Daily Archives: October 19, 2010

The Urban Renewal Authority Is Insane

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Check out this story over at CNNGo.

Hong Kong is about to lose a 650-year-old piece of history.

Nga Tsin Wai was established by the Ng, Chan and Lee families in the mid-14th century. At the time, the village was located near the harbor, so in 1352 the families built a temple in honor of the sea goddess Tin Hau. In 1724, walls were built to protect the village from pirates.

Since then, the seaside has vanished, replaced by the Kai Tak Airport, and so have the defensive walls. But the village layout remains more or less the same as it was hundreds of years ago, with three narrow streets and six laneways lined by small tile-roofed houses.

It’s going to be demolished.  It will be replaced by two apartment towers and a “heritage-themed park.”

Yeah, you guessed it, Hong Kong’s Urban Renewal Authority is at work again.  Destroying history to replace it with over-priced shoeboxes and more than likely a shopping mall with more branches of the chain stores owned by Hong Kong’s elite.  Another piece of history destroyed in the name of putting more money into the pockets of people who are already billionaires.  Li Ka-Shing, Sun Hung Kai, Henderson, New World, Swire, Jardine, they can’t make any money off this place as it stands and wouldn’t make any money if they simply spruce the place up.  So the URA is buying up the properties, forcing out the people who live there and doing everything they can to ensure that this unique area will look and feel just like every other street in “modern Hong Kong.”

Well, I asked for something to eat
I’m hungry as a hog
So I get brown rice, seaweed
And a dirty hot dog
I’ve got a hole
Where my stomach disappeared
Then you ask why I don’t live here
Honey, I gotta think you’re really weird.

- Dylan (of course)

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