The Greening of Hong Kong

MLA Thesis Section (2014-15)

Related Staff : Matthew Pryor

Students: CHUNG Wai Kin Gap; KWOK Chin Toh Philip; LAM Wing Ki Vicky; LI Jinsheng Jason; WONG Yin Kiu Anna

“From the opening of the treaty port by Britain to the handover of Hong Kong to Chinese rule, the landscape of Hong Kong underwent transformation from ‘barren rock’ to ‘world city’. Documentary evidence indicates that the landscape of Hong Kong was actively managed well before colonial occupation. The need to establish a rationale for colonial occupation, to provide wood for building and fuel for the new settlement, and subsequently to improve human and ecological environments, however, gave rise to repeated attempts to ‘green’ the territory, that persist to the present day. This thesis stream explores the many historical and contemporary initiatives for ‘greening’ Hong Kong (in its various physical and political constructs) and the way they have shaped the landscape of the territory. Specific research topics might include: Natural(-istic) landscapes, their conservation and ecological restoration; Remnant historical and cultural landscapes – feng shui woodlands, village landscapes, temple gardens, memorial sites, green heritage; Productive landscapes – forestry plantation, agricultural farming, orchards; Greening for public health and environmental comfort – urban forestry, street trees, greening master plans, urban farming, organic farming, community gardens, roof top gardens; Greening for identity – visual enhancement, tourism, city aspirations; Greening for leisure and recreation – botanic gardens, public parks, gardens and pleasure grounds (racecourses and amusement parks), mansion gardens, private estates; and Greening for the masses (New Lives : New Landscapes) – the landscape of Hong Kong’s new towns, infrastructural systems, and mass public housing. This area of research highlights the role of landscape in cultural hybridity and social transformation and explores the confluence of the Chinese and Western conceptions of nature. This area of research is relevant as it would: contribute to the a broad history of greening in Hong Kong and the motives behind it; establish a landscape and environmental context of the territory of Hong Kong for related historical discourses; and create a basis for our understanding and values of green heritage in the city.

Student theses this year included:
“”Alternative Way to Green the City – Unplanned Vegetation in Hong Kong”” by CHUNG Wai Kin Gap;
“”Reactivating the Hong Kong Botanical Garden and Government House – Government Hill”” by KWOK Chin Toh Philip;
“”Pocket Park Transformation”” by LAM Wing Ki Vicky;
“”The Surviving Code of Street Market”” by LI Jinsheng Jason; and
“”Hong Kong Urban River Revitalization: From Inaccessible to Meaningful”” by WONG Yin Kiu Anna.”

Enlarge Photo: Gap CHUNG Wai Kin
Enlarge Photo: Gap CHUNG Wai Kin
Enlarge Photo: Gap CHUNG Wai Kin
Enlarge Photo: Gap CHUNG Wai Kin