Land reclamation in the making of Hong Kong

Research output: Chapters, Conference Papers, Creative and Literary WorksRGC 12 - Chapter in an edited book (Author)peer-review

1 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Infrastructure Design
Subtitle of host publicationGlobal Perspectives from Architectural History
EditorsJoseph Heathcott
Place of PublicationNew York
ISBN (Electronic)9781003093756
ISBN (Print)9780367554910, 9781032188393
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameRoutledge International Handbooks


Hong Kong has long faced the prospect of limited land for development, as the only available flat land lies in narrow coastal strips between the mountains of the islands and the sea. Since 1840, when the first group of colonists arrived, they have continuously reclaimed land from the sea. To date, among the 1,106 sq km of land area within the Hong Kong territory, 70 sq km have been reclaimed from the sea. The coastline winds for 1,100 km along more than 200 islands and islets. However, the public only has access to one-fifth of this waterfront space, as the remainder is blocked by container terminals or other industrial facilities. In the twentieth century, officials directed the extension of the shoreline along Victoria Harbor 1,000 meters toward the water in order to acquire valuable land for urban development. Because of this land scarcity, high density and high-rise buildings along the harbor have come to define the urban landscape of Hong Kong. This chapter examines two aspects of waterfront development in Hong Kong: the ecological and social problems caused by land reclamation, and the historical evolution of waterfront architecture and planning from colonial to global periods. We study varied types and uses of newly reclaimed waterfront space, including leisure, commercial, and residential. The chapter aims to reveal the design challenges related to waterfront reclamation and spatial production amid calls for increased attention to place-making and public space for active civic life.

Bibliographic Note

Information for this record is supplemented by the author(s) concerned.

Citation Format(s)

Land reclamation in the making of Hong Kong. / Xue, Charlie Qiuli; Sun, Cong.
The Routledge Handbook of Infrastructure Design: Global Perspectives from Architectural History. ed. / Joseph Heathcott. New York: Routledge, 2022. p. 294-305 (Routledge International Handbooks).

Research output: Chapters, Conference Papers, Creative and Literary WorksRGC 12 - Chapter in an edited book (Author)peer-review