According to a new city ranking system devised by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Hong Kong is the world’s best city to live in. The new index, devised by an architect and urban planner, took into account factors such as cities’ green space, sprawl, natural assets, cultural assets, connectivity, isolation and pollution; weighted on these indices, Hong Kong came up trumps.
However, Hong Kong is also one of the most densely populated areas in the world—some of the most crowded districts have a population density of around 54,000 people /km2 (in comparison, the most densely populated areas of London have just over 10,000 people per square kilometre, and the city’s average is 4,500).
Naturally, the large population and small area of Hong Kong mean that space is at a premium, and many residents live in tiny, one-room ‘cubicle apartments’, which often function as eating, sleeping and living space for an entire family.
To highlight these unacceptable living conditions, a group called Society for Community Organization commissioned a series of wide-angle photographs shot from the ceilings of the restrictive abodes. More than just exposing the problem, the photographs also include a call to action: QR codes inset in the picture direct viewers to a petition to the Hong Kong government.
It should also be said that, though far from being desirable habitats, the apartments in the photographs below demonstrate real ingenuity on the part of the residents, who have made use of the space so cleverly within.