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Chinachem Group values highly community inclusivity and constantly shows our commitment to create “Places with Heart”. When the Urban Renewal Authority approved the tender award to Chinachem Group as the operator of the Central Market Revitalisation Project, I immediately questioned if we still needed to keep the Market as a single retail space. Rather, my vision for the Market was to build for the community and transform it into a “Playground for All”.As the revitalised Market finally opened in August, the public response has been overwhelmingly positive with over three million visitors in its first two and a half months of operation since its soft opening. It realised our vision of placemaking by adopting a “boundaryless spatial concept” to transform the Grade III historical building into a social hub where people can find shopping, eating, entertainment, education and cultural activities all in one place.“If you are not buying, you are still welcome” is a revolutionary retailing conLearn more
Built in 1939, Central Market is a Grade III historical building with an 82-year history. When the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) took over the building in October 2017 to undertake restoration and revitalisation, it marked the beginning of the URA’s largest-ever conservation and revitalisation project. When the first phase of the project had been completed, the URA put out a tender to look for an operator for Central Market.In February this year, Chinachem Group was awarded the contract to manage and operate the revitalised Central Market for a term of ten years.In a recent conversation with Donald Choi, Executive Director and CEO of Chinachem Group, URA Managing Director Ir Wai Chi Sing talked about the Central Market collaboration with Chinachem Group and his views on urban renewal.Learn more
Making Our City a Better Place
Public place - Converging culture and life of the cityJoe Lui is an architect and one of the directors of the Hong Kong Architecture Centre. He is currently busy organising exhibitions, lectures, workshops and guided tours on architecture and local culture for the Central Market through which he says. “We hope to promote the culture of architecture and life to the public through the public spaces in the Central Market.”
The fundamental definition of public open space is “an area where everyone, regardless of his or her background, can enter without pre-requisite”. It is similar in nature to “Recreational Space”. Joe believes that it can be defined from a macro perspective: “Before any urban planning development, the government will liaise with relevant departments such as the Development Bureau, to formulate space which is clearly defined as public space in use, such as parks, football fields, or leisure facilities. These spaces will be connected with traffic and resources for the public to use.”
Take a TRAM RIDE with Hearts in Motion
Hong Kong residents who may not be familiar with the city’s history can learn more by taking a special shuttle tram that runs west to east along Hong Kong island. People like underprivileged youth, the disabled, and the elderly can ride the special tram and listen to the guided tours through Chinachem Group’s cultural and community programme – Hearts in Motion Ding Ding Ding that last over an hour that offer an accessible and mobile lesson into Hong Kong’s past.
Alvin Yip, Curator-in-Chief of Designing Central, gave a lot of support and creative ideas for this programme. He is also the designer who outfitted the stylish tram 18 with comfortable seating, tables, and a sound system two years ago.
He says the tram, which has been a part of Hong Kong since 1904, is a very appropriate vehicle to ride in, as it has witnessed the city’s development over the decades.
Chinachem Group wins the SDG Achievement Awards Hong KongIn recognition of its achievements in fostering sustainable development, Chinachem Group has recently bagged two accolades at the Green Council’s SDG Achievement Awards Hong Kong. The Care for the Elderly Ambassador Programme in Tsuen Wan and Kwai Tsing, receiving a Silver Award, is a collaboration with the Senior Citizen Home Safety Association to promote intergenerational solidarity by organising life education workshops and assembling staff of the Group and teenagers in teams to “befriend” elders in the community through home visits and phone calls. The Urban Climb 300M+, on the other hand, is a Merit Award winner. Wheelchair athlete Lai Chi-wai took on the challenge of climbing the 320m tall Nina Tower in Tsuen Wan to raise funds for HKU’s Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, promoting the integration of people with and without physical disabilities and bringing positivity to the community. Learn more
SpotlightNot just a marketThe newly revived Central Market is no longer just another market. It showcases the unprecedented interior design concept that grounds on a boundaryless spatial concept, interweaving food experience, retailtainment, co-working nature and cultural experience through choreographed spaces which provides a new type of “Playground” experience for all walks of life.
InnovationHealthcare of tomorrow: where the tech magic happensHong Kong’s population is rapidly ageing. By 2036, one in every three residents will be elderly according to the projections by the Census and Statistics Department. The ageing population has been fuelling demand for health facilities and things get worse as we battle the ongoing pandemic. As a result, technology seems to hold the key to building Hong Kong as a smart city – how can we solve the current shortage of health infrastructures through innovations?
Liveable PlaceTo live with dignity and resilienceAccording to a report by Urban Reform Institute and Frontier Centre for Public Policy, Hong Kong remained the world’s least affordable housing market for the 11th year, underscoring the income disparity in the financial hub.
CommunityLittle people, big dreams“When I was a little girl, I got sick very often. Thanks to the doctors’ and nurses’ dedication and care all these years, I’m now in excellent health and can help others in return,” says Ko Wai Shan, a recent secondary school graduate whose dream is to become a healthcare worker.
PeopleQuarantine that healsWho says quarantine during the pandemic has to be lonely? Hong Kong residents Monique de Raaij and Asheefa Sarangi proved otherwise with their successful “The Wave” event while quarantined at Nina Hotel Island South.
Sustainable SpacePublic place - Converging culture and life of the cityA public open space has the function of connecting society, allowing people to communicate through a varieties of social activities. It also reflects the life and culture of a city.
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