Pandemics, Protests and
the Question of Public Space
Eunice Seng 成美芬
In the opening paragraph of the chapter ‘Crisis, the Plague 1894,’ in her book Power and Charity, the historian Elizabeth Sinn describes the effects that the bubonic plague of 1894 had on Hong Kong society. ‘Crises… tear down the façade of rationality shored up by the routines of daily life, which are themselves disrupted. In the panic and mass hysteria, the contradictions of society – racial discrimination, social and legal injustice, cultural conflicts – normally subdued and tolerated, are accentuated and become unbearable. However well maintained in normal times, the social fabric could become irredeemably torn apart.¹ Sinn’s description could well be applied to Hong Kong’s protests and pandemic of 2019 and 2020. Since June 2019, the city’s public spaces have been deeply embroiled in the throes of protests and closures. From early 2020, Covid-19 has thrown yet another wrench into the works. Between the global pandemic and renewed protests following the passing of the National Security Law on June 30, 2020, old and new meanings of the city’s public spaces are surfacing in ways that foreground the misalignment between public space in theory and in practice. Public space can be defined in various ways, but essentially it refers to those common sites where people gather, which in current times can extend to internet space.² In principle, public spaces are open and accessible to all members of a society. But how open are they? Precisely to whom are they accessible? What constitutes acceptable social activity in such public spaces?
The intrigue and spectacle that surrounds public spaces begins with their very definition. In Hong Kong, ‘public space’ is often understood and described as ‘public place’ (公眾地方). The Public Order Ordinance describes a ‘public place’ as ‘any place to which for the time being the public or any section of the public are entitled or permitted to have access, whether on payment or otherwise, and, in relation to any meeting, includes any place which is or will be, on the occasion and for the purposes of such meeting, a public place.³ It includes ‘all piers, thoroughfares, streets, roads, lanes, alleys, courts, squares, archways, waterways, passages, paths, ways and places to which the public have access either continuously or periodically, whether the same are the property of the Government or of private persons.⁴ In planning terms, public open space is used interchangeably with recreational open space. It refers to land zoned for the provision of open space and recreational facilities for the enjoyment of the general public, such as parks, gardens, playgrounds and sitting-out areas and it includes ‘green’ spaces of natural environment used for amenity or visual purposes.⁵ Public open space also refers to areas within private properties dedicated for public passage by agreement between the owner of the respective property and the government.⁶
Pandemics and Protests
Under the shadow that the protests have cast on public space discourse are efforts by government departments, non-governmental advocacy groups and scholars towards rethinking, researching and redesigning public spaces. Local intelligentsia and media are playing an active role in highlighting the multi-faceted challenges and dilemmas confronting the city’s public spaces. Prominent issues raised are the inadequate access to open space, the impact of this on Hongkongers, the predominance of public space owned by private developers and the challenges to the meanings, uses and control of public spaces.⁷ A 2016-17 study by the think-tank Civic Exchange found that the average area of open space available for each Hongkonger was about 2.7-2.8 square metres.⁸ While this meets the government’s minimum standards, it is far from adequate and pales in comparison to other Asian metropolises such as Shanghai, Singapore, Seoul and Tokyo, which average between 5.8 and 7.6 square metres per person.⁹ The contrast between high-income areas such as the Peak, Kowloon Tong and Discovery Bay where residents have access to more than 8 square metres of public space and the 0.6 square metres in areas such as Mong Kok is disconcerting.¹⁰ Twenty areas, mostly in the built-up areas on the north side of Hong Kong island and in the core of the Kowloon Peninsula have less than the 2 square metres per person standard. The non-profit Hong Kong Public Space Initiative has conducted an audit of 93 of the city’s 1,300 public open spaces in private development (POSPD). It found that the 3,019 square meters of such space at Times Square in Causeway Bay was well-used public space until Times Square’s owners banned busking.¹¹ Designated as public spaces, their owners do not consider how people may wish to use them, despite having benefited by being granted greater GFA by providing them.
The problem of how public space in private developments was further noted by an article in the South China Morning Post. ‘Public spaces should truly be for the people,’ it wrote. ‘The term “public space” evokes images of open-air performances, civilized rallies and protests; or simply people enjoying themselves.¹² After discussing the inadequacy of open space management and the case of Times Square, the article concluded that the Hong Kong Public Space Initiative’s study was a timely reminder that the government should work with developers to ensure that people can genuinely enjoy public spaces.¹³ In January 2020, on the eve of the Covid-19 pandemic, the office of Ombudsman released a report reviewing and with recommendations for the enforcement of the management of privately owned public space in the city.¹⁴
Pandemics are anti-urban. They prey upon the human impulse to congregate and socialise. From skyscrapers and plazas to MTR stations and bus interchanges, urban systems thrive on density. Covid-19 uncovered the limits of pandemic preparedness, even while it provided temporary relief from the deeply entrenched social and political rifts that manifested themselves in Hong Kong’s protests and which will persist long after the pandemic is over. As the virus took hold, Hongkongers’ concerns with public space access shifted from how to navigate public spaces in the city safely during and after rallies and protests to what methods of social distancing and maintaining hygiene should be applied. With safety and surveillance taking on added implications under the new context of health reporting and contact tracing, the creation of public space for social health and sustenance has become everyone’s imperative. At a fundamental level, the long-drawn battle between open space and built urban space can be seen in the ongoing scrutiny of the city’s public spaces. As protest crowds have dwindled and the Covid-19’s ‘third wave’ has ebbed the contests for public space between everything from people and cars to the goals of economy and society have once again resurfaced. If parks, highways and streets were the central points of contestation during the Umbrella Movement, last year’s protests focused on public spaces in shopping malls, MTR stations, the airport and restaurants.¹⁵
Planning and Open Space
In late 2016, the Planning Department and Development Bureau issued ‘Hong Kong 2030+: Towards a Planning Vision and Strategy Transcending 2030,’ a comprehensive strategic study that updated the government’s planning strategy and spatial development directions for the following 15 years. The plan was presented as ‘a living document that is constantly updated with the community,¹⁶ emphasising the importance of public engagement for its discussion of how to make Hong Kong more liveable.
At the study’s core were three ‘building blocks’: ‘planning for a liveable high-density city,’ ‘embracing new economic challenges and opportunities’ and ‘creating capacity for long-term land requirements.’ Envisaging a city with a population of 9 million, it declared that Hong Kong needed 1,200 hectares of new land. Of that total, 700 hectares would be used by government, institutional, community, open space and transport facilities.¹⁷ The open-endedness of how much space would be allocated to open space and what types of open space this would be is dependent on the interplay of power between official bodies, developers and other urban organisations and inhabitants.
The study’s fourth chapter, ‘The Desired Living Environment of Hong Kong 2030,’ opened with a quote from Lewis Mumford’s The City in History: ‘The chief function of the city is to convert power into form, energy into culture, dead matter into the living symbols of art, biological reproduction into social creativity.¹⁸ From whom and where is this power and energy derived? At a fundamental level, Mumford was referring to how –people use their labour, intelligence and reproductive capacity to advance society. He was critical of power-oriented technologies that failed adequately to accommodate the essential nature of humanity.
Jane Jacobs, Mumford’s contemporary, saw people as the energy that drove cities and their cultures. A bane to city power brokers, she argued that the needs of the city dwellers must be respected. Much of her work was directed at harnessing grassroots efforts to protect neighborhoods in New York City from slum clearance.¹⁹ Despite their shared goal of urban liveability, Mumford and Jacobs two differed in their view of the efficacy of planning. Jacobs focused on the street as the stronghold against the wholesale envisioning of urban forms deployed by Ebenezer Howard in his Garden City or Le Corbusier in his Radiant City to treat urban malaise. Mumford believed in good urban planning that emphasised the organic relationship between people and their living spaces, with well-planned open areas and architecture.
Similar contradictions between the instrumentality of developmental planning and the aspirations of community exist in Hong Kong. Much contemporary urbanism is the result of traffic planning schema from the 19th and 20th centuries, be it in Haussman’s Parisian boulevards, London’s squares or streets and superblocks drawn up to reflect Howard and Le Corbusier’s ideas. For American urbanist William H. Whyte and planner Kevin Lynch, the public spaces resulting from traffic-driven cities from the basis of their studies of urban experience and perception. Plans of Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula from the 1920s show the impact of urban development on open space as street systems replace rural space (see maps).²⁰ With the exception of a few larger parks such as King’s Park, the forms and uses of the open spaces contained within the rationality of traffic plans which have perpetuated to the present. Underlying the recent scrutiny of public spaces in Hong Kong is thus a century-long history of the devolution of streets for people into streets for cars.
People and Traffic
The shift from a street grid to wide roads with superblocks of podium towers marked Hong Kong’s transit-oriented new town development. This process was jumpstarted by the expansion of traffic systems and new town building in the late 1950s, the opening of the Cross-Harbour Tunnel in 1972 and the introduction of expressways and a rapid transit system in the 1970s. In the process, open spaces become voids in the urban fabric, rationalized as part of the development society and managed by private developers or public authorities.
A lack of visual access or ‘imageability’ of these public spaces has translated directly to their underuse and often, their under management too. At the same time, public parks, gardens and plazas have also received heightened attention as being the sites in which the health of the city is rendered visible. The onset of the coronavirus saw the temporary emptying of Square in Central, one of the principal gathering spaces for protestors until January 2020.²¹ Built on reclaimed land in the late nineteenth century, Statue Square was originally conceived as a place for statues of British royalty.²² By 1909, it had become known as ‘the city’s gateway.²³ By 1910, there was increasing interest mostly from the British community to use this small piece of public land for community purposes.²⁴ Until the 1920s, Statue Square was a concrete square-cum-park,²⁵ largely used for commemorative royal pageantry with parades by the defence forces.²⁶ In the 1930s, the park gave way to an open-air car park as the number of cars in the colony increased. After the second world war, it became a fenced car park for military vehicles, then was integrated into a new traffic system in Central.²⁷
In the 1950s, despite public criticism about ‘the desecration’ of one of the colony’s few open ‘show places… sacrificed to utilitarian necessity’ and a call for more parks and open spaces, it remained a car park until HSBC resumed the land in front of it for a garden.²⁸ In 1957, a structure holding temporary offices was demolished and it was reported that the space would become a public garden or a car park.²⁹
In 1964, the car park was slated to be replaced by a public garden managed by the Urban Council, with its building costs jointly borne by the government and HSBC.³⁰ The new garden was envisaged as marking a return to the original purpose of an agreement made between the government and the Bank in 1901 that Statue Square should be maintained as a large open space in the centre of the city. The ambiguity in the definition of ‘public’ and what types of social activities were allowed afforded the bank the opportunity for negotiation. In exchange for handing Statue Square ‘back to the people,’ a height limit was granted on all future development in front of its headquarters building on Queens Road.³¹ On September 23, 1965, the South China Morning Post published plans for a ‘modern park’ with gardens, lawns, fountains, rest facilities, and fully grown trees transplanted from the corner of Queen’s Road East and Kennedy Road.³² At its opening in May 1966, the square was incorporated into the colony’s 1,100 acres of land for parks, gardens, sports grounds and other recreational areas.³³
A year later, it was the site of protests pro-communist young people – as it was again in 1987, when Filipino domestic workers filled it demanding residency rights, and in 1997 with democracy advocates. With that record being maintained last, the square continues to be a space of contested identities, ideologies and representations.³⁴
Park and Parking
The earliest meaning of park was ‘to enclose (land) as pasture.³⁵ In the 18th century, the use of the term park also suggested specific activities such as walking, driving or riding. In 19th century America, park also was used to refer to ‘an area of turf, with or without trees, in the centre of a street or intersection, or in front of a building.³⁶
In the 1910s, parking began to refer to ‘the placing or leaving of a vehicle or vehicles in a car park or other designated area, at the side of a road’ and the ‘space reserved or used for the parking of motor vehicles.’
Reflecting on today’s circumstances where public space is under scrutiny by various parties and stakeholders, Mercedes Hutton of the South China Morning Post has recently recalled a mid-1960s debate on Statue Square’s public space situation. In an article headlined ‘Statue Square: Hong Kong’s “showpiece” park for people, not cars,’ she traced public discussion played out in her newspaper between July 1964 and its opening in May 1966 over whether it was to be a green open space or a concrete open space with car parking.³⁷ That people ‘flooded in’ and used it in the variety of ways immediately after its opening was a rejoinder to the article’s ‘park for people’ announcement.
The contest for space between parks and parking space began in the 1920s. In October 1922, the South China Morning Post published an article on ‘Open Spaces,’ decrying the utilitarianism of Statue Square as it was fenced in and functioned ‘only for the tourists.³⁸ The following month, it followed up with a piece that stated, ‘Now is the time, before the builder is too actively engaged, to mark out broad radial avenues, rings roads, which will serve as passes and open squares with room for “parking.”³⁹ From around that time on, ‘parking’ would refer only to car parking as traffic development became an integral component of urbanization.⁴⁰
In the 1930s, the felling of 38 old Banyan trees on Nathan Road because they interfered with the growing traffic indicated the inception of traffic-oriented development.⁴¹
By the 1970s, multiple streets throughout the colony were identified as ‘black spots’ with high incidents of road accidents. Of these ‘horror intersections,’ a solitary candle nut tree (Aleurites moluccana) fronting the Tin Hau Temple remained standing at the junction of Kweilin Street and Yee Kuk Street in Sham Shui Po.⁴² Yee Kuk street is part of a 1920s reclamation bounded by Yen Chow Street, Apliu Street and Tung Chau Street. In 1925, Yee Kuk Street was curbed, channeled, surfaced with macadam and tar painted, and the sidewalks were paved with granolithic slabs.⁴³ During the 1990s, the curb at the junction was extended outwards. Together with the tree, an assortment of old office chairs and other discarded furniture, electronics and wooden construction pallets, the space in front of the temple forms a kind of public open “living room” for temple residents and visitors.
The life of public space is a crucial barometer of the health of a city. Historically, pandemics and protests have led to changes in the uses of space, with both public and private areas being reclaimed by governments or other power-holders during conditions of emergency. Contestations of public space often foreground urban inequalities, such as disparities in income, housing, land and access to labour. The launching of pedestrianization and other placemaking initiatives by stakeholders can mark a crucial shift towards community engagement, especially if they involve collaborations between designers, multi-disciplinary groups and government bodies. Notable projects in recent times include Chinese University’s ‘Magic Carpet: Re-envisioning Community Space’ (2013-), exhibitions such as HKIA’s Reveal 2: For the City and the Community (2016), and public sharing platforms such as the Community Living Room Family Meeting.⁴⁴ These community-focused events can enhance the vibrancy of public spaces. We must also acknowledge that a broad range of actors, individual and collective, who through continued spatial negotiations are responsible for the vitality and dynamism of the city. Accepting this necessitates a more open and dynamic form of planning and architectural envisioning.
Eunice Seng is Associate Professor and Chair of the PhD programme in the Department of Architecture at the University of Hong Kong and founding principal of SKEW Collaborative. She is the author of the recently completed Resistant City: Histories, Maps and the Architecture of Development.
成美芬為香港大學建築學系副教授及博士課程主任，亦是偏建建築設計事務所的創始人兼主要合伙人之一。成美芬剛完成新作《Resistant City: Histories, Maps and the Architecture of Development》.
Left: Candle nut tree at ‘Tree Park’, Sham Shui Po.. Right: ‘Parked tree’ with drainage behind, next to cement pavement extension. (Photographs: Gavin S. Coates, 2016)
¹ Elizabeth Sinn, Power and Charity (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2003),
² This was the premise of the book, Common Ground? Readings and Reflections on Public Space, edited by Anthony M. Orum and Zachary P. Neal (London: Routledge, 2010).
³ Public Order Ordinance (Cap. 245) Section 2. (Format changes—E.R. 1 of 2017), accessed August 5, 2020, https://www.elegislation.gov.hk/hk/cap245.
⁴ The Bilingual Laws Information System: ‘Summary Offences Ordinance’ (Chapter 228) Section 2. Version date: 15/02/2017, accessed August 5, 2020, https://www.elegislation.gov.hk/hk/cap228!en@2017-02-15T00:00:00.
⁵ Planning Department. ‘Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines.’ Planning Department, accessed Aug. 5, 2020. https://www.pland.gov.hk/pland_en/tech_doc/hkpsg/full/pdf/ch4.pdf. For ‘Green Space,’ see also, Chapter 10 of the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines (HKPSG) on Conservation. From the standpoint of public health, additional attention is given to gathering spaces such as public pleasure grounds, markets and swimming pools. The use of public open space under Leisure and Cultural Services Department is governed by the Pleasure Grounds Regulation under the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance. Hong Kong Ordinances, ‘Cap. 132 Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance.’ Hong Kong e-Legislation, accessed August 5, 2020, https://www.elegislation.gov.hk/hk/cap132.
⁶ Buildings Department. ‘Codes and references – Public open space: Areas within private properties dedicated for public use.’ Building Department, accessed Aug. 5, 2020, https://www.bd.gov.hk/en/resources/codes-and-references/public-open-space/index.html. Development Bureau. ‘Public Open Space in Private Developments Design and Management Guidelines.’ Development Bureau, accessed August 5, 2020, https://www.devb.gov.hk/filemanager/en/content_582/Guidelines_English.pdf .
⁷ Carine Lai. ‘How Hongkongers are being cheated out of vital open space.’ South China Morning Post, February 15, 2016.
⁸ Carine Lai. Unopened Space: Mapping Equitable Availability of Open Space in Hong Kong, Civic Exchange Research Report, February 2017, accessed August 7, 2020, https://civic-exchange.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/20170224POSreport_FINAL.pdf.
⁹ Planning Department. ‘Chapter 4: Recreation, Open Space and Greening – Table 1: Open Space.’ Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines, Hong Kong: The Government of the HKSAR, 18. See also, Elson Tong. ‘Hongkongers enjoy less than half as much open space than citizens of other Asian cities – study.’ Hong Kong Free Press, February 28, 2017. https://hongkongfp.com/2017/02/28/hongkongers-enjoy-less-half-much-open-space-citizens-asian-cities-study/; Yupina Ng and Louise Moon. ‘Will a lack of open space damage generations of Hongkongers?’ SCMP, November 4, 2017. https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/community/article/2118314/will-lack-open-space-damage-generations-hongkongers.
¹⁰ Lai. Unopened Space, 2017, p.20-25.
¹¹ Shirley Zhao. ‘Times Square was shining example of well-used public space in Hong Kong until it banned busking, think tank says.’ SCMP, Oct. 14, 2018. https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/2168431/times-square-was-shining-example-well-used-public. See also, Karen Cheung, “How Hong Kong’s Developers are abusing public space.’ Hong Kong Free Press, September 17, 2017; and LO, Ka Man, Claire. Public space in Hong Kong. Cultural Studies@Lingnan (2013): 37. http://commons.ln.edu.hk/mcsln/vol37/iss1/11/https://hongkongfp.com/2017/09/17/hong-kongs-developers-abusing-public-space/.
¹² ‘Public Spaces should truly be for the people’ South China Morning Post, October 19, 2018. <https://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/2169437/public-spaces-should-truly-be-people.>
¹³ In 2018, Francesco Rosellini and Melody Yu of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, also conducted a study of 28 POPSDs in Central district based on size, typology and administration and develop an index to evaluate the extent of their urban hybridity. Concluding that the degree of inclusiveness in a POPSD is dependent on its connectivity to the multilevel spatial network, the authors suggest that a comprehensive plan for these spaces in Central is necessary to facilitate the implementation of public events.
¹⁴ Victor Ting. ‘Hong Kong government overlooked hundreds of millions in money owed by developers over use of public space, ombudsman says,’ South China Morning Post, January 14, 2020. https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/hong-kong-economy/article/3046092/hong-kong-government-overlooked-hundreds-millions.
¹⁵ Rachel Wong. ‘Hongkongers gather at shopping malls in protest for press freedom.’ South China Morning Post, August 12, 2020.
¹⁶ Planning Department and Development Bureau. Hong Kong 2030+: Towards a Planning Vision and Strategy Transcending 2030. Planning Department 2016-2020, 1. https://www.hk2030plus.hk/document/2030+Booklet_Eng.pdf.
¹⁷ Ibid. 47.
¹⁸ Lewis Mumford, The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects (San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 1989), p. 571.
¹⁹ See, Jane Jacobs. The Death and Life of Great American Cities (Harmondsworth: Penguin in Association with Cape. 1964).
²⁰ See Ho Pui-yin’s Making Hong Kong on the promulgation of future infrastructure in these schemes. Ho Pui-yin. Making Hong Kong (Cheltenham, Gloucestershire: Edward Elgar Publishing. 2018), pp.111-112.
²¹ In light of the recent protests, it was the site of the mothers’ sit-in on June 14, 2019, and the Lunch with you/Write with you campaign on January 16, 2020.
²² Its first statue was that of Queen Victoria to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 1887. Other statues, including 1st Baronet Sir Thomas Jackson, the first chief manager of Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, Queen Alexandra and Princess of Wales were added.
²³ ‘The City’s Gateway,’ South China Morning Post, December 4, 1909.
²⁴ ‘Hongkong’s Finest Site,’ South China Morning Post, April 16, 1910.
²⁵ ‘A Place to Relax in Central: HK–THEN AND NOW.’ Sunday Post – Herald, Nov 03, 1974.
²⁶ ‘A Survey of the Scene: Hong Kong the City Beautiful,’ South China Morning Post, April 6, 1922. ‘The Transformation: The Wonderful Night Display Hong Kong Aglow with Ruby Lanterns A Scene of Surpassing Beauty’ South China Morning Post, April 7, 1922. ‘King’s Birthday: Naval and Military Parade in Statue Square Tomorrow’s Pageant,’ South China Morning Post, Jun 2, 1933. ‘Impressive Scenes Mark Historic Event: Thousands Throng Streets All Races and Creeds Pay Homage to King,’ South China Morning Post, May 13, 1937.
²⁷ ‘Traffic Control: Altered Arrangements prove satisfactory new car parks,’ South China Morning Post, January 24, 1948.
‘Statue Square Car Park: Accommodation For Nearly Two Hundred Vehicles Planned Ready By End of This Year,’ South China Morning Post, September 15, 1950.
²⁸ ‘Statue Square,’ South China Morning Post, September 30, 1950. ‘Open Spaces,’ South China Morning Post, April 19, 1951.
‘“Car Owners” Version of Paradise: HK-THEN AND NOW,’ South China Morning Post, July 23, 1978.
²⁹ ‘Statue Square Structure to Go,’ South China Morning Post, June 22, 1957.
³⁰ ‘Government and Bank to Share Garden Cost,’ South China Morning Post, July 10, 1964.
³¹ Eric Ellis, ‘Wilson Finds Parking a Dream in the Territory,’ South China Morning Post, February 15, 1986.
³² “Trees in Statue Square”, South China Morning Post, May 10, 1966.
³³ ‘New Statue Square “A Departure from Traditional Lawns”’, South China Morning Post, May 27, 1966.
³⁴ ‘Around Hongkong,’ South China Sunday Post – Herald, May 21, 1967. Jack Spackman. ‘Riot City ’67: The Communists Rejoiced in Victory and Pressure Mounted,’ South China Sunday Morning Post, April 26, 1987. ‘Protests Put Off for Fund-Raising,’ South China Morning Post, June 15, 1987. Linda Choy, ‘The Protests 3,000 Rally to Democracy, Freedoms Call,’ South China Morning Post, July 1, 1997. Chris Lau, ‘Hong Kong protests: small group stages defiant rally day after radicals trash banks and shops,’ South China Morning Post, January 2, 2020, https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3044288/hong-kong-protests-small-group-stages-defiant-rally-day.
³⁵ ‘park, v.’ OED Online, June 2020, Oxford University Press, accessed August 7, 2020, https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/137947?rskey=JXRMuY&result=1&isAdvanced=false.
³⁶ ‘parking, n.’, OED Online, June 2020. Oxford University Press, August 7, 2020, https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/137961?rskey=JXRMuY&result=2&isAdvanced=false.
³⁷ Mercedes Hutton, ‘Statue Square: Hong Kong’s “showpiece” park for people, not cars,’ South China Morning Post, June 2, 2020.
³⁸ ‘Open Spaces,’ South China Morning Post, October 31, 1922.
³⁹ ‘Open Spaces,’ South China Morning Post, November 28, 1922.
⁴⁰ Although there was already parking space for public motor buses in the 1910s, by the 1920s, a similar situation was occurring around the world, including in colonial Singapore. ‘Parking in Singapore,’ South China Morning Post, August 11, 1928. See also, ‘Traffic Developments,’ South China Morning Post, November 28, 1928.
⁴¹ ‘Old Trees Doomed: Nathan Road Avenue to Disappear Traffic Interference,’ South China Morning Post, March 2, 1934. ‘Kowloon’s Trees,’ South China Morning Post, March 5, 1934. ‘Kowloon Trees: Authorities Resume Felling Operations Nathan Road. Action,’ South China Morning Post, April 16, 1934. Whereas large-scale tree felling in the colony began as early as 1909, they were for reasons of procuring the dry pine wood rather than the clearance of the old banyans for roads. See, ‘Local news,’ South China Morning Post, June 21, 1909.
⁴² ‘Tight Check on Traffic “Black Spots,”’ South China Morning Post, September 10, 1976.
⁴³ Report of the Director of Public Works for the Year 1925. Q123 Appendix Q.
⁴⁴ Community Living Room is an informal platform, which connects architectural professionals with community stakeholders, established in December 2019 by Mee Kam Ng (CUHK), Corrin Chan (HKIA) and conceptual artist Amy Cheung.