Revitalization Policy of Factories in Hong Kong 2009-2019 Political Perspective

Difficulties of realization in terms of policymaking

The standard of applicants is high and complicated. On the one hand, policy compensation can only have short-time influence that the further maintenance and operation is questioned. On the other hand, since the approach of conversion is strict with complicated requirement, some people argued that other developing opportunities will be prevented by the process.

Indeed, the revitalization process is slow and cannot meet the expectation. Researchers have argued that the short-term speculation brought by the policy help to increase the number of revitalized factories, while also brought new constrains to the city. The initiative is to revitalize the community to foster certain industries (cultural, creative, innovation, tech, social services, sports and reactional sectors), while the rising leasing price of buildings actually affect those groups in a negative way, forcing them moved out from the area with the poverty problem being not solved (Xian & Chen, 2015).

Typical application process of industrial building conversions, redrew by the author
Source: the Planning and Lands Department

Studies/ efforts have been made for Kwun Tong urban renewal

Energizing Kowloon East Office (EKEO) was set up in 2012 by the government to promote the transformation of Kwun Tong from industrial zone to the next CBD (EKEO, 2012).

ADC Artspace was created by Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC) at Po Shau Centre in Kwun Tong, which aims to provide total 4,700 square feet area for local artists and creative studios (ADCartspace, 2019).

Kwun Tong District Council collaborated with Kwun Tong Department and Renewal Task Force, as well as the students from the University of Hong Kong architectural students did The Renewal and Development of Kwun Tong Industrial District Study (HKU Faculty of Architecture, 2012). The reseach focused on the land-use condition of Kwun Tong and Kowloon Bay Area, studied the different development trends by analyzing the industry distribution, plans, building quality and building age (Kee, 2013).

The heritage value of industrial culture was also being noticed. Cultural and Development Consultancy collaborated with various organizations/ professionals to prepared Study on Industrial Heritage of Kowloon East and its Potential for Public Art/ Urban Design (EKEO, 2014)

One of the other important mention is the need of pedestrian walking environment promotion. Kwun Tong Pedestrian Network Improvement Research Report was conducted by Business, Economic and Public Policy Research Centre from Hong Kong Shue Yan University (2019).


ADCartspace, 2019. Po Shau Centre. [Online]  Available at: [Accessed 17 Dec. 2019].

Business, Economic and Public Policy Research Centre (BEPP), Hong Kong Shue Yan University, 2019. Kwun Tong Pedestrian Network Improvement Research Report, Hong Kong: Kwun Tong District Council.

EKEO, 2012. Energizing Kowloon East Organizations: About EKEO Background. [Online]  Available at: [Accessed 10 Dec. 2019].

EKEO, 2014. Study on Industrial Heritage of Kowloon East and its Potential for Public Art/ Urban Design , Hong Kong: Energizing Kowloon East Office (EKEO), Development Bureau, HKSAR Government.

HKU Faculty of Architecture, 2012. The Renewal and Development of Kwun Tong Industrial District Study, Hong Kong: Kwun Tong District Council.

Kee, T., 2013. Urban revitalization of old industrial district in Hong Kong. Urban Environment Design, Issue 74, pp. 168-169.

Xian, S. & Chen, H., 2015. Revitalisation of industrial buildings in Hong Kong: New measures, new constraints?. Habitat International, Issue 47, pp. 298-306.

1 Comment on “Revitalization Policy of Factories in Hong Kong 2009-2019 Political Perspective

  1. There are some sharp observations of the decision-making process of urban renewal in Hong Kong. This “political” section is especially relevant. In particular, the scale of the East Kowloon revitalization project is unprecedented, so it would be great to identify the variants in policy-making that allowed such a large-scale project to occur in the first place. Are there unique landmark urban or public policies invented in this project? In fact, there will be many more years before it reaches its completion, and you can further develop your arguments along the challenges it will continue to face.

    In fact, it is a pity that only two students made it to our optional field visit to the EKEO site. The organizers gave us some rare insights. In fact, at the “Women and Architecture” forum convened by the M+ and HKU on Nov 23, 2019, the deputy director Winnie Ho from ASD was seconded to EKEO to spearhead this unusual project. Winnie shared some incredible lessons during her time, suggesting that there were some highly original mechanism of seeking funding support within the public sector. The art and music spaces below the highway were design opportunities discovered along the way, and they were new ways to build stakeholders in a hotly contested and difficult site. The point here is that some of best learning can take place right in our city, and as students of the city, we have to take advantage of the public debates and forums taking place right before our eyes.

    PS. Be mindful of grammatical mistakes in your captions, and elsewhere.

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