daily menu » rate the banner | guess the city | one on oneforums map | privacy policy | DMCA | news magazine

Go Back   SkyscraperCity > World Development News Forums > General Urban Developments

General Urban Developments Discussions of projects shorter than 100m/300ft. Also, please post all other threads not specified in other Development News subforums here.



Reply

 
Thread Tools
Old May 11th, 2007, 09:33 AM   #1
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 74,927
Likes (Received): 6202

HONG KONG | Historic Preservation Development News

Hong Kong's heritage preservation movement is gaining strength in recent years as major redevelopments take place and the debate over what to do with historic buildings arises. Recently, the movement culminated with protests over how sites of historic value in the central business district can be integrated with the new harbourfront park and highway plan.

Queen's Pier was designated as a historic building this week, but its fate is yet unclear as the government wants to demolish it while land reclamation continues offshore. Previous colonial governors used this pier as their landing point and for ceremonial purposes. Protesters continue to camp at the site urging the government to preserve the structure in the new harbourfront plans.





















































































The 'Red Brick Building' in Yau Ma Tei is over 100 years old and was the first water-pumping station in Kowloon. Today it is preserved and sits next to a huge residential redevelopment project.





Murray House was the colonial army quarters when it was built in 1846. Formerly located where today's Bank of China Tower now stands, it was dismantled in 1982 and re-assembled in Stanley. Today, it houses a museum and restaurants.











This thread will showcase how historic buildings have been given new functions and what urban design and preservation plans are there for existing historic sites that are being redeveloped.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg | Moscow | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Sydney | Hanoi | Bangkok | Prague

New York, London, Seoul, Taipei, Mumbai, Tokyo, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links
 
Old May 11th, 2007, 05:55 PM   #2
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 74,927
Likes (Received): 6202

Historic Buildings in Hong Kong Park





__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg | Moscow | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Sydney | Hanoi | Bangkok | Prague

New York, London, Seoul, Taipei, Mumbai, Tokyo, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old May 12th, 2007, 07:22 PM   #3
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 74,927
Likes (Received): 6202

Dedicated Legco panel set on heritage
Hong Kong Standard
Saturday, May 12, 2007

Legislators have agreed to set up a separate subcommittee to review redevelopment projects to ensure buildings with unique heritage values are preserved.

The decision was arrived at Friday in a meeting of the Legislative Council home affairs panel, which was discussing the government's heritage conservation policy.

Civic Party lawmaker Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung said there were too many issues to be discussed by the home affairs panel alone.

"The preservation of buildings or sites is a very technical topic," he said.

"It would be more appropriate to have a separate subcommittee to discuss such issues."

However, Emily Lau Wai-hing of The Frontier expressed fears some sites of historic value might be bulldozed as part of redevelopment projects by the time a subcommittee was formed.

Liberal Party chairman James Tien Pei-chun said he supported the idea of a subcommittee as there were already too many items on the home affairs panel's agenda.

The panel decided to propose to the House Committee that a subcommittee be set up.

The subcommittee would monitor the government on projects involving potential heritage sites and make sure buildings or sites with unique heritage values are preserved.

It will also discuss with the government feasible alternatives so that certain buildings can be preserved.

The panel also decided to visit Macau and Europe to better understand how other places dealt with such issues.

The discussion came after some legislators expressed dissatisfaction with the passive performance shown by the government on issues involving heritage conservation.

They were particularly concerned that some historical sites, which had been included in redevelopment projects by the Urban Renewal Authority, would be damaged or even destroyed in the redevelopment race.

One of the first tasks for the new subcommittee would be to look at preserving the last remaining traditional Chinese fortified village in Kowloon's urban districts at Nga Tsin Wai and Dragon Garden in the New Territories.

The government's heritage policies first came under harsh scrutiny in January when the Star Ferry pier was dismantled despite a public uproar.

More recently, attention has focused on the Queen's Pier, where colonial governors first set foot on the territory.

The Antiquities Advisory Board last week voted to designate the pier as a Grade I historical building.

But government officials said they had no intention of making the pier a declared monument and the grading would not necessarily grant it a reprieve.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg | Moscow | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Sydney | Hanoi | Bangkok | Prague

New York, London, Seoul, Taipei, Mumbai, Tokyo, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old May 13th, 2007, 07:56 AM   #4
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 74,927
Likes (Received): 6202

The Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market is a Grade III historic building. It operates mainly the early morning just after midnight. The government intends to move the wholesale market to another location but there is debate over how to preserve the buildings in a redevelopment scheme.





__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg | Moscow | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Sydney | Hanoi | Bangkok | Prague

New York, London, Seoul, Taipei, Mumbai, Tokyo, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old May 13th, 2007, 09:12 AM   #5
giovani kun
====(^.^)====
 
giovani kun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: 世界 に
Posts: 2,832
Likes (Received): 322

I mayself too agree that we need to preserve the Historic background of our citys we should find a good location for the skyscrapers and leave the old structure intact and of course we also need parks a green lands what are we gonna do not bread any more???
giovani kun no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old May 13th, 2007, 09:55 AM   #6
Alle
Registered User
 
Alle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Göteborg
Posts: 2,336
Likes (Received): 3

I, not being in any way deeply familiar with HK, by the photos can say that i believe these buildings add variation and should be preserved if possible.
__________________
Stop the censorship in the BiH forums

Castles And Fortresses [Alpe Adria] [Bosnia]
Alle no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old May 20th, 2007, 09:07 AM   #7
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 74,927
Likes (Received): 6202

The Hong Kong Observatory in Tsim Sha Tsui retains its function despite being located in the heart of congested Kowloon. Perched on top of a hill, it is surrounded by one of the last remaining natural woodlands in the peninsula.





__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg | Moscow | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Sydney | Hanoi | Bangkok | Prague

New York, London, Seoul, Taipei, Mumbai, Tokyo, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old May 21st, 2007, 05:03 PM   #8
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 74,927
Likes (Received): 6202

A recent edition of a local travel magazine published an article on historic architecture in Hong Kong :













__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg | Moscow | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Sydney | Hanoi | Bangkok | Prague

New York, London, Seoul, Taipei, Mumbai, Tokyo, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old May 22nd, 2007, 05:31 PM   #9
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 74,927
Likes (Received): 6202

Study hall wins monument status and will be restored
5 May 2007
South China Morning Post

The government will fully restore a more than century-old traditional Chinese study hall in Yuen Long after it declared the historic building a monument yesterday.

Chik Kwai Study Hall at Sheung Tsuen, Pat Heung, was built before 1899 by Lai Kam-tai of the indigenous Lai clan.

A government spokesman said it was a typical example of a traditional two-hall, one-courtyard building of the Qing dynasty, and the quality was exceptional due to the well-preserved architectural components of the building.

An English-style mansion in Pok Fu Lam was declared a temporary monument last week, stopping the owner from demolishing it for a year.

Clan member Lai Wai-hung, a Yuen Long district councillor whose family has lived in Pat Heung for hundreds of years, welcomed the decision on the study hall but hoped the area would be improved.

"The environment is pretty bad," he said. "A public toilet without a flushing facility is only a dozen feet away. It is totally unacceptable."

The study hall was built to educate young clansmen in the classics and it was also used for ancestor worship from the 1930s.

School operations ceased during the second world war but it reopened afterwards as the Wing Hing School, providing modern education. It was later used as a kindergarten but closed decades ago.

The study hall served as a venue for clan meetings and traditional rituals, such as wedding ceremonies and ancestor worship at the spring and autumn equinoxes.

Its green-brick facade is distinguished by a solemn granite-block wall base and the overhanging roof supported by ornamental brackets, camel humps and granite columns.

The roof ridge of the entrance hall is decorated with polychrome moulding depicting the theme "carp jumping over the dragon gate". Inside, the exquisitely carved camel humps and eave boards are devoted to themes of traditional Chinese folk stories and auspicious motifs.

A beautifully crafted wooden altar sits in the main hall to accommodate the soul tablets of the Lai ancestors.

Its architectural components include ornate woodcarvings, lively decorative plaster moulding on the roof ridges and gable walls and vivid traditional Chinese murals, which apparently have not been repainted or refurbished since the study hall was built.

The Antiquities and Monuments Office will carry out the restoration after a comprehensive conservation study and cartographic survey. It will be opened to the public.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg | Moscow | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Sydney | Hanoi | Bangkok | Prague

New York, London, Seoul, Taipei, Mumbai, Tokyo, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old May 22nd, 2007, 05:44 PM   #10
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 74,927
Likes (Received): 6202

Heritage at centre of Hong Kong's search for post-colonial identity

HONG KONG, May 14, 2007 (AFP) - Long celebrated for its picturesque harbour and dazzling skyscrapers, as well as low taxes and a business-friendly government that has made it rich terrain for property developers, Hong Kong is in the grip of a debate on its post-colonial identity.

A decade after its former British rulers handed the territory back to China, Hong Kong's rapidly changing face is drawing growing public opposition to rampant development that some say is destroying a traditional way of life.

The issue of heritage preservation came to a head last year when the government decided, with what many say was woefully inadequate public consultation, to destroy the iconic Star Ferry pier and its clock tower to make way for a new shopping centre and highway.

Thousands of people turned out to protest, sparking huge public debate and turning the protection of Hong Kong's heritage into a major issue ahead of the limited election to reinstate Chief Executive Donald Tsang in March.

"Traditionally, Hong Kong society has been very economy-driven. But since 1997, people have become more concerned with our identity and core values," Bernard Lim, an architecture professor and member of both the Town Planning Board and the Antiquities Advisory Board, told AFP.

"People are now more willing to voice their opinions, and the Star Ferry and the dismantling of the clock tower was a turning point. Now, the government has to come up with ways of coping with those new demands, under the umbrella of the need for sustainable development."

Ho Loy is facing charges over her participation in the Star Ferry Pier protests, and unsurprisingly does not agree with Lim's assessment.

"Heritage conservation is not expensive, its an investment," she said. "Hong Kong is one of the world's richest cities, but culturally it is becoming poorer than the third world."

Chief Executive Tsang responded to the mass protests by promising greater public consultation, using a pre-election address to call on Hong Kong people to express their views on what he termed "collective memory".

But he insisted this should not be at the expense of infrastructure development, a sign that maintaining the city's appeal to investors remains the government's priority.

Katty Law, who has set up a group to lobby for the preservation of the rapidly changing SoHo district, believes the government's "general mindset is driven by sales revenue," and worries that promises of more public involvement in decisions will fall victim to the financial pressure to push through deals.

"They (the authorities) talk about more public consultation, but it is an incredibly slow process," she said.

"Heritage conservation is a hugely controversial issue in Hong Kong, especially when the building you are trying to protect is on land worth billions of dollars."

Two years ago residents of Soho -- once home to traditional artisans, craftsmen and printers and now filled with trendy bars, art galleries and boutiques -- lost their battle to block the construction of two upmarket residential tower blocks on the hitherto mainly low-rise Hollywood Road.

Now, a disused colonial-era police barracks on the same street is open to bids from developers, although Law and fellow campaigners are trying to have the site reclassified for community use.

Nearby, a 140-year-old street market popular with locals and tourists alike is threatened by a major development of two high-rise residential blocks and an office tower.

The government has said it will preserve the market stalls, but has not said how. And a plan to replace the historic shop houses with replicas has been widely criticised as an attempt to "Disneyfy" Hong Kong's heritage.

"It's just a package to make the development more attractive," said Law. "A market is like the soul of the city and it cannot survive if the street becomes part of a big residential complex. It will die slowly and in the end there will be nothing left."

It is this destruction of a traditional way of life that most concerns many Hong Kong residents, and there are many other stories like it.

In Wanchai, where old-style markets and shops stand alongside shiny new office blocks, a $3.6 billion-US-dollar plan to redevelop an entire street has forced the closure of wedding invitation printing businesses that had survived for more than a generation.

There is no doubt that money talks in Hong Kong. When the Bank of China decided it wanted to buy the prime city-centre site occupied by Hong Kong's oldest colonial building, Murray House, for its new offices, the authorities obligingly took the historic structure apart and rebuilt it, brick by brick, on the other side of the island.

But some believe there may also be a political motive for the government's willingness to see Hong Kong's old buildings fall victim to the wrecking ball.

Among them is Hung Wing-Tat, director of the Conservancy Association, who has campaigned for years to secure more stringent planning regulations that would restrict developers and give local residents more say.

He believes the government has failed to understand people's emotional attachment to colonial relics such as the old-style postboxes that are gradually disappearing, and suspects tacit pressure from Beijing.

He says the government underestimated the public reaction to the closure of the Star Ferry pier, and more recently Queen's Pier, where Hong Kong's British governors and visiting dignitaries traditionally stepped onto the island.

For campaigner Ho, "Hong Kong people have a 150-year history of European influence and colonial rule. China is in our blood, but we need time to combine that with the present and define what our future should be."

For Lim, the government advisor, the question of Hong Kong's identity has already been answered.

"Perhaps Hong Kong hasn't got the right culture to preserve its heritage sites properly," he was recently quoted as saying.

"We focus so much energy on making money and we have to pay a price for that. There's nothing to regret. It's a money-driven city, and that's our identity."
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg | Moscow | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Sydney | Hanoi | Bangkok | Prague

New York, London, Seoul, Taipei, Mumbai, Tokyo, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old May 26th, 2007, 06:04 AM   #11
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 74,927
Likes (Received): 6202

Nobody wants the Haw Par Mansion Government groups reject Aw family home
2 May 2007
South China Morning Post


Photo by Car L

The historic Haw Par Mansion remains vacant despite escaping Cheung Kong's bulldozers in 2002 because no government department wants to take over the former residence of the late flamboyant billionaire Aw Boon Haw.

Secretary for Home Affairs Patrick Ho Chi-ping said the government was still considering what to do with the 72-year-old Tai Hang mansion, which needs extensive work before it can be opened to the public.

"We have asked all departments but none of them wanted it," he said.

The mansion is vacant as residents prepare to move into the adjacent luxury development built on the site of the Tiger Balm Gardens that once surrounded the residence with world-famous plaster images of hell.

Mr Ho said this paradox - that the gardens, once one of the city's most popular parks, were bulldozed while the mansion, which few members of the public had ever visited, was kept - illustrated the need for a new heritage conservation policy.

The Antiquities Advisory Board recommended the mansion's preservation because of its historical and architectural merit, rarity and integrity and the government struck a deal with Cheung Kong to keep it in return for greater density in the property development.

"Is the mansion a part our of collective memories? Have you entered it? How many people actually went into the building to see it?" Mr Ho asked.

"The 18 stories of hell outside, where you, me and everybody has visited, are collective memories but have been torn down because they have no artistic, historic and architectural value. They are just plaster and can be reconstructed any moment," Mr Ho said, reiterating an argument he used in 2004.

But conservationists said it was up to the government whether new uses could be found for historic places.

"I'm not sure whether Mr Ho knows what he is talking about," journalist-turned-conservationist Patsy Cheng Man-wah said.

"The ultimate goal of heritage conservation is to preserve the cultural significance of a place," she said. "Collective memory is a reference point to interpret why a place is important and to remind the people that they do not have to submit to authorities when considering whether a place has preservation value. Collective memory is not an ultimate goal.

"By reviewing a place's cultural significance, we give ourselves a chance to look into our cultural identity, social value and history. It is why we need to protect our heritage.

"Whatever is preserved must be useful. If the government can't figure out how to deal with heritage, it shows they lack understanding of the issue."

Tiger Balm Garden was designed by the late Mr Aw in 1935 to advertise Tiger Balm products, provide public open space and educate Hong Kong Chinese about their cultural identity through depicting characters from traditional folklore and religious moral lessons.

His heir, Sally Aw Sian, sold the entire complex to Cheung Kong in 1998.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg | Moscow | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Sydney | Hanoi | Bangkok | Prague

New York, London, Seoul, Taipei, Mumbai, Tokyo, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old May 26th, 2007, 03:34 PM   #12
AM Putra
Registered User
 
AM Putra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Surabaya
Posts: 294
Likes (Received): 4

Let's just hope the best for those 'treasure'.
__________________
Architecture that I really love, Architectook
AM Putra no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old May 26th, 2007, 11:28 PM   #13
giovani kun
====(^.^)====
 
giovani kun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: 世界 に
Posts: 2,832
Likes (Received): 322

Haw Par Mansion looks fantastic very beautiful out from a dream
giovani kun no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old May 27th, 2007, 01:12 AM   #14
österbottning
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Jakobstad, Finland
Posts: 11
Likes (Received): 0

The mansion truly looks beautiful. Hope she will survive! Hong Kong needs that kind of architecture too..
österbottning no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old May 28th, 2007, 03:45 AM   #15
Northern Lotus
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Toronto
Posts: 390
Likes (Received): 12

I agree those mansions look great and worth preserving; but Queen's pier? Sorry, don't see it as grade 1 historic structure.
Northern Lotus no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old May 31st, 2007, 03:27 AM   #16
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 74,927
Likes (Received): 6202

The pier has historic value, but not much architectural value. It was the landing point for a few British governors but other than that it's just a public pier.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg | Moscow | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Sydney | Hanoi | Bangkok | Prague

New York, London, Seoul, Taipei, Mumbai, Tokyo, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old June 27th, 2007, 07:03 PM   #17
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 74,927
Likes (Received): 6202

Wanchai Johnston Road Project
A commercial/residential redevelopment in the heart of Wanchai. Four historical shop-houses (60 - 66, Johnston Road & 18, Ship Street) will be preserved as part of the project.











__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg | Moscow | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Sydney | Hanoi | Bangkok | Prague

New York, London, Seoul, Taipei, Mumbai, Tokyo, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old June 27th, 2007, 07:16 PM   #18
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 74,927
Likes (Received): 6202

Heritage at centre of Hong Kong's search for post-colonial identity

HONG KONG, June 26, 2007 (AFP) - Long celebrated for its picturesque harbour and dazzling skyscrapers, as well as low taxes and a business-friendly government that has made it rich terrain for property developers, Hong Kong is in the grip of a debate on its post-colonial identity.

A decade after its former British rulers handed the territory back to China, Hong Kong's rapidly changing face is drawing growing public opposition to rampant development that some say is destroying a traditional way of life.

The issue of heritage preservation came to a head last year when the government decided, with what many say was woefully inadequate public consultation, to destroy the iconic Star Ferry pier and its clock tower to make way for a new shopping centre and highway.

Thousands of people turned out to protest, sparking huge public debate and turning the protection of Hong Kong's heritage into a major issue ahead of the limited election to reinstate Chief Executive Donald Tsang in March.

"Traditionally, Hong Kong society has been very economy-driven. But since 1997, people have become more concerned with our identity and core values," Bernard Lim, an architecture professor and member of both the Town Planning Board and the Antiquities Advisory Board, told AFP.

"People are now more willing to voice their opinions, and the Star Ferry and the dismantling of the clock tower was a turning point. Now, the government has to come up with ways of coping with those new demands, under the umbrella of the need for sustainable development."

Ho Loy is facing charges over her participation in the Star Ferry Pier protests, and unsurprisingly does not agree with Lim's assessment.

"Heritage conservation is not expensive, its an investment," she said. "Hong Kong is one of the world's richest cities, but culturally it is becoming poorer than the third world."

Chief Executive Tsang responded to the mass protests by promising greater public consultation, using a pre-election address to call on Hong Kong people to express their views on what he termed "collective memory".

But he insisted this should not be at the expense of infrastructure development, a sign that maintaining the city's appeal to investors remains the government's priority.

Katty Law, who has set up a group to lobby for the preservation of the rapidly changing SoHo district, believes the government's "general mindset is driven by sales revenue," and worries that promises of more public involvement in decisions will fall victim to the financial pressure to push through deals.

"They (the authorities) talk about more public consultation, but it is an incredibly slow process," she said.

"Heritage conservation is a hugely controversial issue in Hong Kong, especially when the building you are trying to protect is on land worth billions of dollars."

Two years ago residents of Soho -- once home to traditional artisans, craftsmen and printers and now filled with trendy bars, art galleries and boutiques -- lost their battle to block the construction of two upmarket residential tower blocks on the hitherto mainly low-rise Hollywood Road.

Now, a disused colonial-era police barracks on the same street is open to bids from developers, although Law and fellow campaigners are trying to have the site reclassified for community use.

Nearby, a 140-year-old street market popular with locals and tourists alike is threatened by a major development of two high-rise residential blocks and an office tower.

The government has said it will preserve the market stalls, but has not said how. And a plan to replace the historic shop houses with replicas has been widely criticised as an attempt to "Disneyfy" Hong Kong's heritage.

"It's just a package to make the development more attractive," said Law. "A market is like the soul of the city and it cannot survive if the street becomes part of a big residential complex. It will die slowly and in the end there will be nothing left."

It is this destruction of a traditional way of life that most concerns many Hong Kong residents, and there are many other stories like it.

In Wanchai, where old-style markets and shops stand alongside shiny new office blocks, a $3.6 billion-US-dollar plan to redevelop an entire street has forced the closure of wedding invitation printing businesses that had survived for more than a generation.

There is no doubt that money talks in Hong Kong. When the Bank of China decided it wanted to buy the prime city-centre site occupied by Hong Kong's oldest colonial building, Murray House, for its new offices, the authorities obligingly took the historic structure apart and rebuilt it, brick by brick, on the other side of the island.

But some believe there may also be a political motive for the government's willingness to see Hong Kong's old buildings fall victim to the wrecking ball.

Among them is Hung Wing-Tat, director of the Conservancy Association, who has campaigned for years to secure more stringent planning regulations that would restrict developers and give local residents more say.

He believes the government has failed to understand people's emotional attachment to colonial relics such as the old-style postboxes that are gradually disappearing, and suspects tacit pressure from Beijing.

He says the government underestimated the public reaction to the closure of the Star Ferry pier, and more recently Queen's Pier, where Hong Kong's British governors and visiting dignitaries traditionally stepped onto the island.

For campaigner Ho, "Hong Kong people have a 150-year history of European influence and colonial rule. China is in our blood, but we need time to combine that with the present and define what our future should be."

For Lim, the government advisor, the question of Hong Kong's identity has already been answered.

"Perhaps Hong Kong hasn't got the right culture to preserve its heritage sites properly," he was recently quoted as saying.

"We focus so much energy on making money and we have to pay a price for that. There's nothing to regret. It's a money-driven city, and that's our identity."
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg | Moscow | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Sydney | Hanoi | Bangkok | Prague

New York, London, Seoul, Taipei, Mumbai, Tokyo, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old June 28th, 2007, 06:09 PM   #19
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 74,927
Likes (Received): 6202

Heritage protection to be split in revamp
Two offices to share conservation role

25 June 2007
South China Morning Post

The government's heritage protection work will be split in the next administration, with the Antiquities and Monuments Office remaining under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department while development-related issues go to the new Development Bureau.

The arrangement has upset conservationists, who say it shows a lack of commitment to heritage conservation despite changing public sentiment after the demolition of the old Star Ferry pier.

Conservationists also warned of confusion on heritage projects put on hold, such as the Central Police Station compound, the former Hollywood Road married-police quarters, Haw Par Mansion in Tai Hang and Lui Seng Chun in Sham Shui Po - as well as the public consultation over heritage conservation.

Official sources said the new bureau would seek the antiquities office's professional opinion when the government's development projects affect heritage.

"Issues such as museums and intangible heritage are unrelated to development. It is more appropriate to make the office's works under the [cultural services department]," a source said.

The Star Ferry pier demolition in December forced the government to reopen the shelved public consultation on heritage conservation, and prompted Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen to combine development and conservation under one bureau.

"Splitting heritage conservation between two bureaus will give rise to many co-ordination problems," Lee Ho-yin, director of the University of Hong Kong's architectural conservation programme, said.

"The most effective way to protect heritage is to put the antiquities office under the Planning Department. Protecting heritage is not only about saving a building from demolition," he said, adding that it was meaningless to give a building a heritage grading without putting it in the context of the present and the future environment. "This is why it is important to put the antiquities office under the Planning Department."

Betty Ho Siu-fong, chairwoman of the Conservancy Association, asked if the government would have a process to decide which heritage conservation project was related to development. "How and who is going to decide which project is development related?" she asked.

But not everyone was sure of the results of the new arrangement.

Institute of Architects president Ronald Lu Yuen-cheung expected the development bureau would have a role on heritage conservation on projects such as harbour reclamation, building bridges and roads.

He said: "This arrangement will allow development to override heritage conservation. It may not be good for heritage, but it is certainly good for development.

"As an architect, I'm not sure whether it is good news or bad news. I think it is a matter of give and take."
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg | Moscow | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Sydney | Hanoi | Bangkok | Prague

New York, London, Seoul, Taipei, Mumbai, Tokyo, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 2nd, 2007, 05:51 PM   #20
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 74,927
Likes (Received): 6202

Town planning climbs agenda
29 June 2007
Financial Times

Shortly after midnight on July 1, 1997, Prince Charles and Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong, marked the end of 156 years of British rule when they boarded the royal yacht Britannia and sailed out of the Victoria harbour.

They embarked at Tamar, a short distance from the historic Queen's Pier where Mr Patten landed upon taking up his post in 1992. It was a long-held tradition for British governors, and visiting royalty including Queen Elizabeth, to land formally at the pier upon arrival.

Now, 10 years after the Britannia's departure, Tamar is barren pending the construction of a new, HKDollars 5.2bn (Dollars 667m) government headquarters. Critics question whether an administrative palace is the best use for one of the territory's best remaining pieces of undeveloped harbour-front and say the decision-making process has been opaque. Queen's Pier, meanwhile, was closed this April despite strong opposition and will be removed to make way for a four-lane highway built on reclaimed land.

Public outrage over urban redevelopment used to be rare in a city that viewed rapid transformation as a necessary part of economic development, and where previous approaches to heritage preservation yielded curious results.

The distinctive brick-and-granite Tsim Sha Tsui clock tower stands isolated at the tip of the Kowloon peninsula, the only remnant of the Kowloon railway station that was demolished in 1977 despite protests and petitioning from pressure groups. When Murray House, the Victorian-era barracks in Central, needed to give way to build the 70-storey tall Bank of China building in 1982, the government decided to dismantle it brick by brick. Murray House was rebuilt on the south side of Hong Kong island in 1999 and is today home to restaurants, souvenir shops and a maritime museum.

"As an architect in the 1970s I must have destroyed some of the best buildings in Hong Kong," says Patrick Lau, a lawmaker representing the architecture, surveying and planning sectors. "People just didn't care."

Recalling how he helped the government compile records of old buildings 30 years ago, Mr Lau said: "We would take measurements of buildings for the official records, and then the government would come and tear them down. No one wanted to stop development at that time. People have to care about their city in order to preserve its heritage."

A city-wide debate over urban planning and heritage preservation was finally sparked late last year when the famed Star Ferry Pier, with its distinctive clock tower, was demolished as part of the same reclamation and highways project that doomed neighbouring Queen's Pier.

As the bulldozers moved in on Star Ferry Pier, students, activists, and politicians staged multiple protests to preserve a historically and culturally significant structure. The pier, they argued, represented an important part of Hong Kong's collective memory, pointing not only to the pier's many years of service but also to a 1966 hunger strike and riots over a proposed fare hike.

"We felt that development shouldn't just be about the economy but there should also be respect for culture and history," says Bobo Yip, one of the activists who tried to save the pier. "A lot of social movements were centred around the Star Ferry Pier. It's a Hong Kong landmark."

"There is now a much greater degree of local awareness among Hong Kong citizens," adds Albert Lai, chairman of the non-government Hong Kong People's Council for Sustainable Development and a vocal opponent of the pier's destruction. "The transition in 1997 made people identify with Hong Kong as their own place. As a reaction to globalisation, too, people feel a greater need to have a local identity and to find local culture and heritage."

But the government, which had unveiled the project in 2004, said any last-minute changes would be unfeasible, and all proper consultation procedures had already been observed. The pier was demolished on December 11 despite violent protests, although the government promised to incorporate elements of the clocktower into a new promenade that will be built after the reclamations.

"To me it is no answer to say 'we followed the law' if the law is deficient," says Gladys Li, a barrister and senior member of the fledgling Civic Party, which opposed the pier's destruction. "Real public engagement is missing."

The protests, which occurred just months before Donald Tsang secured a second term as chief executive, became a political issue. "The first thing we need to do is find the reasonable level of physical development by balancing it with environmental protection and heritage preservation," Mr Tsang said in an interview with the FT. In the months following the destruction of the pier, Mr Tsang launched a public consultation on how Hong Kong should preserve its cultural heritage, and pledged a new style of governance.

However, Mr Tsang has also re-affirmed his decision to proceed with the dismantling of Queen's Pier, despite a government advisory body's recommendation that it be considered a historical monument. Like Murray House, the pier would be stored and reconstructed in a new location.

"The government's problem is that they haven't changed in 10 years," says Mr Lai. "There is a growing value gap between the ruling elite and the general population. The government tends to still see development and conservation as polarised."

"We're paying a high price for the greed factor," adds Nicholas Brooke, chairman of Professional Property Services Limited, a real estate consultancy, and a former deputy chairman of the town planning board. Roughly 40 per cent of government revenue is derived from land sales, giving it strong incentives to allow property developers to build dense, commercially lucrative developments.

Mr Brooke says: "The major developers, who have to play the game and maximise shareholder value, don't see there being a great deal wrong with the system as it is. The driving force (behind the current development model) is to find the best use for the land and to maximize land revenue. This was fine while we were in growth mode. But we're seeing the impact now in terms of very dense development and inadequate quality of life."

Additional reporting by Tom Mitchell
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg | Moscow | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Sydney | Hanoi | Bangkok | Prague

New York, London, Seoul, Taipei, Mumbai, Tokyo, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote


Reply

Tags
hong kong

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT +2. The time now is 02:16 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like v3.2.5 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

SkyscraperCity ☆ In Urbanity We trust ☆ about us | privacy policy | DMCA policy

Hosted by Blacksun, dedicated to this site too!
Forum server management by DaiTengu