Challenges, Experience, and Prospects of Urban Renewal in High-Density Cities: A Review for Hong Kong

Yidi Wang, Ying Fan, Zan Yang

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Redevelopment in Hong Kong must be accelerated in response to urban decay and land shortages. However, due to a lack of incentives and effective policy tools under Hong Kong’s floor area ratio regulations, there has been limited public–private partnerships in the urban renewal process, reducing both the public welfare and the efficiency of land use. We review the evolution of Hong Kong’s density schemes for addressing urban redevelopment issues to identify the most important barriers to private sector involvement. We also summarise the international experience and identify viable policies, compare cases in Hong Kong with successful transfer of development rights (TDRs) examples, point out TDRs’ shortcomings, and propose targeted policy optimisation strategies. On a practical level, this study has implications for the creation of targeted density policies to address Hong Kong’s ageing infrastructure and facilitate the urban transformation of Hong Kong and similar high-density cities so that they can continue to support sustainable urban growth.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2248
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • density relaxation
  • floor area ratio regulation
  • Hong Kong
  • transfer of development rights
  • urban renewal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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