Urban Renewal of Wan Chai: A Collision of People & Policy
Wan Chai, one of the oldest districts in Hong Kong, was appointed as one of the urban redevelopment areas in Hong Kong in 1998. The government had laid out various redevelopment plans in select sections within the district. Ever since the announcement, many community leaders, residents, and town planners have expressed the fear that Wan Chai would become an "air-conditioned glass box" if the historical buildings were torn down to make ways for high-rises. The government, on the other hand, made justifications to proceed with renewal and claimed that they have adopted a "people-oriented" approach to solve the social and cultural issues. Illustrates a classic case of disputes between policy and people in urban renewal projects and the dilemma of urban renewal and preservation of culture and community networks.