BY DAMIAN HOLMES on LAND Reader
“Julia Levitt just posted Hong Kong’s Retail Tetris at Metropolis Magazine POV. Levitt looks at the retail makeup, density that comes in a densely packed mega-city such as Hong Kong. The variety of spaces and retails outlets in Hong Kong is often an amazing sight.
I recently traveled to Hong Kong last weekend and found that shopping centres are as lively and exciting as the streetscape and vice-versa depending on the time of day. Restaurants are often on the 5th, 6th and often 11th floor of shopping centres. Nothing beats the streetscape at night time in areas such as Tsim Sha Tsui and Mongkok on the Kowloon side that are a sea of neon and LED light until the early morning. Same can be said of Central, Wan Chai on Hong Kong Island. The culture in Hong Kong is also around eating and often Breakfast, Morning Tea, Lunch, Aftenoon Tea, Dinner, Midnight Tea, so you can always find people wondering the streets in some areas of Hong Kong. Also the heavy used public transport creates the opportunity to stay out to the late at night or early hours as the trains run until 1am and also buses that run all night”
I see Hong Kong as a model of smart growth management and land use planning. It’s a city were policy dictates that development must concentrate on only 25% of the land area, with the remaining 75% preserved as open space. This policy ensures that the region’s lush green spaces remain intact. It also maintains scarcity and high land values in developable areas. This is crucial to the local government because its primary source of income is land leasing.
Looking at development in Hong Kong through Western eyes, I noticed another impact of the city’s tightly concentrated density: the compact clustering of residential and working populations supports a diverse, competitive, and often ingenious retail community. Continue reading