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Japan has a comprehensive scheme for implementing this tool under its Urban Redevelopment Law. This scheme allows landowners, tenants, and developers to use the opportunity of new transit development in built-up areas to create development opportunities. The government helps with and benefits from this process by changing zoning codes from residential to mixed-use, while also allowing for up-zoning. For details of this scheme, see box below.

The URA motto is “We help owners to help themselves”. Since 2004, the URA has been providing assistance to owners so as to encourage them to undertake proper repair and maintenance of buildings, making their homes safer and better. Various schemes have assisted owners of about 145,000 units in over 2,600 buildings to start building rehabilitation work.

The URA has implemented over 60 redevelopment projects, providing about 26,000 square metres of open space, some 53,000 square metres of Government/Institution and Community facilities as well as about 18,000 new residential units and approximately 400,000 square metres of commercial areas.

While URA retains the statutory responsibilities for urban renewal under the URA Ordinance, the Housing Society will undertake the acquisition of properties required for the project, rehousing of tenants affected and the subsequent construction and the disposal of the new buildings at the site. It will also be responsible for all costs involved as well as the financial outcome of the projects.

The consultation was structured as a discussion of the evidence on environmental and health impacts of remediation, a review of European redevelopment case studies and a reflection on the applicability of impact assessment tools during remediation and redevelopment processes. Summarizing the conclusions, this report identifies good practices and important elements that should be considered for remediation and redevelopment projects.

Under the MOU, the Housing Society initially took up five projects clustered in Sham Shui Po and two in Shau Kei Wan in line with the policies of the URA. Subsequently, the industrial project in Shau Kei Wan was returned to URA.

As of March 2016, a total of 69 redevelopment projects have been commenced by the URA, providing around 23,000 new flats and about 75,000m2 is devoted to various community facilities.

Through redevelopment, the URA replaces dilapidated buildings with modern and sustainable living environment, so as to provide wider social and economic benefits for districts as a whole.

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