Treating the Symptoms: A Critical Review of Urban Renewal in Hong Kong

What results have Hong Kong’s urban renewal policies produced in practice? What impact have they had on our built environment? Are they environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable? This report is a critical analysis of Hong Kong’s urban renewal policies since 2000.


The URA is the main focus, but not the only one. Part I explores the origins of the Urban Renewal Authority and the administrative and financial logic driving its operations. Part II will analyze the URA’s role within Hong Kong’s broader political economy. To understand why an Urban Renewal Authority was deemed necessary at all, we need to look beyond the organization itself to the reasons why there is market failure in urban renewal in the first place. Part III will examine the effects of urban renewal on Hong Kong’s built environment.