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postgraduate thesis: The external effects of public sector led redevelopment in Hong Kong

TitleThe external effects of public sector led redevelopment in Hong Kong
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Chau, KWLai, LWC
Issue Date2018
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Cheung, C. [張祖榮]. (2018). The external effects of public sector led redevelopment in Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
AbstractThe problem of urban decay is common amongst well-established or mature metropolises around the world. In Hong Kong, where widespread economic bloom began during the 1950s, bolstered by the global economic recovery after World War II and the influx of skilled and unskilled labour and talents from Mainland China, massive construction works took place in the territory to accommodate the growing commercial activities and demand for industries, commerce and living accommodation. Pre-war two-storey shophouses in Hong Kong’s old urban areas along both sides of Victoria Harbour were rapidly replaced by six-storey apartment blocks (now commonly and wrongfully called tong lau, 唐樓) during the 1960s. By 2020, most of these buildings, if they are still standing, would have reached their designated use lives of 50 years. Prior to the 1960s, the Government adopted a laissez-faire policy towards urban renewal. Instead of directly engaging in building construction, it offered institutional support and financial incentives to private developers to stimulate the city’s redevelopment. These included: (a) Recognition of land titles in the form of undivided shares by means of a sub-division register (SDR) system in the Land Office (now Land Registry) on 23 February 1956; (b) legal recognition of pre-sale agreements by the Land Office on 20 December 1961, which relieved the financial burden of developers during the construction stage; and (c) an amendment to the Building Ordinance in 1955 to permit high-rise developments, which exaggerated or freed up the development capacity of Hong Kong’s land. Yet, the achievements made by the private sector were considered too meagre by policymakers and incapable of coping with the rapid pace of building dilapidation. This led to the establishment of the Land Development Corporation (LDC) in 1987 and its successor, the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) in 2001. In the early days of Hong Kong, urban renewal, according to Pun (1984), meant pulling down old buildings, displacing their occupants, and replacing them with modern, highly furnished buildings. On one hand, such a ‘bulldozer approach’ to urban renewal offered a fast, efficient means to eliminate the city’s ‘eyesores’ and generate visible and immediate physical and economic enhancements within the target area. On the other hand, it led to the permanent destruction of established community networks and social neighbourhoods such as the loss of street vibrancy and characteristics during the gentrification process (Smith 1979; Huang 2015), as well as violation of private property rights (Lai 1997, 2002). Such concerns attracted wide media attention during the URA’s Lee Tung Street project in 2005 and Wing Lee Street project in 2008. Nowadays, public voices for heritage preservation amid redevelopment and protecting the precious ‘collective memories’ emerge and swipe through the populace as soon as clearance works are made known. The debate over comprehensive, public redevelopment and what, if any, social and economic benefits it brings has become an intriguing topic in urban studies. This thesis conducts an empirical study of the neighbourhood effects caused by public redevelopment. It also reasons that private redevelopment schemes are no less efficient than public schemes in how they affect the neighbourhoods concerned. The use of empirical test results involving four Hong Kong cases do not refute the hypothesis that properties suffer from negative neighbourhood effects following the implementation of public renewal programs. It also seeks to introduce a new perspective on the role of public agencies in urban renewal.
DegreeMaster of Philosophy
SubjectUrban renewal - China - Hong Kong
Dept/ProgramReal Estate and Construction
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/267788

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorChau, KW-
dc.contributor.advisorLai, LWC-
dc.contributor.authorCheung, Cho-wing-
dc.contributor.author張祖榮-
dc.date.accessioned2019-03-01T03:44:52Z-
dc.date.available2019-03-01T03:44:52Z-
dc.date.issued2018-
dc.identifier.citationCheung, C. [張祖榮]. (2018). The external effects of public sector led redevelopment in Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/267788-
dc.description.abstractThe problem of urban decay is common amongst well-established or mature metropolises around the world. In Hong Kong, where widespread economic bloom began during the 1950s, bolstered by the global economic recovery after World War II and the influx of skilled and unskilled labour and talents from Mainland China, massive construction works took place in the territory to accommodate the growing commercial activities and demand for industries, commerce and living accommodation. Pre-war two-storey shophouses in Hong Kong’s old urban areas along both sides of Victoria Harbour were rapidly replaced by six-storey apartment blocks (now commonly and wrongfully called tong lau, 唐樓) during the 1960s. By 2020, most of these buildings, if they are still standing, would have reached their designated use lives of 50 years. Prior to the 1960s, the Government adopted a laissez-faire policy towards urban renewal. Instead of directly engaging in building construction, it offered institutional support and financial incentives to private developers to stimulate the city’s redevelopment. These included: (a) Recognition of land titles in the form of undivided shares by means of a sub-division register (SDR) system in the Land Office (now Land Registry) on 23 February 1956; (b) legal recognition of pre-sale agreements by the Land Office on 20 December 1961, which relieved the financial burden of developers during the construction stage; and (c) an amendment to the Building Ordinance in 1955 to permit high-rise developments, which exaggerated or freed up the development capacity of Hong Kong’s land. Yet, the achievements made by the private sector were considered too meagre by policymakers and incapable of coping with the rapid pace of building dilapidation. This led to the establishment of the Land Development Corporation (LDC) in 1987 and its successor, the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) in 2001. In the early days of Hong Kong, urban renewal, according to Pun (1984), meant pulling down old buildings, displacing their occupants, and replacing them with modern, highly furnished buildings. On one hand, such a ‘bulldozer approach’ to urban renewal offered a fast, efficient means to eliminate the city’s ‘eyesores’ and generate visible and immediate physical and economic enhancements within the target area. On the other hand, it led to the permanent destruction of established community networks and social neighbourhoods such as the loss of street vibrancy and characteristics during the gentrification process (Smith 1979; Huang 2015), as well as violation of private property rights (Lai 1997, 2002). Such concerns attracted wide media attention during the URA’s Lee Tung Street project in 2005 and Wing Lee Street project in 2008. Nowadays, public voices for heritage preservation amid redevelopment and protecting the precious ‘collective memories’ emerge and swipe through the populace as soon as clearance works are made known. The debate over comprehensive, public redevelopment and what, if any, social and economic benefits it brings has become an intriguing topic in urban studies. This thesis conducts an empirical study of the neighbourhood effects caused by public redevelopment. It also reasons that private redevelopment schemes are no less efficient than public schemes in how they affect the neighbourhoods concerned. The use of empirical test results involving four Hong Kong cases do not refute the hypothesis that properties suffer from negative neighbourhood effects following the implementation of public renewal programs. It also seeks to introduce a new perspective on the role of public agencies in urban renewal.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.subject.lcshUrban renewal - China - Hong Kong-
dc.titleThe external effects of public sector led redevelopment in Hong Kong-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineReal Estate and Construction-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.date.hkucongregation2018-
dc.identifier.mmsid991044058180403414-

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