Urban Studies and Planning

Town Planning Board to fight court ruling on building-height limits

The Town Planning Board is appealing against a court judgment that could have far-reaching implications for the city's rules to limit the height of buildings.

Wednesday, 22 August, 2012, 3:24am

Plea to revive derelict SoHo buildings

People living and working in SoHo are calling on the government to make better use of old buildings left derelict by a 14-year delay to an urban redevelopment project.

Under a 1998 proposal, Staunton Street, Wa In Fong West, Wa In Fong East, Shing Wong Street and Chung Wo Lane were to be redeveloped.

23 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

URA to recruit for new projects

The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) expects to increase its headcount over the next five years to satisfy the growing demand for skilled professionals arising from its multiple redevelopment and rehabilitation initiatives.

14 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

Judge cuts planners down to size

The Town Planning Board drew criticism from a judge yesterday for imposing an 'arbitrary' height restriction on a Kowloon Bay estate that was headed for redevelopment.

12 May 2012 - 12:00am

Sensible approach to redevelopment

In Hong Kong, urban redevelopment evokes the images of haphazard, insensitive and profit-oriented business ventures. With meagre compensation, residents in run-down buildings are often pushed out of districts they have called home for years to settle in far-flung places with which they have no connection.

24 Apr 2012 - 12:00am

URA constructing a better image

The Urban Renewal Authority has had an image problem, often being likened to a bulldozer that colludes with property developers. Under a revised strategy, it is beginning to pay attention to the needs of residents and shopkeepers of areas being revitalised and it is slowly changing perceptions.

5 Mar 2012 - 12:00am

Lease conversion leaves Tsang stuck

Plan for old factories faces hurdles.

SCMP headline, Feb. 8

Correction: That should be hurdle, not hurdles. There is really only one hurdle, the lease conversion premium. The rest of these supposed hurdles are just slight undulations in the track.

9 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

Free inquiry service available to property owners facing compulsory sale

I refer to the letter from Lam Wai-leung ('Time to revisit law and consider minority property owners' rights', September 25) and would like to clarify some of the points raised.

9 Oct 2011 - 12:00am

URA to rent space to arts groups

The Urban Renewal Authority will reserve rental space in its projects for small arts groups to stage exhibitions and performances.

The idea is among new initiatives the authority announced yesterday that are intended to inject cultural life into old urban areas.

2 Aug 2011 - 12:00am

Independent Town Planning Board is essential to ensure all parties' interests

There are growing calls for the Town Planning Board to be independent of the Planning Department. While other organisations that oversee citizens' rights - such as the Ombudsman and Consumer Council - are independent, decisions affecting the fundamental right to a well-planned and sustainable city are currently made 'in-house'.

26 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

City Digest

Tenements excised from Staunton Street project

The Town Planning Board officially announced changes to the Urban Renewal Authority's Staunton Street redevelopment under which the tenement buildings on Wing Lee Street will be excluded. However, private redevelopment of the buildings is allowed, but cannot exceed the present four storeys.

9 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

Welcome step in New Territories

So long as there is more to be gained than lost, people can be expected to exploit loopholes in the law. One of the most egregious examples has to be illegal filling of rural land and ponds in the New Territories to pave the way for development.

6 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

Owners of old flats keen on URA scheme

Owners of at least 10 clusters of old residential buildings are interested in inviting the Urban Renewal Authority to redevelop their flats under a new scheme, details of which will be announced by the authority today.

Dubbed a demand-led approach, the new mechanism allows owners to initiate and apply for redevelopment if a majority agrees to it.

31 May 2011 - 12:00am

Stopping the rot

Urban decay is among the most urgent social problems in Hong Kong today. More than 110,000 families live in these unhealthy and unsafe homes. The consequences can be fatal: four people were killed last year when an ageing block of flats collapsed in Ma Tau Wai.

24 May 2011 - 12:00am

National pilot project revives rural areas

The Chongqing Country Land Exchange is a national pilot project to revitalise rural areas in inland cities. The project allows landowners to transfer the land use in an open market and it was established in November 2008 with the approval of the State Council.

17 May 2011 - 12:00am