​Decade of Redevelopment: Hong Kong in the 1970s

​Decade of Redevelopment: Hong Kong in the 1970s

Hong Kong in the 1970s transformed itself into the society we immediately recognize today. Massive redevelopment of older areas virtually obliterated entire districts; the emergent high-rise metropolis erased the last vestiges of Hong Kong’s Victorian-Edwardian cityscape.

Hong Kong after the 1966 and 1967 riots rapidly developed a newer social compact, with greatly enhanced public housing, education and social welfare provision; already in planning stages in the late 1960s, these developments significantly accelerated when Sir Murray Maclehose was appointed Governor in 1971.

Construction of the first MTR Lines, extensive reclamations, and the opening of the Cross-Harbour Tunnel in 1972 transformed life. Rapid expansion of educational opportunity enabled the local economy to move up the value chain, and a sizeable middle class began to emerge. Hong Kong’s popular culture – in particular film, television and music – experienced what is now regarded as a golden age.

China’s opening up to the outside world in the late 1970s, and the beginnings of public and diplomatic debate about “1997 And All That”, marked the beginning of a period of uncertainty about Hong Kong’s future under eventual Chinese rule. All these aspects – and more – will be comprehensively discussed in this wide- ranging, extensively illustrated lecture.

This talk forms part of an interconnected series:

•Hong Kong in Transformation: Life in the 1950s

•Decade of Challenge and Transformation – Hong Kong in the 1960s