Jake explains his challenge like this, “Urban design is the process of designing and shaping cities, towns and villages. Whereas architecture focuses on individual buildings, urban design address the larger scale of groups of buildings, of streets and public spaces, whole neighbourhoods and districts, and entire cities, to make urban areas functional, attractive, and sustainable.”
Here is my choice of pics for Jake’s challenge.
The Megacity of Hong Kong, whose name derives from ‘Hsaing Kang’, meaning fragrant harbour, rates as one of the most populous cities in the world.
Here is a view taken looking over Kowloon to Victoria Harbour. How it has changed since my mom lived there as a child in the 1930’s, when she used to be taken to school in a rickshaw.
The city itself is really like most of the world’s cities, except for the signs being all in Chinese.
It doesn’t look terrible busy in these photos, but to me it felt like wall to wall people, especially at night-time, when all the locals as well as the tourists seemed to be out on the streets. I believe some family apartments are so small, (only 40-50 sq metres), and have bunk beds overlapping with cooking areas and food storage. Is it surprising that people only go home to their ‘cubicle apartments to sleep, and that they conduct their social life outside ?
Here is one of the side streets of the city.
Although Hong Kong is one of the richest cities in the world, in the back streets, the signs of poverty were very evident. Almost a fifth of the population of this glittering city, are suffering extreme financial hardship.
To see more interpretations of Jake’s theme, just click here.
The 4th image is my favorite. It makes me feel as though I am right there walking down the street. Great composition. Robyn
Wow, another sliver of your life – a chinese slice. How amazing to see all the places you or your family has lived. You are so cosmopolitan. 🙂 Loved this! 🙂
Thanks so much, Marsha. I wish I had photos of the area where my dad was brought up in Indonesia. Looked in the album, and there’s nothing. 😦
You have a fascinating life. Every tidbit of information you share makes me (and I’m sure your other followers, too) want to get to know you better. Thanks for sharing, Sylvia. 🙂
Stunning post my friend thanks for sharing this 🙂
Thanks so much, Jake. 🙂
I am always so impressed in the beautiful and exotic places you have been able to visit. Wonderful captures.
Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Emily. 🙂
fabulous photos…never been so I enjoy your photos even more…
Thanks so much, Heather. I wish you a wonderful week. 🙂
Fantastic and very interesting! 🙂
Thank, Inga. 🙂
I would love to see this beautiful country…your pictures are so surreal.
Thanks, Laurie. The pics are taken from negatives which we had digitised. I really like the way they came out.
fascinating post on hong kong ad, i love your photos and story … my mother visited hk many times, but i have never been there 🙂
Thanks so much, Christine. 🙂
Wonderful images Sylvia.. As crowded and chaotic as Hong Kong is, I love its vibe.
Thanks, Madhu. Yes it is a very vibrant city. I enjoyed my few days there. 🙂
Great photos of this very congested city, Sylvia. School in a rickshaw – now that is a story. I would love to hear more about that. You always have fantastic images of places I’ll never get to visit. Thanks for the tour.
I really must try and jog my mom’s memory about her early life, and especially of her years lived in China. She’s only given me tiny snippets over the years, and now her memory is very bad. 😦
We hope to explore this part of the world in the next few years. I don’t know how much time we will spend in such a crowded city. How long ago were you there Sylvia?
We were only in Hong Kong for three days, before doing a wonderful ten day tour of China, which covered Guilin, Xian and Beijing. You’ll really enjoy it. I’m sure it has probably changed quite a lot though since we were there in 1999.
They say dense populations like that are more energy efficient, but I’m far too spoiled having some space all to myself. I suppose we adapt if we must, but it wouldn’t be easy.
Me too, Gunta. I was just wondering what the water pressure for the shower must be like, if one lives in a huge apartment block. 😕
Great pics here! I think it’s so interesting about your mother living there as a child. Did she live there for long? Was she born there? (I’m nosy, I know) 😉
Thanks, Dianne. My mom’s father was a Sergeant Major in the British Army, and was stationed in Hong Kong for a few years. She says that they had a wonderful life there, and her older brother who was also in the army, used to dive off the top of cranes, into the harbour. Unfortunately he was killed during the 2nd World War when he was captured by the Japanese, and the unmarked prisoner of war ship he was on, was torpedoed by the British. A great tragedy, as I was deprived of an uncle I would have been so proud of. 😦
Oh dear… this is truly an amazing story, have you ever thought of writing a book about it? I have a picture on my wall of my Great Uncle Robert who died in Changi POW camp and I totally treasure it xoxoxo
I have been trying to get my mom to share more memories with me, but at 88, her mind isn’t what it was, and she can’t remember much now. Methinks I must persevere. 🙂
My grandmother-in-law was the same so I got a small tape player and in her more ‘lucid’ moments I would turn it on and talk to her. Yes – perseverance is the key. Best of luck because it would make a wonderful story 😉
Thanks for the idea, Dianne. 🙂
Fantastic scenes Sylvia!
Thanks so much, Phil.
There is a strong connection between Hong Kong and Vancouver. When we were there, a tour guide said that people from Hong Kong call Vancouver – are you ready for this – Honcouver!! 😆
“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”
― Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities
I guess it’s because of the high proportion of Chinese/Asian people in the Lower Mainland. When my daughter and family lived there, we noticed this.
That quote is very true, Rebecca.
The first pic sets the stage … when there is always more than one would expect.
Thanks, Frank. I find it hard to stop at one photo. 😀
That harbour never fails to amaze me AD …All those buildings huddled and rising up round the water like concrete plants . Its also amazing what conditions and cramped quarters people get used to living in … but as has someone has already mentioned .. Such clean looking and litter- free streets !
Thanks, Poppy. I love your “concrete plants” metaphor. Brilliant! Yes, the streets are are litter free. This really says something about the attitude of the people living there, whether they be poor or rich. 🙂
Oh my … That is a BIG CITY …. Compared to little Östersund where i live … I have never been to a city, that big … Your photos are great . // Maria 🙂
Thanks so much, Maria. I’m glad you enjoyed my pics. 🙂
Another city of extremes, thanks for sharing these photos, I’ve never been.
Thanks so much, Gilly. 🙂
Wonderful photographs… Thank you dear AD, have a nice weekend, love, nia
Thanks, so much, Nia. Happy weekend to you. xx
Impressive from far, but close up the poverty is far from impressive.
Poverty is never impressive, Col. It’s far too common. 😦
Are you sure those pictures are of Hong Kong? The streets look far too quiet for me 😉
Absolutely sure, TA. They were taken before the streets really started to get busy. 🙂
One thing.that I noticed was that their streets are fairly clean, no plastic bags lying around
Yes, it’s amazing how some cities can manage their litter so well, whilst others (which shall be nameless), really battle with the problem. 🙂
I still have my T-shirt , Hong Kong the great Chinese take-away
An interesting trip to a city I have not visited.
Thanks so much, Colline. Glad you enjoyed the photos. 🙂
Hong Kong just grew, but I have seen photos of mainland China’s planned cities, planned and built from scratch. They are very orderly, but I’m sure they lack that amazing vitality one experiences in Hong Kong
Yes, Hong Kong is very cosmopolitan and vibrant, like New York.
Not a city I would like to live in, I must say. Fancy a family living in 40 sq m. That’s the size of my future cottage.
Yes, it’s unimaginable, but they cope. 🙂
Interesting juxtaposition of contrasting public spaces. Is it a nice fragrance?
Thanks, Ray. I wouldn’t imagine that it’s very fragrant these days, with all the air pollution from the dirty shipping emissions. 😦
i think we’ve been spoiled with the space we have here in the suck heap AD.
Yes, the grass isn’t always greener, is it?
Great post as usual AD and I would really die if I have to live so close to someone else for sure. We had a townhouse in Rustenburg where we lived for a year before we moved here and I tell you, living like that is truly claustrophobic. I won’t be able to adapt. I like free and open spaces and we are blessed if we do have that. I know I am. 😀
Thanks for sharing hon and have a great weekend. 😀 *hugs*
You’re welcome, Sonel. I’m so happy you’ve found your bit of paradise on earth. 🙂 xx
My home is where my heart is AD and if I have to live it in a place like that with my loved ones, then I will do it. 😀
That is amazing isn’t that people can adapt to live in such dense or small space. It is another interesting city.
Yes it must be awful, but people can adapt to anything if they have to.
I see they do a great job of keeping the city free of litter, unlike central Johannesburg 🙂
You can say that again, Chris. 🙂
So schöne Bilder ich wünsche einen schönen Tag und ein gutes und glückliches Weekend lieber Gruß Gislinde
Vielen Dank, Gislinde. Ich bin so froh, dass Sie genossen die Fotos. Schönes Wochenende auch für Sie.
fragrant harbour … interesting!
Yes, a beautiful name. 🙂