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A Submissive Administrative Region

Patterns in air quality and the provision of public green spaces reflect a profoundly unequal society. In 2016, Hong Kong’s Census Reports recorded a Gini coefficient result of 0.539, well exceeding most developed economies. This represents an astonishing concentration of wealth amongst Hong Kong’s elite (Oxfam, 2016: 1). The city’s tiny and unsafe cage housingContinue reading “A Submissive Administrative Region”

A Crisis for International Urbanism

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought cities worldwide to a standstill and looks set to reshape the way we approach urbanism in the future. Hong Kong, symbolic of density and internationalism, offers a fascinating case study of the political ecology of urban risk and resilience in a city that is no stranger to the threat posedContinue reading “A Crisis for International Urbanism”

Who Benefits from HK’s Urban Green Spaces?

The wide-open green spaces of Hong Kong’s expansive Country Parks can seem a world away to residents within the oppressive concrete jungle. 7.3 million inhabitants occupy ‘a built-up area of only 24% of its total territory of 1100 square kilometres’, making for one of the most densely populated built environments in the world (Tang, 2017:Continue reading “Who Benefits from HK’s Urban Green Spaces?”

A Watershed: The Erosion of HK’s Ecological Security

The 1984 Joint Declaration laid out Hong Kong’s future as a Special Administrative Region of the PRC, governed under the One Country, Two Systems policy, post-1997, and retaining a high degree of autonomy. The agreement can be seen as a watershed, after which, Hong Kong became increasingly dependent on Mainland Chinese water resources, surrendering itsContinue reading “A Watershed: The Erosion of HK’s Ecological Security”

A Dream of Self-Sufficient Water Supply in HK

The politics of air quality in Hong Kong highlight the significance of political ecology to our understanding of urban power dynamics and their implications for a city’s identity. The story of the evolution of Hong Kong’s water supply under British administration in the twentieth century is an allegory for the negotiation of power between BritishContinue reading “A Dream of Self-Sufficient Water Supply in HK”

HK: The Great Indoors

Broadening our view of the effects of air pollution within a growing field of Urban Political Ecology, we can consider how air quality physically shapes the built environment. With a knowledge of the microclimates which differentiate pollution levels around the city, we can even begin to see Hong Kong’s famous skyline as an indirect productContinue reading “HK: The Great Indoors”

The Fragrant Harbour: Air Pollution in Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s skyline, viewed from the Kowloon waterfront, is one of the most iconic in the world. The city’s Chinese name translates literally to ‘fragrant harbour’, but rather than sweet fragrances, tourists are today greeted by the pungent odour of ferry exhaust fumes; Hong Kong is notorious for its air pollution. One of the mostContinue reading “The Fragrant Harbour: Air Pollution in Hong Kong”