Asian Urbanization

Asian Urbanization: A Hong Kong Casebook

Editor D. J. Dwyer
P. Bishop
D. W. Drakakis-Smith
D. M. E. Evans
C. K. Leung
Jon A. Prescott
E. G. Pryor
J. M. Wigglesworth
Luke S. K. Wong
Copyright Date: 1971
Pages: 218
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt2jc115
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  • Book Info
    Asian Urbanization
    Book Description:

    Asian Urbanization surveys the most significant facets of Hong Kong's remarkable urban development during the last twenty-five years. Some of the contributions, by authors from both the University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Government, were originally given at a series of seminars on problems of urbanization held in the Centre of Asian Studies of the University of Hong Kong. In this up-to-date form they provide a comprehensive survey of the problems of physical planning in Hong Kong and, on a comparative basis, in Asia and elsewhere. The wide scope of the book includes studies of the massive housing programmes for the resettlement of squatters which have attracted such international attention; the legal background to urban growth; urban renewal; the transport pattern and recent proposals for an undergroundmass-transport rail system, small-scale industrial units, and the creation of new towns- all extensively illustrated with detailed plates, maps and diagrams. Hong Kong's pattern of urban development is perhaps the most dynamic in the Third World and this assessment, which may in parts prove to be controversial, should be read by all those concerned with the planning of the rapidly expanding cities of developing countries and by students of comparative urbanization everywhere.

    eISBN: 978-988-220-029-6
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[viii])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [ix]-[xv])
  3. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-10)
    D. J. DWYER

    During the last twenty years, Hong Kong, in common with other parts of Asia and indeed the developing world generally, has faced massive problems arising from rapid rates of increase of the urban population (Dwyer, 1968). At the end of the Pacific War, the population stood at about 600,000. By the end of 1970 it had risen to about four millions, almost 90% of which was within the twin cities of Victoria and Kowloon and two new urban areas, Tsuen Wan and Kwun Tong (Fig. 1). The rapid rate of growth of Hong Kong’s population, which is shown in Figure...

  4. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  5. ONE HONG KONG: THE FORM AND SIGNIFICANCE OF A HIGH-DENSITY URBAN DEVELOPMENT
    (pp. 11-19)
    JON A. PRESCOTT

    Hong Kong is regarded by professional planners throughout the world with not a little astonishment. To most, the domestic densities to which we have built seem incredible, and to a few unforgivable. There is almost disbelief when general figures of 2,000 to 2,500 persons per acre are mentioned, and certainly specific net densities of 9,800 persons per acre are considered with slight bemusement.¹

    Yet there is much to be said in favour of high-density living and it is important not to reject, a priori, a modern city form which conflicts with the sort of idealism that is based upon small...

  6. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  7. TWO SOME LEGAL ASPECTS OF URBANIZATION IN HONG KONG
    (pp. 20-32)
    D. M. E. EVANS

    This study is restricted in two ways. First, the problems of urban renewal are excluded because they involve matters of great legal complexity and extent. Urbanization is considered as a physical process of transforming a hitherto ‘non-urban’ area into an ‘urban’ area. It is not within the scope of this study, furthermore, to define urbanization more fully. Secondly, this study is confined to urbanization as the implementation of government policy and not as the pursuit of commercial economic interests. This is not to deny the vital function of the latter, especially in the context of Hong Kong; the implementation of...

  8. THREE HOUSING PROVISION IN HONG KONG
    (pp. 33-47)
    D. J. DWYER

    There are two remarkable features of urban Hong Kong which are closely interconnected, but only one of them is at all widely appreciated. On the one hand, the massive increase in the urban population over the last twenty years or so has been widely recognised (Vaughan and Dwyer, 1966). The population count conducted by the Air Raid Precautions Department in March 1941 indicated that the total population was 1.64 million and that of the urban population was 1.29 millions: 709,000 in the city of Victoria and 580,000 in Kowloon (Building Reconstruction Advisory Committee, 1946, p. 28). The population in the...

  9. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  10. FOUR THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW TOWNS
    (pp. 48-69)
    J. M. WIGGLESWORTH

    In formulating proposals for the development of any city and its hinterland, the planners are faced with a dilemma. The agricultural, industrial and technological revolutions made the concentration of productive effort in cities possible. By bringing together labour, raw materials and markets, the metropolis came to act like a powerful magnet drawing to it increasing numbers of people and resources. In a sense, such a concentration is desirable, for it can make for rapid economic growth and create a valuable pool of resources and a high standard of living. On the other hand, the costs of providing and maintaining an...

  11. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  12. FIVE THE DELINEATION OF BLIGHTED AREAS IN URBAN HONG KONG
    (pp. 70-88)
    E. G. PRYOR

    ‘In . . . cities there are areas which by common knowledge are known to be seriously dilapidated, but agreement is lacking concerning the extent of the dilapidation, the nature of it, and the advisable treatment. A rough screening is necessary to answer the first question and a thorough blight analysis to resolve the other two. In addition to the areas that are notoriously dilapidated, there are pockets of severe blight, little known to the general public, yet festering sores that can spread blight infection to surrounding areas, and stretches of near blight that need attention lest these areas also...

  13. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  14. SIX THE APLICHAU SQUATTER AREA: A CASE STUDY
    (pp. 89-110)
    LUKE S. K. WONG

    Hong Kong, like other cities of the developing world, has in the last few decades experienced many urban problems arising from a very fast rate of population growth (see Dwyer, 1968). The inability of house construction to cope with the swollen urban population has resulted in large numbers of squatters among the population. The Hong Kong government has in the last fifteen years launched a large scale resettlement programme for squatters. The results of the programme have indeed been impressive. Nonetheless, the squatter problem has by no means been solved. There are still 380,000 squatters in about 113 squatter areas...

  15. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  16. SEVEN SOME ASPECTS OF THE HONG KONG RESETTLEMENT PROGRAMME
    (pp. 111-122)
    P. BISHOP

    This study attempts to do two things; first to sketch in the squatter background to resettlement in Hong Kong and secondly to indicate some of the effects of resettlement, both on the community and on the squatter himself. Our knowledge of this subject is patchy: there are certain areas where information is at present sorely lacking and conclusions must be conjectural.

    The causes of squatting in Hong Kong are well-known. At the outbreak of the Japanese war the population, already very considerably swollen, was in the region of 1.6 million. By the end of the war this had been reduced...

  17. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  18. EIGHT PROBLEMS OF THE SMALL INDUSTRIAL UNIT
    (pp. 123-136)
    D. J. DWYER

    As most industrial growth is urban-centered, it is an important factor for examination in considering problems of physical planning in a rapidly urbanizing Third World. The changes currently involved in the urbanization of the Third World are such as to produce, in several important respects, near anarchy in cities. As yet, however, comparatively little is known about the character of entrepreneurial enterprise in individual towns and cities amid these changes (for two penetrating studies, however, see Dhar, 1958, and Geertz, 1963). Szczepanik (1958, pp. 21-2) has written of Hong Kong:

    Most Hong Kong firms, both commercial and industrial, started as...

  19. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  20. NINE THE GROWTH OF INTERNAL PUBLIC PASSENGER TRANSPORT
    (pp. 137-154)
    C. K. LEUNG

    Internal public passenger transport in Hong Kong involves movement by train, tram, cable car, bus, taxicab, public hire car, public light bus, ferry, junk and sampan. The movement of passengers by private car on vehicular ferries across the harbour should also be included. It is not possible to include all forms of public transport in a brief study such as this, since the level of operation of some of them is very low and data are lacking. In any case, passenger traffic by some of the above modes is either too insignificant or too irregular to warrant a time-consuming analysis;...

  21. TEN MASS TRANSPORT IN HONG KONG
    (pp. 155-166)
    C. K. LEUNG

    Public transport in Hong Kong is impaired by two main physical features: relief and configuration. Geographically, the Colony’s total land area of 398 square miles is made up of a high proportion of precipitous mountains, marshlands and other undevelopable land. Only 18% of the land area has a relative relief of 164 feet (50 metres) and less, whereas nearly two thirds (63%) has a relative relief of 328 feet (100 metres) or more (Leung, 1968, pp. 14-20). Corresponding percentages for Hong Kong Island are 9% and 76% respectively, showing a still greater proportion of land with steep relative relief. As...

  22. ELEVEN THE HINTERLANDS OF TOWNS IN THE NEW TERRITORIES
    (pp. 167-181)
    D. W. DRAKAKIS-SMITH

    Most of the advanced work in central place theory has been undertaken in the European or North American context, from the early theories of Lösch and Christaller to the complex mathematical models displayed in works by Berry (1967) and Haggett (1965). Yet, despite constant progress in the West, very little of this work has been applied to Asia, outside India, and until recently most of the work done was descriptive. Moreover, many investigators attempting to find and analyse patterns had pre-conceived theoretical ideas and tended to seek out evidence to substantiate these.

    The purposes here are twofold: firstly, to set...

  23. LIST OF DISCUSSANTS
    (pp. 182-182)
  24. APPENDIX: REPORT OF THE DISCUSSIONS
    (pp. 183-194)
    D. J. DWYER and JON A. PRESCOTT
  25. INDEX
    (pp. 195-202)