With its skyscrapers and dense urban neighbourhoods, Hong Kong can seem claustrophobic at times – the only places people can gather to spend their leisure time or socialise tend to either require consumption or are overly restrictive. In this issue of Periscope, Varsity takes a look at how we conceive of and use public space in our city.
The 79 days of the Occupy Movement opened Hongkongers eyes to the possibility of busy urban streets without cars, and to alternative uses of public space. Here Varsity takes a look at public space as a venue for the exchange and expression of ideas and a platform of communication between the government and the public.
Did you know there are a number of spaces open for public enjoyment in private developments? They are part of a policy to improve urban land use started in the 1980s. But many of them are poorly managed, hard to access and inconspicuous to the public.
The government is planning a law to introduce on-the-spot fines for street obstruction to clear the streets of unauthorised dining tables and retail activities. But critics say the move could strip neighbourhoods of distinctive local features. Varsity visits some street obstruction “blackspots”.