Urban Fold

The Yin and Yang of Urban Redevelopment in Hong Kong

Researchers from the University of Washington trace the history and development of Hong Kong, the skyscraper capital of the world, from reclamation of waterfront land in the 1800's to contentious urban renewal projects today.

From article by Mark Huppert and Marc Weigum on MetropolisMag.com:

"Since land reclamation first began in 1841, the harbor has shrunk to half its original size."

"The Wan Chai neighborhood is a good case study of the long-term history of the region's land reclamation policies. At the outset of British colonial rule, this area was the shoreline of Hong Kong Island on Victoria Harbor. To provide perspective on how much area was reclaimed since then, in Wan Chai today it would take about 20 minutes to walk from the original shoreline to the current waterfront."

"Perhaps if the reclamation and renewal processes in Hong Kong included clear sets of measurements for non-financial project performance, there would be a greater chance of broad project success. Think of it as the project's over-arching community balance sheet or its non-financial assets and liabilities. Arguably, there cannot be success without damage – no winner without a loser. It is the yin and yang of the development process."

The authors close the article by stating that real estate professionals and policy makers should make it a priority to produce the best possible results for all the stakeholders involved.

Full Story: From Reclamation to Renewal

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