HKU Lai Chi Wo revitalisation project awarded by American Institute of Architects (Hong Kong Chapter)

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Hong Kong Chapter has conferred an AIA Hong Kong Citation 2021 to Lai Chi Wo Village in recognition of its significant contributions to architecture and built environment in the Chapter’s region. The HKU Centre for Civil Society and Governance, which has initiated and implemented two consecutive programmes – “Sustainable Lai Chi Wo” and “HSBC Rural Sustainability Programme” – since 2013, is honoured to receive this award at the award ceremony on November 16, 2021 together with other organisations which have been making undaunted efforts in revitalising the desolate historic Hakka village of Lai Chi Wo in the north-eastern New Territories.

Lai Chi Wo Village and Tsim Sha Tsui Harbourfront Revitalisation were selected to receive AIA Hong Kong Citations this year for their achievement in promoting the value of architecture in society and for raising public awareness of issues related to the built environment. Lai Chi Wo Village is awarded “for the ongoing collaborative efforts of individuals and organizations in heritage conservation of this historic Hakka walled settlement including revitalisation of its traditional farming and cultural landscapes together with a number of the houses, thereby promoting sustainable rural community development and encouraging effective control over rural land use in the New Territories”. Led by the HKU team and Lai Chi Wo Pui Shing Tong Committee (the owner), other awardees include The Hong Kong Countryside Foundation, The Conservancy Association, Produce Green Foundation, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC), The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, and the Countryside Conservation Office of the HKSAR Government.

With the support from HSBC, HKU Centre for Civil Society and Governance launched the “Sustainable Lai Chi Wo Programme” in 2013 in collaboration with the local villagers, non-profits, experts in related fields, and volunteers. The programme aims to replenish and revitalise the disappearing social and natural capitals of the desolate traditional farming landscape at Lai Chi Wo. After the “Sustainable Lai Chi Wo Programme” successfully completed in 2017, the Centre has received further support from HSBC and launched a new phase of the programme titled “HSBC Rural Sustainability” which focuses on mobilising actions of the local community by socio-economic models emphasising the role of rural community for the benefit of Hong Kong society. The project proudly received the inaugural Special Recognition for Sustainable Development in the 2020 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation and the award presentation ceremony will be held on November 28, 2021 at Lai Chi Wo. For project details, please visit

The AIA is based in Washington, D.C., and has been the world’s leading professional membership association for licensed architects, emerging professionals and allied partners since 1857.


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