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postgraduate thesis: Urban renewal and the impasse of public engagement in Hong Kong : a case study in Kowloon City

TitleUrban renewal and the impasse of public engagement in Hong Kong : a case study in Kowloon City
Authors
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Kau, T. [裘天澤]. (2014). Urban renewal and the impasse of public engagement in Hong Kong : a case study in Kowloon City. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5319377
AbstractThe urban renewal outcomes have long been criticized as undesirable. Issues like involuntary displacement, uprooting communities and violating local citizens’ views remain unsolved after series of institutional reforms in the late 1990s. The academia thus turned to seek for more public engagement channels and considered engagement as the key to achieve desirable urban renewal outcomes. But repeated failures of new public engagement platforms seem to be inconsistent with the theoretical predictions, creating an impasse in local discussion. The study tries to explain the impasse with Lacanian subjectivity of lack and desire. To fill the existential lack, as metonymical displacement, subjects continuously desire for a complete symbolic explanation. But with the existence of Real, the lacking subjects fail to capture everything under the symbolic, leading to incompleteness and anxiety. To paper over such anxiety, the fantasy of spatial planning delivers a triumphalist imagination that future time and space can be fully manipulated by omnipotent subjects of planning practitioners and conquered by the symbolic (the plan). Thus, the subject behaviors and identifications of planning practitioners and community members are shaped by the Other to sustain such fantasy. Through case study of Ma Tau Kok 13 Streets, the study argues that the main concerns of DURF is not the fulfillment of public aspirations, rather, the recommendations by DURF are solely designed for sustaining the spatial planning fantasy. The issues on urban renewal in 13 Streets are highly complicated and unpredictable, involving entwining conflicting of interests and factors beyond the control of DURF. The inability to control implies incompleteness and insecurity. Therefore, in the final plan of DURF, the complexities are deliberately simplified or bypassed, so that the fantasy and identification of planning practitioners can be sustained and the command of the Other is fulfilled. However, such self-deception fails to provide meaningful recommendations towards the community aspirations from public engagement process and even acts against the interests of local citizens in 13 Streets neighborhood, despite the more balanced composition and democratic procedures of DURF. To overcome the identifications and resulting distortion in public engagement, the curse of fantasy has to be traversed. Planning practitioners has to reavow the existence of the unpredictability of the reality and admit the fundamental limitations of their symbolic. The uncontrollable factors in the reality which has been repressed should be deliberately emphasized with the support of Bottom-Up Geographic Information System (BUGIS). In moral terms, the planning practitioners should consciously bear the condemnation from the Other of not performing as ‘problem solvers’. Besides, the community members should also be educated to bear greater responsibility in forming feasible recommendations in planning process, rather than assuming themselves as idle believers. Thus, other than traditional institutional and structural reform paradigm, a new theoretical outlet derived from subjectivity is provided for the impasse of Hong Kong.
DegreeMaster of Science in Urban Planning
SubjectUrban renewal - China - Hong Kong - Citizen participation - Case Studies
Dept/ProgramUrban Planning and Design
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/206574

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorKau, Tin-chak-
dc.contributor.author裘天澤-
dc.date.accessioned2014-11-19T23:15:30Z-
dc.date.available2014-11-19T23:15:30Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationKau, T. [裘天澤]. (2014). Urban renewal and the impasse of public engagement in Hong Kong : a case study in Kowloon City. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5319377-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/206574-
dc.description.abstractThe urban renewal outcomes have long been criticized as undesirable. Issues like involuntary displacement, uprooting communities and violating local citizens’ views remain unsolved after series of institutional reforms in the late 1990s. The academia thus turned to seek for more public engagement channels and considered engagement as the key to achieve desirable urban renewal outcomes. But repeated failures of new public engagement platforms seem to be inconsistent with the theoretical predictions, creating an impasse in local discussion. The study tries to explain the impasse with Lacanian subjectivity of lack and desire. To fill the existential lack, as metonymical displacement, subjects continuously desire for a complete symbolic explanation. But with the existence of Real, the lacking subjects fail to capture everything under the symbolic, leading to incompleteness and anxiety. To paper over such anxiety, the fantasy of spatial planning delivers a triumphalist imagination that future time and space can be fully manipulated by omnipotent subjects of planning practitioners and conquered by the symbolic (the plan). Thus, the subject behaviors and identifications of planning practitioners and community members are shaped by the Other to sustain such fantasy. Through case study of Ma Tau Kok 13 Streets, the study argues that the main concerns of DURF is not the fulfillment of public aspirations, rather, the recommendations by DURF are solely designed for sustaining the spatial planning fantasy. The issues on urban renewal in 13 Streets are highly complicated and unpredictable, involving entwining conflicting of interests and factors beyond the control of DURF. The inability to control implies incompleteness and insecurity. Therefore, in the final plan of DURF, the complexities are deliberately simplified or bypassed, so that the fantasy and identification of planning practitioners can be sustained and the command of the Other is fulfilled. However, such self-deception fails to provide meaningful recommendations towards the community aspirations from public engagement process and even acts against the interests of local citizens in 13 Streets neighborhood, despite the more balanced composition and democratic procedures of DURF. To overcome the identifications and resulting distortion in public engagement, the curse of fantasy has to be traversed. Planning practitioners has to reavow the existence of the unpredictability of the reality and admit the fundamental limitations of their symbolic. The uncontrollable factors in the reality which has been repressed should be deliberately emphasized with the support of Bottom-Up Geographic Information System (BUGIS). In moral terms, the planning practitioners should consciously bear the condemnation from the Other of not performing as ‘problem solvers’. Besides, the community members should also be educated to bear greater responsibility in forming feasible recommendations in planning process, rather than assuming themselves as idle believers. Thus, other than traditional institutional and structural reform paradigm, a new theoretical outlet derived from subjectivity is provided for the impasse of Hong Kong.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshUrban renewal - China - Hong Kong - Citizen participation - Case Studies-
dc.titleUrban renewal and the impasse of public engagement in Hong Kong : a case study in Kowloon City-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5319377-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Science in Urban Planning-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineUrban Planning and Design-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5319377-

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