There is no doubting the strength of conviction shown by lone hunger striker May Yip Mee-yung in her bid to halt the demolition of tenements in Wan Chai's Wedding Card Street. Her actions have attracted attention to the issue and drawn sympathy. But however strongly she feels, no one wants to see someone endangering their health and ending up in hospital over the dispute. It is hoped that Ms Yip has not done herself any lasting damage and will now feel she has made her point. If she has achieved nothing else, she has reminded us of the difficult balance to be struck between development and preservation. There is a need for a better process, one which ensures that urban renewal can proceed in a timely manner, while giving all stakeholders a fair opportunity to make their views known. Opponents of the redevelopment plan are entitled to put up their alternative that would save 30 tenement buildings. It is understandable they want to stall demolition until they get a hearing by the Town Planning Board. And they will not be the only people in Hong Kong to regret the loss of Wedding Card Street, with its vibrant street life. But the consequence is deadlock, confrontation and delay. Officials have a point when they say that numerous fresh proposals and constant changes of direction make urban renewal difficult. No group, no matter how strongly they feel, should be able to use the system to continually block development. At the same time every effort must be made to genuinely consult those affected and take their views into account before development plans are put in place. It comes down to finding the right balance. Good sense must prevail. Redevelopment is going to happen and the Urban Renewal Authority must be able to get on with its job. A few months ago, the authority revealed that with the launching of redevelopment projects it inherited from its predecessor, the Land Development Corporation, it was looking at changing the way it operated. This would include letting residents have a real say in deciding the fate of areas in which they live. Other big cities have succeeded in putting such a mechanism in place. It could help pave the way for a more effective policy on redevelopment and heritage.