Graham Street is one of the oldest street markets in Hong Kong. Located in Central with unique low-rise buildings and rows of hawker stalls along narrow streets, the market is a good example demonstrating city vitality. Yet, Graham is now facing a complete destruction under the name of redevelopment.
The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) is planning to redevelop Graham Street and Peel Street. The proposed scheme has raised serious questions on whether redevelopment can achieve what URA claims “preserving the local physical street character and its atmosphere at Graham Street” and “preserving a variety of hawking activities at Graham Street, Peel Street and Gage Street”. Some key features of the URA scheme are summarized below,
- Four massive towers, including two residential blocks, a hotel and an office tower, will be built on the site;
- It involves the destruction of the open street market and the surrounding heritage;
- Small businesses around will be replaced by upscale chain shops
Obviously, URA is carrying out redevelopment in a blanket approach : simply replacing old buildings with high rise buildings, filling the area with chain stores instead of allowing small businesses to survive, destroying historic neighborhoods and disrupting local communities which take decades to build up.
Yet, if redevelopment is an unavoidable process of city, is blanket approach the only option? Facing the expansion of shopping malls, how can we preserve our vulnerable street markets? Come and share your views in our “Is Blanket Redevelopment the Only Option? –The Story of Graham”
Date: October 4, 2010 (Monday)
Time: 7pm – 9pm
Venue: CDI Engagement Room – Room 2102, 21/F, 148 Electric Road,Tin Hau, Hong Kong
Katty Law, Convener of Central and Western Concern Group
Peter Cookson Smith, Chairman, Public Affairs Committee, The Hong Kong Institute of Planners
Paul Zimmerman, CEO of Designing Hong Kong
Sujata Govada, Managing Director of Urban Design & Planning Consultants Limited
Oren Tatcher, Architect
Dr Yip Ngai Ming, Associate Professor, Department of Public and Social Administration, City University of Hong Kong