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Urban farming is more than a trend


More and more city dwellers in Hong Kong turn to green living to release pressure, either through growing crops on rooftops or in community gardens. This week, the Centre examines the trend of urban agriculture and how it might help to transform the city’s development to foster healthier living.

Better ways to finance public works


The latest budget overrun in several railway projects revealed in the 2015 interim report by the rail operator MTRC has stirred up public concern. The Centre’s weekly analysis examines the reasons for the over budget and discusses cost-effective ways to better finance public works in future projects.

Making urban renewal financially sustainable


The long-term financial health of the Urban Renewal Authority was in doubt, according to the consultancy McKinsey’s report disclosed by a local newspaper. On the other hand, it has long been argued that the Authority tends to prioritise profit over its mission to serve the community. The dilemma showed that it was never easy for self-financed urban renewal projects upholding social responsibility. Would engaging more public in the planning and rebuilding process help reduce the renewal cost?

When it comes to brownfields development, do it up brown


To provide more affordable housing has been high on the policy agenda though it sometimes triggers public opposition. A recent example is the controversial Northeast New Territories development plan approved by the Town Planning Board. Developing ‘brownfield sites’, or deserted rural lands, is one of the alternative measures which tends to be easier to reach consensus. At present, the Government is studying the brownfield sites inside Hung Shui Kiu and Yuen Long South as pilot cases. But a lack of brownfield data and comprehensive planning are crippling the development.

Beyond Lantau, bridging over the Greater PRD


Development Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po in his latest blog mentioned that the benefits of developing Lantau Island went beyond the long-term economic growth for both the district and Hong Kong. Considering its geographic edge as the interchange of the Greater Pearl River Delta (PRD), more cross-boundary activities in tourism and business would be expected with the completion of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. This week, the Centre’s analysis looks into new opportunities and potential challenges of the bridgehead economy.

How prudential measures affect property purchase decisions of potential buyers


The Centre released a new edition of Occasional Paper on ‘Choices for Homebuyers under Prudential Measures on Hong Kong’s Housing Market’, which reviews the trends of property prices, transaction volume and completion, and attempts to analyse how various regulation measures affect the property market. Based on results of quantitative analyses, this paper particularly looks into the magnitude of the suppression on purchasing power after imposing property mortgage prudential measures, which directly affects the choices of potential buyers.

Crowdfund your community


Real estate crowdfunding is an emerging trend in the United States and Europe. However, only accredited investors can participate in this new type of investment. The Centre’s weekly analysis looks into how some platforms attempted to include local small investors into the game, providing opportunities for locals to remake their own neighbourhood.

Cohousing, a possible communal living for the elderly


It will soon not be a dream to live long in Hong Kong. The Government statistics have shown that the projected life expectancy at birth for men and women in 2041 will surpass the notably long-living Japanese population. The Centre’s weekly analysis reviews the emerging concept of new communal living across the world, namely ‘cohousing’ for elderly, and discovers a few residential projects which share similar concepts of cohousing in Hong Kong in the past.

Challenges ahead after Kai Tak’s failure to take off


The annual Wine & Dine Festival drew a large crowd of visitors after moving from Central Pier to Kai Tak Cruise Terminal this year. Success aside, the insufficiency of infrastructure and transportation is still restraining the city from developing into a cruise hub in the Asia-Pacific region. The Centre’s weekly analysis discusses what the terminal operator can take on under these constraints.

Enhancing walkability in Hong Kong


The Occupy movement has inspired discussion on walkability. Different pedestrians-friendly proposals were raised by different groups, the government had also implemented pedestrian schemes in some areas. In some countries, notably the United States, quantitative systems, theories and empirical researches on walkability had been well developed, which may conjunct a more desirable pathway for the future.