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URA wins 2021 Esri SAG Award


With the application of the GIS, the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) developed the Urban Renewal Information System (URIS) in 2019 to improve the organization’s capability to process and analyze planning information and spatial data, facilitating the implementation of the new “planning-led” direction in urban renewal.  The URIS integrates geographic information and data on land uses, planning requirements, development density, infrastructure, building conditions, population distribution, and visualize such information on a map, enabling the URA to review and analyze precisely the feasibility of different urban renewal options to rejuvenate older urban districts. URIS is also an URA’s initiative to pave the way for interfacing with the Government’s Common Spatial Data Infrastructure (CSDI). The URIS received the Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award from Esri in July 2021.


Ir Wai Chi-Sing (left), Managing Director of the URA, receives the SAG award from Dr Winnie Tang, Founder and Chairman of Esri China (HK), for the URA’s exemplary performance in the application of GIS.


The URA makes use of the three-dimensional (3D) digital map technology in URIS to build a “Digital Twin” that serves as the virtual models of the existing building clusters of the soon-to-commence redevelopment projects, according to the approved building plans. This technology allows faster processing of the information collected from households during the freezing surveys, which is being transferred in real-time to the Digital Twin virtual models, enabling the URA to understand the living conditions and needs of the households, expediting the planning and provision of appropriate assistance to the household in need.  


“The application of URIS will enhance the effectiveness of urban renewal work in many fronts covering planning, relocation, financing and technological research.” The URA’s Managing Director, Ir Wai Chi-Sing, said. CEO of Esri China (HK) Sr Paul Tsui also pointed out, “The URA showcases its ability in recent years to leverage the power of GIS technology, and its data processing and analytic capabilities in urban redevelopment and building rehabilitation.”


The SAG Award was created to recognize the application and implementation of GIS by corporations worldwide.  Of all the contenders this year, the URA is the only corporation from Hong Kong to win the award. The result of SAG was announced in Esri User Conference 2021.