Grannie Green Revivial

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Chp 112, Tai Yuen Street – Forty years champion for the environment

Tai Yuen Street

The Urban Renewal Authority is meant to revitalize our old urban areas while preserving their character. In practice, however, the URA adopts a destroy-and-rebuild mentality making it the biggest threat to local culture and HongKong’s city heritage – the endangered areas like Tai Yuen Street/Cross Street is a case in point.

The open-air bazaar in Tai Yuen Street/Cross Street is reputed to have a history of 80 years. Originally serving the daily needs of the grass root populace, the place has become a tourist attraction; with about 200 hawker stalls selling a wide variety of dried goods, clothing and household products.

In 2001, the URA took over the Wan Chai Road/Tai Yuen Street project (H9) form the Land Development Corporation. Accompanying the plan to dismantle the old Wan Chai Market (see 111) was the proposal by the Transport Department in 2006 to open up the part of the bazaar at Tai Yuen Street south and Cross Street east to traffic; the hawkers would be moved or relocated to the new Wan Chai Market.

CA lodged our objection to Wan Chai District Council and Transport Department in June 2006, receiving nothing but lukewarm response from the Government. The Transport Department claimed in their reply letter that the proposal was practical and balanced, and was supported by various government departments as well as the Wan Chai District Council.

CA also wrote to URA requesting for a meeting on September 2006, but they replied that the issue was “being looked into by government departments concerned, in particular the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department and Wan Chai District Office of the Home Affairs Department,” URA would just referred our letter to those departments “for attention and any actions necessary.”

Legco took up the case in March 2007, but the Administration insisted that the anticipated additional traffic demands could not be met and part of the bazaar must go.

In a dramatic twist of events, the Government announced in November 2007 that the bazaar could be kept intact by adopting a series of traffic control measures. Like the plan to preserve the front part of the Wan Chai Market, this fortunate turn of fate was attributed to the King Yin Lei Incident.

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July 31, 2015 - Posted by | Dr WK Chan book

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