香港很多旧区都面临着重新规划发展的压力，比如观塘及九龙湾等旧工业区和香港西及坚尼地城等旧居住及综合住宅区。 重建应该是可以给城市带来有价值的城市更新机会。 这些旧城区，部分已经相当残旧，其现在的状态已经不能提供最好的社会价值，尽管如此，这些旧城区仍扮演着一个城市不可或缺的角色。这些旧城区混合居住着各收入阶层人士，但却形成了多功能及多元社区的香港独有文化。 这些旧城区，没有灿烂的建筑内容，但却洋溢着其独一无二的地区文化。
近年来，我们总是用 “可持续发展”这名词实在太多了，甚至已经发展成无论是贸易或商业界别都推崇的用词。 但什麽是“可持续发展”呢？放眼世界，现代大都会城市的焦点已经由只表彰“增长率”丶“成本效益”及“城市化工程解决方案”转换为如何获得“价值提升”，和如何去提升“生活质素”。
For the past 40 years the urbanization of Hong Kong has been based on a pure exercise of problem-solving within the confines of a given space to satisfy purely measurable attributes such as building height, buildable floor area, foot-print of the building etc., but completely missing out on some of the most important elements of sustainable urban living.
On the other hand, good urbanism is not just a squabble about building style and elevational treatment, to believe so is the reason why we only have seas of mediocre-looking high-rise blocks sitting on big slab-like podiums which take on no character of its own nor relevance to the neighbourhood they are situated.
Many old districts in Hong Kong have long been under pressure for redevelopment, such as the old industrial areas of Kwun Tong and Kowloon Bay, and the old residential and mixed-used areas of Hong Kong Western District and Kennedy Town. Redevelopment should provide valuable opportunity for urban renewal. These old districts, quite dilapidated in some cases, have not been put to the best use in terms of value to society; nevertheless they do carry unique characters of their own. These old districts housed a population having a diversity of incomes but intimately woven into a mixed-use community very uniquely Hong Kong. These old districts, although not rich in architectural content nonetheless carry significance in terms of unique local district culture.
Regrettably, new developments take on a universally standard version. Shop spaces invariably occupy every inch of the street frontage under a commercial podium with all shop-fronts being pushed to the extreme limits of the site boundary leaving no relieve for any form of street life, and imposing on the pedestrians what could be totally irrelevant and unimaginative display of merchandize offering no value to the quality of urban life.
In recent years, we talked about “sustainability” so much it became a universal word for almost all trades and businesses. However, what is “sustainable development”? All over the world, modern metropolis have already drifted their focus from “Growth Rate”, “Cost Effectiveness” and “Utilitarian Engineering Solutions” to how to achieve “Value Enhancement”, and how to improve the “Quality of Life”.
A truly “sustainable development” should not be just an exercise to erect identical point blocks with variation only to satisfy the lighting and ventilation requirements of the Buildings Ordinance. Of more importance is the “Area / Space in between the buildings” or some may call it the “Negative Space”, a terminology having a similar analogy as “Virtual Space”.
Virtual space can be a spiritual space, a cultural space which is capable of creating an environment of expression, reflection, enlightenment, glorification, appreciation and celebration of life. This spiritual space is more important than the architecture that gives the space its finality and definition. Where the architect manages to strike a balance in the dialogue between the architecture and this virtual space he is successful, failing which, the architect’s construct has no soul and cannot provide a city with cultural respect, with life-giving reminiscence, with non-pathological healing, and with sustainability.