At Home with Density by Nuala Rooney

By Nuala Rooney

Through qualitative interviews with long term citizens of public housing, this publication explores citizens' adventure of high-density area. It lines the advance of Hong Kong housing kinds and analyses how people's expectancies of household area were tormented by social mobility and transferring cultural values of house, way of life, and design.

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65 m) rooms in Lok Fu resettlement estate. They were concerned about security on the estate, especially peeping toms in the women's communal bathing area. Yet, despite the overall problems and density the family was relatively satisfied with their home. The daughter Mae explained: 'Living here is q u i t e c o n v e n i e n t . ' Having lived in a squatter hut for many years they had experienced and tolerated far worse living conditions. Their current accommodation, although cramped and basic, was clearly a marked improvement on where they had lived before.

The Hong Kong government wanted to keep out of China's problems, but with a population that was over 9 5 % Chinese. They was a fear that revolution might spill over to Hong Kong. C o m m u n i s m had taken such a hold in China, it would be unlikely that Hong Kong, as a British Colony, would be able to survive if the people could be swayed by the rhetoric of the new regime, of a new China. 52 With government intervention it made good economic sense to erect permanent structures which could house 2,000 people, for the same amount it cost every fortnight in relief for the fire victims.

29 For new immigrants, a fatalistic attitude was a distinct advantage, since the Hong Kong government largely expected them to be selfreliant. The laissez-faire government was concerned only w i t h maintaining basic safety and health measures and did very little to alleviate the housing problem, which fell squarely on the private sector. They were able to avoid taking action so long as health in the colony remained generally good and, it could be argued, that if the Chinese who lived there did not complain about housing then it must not be such a pressing problem.

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