有關九龍城市區重建與香港泰裔社群之間的關係研究Summary of the study on the relationship between the Urban Redevelopment Project and the Thai Community in Kowloon City District (with eng version)สำหรับเวอร์ชันภาษาไทยกรุณารอสักครู่

轉自: 九龍城重建關注組

研究員:tony poon及 hubert fung(理工大學社會政策及行政系)
(泰文版求翻譯中)สำหรับเวอร์ชันภาษาไทยกรุณารอสักครู่

一) 研究方向及方式:
首先我們透過了解九龍城的泰裔居民和商戶對社區的看法和需要,再去評估現時的市區重建政策對街坊的影响。另外,我們再使用一個由學者發展出來的可持續發展模式的標準(SURPAM),去評估現時九龍城的市區重建相關之支援服務和措施,最後提出政策方向建議。

是次研究方式就包括在兩個月內:
1)文獻研究:翻查相關市區重建、九龍城、可持續發展和有關泰裔社群的文章、報導及研究);研究後決定使用SURPAM這個模型提出的城市規劃標準中之幾項與泰裔社群相關的幾項,去評估九龍城舊區重建的可持續發展程度。這些標準包括:公共空間的提供、公共設施與服務的提供、原區就業機會、地區特色、社群歸屬感,以及社區對發展規劃的參與。

2)落區觀察(ethnography):參與街坊關注組在街頭和網上的會議,走到全個舊區數算泰國雜貨/商品/食肆地鋪、閣樓商舖;

3)問卷調查:以已譯為泰文的問卷,走訪訪問了三十一間店舖。本來想做多些,但一方面由於疫情的關係,另一方面本來希望邀請住在九龍城的泰國街坊帶我地去訪問,但因為好多泰國居民都係做辛苦和長工時的基層工作,很難約到他們又得閒舖頭又開的時間。因此在一百多間的泰式店舖裡,我們大概訪問到總數的三成,希望有個參考作用。

4) 深入訪談:邀請位於現時九龍城重建區的泰國工會主席dang,以及兩位住在沙浦道的街坊,就對九龍城社區的需要進行深入訪談。

二)研究結果簡述:
在問卷調查中發現,受訪店舖多數都在九龍城開業,且六成以上都經營超過五年,48%經營超過十年。超過七成店舖表示無離開過原址,而全部曾搬遷過的店舖都不曾離開九龍城。超過九成受訪店舖都會參與潑水節等傳統泰國節日,包括捐錢、物資,在自己店前擺檔以水和食物招待參與的人,不論對方是什麼族群。當中有些店舖的老闆,更已在九龍城舊區置業,居住和工作都在這區。有回答問卷的店舖中, 接近七成住在九龍城。同時,八成有回答問卷的店舖都會與顧客及鄰店閑聊,不會只是做生意。

在深入訪談中,我們也了解到公共空間、公共服務及設施與地區特色和社區網絡都密不可分。譬如潑水節,現時華、泰街坊都會參與,不同的泰式店舖和團體都有參與,但如果重建後如市建局計劃只有地下商場,且新商舖估計都是大品牌,絕對無法忍受四處都是水要打掃,然而六月市建局卻在城規會指節日的事情「大有大搞細有細搞」,實在是沒有看見一個社區要用長久時間去接納一種文化,但卻可以秒破壞。同時,潑水節不單要潑水,還要巡遊。這十年泰、華街坊都會參與,受訪者更強調好些華人店舖都會拎水喉出來讓大家玩。

另外,在九龍城的大公園(賈炳達道公園)和細公園(打鼓嶺道)對泰裔街坊來講都十分重要。街坊表示,以往未有智能電話或臉書,大家都是周日在公園互相等候,以一訊一周以來工作的辛勞和思鄉之情。即使現在,大家也情願在公園的公共空間,一來勞工階層多而泰式食肆多不便宜;二來可以做自己喜歡吃的食物與友人分享;三來可以大聲講大聲笑,不會像在餐廳裡那麼尷尬。

在社區服務方面,重建區內的泰國工會創會以來一直都在九龍城。工會對很多泰裔人來說都很重要,一但遇到勞資問題,就可以找工會商量,即使無難題,也會在工會一起度過周日。另外,樂善堂所提供的託兒服務對勞工階層來講十分重要,因為這代表一個家庭多了一份收入,可以改善生活。除此以外,九龍城有許多泰裔教會提供心靈支援,也有許多泰裔團體,在同鄉之間互相扶持,也會合資搞節日活動,造就地區特色的一個環節。這一切,若搬遠了,就會全然失去。

在原區就業方面,我們發現很多店舖的員工乃泰裔人士,部份不諳廣東話或英語。可以想像,九龍城舊區是一個重要的泰裔人士就業機會,亦因此是一個重要的打工資訊互通的地區。在落區過程中,亦發現有些店舖容許泰裔職員帶同幼兒上班,相信如此家庭友善的店舖,對泰裔女性來說都很重要。同時,泰國工會的存在,亦協助街坊解決勞資問題,及也是一個打工資訊互換的地方。

泰裔人士多為草根階層,如果要在一周只有一天的假期中處理許多物質和精神的需要,現在的九龍城區就可以做到這一點,一但重建迫遷,日後就很難說了。
至於在社區參與重建方面,多個商戶和住戶都有表示人口凍結登記不準確,但市建局又拒絕更改,亦拒絕與關注組會面商談。最嚴重的是,市建局人員在開始時竟宣傳不知有泰國人在這個社區,同時所有文件和做人口登記都沒有翻譯,泰裔街坊連明白都不可能,枉論參與。同時,在2014年已停止運作的市區更新地區資訊平台( DURF),雖然當年都沒有提供任何翻譯,亦沒什麼泰裔街坊聽過,但即使這個諮詢架構只聽取了部份華人街坊意見,當年的總結報告都是認為九龍城舊區應屬於活化區,而非推倒重建的重建區,明顯市建局沒有理會,而公佈了這裡為重建區。

三)政策方向建議:原區安置及原區復業
因應以上的發現,我們認為,對於泰裔的住戶或舖戶街坊來講,不離開九龍城就是最好的選擇。
對照市建局暫時的文獻和今年六月三日遞上城規會的規劃方案,了解到市建局對以上六點都未有考慮。根據《市區重建局條例》,市建局理應按照《市區重建策略》的要求,保存社區網絡和地區特色,政策上應做到原區安置和原區復業,才算是有做到政策和法例要求,也才符合可持續發展的標準。

==============================
The study on the relationship between the Urban Redevelopment Project and the Thai Community in Kowloon City District
Researchers: Tony Poon & Hubert Fung

I. Research Direction and Methodology:

First, we surveyed the perspectives and needs of Thai residents and shop owners before analyzing the impact of the current urban redevelopment policy. On the other hand, we used the standards developed by academics for sustainable urban development, called Sustainable Urban Renewal Project Assessment Model (SURPAM), to assess the support services and policies in connection to the Kowloon City Urban Redevelopment process. Finally, we made a proposal on thedirection of urban renewal policy.

This research was done within a period of 2 months:

  1. Literature review: thorough reviewing of articles, reports, and researches related to urban redevelopment, Kowloon City, sustainable development, andthe Thai community; After that,, we had decided to use the SURPAM model to assess the degree of sustainability “old district” redevelopment in Kowloon City, with a number of urban planning criteria relevant to the Thai community. These criteria include: provision of public spaces, facilities and services, local employment opportunities, upholding the characteristics of the community, sense of belonging of the community, and community participation in the redevelopment process.
  2. Ethnography: Participation in the Kowloon City Urban Renewal Concern Group’s in-person and online meetings and the counting of the total number of Thai small businesses in the old district; including grocery stores, general supplies stores, restaurants, and mezzanine shops.
  3. Questionnaire survey: Using a questionnaire that was already translated into Thai, we surveyed thirty-one shops. Originally, we wanted to do more, but on the one hand, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and on the other hand, we had hoped to conduct surveys with active Thai members of the Kowloon City Urban Renewal Concern Group. However, because many Thai residents are working hard and long hours at the grassroots level, it was difficult to arrange times that coincided with the open hours of shops. Therefore, out of more than 100 Thai shops, we visited about 30% of the total number of shops, which we hope to use as a reference.
  4. In-depth interviews: We invited Dang, the chairman of the Thai Workers’ Union in the current Kowloon City redevelopment area, and two local residents from Sa Po Road to conduct in-depth interviews on the needs of the Kowloon City community.

II. Summary of Research Outcome
During the survey, we discovered that most of these store owners started their businessesin Kowloon City. Over 60% of the businesses have been in operation for more than five years and 48% of the interviewed businesses have been open for over ten years. More than 70% of the stores have indicated that they had never been relocated and are at their original address. Furthermore, all the businesses that had been relocated had never left the neighborhood of Kowloon City. Over 90% of the interviewed stores participated in the festivities of Thai holidays such as Songkran, including donating funds and resources, opening stalls at their storefront, providing water and food to welcome festival participants of all ethnicities. Amongst the store owners, some have even bought roperties in the old district of Kowloon City, living and working in this neighborhood. According to the responses of the questionnaire, close to 70% of store owners said they are also living in Kowloon City. At the same time, 80% of respondents said they would have casual chats with customers and neighboring store operators and are not in the neighborhood simply to do business.

 

During our in-depth interviews, we came to understand that public space, public services, and public facilities are intimately linked to the neighborhood’s distinct characteristics and community networks. For example, currently both Chinese and Thai residents will participate in the Songkran celebrations; various Thai stores and organizations will also take part in the activities. But, as of now, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) only has a plan of an underground mall to accommodate existing Thai stores, and the new shops are expected to be occupied by big brands and chain-stores that would not tolerate the Songkran celebratory tradition of “water-throwing” and the clean-up afterwards. Even recently, during the June 2020 Town Planning Board meeting, URA said that for the festive celebrations, the residents should just make do with what they could, completely ignoring the fact that it takes a community a long time to come to develop the acceptance of a distinct culture, but this could also be easily destroyed in a mere second. At the same time, Songkran traditions not only consist of “water-throwing” but also parading around the entire neighborhood. In the past ten years, Thai and Chinese community members alike hadparticipated, and interviewees stressedthat the more proactive Chinese shopkeepers will even bring out their water hoses for everyone to enjoy the fun.

 

Moreover, Carpenter Road Park and Tak Ku Ling Road Rest Garden, locally referred to as “Big Park” and “Small Park” respectively, are extremely important to the Thai communityin Kowloon City. Community members said in the past, when there were no smartphones and Facebook, everyone would wait for each other in the parks on Sundays, sharing their woes about their hardships in work and their homesickness. Even now, everyone would rather congregate in the public spaces of these parks. The reasons being: firstly most of these folks are working class and Thai eateries are often unaffordable; secondly, they can cook whatever they like to eat and share their cooking with friends; and thirdly, people in the parks can converse and laugh as loudly as they want, unlike inside restaurants.

 

In terms of community services, the Thai Workers Union, which is situated in the redevelopment area, has been in Kowloon City since its inception. The Workers Union is important to many Thais in the area because if they ever come upon a labor issue, they can seek the guidance from the Union; on the other hand, even if they do not have any problems, they will spend their Sundays socializing at the Union’s place. The childcare services provided by the Lok Sin tong Benevolent Society is very important to working class families because it means one more member of the household can earn a salary that can be used to improve living conditions. Aside from these organizations, many Thai religious institutions provide mental and spiritual support. And many Thai collectives would mutually support each other as people coming from the same hometown, and would even pool money together to host festive activities, contributing to the local characteristics of the neighborhood. All of this would disappear and be lost if this community would have to be dispersed because of the relocation.

 

On the topic of employment opportunities in the original neighborhood, we discovered that many employees of local businesses and Thai people in the area do not speak fluent Cantonese or English. One can only imagine the significance of Kowloon City Old District as one of the only places with employment opportunities for Thai speakers, and hence, a crucial information network of employment-related communications for the Thai community. During our on-the-ground surveys, we also discovered that many stores allow theirThai employees to bring their children to work; these family-friendly practices in local businesses is an important benefit for Thai women workers. Simultaneously, the presence of the Thai Workers Union is a resource that provides essential assistance for labor disputes and exchange of workers rights and other employment-related information.

Most Thai people are working class folks who only have one rest day a week to take care of their material and personal needs. Currently, the grassroots community infrastructure of Kowloon City is able to serve all their needs, but once the community is relocated due to redevelopment, it is hard to say if this could still happen in the future.

In terms of community participation in the redevelopment process, many business owners and residents say that the freezing survey is inaccurate, but URA refused to make corrections and to meet with the Concern Group for negotiations. Most egregiously, the URA has said that they were unaware of the Thai population in the community at the very beginning of their outreach to the community and provided neither translation of documents nor interpretation during the population registration stage of the freezing survey. Therefore, Thai community members were not allowed access to the process, let alone meaningful participation. Also, even when the District Urban Renewal Forum (DURF), which has been defunct since 2014, set up its community review process for the renewal planning of Kowloon City, there were no translation services provided. None of the Thai community members have heard about this forum. Despite the fact that this community forum includes only the voices of Chinese community members, the concluding report indicated that the Kowloon City Old District should undergo an urban regeneration process, not a redevelopment one that is a complete upheaval of the neighborhood. Unfortunately, it is apparent that the URA did not take heed of the findings of this report and announced that the Kowloon City Old District is a Redevelopment Zone.

 

III. Policy Proposal: Relocation and Commercial Revival within the Original District

Our findings from this research and community engagement have proven to us that the ideal scenario for Thai residents and shopkeepers would be to stay in Kowloon City.

According to literature produced by the URA thus far and the Urban Redevelopment Plan submitted to the Town Planning Board on June 3, 2020, we conclude that URA has not considered any of the abovementioned six points. According to the Urban Renewal Authority Ordinance, the URA should aim to preserve a neighborhood’s distinctive characteristics and extant community networks as specified in the Urban Renewal Strategy. Their policies should accomplish relocation of residents and commercial revival of impacted businesses in the original area; only in this way will the URA fulfill requirements from government policies and the law and uphold the standards of sustainable redevelopment.

#泰華共融多元文化 #保存地區特式 #社區網絡 #保育小泰國

 

發表迴響

在下方填入你的資料或按右方圖示以社群網站登入:

WordPress.com 標誌

您的留言將使用 WordPress.com 帳號。 登出 /  變更 )

Google photo

您的留言將使用 Google 帳號。 登出 /  變更 )

Twitter picture

您的留言將使用 Twitter 帳號。 登出 /  變更 )

Facebook照片

您的留言將使用 Facebook 帳號。 登出 /  變更 )

連結到 %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.