the review process so that their voice can be heard and their views understood," he added.

Also attending today's ceremony included members of the URS Steering Committee, District Councillors, URA Board members, URA District Advisory Committee members, government officials and representatives of Sino Land Company Limited.

The first round of exhibition has been staged at Olympian City from 10 -12 November this year with encouraging response from the public.  Two more roving exhibitions will be held later this month after the current three-day show at Citywalk.

Details are as follows:

Date : 21-23 Nov 2008
Time: 10:30am - 8:30pm
Venue: Times Square, Causeway Bay

Date: 24-26 Nov 2008
Time: 10:30am - 6:30pm
Venue: Grand Millennium Plaza, Central