Archive for the ‘April 2015 – Reimagining Public Space’ Category
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.
During last year’s Occupy movement, the “reclamation” of Civic Square and the tents, study areas, libraries and art in the occupied sites of Admiralty, Mong Kok and Causeway Bay showed how collective actions could take place within public spaces. While the government tightens restrictions on the use of public space, it seems the public is awakened to the idea of public space as a place to express ideas.
A policy to integrate public spaces into private developments was first introduced in the 1980s in order to improve urban land use. But some privately owned public spaces are not user-friendly at all. Varsity visited some open spaces in heritage buildings and a private residential estate to take a look at some of the issues and problems.
The government is proposing to tighten laws on street obstruction, but critics of the plan say the authorities should accommodate local features. Varsity visits black spots for street obstruction at Mong Kok’s flower market, Temple Street and Tai Ping Shan Street.