by topics

Topic: Urban regeneration


Citizen participation

‘A process which provides private individuals an opportunity to influence public decisions and has long been a component of the democratic decision-making process’ (Parker, 2002).


Cultural heritage

‘Cultural heritage is the legacy of physical artefacts and intangible attributes of a group or society that are inherited from past generations, maintained in the present and bestowed for the benefit of future generations.

Tangible heritage includes buildings and historic places, monuments, artifacts, etc., which are considered worthy of preservation for the future. These include objects significant to the archaeology, architecture, science or technology of a specific culture’ (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 2017).


Declared monuments

‘Hong Kong has many monuments which need proper preservation. In accordance with the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance, the Antiquities Authority may, after consultation with the Antiquities Advisory Board and with the approval of the Chief Executive, by notice in the Gazette, declare a place, building, site or structure as a monument. The Antiquities Authority is then empowered to prevent alterations, or to impose conditions upon any proposed alterations as she/he thinks fit, in order to protect the monument’ (Antiquities and Monuments Office, 2019).



Heritage is what makes a community what it is today and essentially is one generation’s inheritance from the past and its bequest to the future – each generation should act as custodian for the next. Heritage is usually associated with the past, history and the historic built environment together with traditional cultural and social aspects (“collective memory”, way of life) of a community, district, city, region or country.  (Legislative Council: POSITION PAPER ON HERITAGE CONSERVATION IN HONG KONG 2007)


Heritage preservation

A business strategy that involves ‘protecting and conserving buildings with historical and architectural value which will be put to community, public or other suitable uses’, ‘becoming functional parts of the community or tourist attractions’ and ‘sustaining local area characteristics’ (Urban Renewal Authority, 2012, p.2).


Heritage sites

Heritage sites are the immovable physical remains that were created during the history of humankind and that have significance; they include archaeological sites and ruins, tombs, traditional architecture, cave temples, stone carvings, sculpture, inscriptions, stele, and petroglyphs, modern and contemporary sites and architecture, and historically and culturally famous cities, towns and villages together with their original components. Cultural landscapes and heritage routes and canals are also deemed to be heritage sites.  (Principles for the Conservation of Heritage Sites in China (revised 2015) page 60)


Hong Kong Planning Standard and Guidelines

‘The Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines (HKPSG) is a Government manual of criteria for determining the scale, location and site requirements of various land uses and facilities. This manual is applied in planning studies, preparation/revision of town plans and development control’ (Planning Department, 2018, p.1). For the full document, please refer to the reference (Planning Department, 2020).


Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment

Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment aims ‘to undertake detailed baseline review and impact assessment on the preferred location, identify key issues and potentially significant changes to the existing landscape and visual conditions that could result from … (buildings and facilities) construction and operation; and recommend mitigation measures in terms of reducing landscape and visual impacts’ (Environmental Protection Department, 2007).


Landscape architecture

Landscape architecture is ‘the profession that applies aesthetic and scientific principles to the design, planning, analysis and management of both natural and built environments’ (International Federation of Landscape Architects, 2012).

‘Landscape architecture is the design of outdoor areas, landmarks, and structures to achieve environmental, social-behavioural, or aesthetic outcomes.  It involves the systematic investigation of existing social, ecological, and soil conditions and processes in the landscape, and the design of interventions that will produce the desired outcome. The scope of the profession includes landscape design; site planning; stormwater management; erosion control; environmental restoration; parks and recreation planning; visual resource management; green infrastructure planning and provision; and private estate and residence landscape master planning and design; all at varying scales of design, planning and management’ (Salici, n.d., p.436).



‘Placemaking is a people-centred approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. Put simply, it involves looking at, listening to, and asking questions of the people who live, work and play in a particular space, to discover needs and aspirations. This information is then used to create a common vision for that place. The vision can evolve quickly into an implementation strategy, beginning with small-scale, do-able improvements that can immediately bring benefits to public spaces and the people who use them’ (Placemaking Chicago, 2008).



A business strategy that involves ‘replacing old dilapidated buildings with modern, quality and environmentally-friendly schemes, enhancing the quality of the living environment through restructuring and re-planning of older districts’ and ‘providing appropriate community facilities and open space’ (Urban Renewal Authority, 2012).



A business strategy that entails ‘working with owners, the Government and other partners to prevent the decay of the built environment by promoting and facilitating the proper repair and maintenance of buildings’ and ‘extending the useful life of buildings to alleviate the urgency of redevelopment’ (URA, 2012, p.2).



A business strategy that aims at ‘reviving and strengthening the socio-economic and environmental fabric of different districts through appropriate means of renewal’ and ‘adopting a ‘holistic’ coordinated approach with our partners and stakeholders to improve the quality of urban living through redevelopment, rehabilitation and preservation initiatives’ (URA, 2012, p.1).


Social Impact Assessment

‘Social impact refers to the consequences of any public or private actions that alter the ways in which people live, work, play, relate to one another, organize to meet their needs and generally cope as members of society. In some interpretation, social impact may also include the change in norms, values, and beliefs that guide interpersonal relationship and people’s relationship with the society.

In this sense, social impact assessment (SIA) would be the measurement of social impact. It is the process of analyzing, monitoring and managing the intended and unintended social consequences of any planned intervention and actions. The purpose of SIA is to bring about a more sustainable and equitable social environment. Through the process of SIA, practitioners and policymakers, and even the public, can be better informed for the planning of future social services. SIA is not only a good means to promote the effectiveness of social services and encourage public appreciation on services, its forward-looking characteristic make it beneficial for long term social service policy planning and sector development’ (The Hong Kong Council Social Services, 2013).


Urban design

‘Encompassing the practices of architecture and planning, urban design is primarily concerned with place-making which has captured geographical imaginations’ (Street, 2009, p.32). Urban design is not a technical or value neutral process, but ‘is infused by ethical and moral standpoints about what the “good city” is or ought to be. The aesthetics of a place reveal much about social and political structure and process and, in turn, social and political structure and process are revealed, in part, through the form and texture of the built environment’ (Street, 2009, p.39).


Urban planning

‘State-related policies and programs for neighborhood, local and metropolitan areas, aiming to: effect broad-scale allocation of land uses to areas; order boundaries between them; manage ongoing uses of land, the spatial aspects of economic and social activities and connections between them; and ensure the optimal functioning of urban economic processes and social interactions’ (Huxley, 2009, p.193).


Urban regeneration

‘Comprehensive and integrated vision and action which seeks to resolve urban problems and bring about a lasting improvement in the economic, physical, social and environment condition of an area that been subject to change or offers opportunities for improvement’ (Roberts, 2017, p.18).


Urban Renewal Authority

‘The URA was established in May 2001 under the Urban Renewal Authority Ordinance as the statutory body to undertake, encourage, promote and facilitate urban renewal of Hong Kong, with a view to addressing the problem of urban decay and improving the living conditions of residents in old districts. The URA follows the guidelines set out in the Government's Urban Renewal Strategy in the implementation of its urban renewal initiatives under a "people first, district-based, public participatory" approach. The URA adopts a comprehensive and holistic approach by ways of its two core businesses i.e. redevelopment and rehabilitation, as well as heritage preservation and revitalisation, for creating a sustainable and quality living for the people of Hong Kong’ (URA, 2017).


Urban Renewal Authority Ordinance

‘An Ordinance to establish the Urban Renewal Authority for the purpose of carrying out urban renewal and for connected purposes’ (Department of Justice, 2007).

Reference List

Antiquities and Monuments Office (2019). Declared Monuments in Hong Kong. Retrieved from

Department of Justice (2007). Cap.563 Urban Renewal Authority Ordinance. Retrieved from!en?INDEX_CS=N

Environmental Protection Department (2007). Environmental Assessment Services for Permanent Aviation Fuel Facility. Retrieved from

Huxley, M. (2009). Planning, Urban. International Encyclopedia

Huxley, M. (2009). Planning, Urban. In International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, p.193-198.

International Federation of Landscape Architects (2012). IFLA/UNESCO Charter for Landscape Architectural Education. Retrieved from


Parker, B. (2002). Planning Analysis: The Theory of Citizen Participation. Retrieved from

Placemaking Chicago. (2008). What is placemaking? Retrieved from

Planning Department (2018). HKPSG Chapter 1: Introduction. Retrieved from

Planning Department (2019). HKPSG Full Document. Retrieved from

Roberts, P. (2017). The Evolution, Definition and Purpose of Urban Regeneration. In Urban Regeneration, SAGE: Los Angeles and Melbourne, pp.9-36.

Salici, A. (n.d.). The Use of Sustainability in Landscape Design. Sustainable Landscape Planning and Design, Peter Lang: Frankfurt am Main, Germany, pp.435-443.

Street, E. (2009). Urban Design. In International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Elsevier: Tokyo and Amsterdam, pp.32-39.

The Hong Kong Council of Social Service (2013). Social Impact Assessment. Retrieved from

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (2017). Tangible Cultural Heritage. Retrieved from

Urban Renewal Authority, Hong Kong Government. (2012). A Mission of 4 Rs. Retrieved from

Urban Renewal Authority (URA) (2012). A Mission with 4Rs. Retrieved from

Urban Renewal Authority (URA) (2017). About URA. Retrieved from