Organic renewal of housing in old city area a case study of Hong Kong

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-38
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal for Housing Science and Its Applications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002


This article revisits the concept of "organic development" in comparison with other types of development modes in the old cities through case study of Hong Kong. The weaknesses of large-scale development and small-scale in-situ development are discussed. The objective of "organic development" is to conserve the existing fabric and heritage of a district during the process of urban renewal and also to avoid the long painstaking process of evacuation. Unlike 'pencil towers' that are typical of in-situ development, the principle underlying organic development is that the design fits into the site's context, ensuring that the ambience of the district is retained. Examples of existing organic developments are cited to show the vitality of this approach. An experimental design is presented to illustrate its possibilities in an old urban area of Hong Kong.