Posts Tagged ‘development’
It’s hard to imagine life without tap water in modern, affluent Hong Kong. But for those that live in the 20 plus villages that do not have treated water supply, this is a daily reality. Varsity meets the villagers who are fighting to have this most basic resource in their homes.
Trees are a welcome sight in our concrete jungle, but they often suffer from crowding, pollution and inappropriate care. Apart from causing damage to the trees, the poor management of trees also poses a risk to human safety. Conservationists and arborists – or tree doctors – say Hong Kong needs a Tree Ordinance and better urban planning are need to improve tree management.
With the spread of the internet, newspapers around the world are suffering from falling advertising revenues and shrinking circulations. District newspapers, which were once an important source of local news and information in Hong Kong had nearly all disappeared by the end of the 1980s. But a renewed interest in community and neighbourhood in community in the city has led to revival of district papers. Varsity meets the people behind them.
When is a landowner not a landowner? According to the law of adverse possession, squatters can claim ownership of land they have occupied without the owners’ consent after a statutory period of time. Advocates say squatters’ rights ensure land is used while critics argue it is a kind of theft. Whatever the case, it seems adverse possession disputes are set to increase Hong Kong continues to press ahead with urban redevelopment and the development of rural areas.
For some, they are like squalid shanty towns. For others, they are rooftop sanctuaries – a home to call one’s own. But one thing they share, is that residents of Hong Kong’s illegal rooftop huts face an uncertain future in the face of redevelopment and eviction. Varsity captures scenes from life at the top.
Environmentalists and ordinary members of the public have been flocking to Lung Mei Beach before the government implement plans to turn the strip of Tai Po coastline into an artificial swimming beach. As one last-ditch attempt to save the strip, which is abundant with marine life, follows another, people are appreciating the wildlife and saying goodbye, perhaps for one last time.
Scenes of locals protesting against parallel traders outside Sheung Shui station caused a stir back in the Autumn and focused attention on complaints that the traders’ activities have changed the character of the town. But as Varsity discovers, even before Sheung Shui became a hub for such trading activity it had already undergone dramatic transformation from a rural backwater into one of Hong Kong’s so-called new towns.
They found themselves in the headlines when they fought to save their homes in Choi Yuen Village. But their houses and farms were finally demolished to make way for the controversial Guangzhou-Hong Kong Express Rail link. Now, the TV cameras have left and some of the original villagers are stuck in temporary houses while their dreams for a new model village are held up by red-tape.
Some of Hong Kong’s temples have swapped dark smoky interiors for clean marble, LED lights and airy glass walls. They want to provide a tranquil setting for spiritual reflection but devotees seem to have mixed feelings about worship in these modern shrines.
Hong Kong’s remaining walled villages are an important part of the territory’s heritage and history. But should the desire for preservation trump villagers’ wishes to redevelop their homes?