In between raised walkways, subways, ferries, cable cars, a multi-block outdoor escalator and substantial double-decker bus method, it is feasible to traverse a enormous swath of Hong Kong with no even touching the ground (photo over by HappyKiddo).
At the very same time, it is challenging to discover maps and illustrations of this vast urban phenomena – at least outside of Cities With out Ground: A Hong Kong Guidebook, which maps 32 networks of pedestrian paths over and below the surface.
Architects and authors Jonathan D Solomon, Clara Wong, and Adam Frampton (via ORO Editions) documented these interconnected techniques in wonderful detail. As Kevin Kelly writes, the guide captures the essence of a kind of shadow city: “Beneath and among the gleaming skyscrapers developed more than the cramped confines of Hong Kong appropriate are miles of subterranean malls, passageways, stairs, subway stations, parking garages, escalators, skybridges, and foods courts.”
Like aged cities themselves (or water-carved catacombs or piecemeal-produced anthills), these networks had been not developed as a complete. Rather, they developed organically above time through the two personal and public initiatives, slowly forming a convoluted but beautiful and evolving patchwork of voids with a variety of degrees of privacy and accessibility.
If you do visit Hong Kong, try this for a begin: get the escalator all the way up and back down the steeply-sloped hillside. Or: break off just before the bottom and remain on 2nd-story walkways as far as they will get you.
If you get caught, alternatively of descending just to street degree, go underground and see how far you can make it by way of subterranean passageways. If all else fails, hop on a bus, ferry or subway. You may be astonished at how far this mixture can get you.
Much more about the guide from the official description: “Hong Kong is a city without having ground. This is correct the two physically (created on steep slopes, the city has no ground plane) and culturally (there is no idea of ground). Density obliterates figure-ground in the city, and in flip re-defines public-personal spatial relationships.
Perception of distance and time is distorted by means of compact networks of pedestrian infrastructure, public transport and normal topography in the urban landscape.With no a ground, there can be no figure either. In fact, Hong Kong lacks any of the conventional figure-ground relationships that shape urban area: axis, edge, center, even fabric.” (Photo by Nicolas Vollmer)