Department of Geography and Resource Management (GRM), The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Research Projects

Redevelopment of ‘Government/Institution or Community’ (G/IC) land in Hong Kong

Dr. LEE Wai Ying, Joanna

In Hong Kong, land has become a tradable commodity which not only enables private developers to accumulate capital but also facilitates government to secure her source of income through the land development process. As there is a scarcity of land in Hong Kong, Government/Institution or Community (G/IC) sites in urban areas is a welcoming source of cheap land to developers under the government’s restriction on land supply. These G/IC sites are originally occupied by churches, NGOs and social welfare institutions. Due to the booming of the property market, both the government and private developers have actively initiated redevelopment proposals for G/IC sites in order to maximize its development potential. Although land (re)development is the subject of discussion in urban research, there is neither adequate theoretical articulation nor informed understanding on the working of mechanisms or actors in shaping the production of urban space in Hong Kong. The majority of the existing literature conceptualizes change in use as a technical problem. While land has been commonly treated as a physical entity for accommodating additional urban growth, the politico-socioeconomic relations embedded in space-time are often neglected in existing research. By adopting Gramsci’s idea of hegemony and Lefebvre’s concept of everyday life, this research offers an alternative interpretation of the redevelopment of G/IC sites in the unique socio-economic and development context of Hong Kong. Through macro analysis on planning applications for change of use and micro analysis on selected controversial case studies, this research attempts to understand the politics of redevelopment by mapping the interweaving of power and space in Hong Kong.



Maurice Kwan-Chung Yip, Joanna Wai-Ying Lee, Wing-Shing Tang (2020) From God’s home to people’s house: Property struggles of church redevelopment, Geoforum, 110, pp. 14-24.


Lee, WY Joanna and Tang, W. S., (2017) ”The hegemony of the real estate industry: Redevelopment of ‘Government/Institution or Community’ (G/IC) land in Hong Kong”, Urban Studies, Vol. 54 (15), pp. 3403–3422.