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Participatory mechanisms in the processes of urban redevelopment
How to Improve Participatory Mechanisms in The Processes of Urban Redevelopment: The Case of Kowloon East (Hong Kong) is a project by Miguel Martinez Lopez.

Processes of urban redevelopment involve the transformation of land use, social activities and economic flow. Many different social groups are affected by these changes. While some groups may accept the planning regulations and projects, others may disagree. Social conflicts, then, may occur at different stages of the process and may be caused by various circumstances. In order to mitigate the social and political implications of urban redevelopment, planners and managers would adopt participatory strategies. Likewise, the same strategies may be employed by the social groups who are affected by urban development. Such strategies may vary from deliberative forums to litigation (judiciary review) as well as from disruptive forms of protest to innovative use of the media to fuel public debate. Nonetheless, significant questions remain. For instance, which participatory mechanisms within urban redevelopment processes are more effective and why? Which ones are able to be generalised as policy measures and which ones are dependent on a particular context? How should they be designed and implemented -under what conditions and principles? How crucial are they in order to enhance a perspective of inclusive democracy, social justice and environmental sustainability within urban governance?

The present research focuses on a specific area of the city, Kowloon East, as a way to understand the above problems and to offer concrete suggestions to improve the policies of urban redevelopment. First, it will frame the topic of urban redevelopment and public participation within the context and past experiences of Hong Kong. Secondly, it will review the effective participatory mechanisms endorsed by the social groups who are involved in or are concerned about current urban changes. Finally, it will analyse the explanatory factors of the most salient participatory mechanisms under examination. Therefore, the intended report should provide a clear policy orientation by evaluating the participatory mechanisms in Kowloon East and measures to regulate public participation in similar processes of urban redevelopment in Hong Kong will be proposed.

The research has recently received a Public Policy Research (PPR) Grant, sponsored by the Central Policy Unit (CPU) of Hong Kong SAR Government.

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