An Infant becomes elderly as time flies, buildings also do. According to the annual report of the Urban Renewal Authority, there’re 18,000 of buildings over more than 30 years in Hong Kong. All 3600 buildings are in poor conditions. To reverse the urban decay is race against time, redevelopment work is then necessary to carried out in Hong Kong by replacing old buildings with new. In recent years, the Urban Renewal Authority has adopted the concept of sustainable development in order to balance social, economic and environmental impacts on the redevelopment process in Hong Kong. How does it overcome the difficulties in these aspects? We’ll mainly describe them in the following paragraphs with evidences.
Environmental The Urban Renewal Authority has been implementing an environmental- friendly and sustainable development in enhancing the built ambiance in urban areas. Vision City and Mount Davis 33 are the typical examples, whose vertical greening developments have been well adopted. The two projects have rewarded the platinum standard certificates by the HK-BEAM Society in recognition of the environmental features in 2006 and 2007 respectively. After the redevelopment of the Vision City, about 8,000 square feet of such vertical greening will be formed by the 40,000 plants.
In addition, appropriate and sustainable environmental provisions are made into the construction of joint venture developments of the Urban Renewal Authority. After the application of the green features such as High Thermal Performance Structural Fabric, Renewal Energy Lighting System, and Grey Water Recycling System, Lee Tung Street’s carbon dioxide emission has reduced 23%. Mr. Cheung, the URA Chairman stated that “this reduction in the project’s carbon footprint is equivalent to about 170,000 trees. Why it can reduce such a large amount of carbon dioxide? Let’s take a look of E-glass, an example of High Thermal Performance Structural Fabric, which can reduce the overall cooling load and heat island effect by reflecting 48% of solar energy outwards indoors.
For another example which is the Renewal Energy Lighting system, it uses the mixture of street lamps and electronic sunlight collectors to let the street look shinier. Also, there will be less changing the light bulbs daily and for the lighting system; it is use of sun sensor and optical fiber to make the lighting system more environmentally friendly. For the example on Low lighting power for common areas such as the front of the house, when no one is in that particular area, the lights will be switched off automatically. On the other hand, when people entered a room, the lights will be turn on because of the light sensor. Therefore, the Urban Renewal Authority has been developing a green, modern and environmentally-friendly showcase for the renewal areas.
Conclusion In conclusion, the urban redevelopment has improving residents’ living standards, promoting a sound economy, and also creating an environmentally-sustainable urban environment in Hong Kong through the redevelopment. One-day success is not a victory. To maintain sustainable redevelopment for Hong Kong cannot only rely on the Urban Renewal Authority, but also government support and everyone’s participation.