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Mui, DH 2002, 'Application of the project management body of knowledge and practice for urban renewal project implementation in Hong Kong special administrative region, China', DBA thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.

Copyright DH Mui 2002


The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is faced with the rapid rate of urban deterioration. With the unique and densely populated nature of the city, the road to urban revitalisation can be envisaged to be a long and painful one. The government is determined to expedite the urban renewal work by establishing of the Urban Renewal Authority in May 2001 to replace Land Development Corporation that was established in 1988 to tackle the issue. The new set up is to operate with more public accountability and transparency as demanded by the community at large. It is also commissioned with the task of completing 225 projects in the next 25 years involving an estimated cost of over A$75 billion. The government has also decided to make Hong Kong Special Administrative Region a truly sustainable city by incorporating both urban sustainability and quality in urban renewal. Thus, a re-thinking of the project management application to enhance urban renewal project implementation is necessary and is beneficial in terms of finance, public confidence and maintenance of the sustainable competitive advantage of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. This research is therefore justified. The research question formulated is:

How can the project management body of knowledge and practice be applied to enable effective and efficient implementation of urban renewal projects in Hong Kong SAR?.

Investigation of the extant literature in chapter 2 identified gaps in the body of knowledge and practice of applying professional project management principles and practices to urban renewal projects. A project management application model was formulated with five research issues that need to be resolved before the research question could be answered. These five research issues covered:

• project organisational structure

• team structure

• attributes of team members

• stakeholder management

• communication and information technology enablers

The five research issues considered were:

• Research Issue 1: What are the effects of projectised type organisational structure with integrated and multidisciplinary teams, corporate communication team, social services teams and informal project management community for each targeted district on urban renewal projects implementation?

• Research Issue 2: What are the effects of a headquarters organisational structure with formal project management community, project auditing team, project support group and functional specialist advisory group on supporting the projectised organisational structure for each targeted district?

• Research Issue 3: What are the effects of a flattened hierarchical structure with team members possessing sustainability knowledge and project managerial leaders being generalising specialists on the project team performance?

• Research Issue 4: What are the effects of involving stakeholders at the outset of and throughout the projects with partnering relationship and formation of district advisory committee/community on urban renewal project implementation?

• Research Issue 5: What are the effects of adopting information technology enablers by establishing computerised project management information system interlinked to Web site accessible to the public on communication to stakeholders?

The case study research methodology was adopted to answer each of the research issues. In depth studies of Urban Renewal Authority with functional departments as embedded subunits were designed. Less in-depth case studies were also conducted for overseas cases in developed countries like Australia, United State of America, United Kingdom, Singapore, Denmark, Austria, Ireland and Spain for cross-case analysis. A total of 13 personal interviews with different levels of staff were conducted for seven embedded sub-units in the Urban Renewal Authority case. Information was obtained from ten overseas cases from their Web site and also via e-mail correspondence with the appropriate staff in the organisations.

The data obtained were then analysed to show the patterns of the results for each of the five research issues developed in the literature review and also for the new findings that were not planned from the literature review. The findings were then compared with the extant literature to identify the contributions that this research makes to understanding how the project management body of knowledge and practice can be applied to enable effective and efficient implementation of urban renewal projects in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The application model for effective and efficient implementation of urban renewal projects modified to take into account the resolution of the research issues and the new findings is subsequently concluded.

This research has contributed to both the knowledge of project management and urban renewal. The project management body of knowledge may need to put more emphasis on aspects of sustainability, multi-disciplinary and integrated approach, team hierarchical structure, team member attributes, stakeholder involvement and information technology enablers. Government support in both policy and implementation levels are of paramount importance in urban renewal work and needs more attention and focus. This research also provides some suggestions on the practice and policy especially on change management for introducing the application model in the existing organisation and the need of new legislation to supplement the existing one, on which the operation of Urban Renewal Authority is based.

Finally, suggestions for further research are presented. These include quantitative research to test the application model built, generalisation of the research to other places with different operating environments for both governmental and non-governmental organisations, strategy for urban renewal, attributes of top management for managing urban renewal organisation, and cultural risk in managing urban renewal projects.