Presentation on theme: "Topic 4 Urban Renewal. 1.The Case of Tsuen Wan Tsuen Wan was the first satellite town in the history of urban development in Hong Kong when Hong Kong."— Presentation transcript:
1.The Case of Tsuen Wan Tsuen Wan was the first satellite town in the history of urban development in Hong Kong when Hong Kong was incorporated into the export-led industrialization, and thus the world market in 1960. Old building in Tsuen Wan
1.The Case of Tsuen Wan But before the 60s, Tsuen Wan was foremost a place of indigenous Hakka villages belonging to parts of New Territories. The Hakka people were Mainland migrants from South Fukien and North Guangdong who moved to Tsuen Wan in the 17th and 18th century.
1.The Case of Tsuen Wan There were at least 50 genealogies and six of them could be found in 1900 land record. Up till 1972, there were still 24 Hakka villages and a population of Hakka around 8-9 thousands. Tsuen Wan Sam Tung Uk Village
1.The Case of Tsuen Wan The oldest village, Lo Wai Chuen was founded in 1649. It is still there, having gone through all the changes. Starting from the 50s, a large number of Cantonese moved in their village because they had had no where to stay. A room in village cost around $15-25 each month at that time. Tsuen Wan Hoi Pa Village
1.The Case of Tsuen Wan Tsuen Wan was a working class community and an industrial area long before industrialization took place in Hong Kong. During the Civil War, many workers followed their factories from Shanghai or Canton moving in Tsuen Wan because it was a place of plenty land and mountain water.
1.The Case of Tsuen Wan After the Communist revolution in 1949, the Shanghai entrepreneurs brought not only their capital and their machines but also their workers to Hong Kong in general and Tsuen Wan in particular.
2.A community of squatter colonies Following the industrial development, more and more immigrants moved in Tsuen Wan and turned it into an industrial town. The development was not planned at first, leading to a situation in which factories started without accommodation for their workers and their families.
2.A community of squatter colonies So squatting was the only result. Many new comers lived in squatter colonies in the 60s, which were to be found in and around the old villages. In Tsuen Wan, the squatter colony made up the central, that is the initial, development area.  In 1965 there were over 463,000 squatters and 75,300 licensed resitees in Hong Kong.
2.A community of squatter colonies The Administrative Report of 1955-1956, the District Commissioner, NT stated that "unfortunately, the development of industrial sites has far outrun what should be parallel development of housing sites, and for lack of proper accommodation the increasing population has had to find room for itself in squatter huts."
2.A community of squatter colonies The squatter boom created a changing form of land use and caused great effects on the local village and the land around it. Attachments were erected and interiors partitioned to allow family units or workers accommodation, single or shared. Rent for a squatter hut was about $20-30 per month; while sale was $500-1000 in the 60s.."
2.A community of squatter colonies Without water and electricity supplies and other basic facilities, the squatter communities were mainly based on self-help and mutual assistance. Community organizations for management could vary, from reliance on the Village Representatives who owns the land, to the leadership capacity of one or two outstanding personalities in the squatter area.
3.A community of peace and conflict A draft outline plan for the future development of the whole of the Tsuen Wan-Kwai Chung-Tsing Yi area was approved by the Town Planning Board in 1961. Kwai Chung Development Scheme and the filling of Gin Drinker's Bay were estimated to provide 400 acres of land for housing and industry (Annual Report, DC, NT, 1960-61). Old Kwai Chung
3.A community of peace and conflict Tai Wo Hau estate, the first government public housing estate in Tsuen Wan once established could house at least 80,000. Tai Wo Hau estate
3.A community of peace and conflict The layout plan of the new town involved the removal of two old villages Kwan Mun Hau and Ho Pui triggered off the conflicts and dislocations. Locations of Kwan Mun Hau estate and Hoi Pui Estate
3.A community of peace and conflict Tsuen Wan, as part of NT, was leased land according the Convention of 1898 which entitled the native inhabitants had the right to their lands, the native villagers thus were provided with new land to rebuild their village. Squatters area in Hong Kong
3.A community of peace and conflict The removal of squatter areas, in the eyes of government was the moments of trouble, but in the eyes of squatters, it was the moments to unite themselves and demonstrate their power to safeguard their shelter and even livelihood. Squatters area in Hong Kong
3.A community of peace and conflict Squatters stood out to safeguard their home, where was their only shelter. The government could not provide enough temporarily resettlement housing for the squatters. They were asked to move out and depended on their own. The removal of squatter areas, in the eyes of government was the moments of trouble, but in the eyes of squatters, it was the moments to unite themselves and demonstrate their power to safeguard their shelter and even livelihood.
4.Cage beds as Political Insult Dictated by a logic of resource, unlicensed squatters, or single persons were not qualified to public housing. The priority was given to people with family.
4.Cage beds as Political Insult I met many old men in Tsuen Wan who told me the story: "I was alone, I was single, so the government could remove my house whenever they wanted without compensation. I stayed in squatter hut, the government pulled down my squatter hut; I stayed in wooden cubicle, the government cleared my cubicle; I stayed in rooftop, the govt destroyed my rooftop structure. Other people had wife and son, so they were provided with public house. I was a bachelor, so I was excluded, and the one to blame."
4.Cage beds as Political Insult The policy was not reviewed until 1986 and not until 1990 could the single elderly start to move in public house. According to the 1996 population by-census, among the total number of 80,868 households in Tsuen Wan, more than 10,000 were one person domestic households and 1,600 were unrelated single persons shared domestic household.
4.Cage beds as Political Insult Where the poor could go, when their squatter huts were pulled down, they of course had to search for another spatial form for survival. Bed space apartments therefore developed quickly to house the single persons and unqualified families to public housing. The bed space phenomenon did not catch attention until the late 80s. The media hardly talked about it until the late 80s when it finally became a social issue.
4.Cage beds as Political Insult A typical cagehouse- a large open hall, boxing in 3 rows triple decker bunks (only the first two deckers were allowed to stay people), and two narrow passages in between. A flat of 600 square feet could contain 50 bunks, and if fully occupied, there were about 100 persons staying in one flat, sharing with one toilet, one bathroom, and many without a kitchen.
4.Cage beds as Political Insult For security reason, iron bars were used to surround their own bed spaces, and there is why they were so notoriously known as cage house. The average area each cage men occupied was about 1.4 square metre, and the local slang offers a very accurate description like "living in a dove cage".
4.Cage beds as Political Insult Most of the cage people led a "normal" daily life, not in periods of days or months, but in years and even decades. It was finally caught attention to the public in 1990 when a fatal fire in Nam Cheung Street caused six people death and many seriously hurt.
4.Cage beds as Political Insult Instead of thinking rehousing cage people, the government simply wanted to issue a license system to control cage house. The Bedspace Apartment Ordinance was born in April 1994. The cagehouse problem was finally taken into serious consideration when the Day of 1997 Handover came near and when it eventually became a political issue and international concern.
4.Cage beds as Political Insult In 1994 and 1996, there were hearings conducted by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of the United Nations on human right issues in Hong Kong. The Committee strongly criticized the HK govt for failing to provide proper accommodation for bedspace apartment lodgers in spite of huge financial reserve.
4.Cage beds as Political Insult There was also a film, Cagemen, shooting the appalling living condition of HK poor people and made the problem became international well known.
5.Cubicles and Rooftop Structures The political insult was cleared off, but not the poor people. The plan to develop Tsuen Wan as a transportation node and a gentrified community kept on to remove the downtown old buildings.
5.Cubicles and Rooftop Structures While the new town planning in 60s was mainly a state project, the town regeneration in the 90s was left to the private property capital. If we say that cagehouse was the most disturbing form of housing in Hong Kong, cubicles and rooftop structures were not much better.
5.Cubicles and Rooftop Structures For the two street blocks, over 170 households that I have done ethnographic studies, these families almost all contained new immigrants from Mainland China. There was no such thing as "new immigrant families", so often called in media, or government reports. Actually the families were mixed up of old and new immigrants, and sometimes of each family member came in HK in a different time.
5.Cubicles and Rooftop Structures The men, many as old as over 60, were migrants of the 60s or 70s who moved in Tsuen Wan and worked in factories. When Mainland China opened her door; the working class husbands went for marriage in mid 80s or late 80s.
5.Cubicles and Rooftop Structures Highly restricted by the emigration regulation in Mainland China, these spouses had to wait for at least ten years to get permission to enter Hong Kong. Yet their children born in China were often allowed to emigrant far earlier than their mother. This sparkled a high tide of immigration in mid 90s onwards.
5.Cubicles and Rooftop Structures Many of the working class men have been staying in cubicles or rooftop rooms for two to three decades in Tsuen Wan. They could only afford to rent bedspace, especially in the five-storey blocks built in 60s.
5.Cubicles and Rooftop Structures When their wives and children came to Hong Kong in 90s, they all crammed together in a tiny room or cubicles, which cost them around $1500 to $2000. One resident kept on saying, "The land developers only want to make money. They got good excuse to develop the community. But for whose benefit?"