8 June 2016 – “Progress” wears many guises. So I found myself musing during a casual weekend stroll through the wreckage that was once Hong Kong’s Gage Street market area. As I advanced further into this war zone-like scene, a second stray thought came to mind: “Is this progress?” The answer is not so simple. […]
Read more "Hong Kong’s urban planning process needs a rethink!"
31 May 2016 – It’s not easy to feel sympathy for Becky Au Hei-man (區晞旻), co-founder of Mapopo (Baby Horse) Community Farm. In 2010, Au quit her desk job to return to her childhood home of Ma Shi Po Village, a leafy farming community located along a bend of the Ng Tung River. Although Au’s […]
Read more "Mapopo Farm: The consequences of blind adherence to sketchy policy"
18 May 2016 – Located along a stretch of the curving, upscale thoroughfare of Hollywood Road stands a fairly nondescript, six-storey building. A casual passerby would barely notice it if it weren’t for the contrast with its immediate neighbour, the 169-year-old single-story Man Mo Temple – a declared monument. The temple’s rundown companion is a […]
Read more "Heritage Protection: Power to the People"
23 February 2016 – Open space may seem like an oddity to some Hong Kong residents – a curious lack of development sandwiched between high rises and apartment blocks. Many locals would not think of it as an amenity. According to the Planning Department’s Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines, residents of metropolitan areas and […]
Read more "Open Space: A Coffin for Each of Us"
It’s sexist. It’s unsustainable. It has been blatantly abused for decades. And, don’t let anyone fool you; it works just the way it’s supposed to work. Yes, it’s that 1972-vintage Small House Policy (SHP) that [almost] everyone loves to hate. In land-scarce Hong Kong, it is not hard to imagine the many problems of an […]
Read more "Small House Blues: Defending the Indigenous Villager"
18 January 2016 – A sea of green on a sea of blue — it’s what Lantau looks like on a satellite map. Despite covering 13 percent of Hong Kong’s land area, the island has been spared the pell-mell development that characterizes more central areas. That may soon change. On Sunday 10 January, at a time […]
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11 January 2016 – A bridge to Zhuhai, a busy border crossing, a wealth of cross-border trade and investment – evidence of Hong Kong’s integration with the Pearl River Delta (PRD) is all around us, so we’re told. Indeed, few would argue that some degree of “economic integration” is not underway. This term may suggest […]
Read more "The HK-PRD Agglomeration Illusion"
26 May 2015 – I was at a mid-week afternoon business conference on conservation, and the air in the designated ballroom was stuffy. An overburdened microphone cracked frequently as a line-up of CSR/sustainability leaders presented their firms’ programs to a crowd of peers. Glassy-eyed audience members stared at the stage, gazed into space and checked […]
Read more "Humanity needed in corporate sustainability messaging"