Edited by Sushil Vachani and Jawed Usmani
Chapter 2: Vulnerable and lagging behind: the case of Hong Kong
Hong Kong is situated at the mouth of the Pearl River Delta (PRD), formed by the Xijiang (West), Beijiang (North), Dongjiang (East) and Zhujiang (Pearl) Rivers as they enter the South China Sea. The territory of Hong Kong consists of four major islands and about 260 outlying islands. Hong Kong's total land area is 1104 square kilometres with a total coastline of approximately 730 kilometres. About 25 per cent of Hong Kong's land area is developed; country parks and nature reserves account for 40 per cent of Hong Kong's land use. Victoria Harbour, one of the world's busiest deep water harbours, lies between Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula (HKSAR Government 2012a). Large urban centres are located in low-lying areas, which renders the city vulnerable to sea level rise and floods. Hong Kong's population stood at approximately seven million in 2011. It is one of the most densely populated places in the world, with a population density of 6540 people per square kilometre (HKSAR Government 2012a). Hong Kong is a wealthy city - the gross national income in 2011 was approximately US$34,000 per capita - but it also has the greatest degree of income inequality in all of Asia (Vidal 2010). Like all cities, Hong Kong is vulnerable to climate change because of the concentration of people, built infrastructure and assets in a small area.
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