December 20, 2013 Leave a comment
The first thing that hits you on visiting Hong Kong are the tall buildings. The densely populated region, which is one of the top financial hubs of the world, has no other option but to go vertical. Though the population density of Hong Kong (6516 people per sq. km) is way less than Delhi (11,289 people per sq. km) but like Delhi, it does not have the large number of slums which increase the required space for houses.
The vision to go vertical was taken in 1950’s when the burgeoning population was leading to decay in living standards. Today, according to Wikipedia, there are nearly 7900 high rise buildings (>115 feet or > 12 floors) in Hong Kong. (Mumbai has 2300).
Hong Kong, which comprises 2 islands (Lantau and Hong Kong) and a peninsula (Kowloon) was on “lease” to British till as recently as 1997 when it came back under Chinese. A special administered region of China, Hong Kong has a separate currency, visa law, clearly defined borders, independent governance, and different language. It is a unique case where it has characteristics of a city and behaves like a country.