Centre of Community and Place Governance

Story of the Month - August 2016

CUHK-University of Manchester field trip in Hong Kong: a photo journey

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Before the end of summer, a delegation from the University of Manchester visited IOFC to collaborate with CCPG and the Urban Studies Programme on a project related to ‘planning for sustainable neighbourhood change’. Before we had a full-day workshop on 31 August on various topics related to this theme, the two parties joined an ambitious field trip on 30 August visiting various parts of the territory.

 

We set off early in the morning to the City Gallery where the Director of Planning, a CUHK alumni, and his colleague greeted us, showing us the ‘production’ of a summer planning school for secondary students, followed by a presentation and an open and frank sharing and discussion. One thing that caught my eyes when looking at the impressive models made in a single afternoon by secondary school studentswas the prominence of high-rise buildings at a reclaimed site on Lantau Island. The drama of the image was heightened by the lush green backdrop. Another evidence of how our spatial experience shapes us and our thoughts…

 

After a dialogue with the planners, the delegation moved on to Wanchai to learn more about the Blue House, a Grade One building being renovated under the ‘Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme’. The building complex was once identified by the Urban Renewal Authority and the Housing Society to be converted to a ‘shopping facility’ but thanks to the efforts of the St. James Settlement, a local NGO established in 1949 modelling after the Settlement Movement in the UK, and the residents themselves, it will become an anchor space to serve various needs in the local community. Maria, a former resident and now a volunteer guide, led us through the neighbourhood recounting carefully and passionately the stories of her beloved community. We even enjoyed a home-made vegetarian lunch in the Community Kitchen run by the St. James Settlement.

 

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Mission Statement and Objectives

Mission Statement

The Centre of Community and Place Governance endeavours to engage the community through trans-disciplinary research and advocacy activities to realize visions of building, sharing and governing sustainable communities and places.

Objectives

  • To undertake spatial and temporal comparative social, economic, psychological and geographical studies, as well as arts and planning related advocacy activities to understand the needs, aspirations and city futures visions of members in different types of families in communities.
  • To identify through trans-disciplinary research both strengths and weaknesses of existing modes of place governance at different geographical scales within and beyond Hong Kong.
  • To invoke tools such as 'back-casting', mental health promotion and mindfulness exercises, family therapy and dynamics analysis, community arts and planning works, and to generate various sustainable pathways towards the realization of visions of future cities.
  • To provide community and place governance perspectives to the works of other Centres in IOFC.

     

Projects and Work in Progress

Main Projects

    1. Voiceless Groups in Hong Kong: identifying the spatial (re)distribution of voiceless groups in Hong Kong and synthesizing existing literature and development trends to explain the evolving spatial patterns.
    2. Nourishing a life of dignity: healthy individuals, resilient families and sustainable communities
      • Synthesizing cutting-edge knowledge on building sustainable communities, low-carbon living, social impact assessment, place-making, family communication techniques, individual 'mindfulness' and 'well-being' as well as developing different forms of socially engaged art and cultural activities that could boost social cohesiveness and creative collaborations.

      • Engaging the community through the application of the synthesized knowledge for two key purposes:

      • to build the capacity of the communities in building sustainable families, communities and places

      • to sharpen and fine-tune the research team's understanding of the synthesized knowledge

    3. IF POSS: Community, Well-being, Place-Making & Urban Regeneration at the Neigbhourhood Level: A Comparative Study of Hong Kong and Tainan: This project aims to undertake a comparative study in Hong Kong and Tainan to examine people's views on their communities, their own well-being and more humanistic and sustainable ways of rejuvenating their neighbourhoods. The following captures the related objectives:
      • To compare and contrast the evolution of the concept of 'communities' in Hong Kong and Taiwan

      • To compare and contrast the socio-economic, cultural and political contexts of the two cities as well as their institutional frameworks to ascertain the rights of various stakeholders in the two places

      • To examine people's views on their communities

      • To critically evaluate the concept & practice of 'commons' in local communities

      • To explore the impacts of their perceptions and practices in place on their subjective well-being

      • To ascertain the desirability & possibility of alternative means of urban regeneration

Work in Progress

[Click here for the full version of Work in Progress]

 

Investigators

Director:

Prof. Mee Kam NG

Members:

o Dr. CHEN Huiwei
o Prof. Murat ES
o Prof. Michelle Tsung Yi HUANG
o Dr. Joanna Wai Ying LEE
o Prof. Winnie W. S. MAK
o Prof. Hendrik TIEBEN
o Prof. Yuying TONG
o Ms. Carman Lai-moy WONG
o Prof. Kaming WU
o Prof. Mary Hui-quan ZHOU
o Mr. ZHU Jiageng