19th Century Urban Evolution
Contemporary Hong Kong often seems a random jumble, with little apparent planning. This general perception obscures as much as it reveals. To understand better how and why the modern city “is how it is” we need to step back into the mid nineteenth century to see how the urban fabric was laid and subsequently evolved.
While geographically close, Central, Wanchai, Causeway Bay and the Mid-Levels all evolved in distinctly different manners, due to the presence (or absence) of industrial enterprises, military installations, community religious or cultural frameworks or infrastructure facilities.
These various component parts of Hong Kong’s early urban evolution will be explored in this extensively-illustrated lecture. Along the way, the various fragments about Hong Kong that even relatively short-term residents all “know” will be concisely fitted together into a coherent, meaningful, composite picture.