Rethinking Asia’s Public Spaces

Talking over dim sum at a busy Wan Chai restaurant, it doesn’t take much prompting for Christopher Law to reel off the failures of Hong Kong’s public spaces. “No matter how small the space is, they try to fence it off,” he says, taking of sip of pu-erh tea. “All the public seating is extremely […]

Bringing a River Back to Life

The Kai Tak River near Nga Tsin Wai Village Wallace Chang still remembers how disgusting the Kai Tak River was when he was a child living near its banks in the 1970s. “The water was in between grey and black and it flowed very slowly, almost stagnant,” he recalls. That didn’t stop him and his […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Environment, Heritage and Preservation, History, Public Space by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Bringing a River Back to Life , , , ,

The Cheonggyecheon Experience

What amazed me most about Cheonggyecheon was its freedom. Here was a stream running through the middle of Seoul, one of the world’s largest cities, and it gurgled as contentedly as any country creek. You can walk next to the water, sit next to it, wade in and feel its sharp chill on your calves. […]

Along the Buriganga

While railways are the nerves and sinews of India, rivers are the lifelines linking the cities and towns in neighbouring Bangladesh. Last spring, I was in Dhaka, the congested capital, with my brother. The city of 14 million people lies on the banks of the Buriganga. After getting lost in the atmospheric narrow warren of […]

Montreal’s Lost Rivers

In Montreal, “river” usually means one of two things: the all-important St. Lawrence River, godlike in its power and presence, and the Rivière des Prairies, whose lazy nature is perhaps better reflected in its informal English name, the Back River. Before it was urbanized, however, Montreal Island was covered with creeks and rivers. Some have […]

Posted in: Canada, Environment, History, Interior Space, Maps by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Montreal’s Lost Rivers , , ,

Up the Yangtze

[youtube]Q1fFuynf-Yw[/youtube] The night before last, as the remnants of a thunderstorm drizzled down on Bernard Street, I walked to the Outremont Theatre to see Yung Chang’s documentary Up the Yangtze for the second time. Seeing it again only confirmed that this is truly a remarkable film — and one of the best and most important […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Film, Society and Culture, Video by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Up the Yangtze , , , , ,

New West and the Fraser River

Like the Saint-Laurent, Vancouver’s Fraser is a workhorse of a river. Industrial islands and seemingly endless log booms make for an interesting and active landscape, very different from the bulk of imagery one typically sees of Vancouver’s waterfront. These photos were taken from above in November, 2007.

Posted in: Canada by Desmond Bliek Comments Off on New West and the Fraser River , , ,

The Old Town and the Sea

The St. Lawrence River in Montreal. Photo by Matt Hobbs If we don’t get a handle on runaway greenhouse warming, sea levels are predicted to rise by approximately 20 feet, or seven meters. If you think this won’t affect Quebec, think again. Using the Google Maps API and NASA climate projection data, a clever person […]

Posted in: Canada, Environment by A.J. Kandy Comments Off on The Old Town and the Sea , ,

Cheonggyecheon: The Flow of Progress

Restoring a six-kilometre stream that has been covered by an expressway for over fifty years is not an easy task. The job is even more difficult when the stream happens to meander through one of the world’s largest and most densely populated cities. The Cheonggyecheon, or the Cheonggye Stream restoration project is without question the […]