A Detour in Urban Design

When artist-activist John Bela wandered around Wan Chai, Hong Kong’s melting pot neighbourhood of historic shophouses, packed street markets and hooker bars, he encountered a sense of déjà-vu. “I felt like a prisoner in a cage surrounded by leering cars and trucks,” he says. “This is the case in many cities where traffic engineers have […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Heritage and Preservation, Public Space by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on A Detour in Urban Design , , , , , , ,

The Sacred Food Court

Seats of imperial power are often regarded with a certain reverence — they provoke admiration, astonishment, even fear. That’s certainly the case in New Delhi, where British colonialists built a series of massive, belittling monuments to their rule, or in Washington, DC, where the Mall is increasingly seen by its National Park Service administrators not […]

Accra’s Backyard Greenhouse

Accra from above by Jason Armstrong With tree-lined avenues and hilltop views, the ACP Estate in Accra already feels greener than much of Ghana’s fast-growing, densely populated capital. It has the appearance of a comfortable suburb: leafy, peaceful and wholesome. But the yard of Florence Benson is more than just green. It also boasts a […]

Posted in: Africa and Middle East, Environment, Public Space, Society and Culture by Nathan Midgley Comments Off on Accra’s Backyard Greenhouse , , ,

The Treehouse of Roosevelt Road

A couple of months ago, I wrote about the fig tree that has taken root atop a dilapidated building on Temple Street in Hong Kong. 800 kilometres to the northeast, across the Taiwan Strait, there is something even more spectacular: an enormous tree that grows straight through an otherwise ordinary shophouse. You can find the […]