Spacing juxtapositions


Finding space in a neoliberal city

Jordan road runs along the edge of Mong Kok.  As one progresses down the street  towering behind is the ICC building, which completed in 2010 is the worlds fifth tallest building and bosts a hotel that has the highest lobby. The street runs through a market district with side streets are impassable in a car becasue of market stalls and street hawkers (leagal and illeagal) physically stand in the way automobiles while the throngs of people make other forms of mobility also as impossible. Continue reading

An inside view: Backgardens, Greystones, Sheffield

An inside view:  Greystones, Sheffield

Back gardens of terraced houses in Sheffield, 2013

Despite being bombed in World War 2 (what some refer to as the Sheffield Blitz), Sheffield has retained large areas that are built up with terraced housing built around and prior to 1900.  From street view, these houses look like long rows of anonymous and identical dwellings.  And indeed, if you have been in one, you pretty much know what the layout of every other house on the street will be. Every couple of houses has a passage that runs between into the back garden space. Because of this, the internal spaces, those behind the street view, are, or historically were, visible to all, making a kind of private community space, which forms a stage upon which everday life is played out for neighbors to see.   Continue reading

The Colour of Everyday Life

20130406-071320.jpgI’ve posted about the wet markets in Hong Kong before. These urban spaces can be colourful and lively, such as the market in Shatin pictured above, or they can be dead spaces lacking colour. Certainly from the outside, the facades that house the FEHD and ex-FEHD markets do not reveal the potential for the liveliness contained within. Continue reading

How can you avoid eating GMO foods in a city like Hong Kong?

Noodle-ing around the internet recently, I stumbled upon a youtube video about GMO foods. It was rather shocking with regard to the potential for health problems. I was also shocked to learn that baby milk formula has a high level of GMO content. The video said there are just 9 crops that are GMO. These are Soy, Corn (but not popcorn), Cotton seed, Canola, Sugar beets, Papaya, Zucchini, Yellow squash, and Alfalfa. There used to be GMO wheat, rice, toms, potato, and a few other things. I began to wonder, how one might resist buying GMO food here in Hong Kong? Continue reading

Gendered income inequality and the precariousness of street trading


Gender differences and the precariousness of street traiding

In the HK census there is an occupation category designated as street traders. The fact that there is a specific category tells us something about the state of being in Hong Kong. The census tells us that there are nearly 15.5 thousand steet traders in Hong Kong, but actually there are probably more, as a lot of the street trading is illegal and people may also do it on a part-time basis. What this info-graphic demonstrates, is that firstly street trading is a precarious business for everyone, but particularly for women.

The ratio of male street traders to female traders counted by the census is 3 to 2. The reasons for the income differential is unclear. It may be that women have locations that are less profitable. It may be that the goods that women street traders sell are less valuable so overall earnings are less. Some evidence from studies done in the 1970’s and 80’s indicate that street trading is often a family business and women work as family labour. We just don’t know as street trading is something that many at government level in Hong Kong wish would just go away. It clearly isn’t and as International Women’s day passes, it is also clear that there is further work to be done with regard to gender equity at all levels of society and all over the world.

red coversThe 2011 HK census has a new online feature where you can make your own tables. The website can be found here.

If you want to make your own infographic, you might try Pictochart, which is how I made this one.