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MolsonExport Oct 7, 2004 11:41 AM

Kowloon: The Old and the New
Apt. for Rent:

Look at this!! Dear God!!

Vancouver has got nothing on HK:

Skyline-wise, can it get much better than this?

Density a la Walled City, somewhere in Kowloon:

Would you live here?


"Well, we're moving on up...."

:cool: :cool:

SD Oct 7, 2004 11:24 PM


Originally Posted by marshall_mathers

Originally Posted by SD

Originally Posted by marshall_mathers
those wall s city pics of kowloon reminds allot of the gmae I play shenmue II, in that game I've been in Aberdeen HK to Kowloon, and it actually located on te hill in a peninsula and actually have buildings serve as shop, housing and lots of stuff, adn yes, there's a wall around the city.

try it, it shenmue II for xbox.

That's a great game. I don't know if you played the first one on the Dreamcast, but you may still find this article interesting. The town/district of Dobuita was recreated quite well in the game. Here are some pics of the actual location:

I played both games on DC and xbox, and those pics are old, I saw them way back in 2001 on shenmuedojo, they got sakuraka, doubuita and

I know...but didn't know whether or not you had seen them. :)

Grumpy Oct 8, 2004 6:47 PM

This is the most tasteless architecture I ever seen and they are easy to be found in HK . So disgusting ...

hkskyline Oct 8, 2004 11:29 PM

The Walled City has been torn down and replaced by a park :

More photos :

ailiton Oct 8, 2004 11:32 PM


This is the most tasteless architecture I ever seen and they are easy to be found in HK . So disgusting ...
I think they are beautiful.

CGII Oct 9, 2004 2:17 AM

Re: Great Walled City Pics

Originally Posted by MolsonExport

Dude, I already posted those in a link, otherwise I woulda put up the pix if it didn't clearly say he wanted permission before anyone did anything with them ;)

marshall_mathers Oct 9, 2004 7:24 AM

Re: Kowloon: The Old and the New

Originally Posted by MolsonExport
Apt. for Rent:

Vancouver has got nothing on HK:

vancouver don't got unstyling hi rise liek that, or have as much, but most of the south america metropolis are jsut as close.

Rachmaninov Oct 9, 2004 9:37 PM

These are for high wealth residents...

MolsonExport Oct 19, 2004 3:07 PM

Future "Walled Cities" in HK?

Holy Density, Batman!

MolsonExport Nov 9, 2004 9:50 PM

New versions of Walled City???

MolsonExport Feb 7, 2005 1:05 AM

Re: Re: Kowloon: The Old and the New

Originally Posted by marshall_mathers

Originally Posted by MolsonExport
Apt. for Rent:

Vancouver has got nothing on HK:

vancouver don't got unstyling hi rise liek that, or have as much, but most of the south america metropolis are jsut as close.

I think that they are rather cool!:cool:

MolsonExport Feb 7, 2005 1:21 AM

** image deleted by admin for hotlinking **

Smiley Person Feb 7, 2005 4:33 AM

So large, yet still at a human scale- I think that is what makes this so captivating compared to newer apartment blocks that may be larger and more populated.

MolsonExport Feb 7, 2005 6:26 PM

More Walled City Goodies

.1 Historical
About a decade ago, there were only huts or houses scattering in Kowloon City, both economically and politically dependent on the Walled City. During the 1910s, Hong Kong being colony of British, a grid plan was implemented on this area and thus forming the present grid pattern.

In the 1920s, parts of the Walled City fell into decay with the south wall beginning to crumble. By the 1930s, the domestic dwellings became so dilapidated and insanitary that the Hong Kong Government announced plans to demolish the houses, except those for public purposes and the demolishment was completed in the 1940s.

During the Japanese occupation, the wall was completely torn down to provide material to extend the Kai Tak Airport. After the war, the Walled City was once again occupied by squatters, who gradually replaced the huts with high-rise buildings.

In 1987, it was announced that the Kowloon Walled City, one of the prominent landmarks in Hong Kong, would be cleared. It was completely demolished in 1994 and replace by a park with style of Chinese garden.

Moreover, in 1998, the Kai Tak international airport, nearby Kowloon City, was removed to Chek Lap Kok. Before the removal, people from everywhere in Hong Kong came to take photos, look at the planes coming and going, enjoy the last memorial moment.

View from KWC rooftop:

"a fetid conglomeration of 359 tenement buildings...festering on a 7-acre plot."
- U.S. News & World Report

Kowloon Walled City (KWC for the rest of the writeup) was, at its peak, an incredibly dense, self-sufficient mish-mash of building units constructed on top of and around each other on the border between Hong Kong and neighbouring China. It housed one of the most densely-packed populations in the world and is likely the only large-scale example of a functioning anarchy ever to have existed. It was also filthy, unsanitary and dangerous.

It was demolished in 1993. The site is now a commemorative park.


KWC had an inauspicious beginning (if it could be imagined that it ever was anything else) as a Chinese Army fort, itself originally an outpost constructed in 1668. It appears it was maintained and expanded in construction and complement in the years following; when the Chinese signed the 1842 Treaty of Nanjing, handing Hong Kong island to the British, they stipulated that ownership of the fort would remain in Chinese hands. It was just inside what would become British colonial territory but the Chinese wished to keep an eye on British influence and check it if necessary.

The 1898 Peking Convention which leased the Kowloon Peninsula to Britain for 99 years did not mention KWC, leaving its legal ownership something of an ambiguity. An unofficial agreement was reached whereby China would be allowed to keep troops there as long as they didn't interfere with the British administration, but a year after the Convention was signed Britain attacked it. It was empty (the Chinese had vacated during the previous 12 months) and was ultimately left derelict and ungoverned, reinforcing the collective uncertainty as to who owned it. KWC remained this way for some time, becoming something of an historical oddity and tourist attraction. In 1940, during the Japanese occupation of China, much of it was demolished to use for building Kai Tak Airport in Kowloon Bay.

After Japan's surrender in 1945, squatters began to occupy parts of the city. With the Chinese civil war that followed and the victory by communism and the 1949 formation of the PRC, hundreds of refugees from the mainland also squatted in KWC, tacking their own residences onto the existing structure. How this progressed is unclear, as only one source mentions the extent of the demolition and I could not find any documentation of the years in between. By 1947 the population is reported to have been 2000.

In 1948 several attempts were made by the British to remove the squatters, who presumably made up the majority of the population by then. This resulted in several riots and the eventual adoption, both by Britain and China, of a policy of ignorance with regard to the area, which had become a diplomatic and legislative black hole. Neither Chinese nor British security forces had any power there, and without any physical protection or borders the city quickly became a hotbed of criminal activity. Drug dens, gambling areas and brothels all proliferated in the growing city and the lack of control by both governments was highlighted when, after a murder there in 1959, both sides tried frantically to get the other to claim responsibility for the land and legal proceedings.

In the absence of a government the city became a haven for people to escape everyday constraints such as taxes and legislation. Essential facilities were provided by the inhabitants, hashing them together from what could be found. Electricity was stolen, tapping from nearby electrical mains and leeching connections were made to underground water pipes; over seventy wells were also sunk throughout to supplement the fresh water supply. The water was pumped up to rooftop tanks from where it descended through a network of pipes to all of the apartments. Eventually standpipes were installed throughout the city during the 1960s, but the original infrastructure served the residences for over twenty years. The electricity supply was eventually supplanted by a paid feed in 1970, when faulty wiring caused a serious fire in the city.

A repeat of British eviction attempts occurred in 1963, again resulting in rioting which was presumably amplified by the increased population. I would estimate it to have been around 5,000 by that point, growing to 10,000 by 1971. KWC was by then under almost complete control of the Hong Kong Triads, though this was lessened considerably by over 3,000 police raids from 1973 to 1974 that resulted in 2,500 arrests. With a lessened spectre of criminality and threat of raids by security forces the city's growth rate increased. As more people moved in, buildings were joined by more buildings and modifications were made to existing ones, creating a collage of accommodation over the small plot of land. It looked like tower blocks that had been chopped into cubes and stuck, randomly and rather haphazardly, back together.

Nevertheless, and despite universally negative media reporting of the conditions there, the city had grown into a fully functioning community. All of the facilities required were present, the city frequently benefiting from skilled inhabitants, many of whom were responsible for the provision of utility supplies and the building of extensions. There were several schools, medical and dental practices (who charged a fraction of their official counterparts, since they did not need expensive licences to operate), factories, shops and restaurants. There was even a temple in the heart of the city.

As the community aged and matured it garnered some acceptance from local government, which gradually provided some amenities such as the aforementioned water supply, internal street lighting and limited security (almost no natural light penetrated to the majority of the city). Although there was no police force as such and again, neither side had any real jurisdiction there, a patrol unit was established (perhaps with mutual input from both sides, though that detail is not clear) to try to maintain some semblance of order within the walls.


Evidently this unregulated, untaxed and unruly society eventually became too large a thorn in the sides of both British and Chinese authorities, or perhaps too visible a reminder of their past indecisions and political tensions. Despite it having a crime rate lower than the national average on both sides of the border it straddled, it was undoubtedly the centre of various seedy industries and the collective feeling was that it was time for authorities to put their foot down. Part of the 1984 Sino-British joint declaration on the future return of Hong Kong to China included an agreement allowing the British to demolish KWC and resettle the inhabitants, which by then numbered somewhere between 50,000 and 350,000 (sources differ widely, though the former is more likely).

Over the following years, compensation and re-housing agreements were eventually made by the British with all the inhabitants and a mutual decision was made to demolish the city, announced in 1987. Evacuations took place from 1991 to 1992. The 1993 film Crime Story includes footage from inside the deserted KWC, taken just prior to its demolition, some footage of which also appears.

The former site of the city now hosts a heritage park, containing exhibits and landscape features documenting the city's history.

philip Feb 9, 2005 7:05 AM

If I see more pictures like these, I think I'll start to dislike living in Hong Kong. Here is another one.

igzaklee Feb 9, 2005 11:52 AM

vertical suburbia philip, that's all...

InitialD18 Feb 9, 2005 3:15 PM

if u want to compare vancouver and hk apartments u should compare the westend ones with mid level ones ... they are both high end apartments ... it would be interesting to see the two districts apartments measure against each other ...
btw i believe i live in one of these and they are as good as or in some case better than the apartment i lived in canada ...
and suburban towns in NA are just as redudant as the lower cost suburbian towers in hk ... minus the convenience in hk ...
there are still much to desire for in terms of external styling... but they are honestly much better than what the picture portrays ... come yourself to take a look in some of these apartments ...
they do look better in real ...

MolsonExport Feb 9, 2005 6:51 PM

^I think that it would be very interesting. I am fascinated by the sheer density of HK building projects. One thing that all the most fascinating and vibrant urban areas have in common is density. I lament the passing of the Walled City of Kowloon, not because I think that it was fit for human habitation, but because of the utter density and strange jurisdictional status of the place.

vvill Feb 10, 2005 12:03 AM


Originally Posted by philip
If I see more pictures like these, I think I'll start to dislike living in Hong Kong. Here is another one.

it may look a bit crazy and way too dense from a distance.. but they're all very nice if you look closer. the wide range of amenities and facilities offered are rare in most parts of the world.

philip Feb 10, 2005 1:22 AM

I would love to live in HarbourSide, High Cliff or Summit, but not in these crowded buildings. My kind of home must have a nice view, it cannot have a view of someone else's back door.

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