Mapped: Hong Kong’s Public Steps

The photos I posted last week of Hong Kong’s hilly streets reminded me of a conversation I had more than a year ago with Melissa Cate Christ, who works at the University of Hong Kong’s architecture school. Christ is leading an investigation into the many public staircases and “ladder streets” on the north side of […]

Talking About Cities Without Ground

Hong Kong isn’t an easy city to navigate. That’s because so much of it exists out of sight: above your head, under your feet, around the corner in a dingy shopping mall. It’s what architect Jonathan Solomon calls a three-dimensional city. “There are all these attempts to map Hong Kong, but most of them are […]

Posted in: Architecture, Asia Pacific, Books, History, Interior Space, Maps, Public Space, Society and Culture, Transportation by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Talking About Cities Without Ground , , , , ,

What Sucks About Walking in Hong Kong

I often get angry when I walk around Hong Kong. This is one of the most fascinating cities in the world to explore — densely layered, pulsing with energy — but it’s also one of the most frustrating because of all the ways the pedestrian experience is undermined and made unpleasant. In the city with […]

Too Many Pedestrians, Not Enough Space

When Hong Kong urban planner Peter Cookson-Smith steps out of his office in Wan Chai, he doesn’t like what he sees. “You go out into the street and find yourself walking on the road because the pavements are so crowded,” he said. “People just want to walk in an unobstructed way, but there are railings […]

Walk This Way

Maya Barkai’s crowdsourced art installation has brought pedestrian crossing symbols from around the world to New York’s streets Only a block north from the construction barriers surrounding the former site of the World Trade Center, which brim with boastful renderings of progress on the nearly-complete September 11th Memorial, another, less conspicuous hole opens up in […]

A City Without Ground

It’s a bright Sunday afternoon and Central is buzzing. Thousands of Filipino domestic workers gather with friends for a weekly picnic. Shoppers stream through the luxury shops of Chater House to the somewhat less posh confines of Worldwide House, where large boxes of gifts are being packed for shipment to the Philippines. Charity workers stop […]

Those Grey Metal Fences

Sidewalk fences at a typical corner in Sham Shui Po, Kowloon Earlier this month, a pair of pedestrians tried to push their way through a crowd of people on Dundas Street, one of the most crowded streets in Hong Kong’s most crowded neighbourhood. One of them cast a withering glance on the grey metal fence […]

Summer Streets

Ste. Catherine Street. Photo by Kate McDonnell Two years ago, when Ste. Catherine Street in the Gay Village was pedestrianized for the summer, it was organized like a festival, with a corporate monopoly on outdoor beer sales and over-the-top decoration (and not in a fabulous way, just in a tacky commercial one). Even worse, the […]

How to Lose a Sense of Place

You can’t touch the sculpture in front of Langham Place. It’s a nice bronze piece by Larry Bell, and it looks great from a distance, but if people touched it, their oily hands would ruin the metal. So there’s a security guard stationed out front, all day, every day, to make sure nobody crawls onto […]

Calgary Scrambles

I’m in Calgary at the moment. This is a fast-growing, fast-changing city, and there are a couple of interesting changes that I noticed while I was here. One of them is the introduction of two new scramble crossings in the Eau Claire neighbourhood of the city’s downtown area. Often associated with Tokyo’s famous Shibuya Crossing, […]

Ways to be Killed by Cars

If these signs are any indication, Hong Kong pedestrians ought to be very scared.

Posted in: Asia Pacific by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Ways to be Killed by Cars , ,