Hong Kong’s gentrification in spotlight of urban renewal lecture exploring how districts evolve

South China Morning Post Lauren James

Photo: Xiaomei Chen


With its Instagram-friendly red lanterns, twinkling lights and European-style boulevard, Lee Tung Street, in Wan Chai, is a rose-tinted vision of a bygone era that has become a hot spot for tourists. “Wedding Card Street” used to be famous for its printing industry but, following its regeneration between 2009 and 2015, it is now home to high-end international brands and restaurants. The gentrification of the city – and whether that can ever be a good thing – will be the subject of a talk hosted by the Hong Kong Anthropological Society next month aimed at anyone with an interest in how districts evolve.

The speaker, Gloria Chaung Wing-yee, is a Chinese University researcher specialising in urban renewal and resident’s participation in their communities’ evolution. Her fieldwork focuses on areas such as To Kwa Wan and Sham Shui Po, in Kowloon, both histori­cally deprived areas that are undergoing modern­­isation. She says the main problem is that locals aren’t given a say in how the areas are transformed.

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