The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) in Hong Kong is taking an innovative approach towards land utilization in the Kwun Tong Town Centre redevelopment project. As part of the initiative, it is opening up the project's land for temporary and short-term activities that the public can enjoy. The project reflects the URA's commitment to community inclusiveness and cultural development, transforming urban spaces into vibrant, multi-purpose arenas.
Creating 'Free Space' for Public Enjoyment
Wai Chi-sing, the URA's Executive Director, announced that the leveling work for the designated areas would be completed within the month. The areas will then be converted into a multipurpose 'Free Space'. This includes spaces for rest, outdoor sports, culture, creativity, installation art, and playgrounds. The URA has scheduled a host of festive events and outdoor carnivals in these spaces for the coming months, starting with this month's 'Winter Bears Outing @ Kwun Tong' festival event and outdoor carnival.
A Resounding Response from the Public
In April, the URA initially applied to the government to open part of the outdoor government land within the project area for temporary activities. The initiative attracted over 13,000 citizens, reflecting the public's enthusiasm for accessible community spaces. The 'Winter Bears Outing @ Kwun Tong' festival event and outdoor carnival are part of the ongoing enhancement and beautification works within the project land. The first phase of these events has already begun, with thousands of citizens participating on the first day. The second phase, featuring an outdoor Christmas carnival, is scheduled for mid-December.
Future Plans for 'Free Space'
Following the implementation of the revised Land Resumption Ordinance on September 1, the URA is preparing to open 'Free Space' in phases for public sharing. This includes transforming the former temporary market and minibus station at the junction of Tong Yin Street and Hip Wo Street into a multipurpose event space. Additionally, the URA is set to open a children's playground and a 3-on-3 basketball court near the Kwun Tong MTR station. These initiatives underscore the URA's commitment to promoting urban renewal while enhancing public enjoyment and community engagement.