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Making Hong Kong

A History of its Urban Development

Pui-yin Ho

Pui-yin Ho surveys how the social, economic and political environments of different eras have influenced the evolution of urban planning in Hong Kong. Evaluating the relationship between town planning and social change over time, this book explores how a local Hong Kong identity has emerged through its urban development. In doing so it brings a fresh perspective to urban research and provides historical context and direction for the future development of the city.
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Pui-yin Ho


The characteristics of the development of a city are always inseparable from its history. Unlike the history of politics, economy, thoughts or cultures, which observes a city merely from the perspective of persons or things, the history of town planning in Hong Kong analyses the city’s evolution process, the turning points in its transformation and the reasons for its breakthroughs, so that we may grasp the key to promoting the development of the city. A review of the city’s development blueprints allows us to reconstruct our identity as urbanites by revisiting various landmarks, historical places and characteristics of spatial development. By so doing, we modern people may avoid feeling lost or confused in the self-searching journey through different times and spaces. The impacts of the external environment are interactive with the internal response, leading to different results depending on the time and the space. The land utilisation and contingency strategies of urbanites of different periods also varied, and this reflects the characteristics of the city in different eras.

Historical events are the turning points for different eras. Political events, economic conditions and even the social structure may change with time. The society’s degree of response to political events and the urgency of countermeasures often affect each other. Is city development affected by the political situation or the other way round? In the past, researchers of Hong Kong’s town planning mostly followed the idea of British scholars, who opined that the city was not very worthy of analysis except...

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