New title addresses old buildings issues

Karen Lai

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A new scholarly work published by the City University of Hong Kong Press, Building Dilapidation and Rejuvenation in Hong Kong, provides a holistic study on the issues of old buildings maintenance, urban planning and development, with views from building, engineering, surveying, psychology and social science researchers.

 

At the launch held 23 September, Professor Andrew Leung, Editor of the book and Head of CityU’s Department of Building and Construction, addressed the audience saying that building health and maintenance is a fundamental human issue. It affects human health and the socio-economic development of a city. Professor Leung made an analogy between senior citizens and old buildings -- seniors can be revitalized, as can the buildings. The rejuvenation of old buildings not only affects our quality of life and the landscape of our city, but also presents significant policy ramifications and implications for the building and social sciences.

 

After 1997, with new developments in the territory such as on LantauIsland, in Tung Chung, and other new towns, there have been several changes in policies concerning Hong Kong buildings. Not much attention, however, has been paid to the demolishing and reconstruction of old buildings, or to the redevelopment and refurbishment due to urban renewal policies. “The Urban Renewal Authority initiated the redevelopment of some old districts. However, research work on the topic is rare,” Professor Leung said. “With contributions from academics in CityU, the Polytechnic University, and the University of Hong KongBuilding Dilapidation and Rejuvenation in Hong Kong is a very good start to addressing the issues, with a view to stimulating further studies in the future,” he added.  

  

Co-edited by Dr Y C Yiu, Assistant Professor of the Department of Building and Real Estate at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the book provides critical insights and new dimensions to evaluating issues of urban renewal and old buildings maintenance. The book also addresses how the value of ageing buildings may be enhanced. It is useful for policy makers, social workers, construction professionals, students and researchers in the field. 

 

Healthy buildings, healthier lives

 

 

“Building structures and maintenance contribute to our living conditions and building-related issues, such as the SARS outbreak. This book is the first of its kind to discuss the issues with specific reference to Hong Kong's socio-economic situation,” said Mr Raymond Chan, Chairman, Building Surveying Division of the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors. Mr Chan said he was glad to see the work completed with solid research work from universities. He hoped the book would contribute to the improvement of Hong Kong's environment and, hence, to the sustainable development of the city’s urban landscape in the long run.

 

After the launch, a seminar on "Healthy Buildings" was held. Keynote speakers included Professor Andrew Leung; Mr Raymond Chan; Mr Lawrence Tang, Senior Manager, Standards and Contract Division of the Urban Renewal Authority; Mr Daniel Ho, Associate

Professor, Department of Real Estate and Construction of The University of Hong Kong; and Mr Edwin Chan, Associate Professor, Department of Building and Real Estate, the Hong KongPolytechnicUniversity. The event attracted some 100 building practitioners, professionals, scholars, and students.  
 

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