ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY features are an integral part of the city's redevelopment programme. Over the years, the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) has worked closely with developers to upgrade the territory's run-down districts. The authority has announced some 30 projects that will integrate green concepts. Big projects with a heavily green aspect are scheduled for Tai Kok Tsui, Wan Chai and Sham Shui Po, with about 2,580 households being affected by the renewal programme. Total compensation for families is estimated at HK$5 billion. 'Environmental protection is one of the provisions in our joint venture agreements with private developers,' said Stephen Lam Wai-nang, district development director for the URA. 'But we don't have a standard policy on how it should be done because the sizes of the projects vary. We have a whole basket of stipulations for consideration for each project. It's up to the developers to appoint landscape consultants to go into the design details, such as what types of plants best suit certain places.' In Tai Kok Tsui a 'green oasis' concept is being deployed for Fuk Tsun Street and Pine Street. Footpaths will be repaved and potted plants introduced at building sites. 'It is a small project, but it will include some of our standard design features like street furniture, a sky garden for visual impact and free air flow. Tai Kok Tsui is a very run-down district, with lots of workshops and garages. There are ample opportunities for greening,' Mr Lam said. The authority's most ambitious environmental commitment will be the Kwun Tong town centre, which will feature a high proportion of greenery and open space. The design and layout of the new buildings will allow for free air movement, which will bring in the breeze and help eliminate air pollutants. Residential buildings with podiums will be set back from main roads to reduce the impact of traffic noise and vehicle emissions. The authority believes that more open space and fewer buildings will enhance the district's air quality. All the design concepts for the new town centre factor in measures to check sound pollution. For example, hotel and office buildings between the existing Yue Man Square and Kwun Tong Road will serve as a sound barrier for the centre, checking noise from Kwun Tung Road traffic and the MTR.