Ageing of buildings in old districts, which gives rise to myriad issues, is inevitable in the urban development cycle. Whilst urban renewal scheme, which entails the reconstruction of buildings and reconfiguration of communities, is a thorough solution, its execution is often beset with difficulties ranging from funding to relocation of residents in buildings with complex ownership, particularly in densely populated districts.
In the context of urban renewal, building reconstruction and rehabilitation do not go against each other; rather, both of them are feasible measures at different stages of a building’s ‘life cycle’. While existing reinforced concrete structures in old districts often have a life span of 50 years, their life expectancy can be further extended if regular maintenance works and preventive measures against degradation and corrosion are implemented. In so doing, not only hygiene and public safety can be enhanced, but rapid ageing of buildings can as well be alleviated, thereby easing the urgency of urban renewal in old districts.
Therefore, in addition to planning urban renewal in old districts, the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) also seeks to drive timely maintenance of buildings through various subsidy schemes and support, implemented in collaboration with relevant organisations to provide assistance for owners in need, with a view to building a favourable living environment with and for the public.