HONG KONG – Heritage Heroes Part Three is the third, and last, part of a documentary on residents fighting to save Hong Kong’s cultural heritage and historic buildings from neglect and, eventual, demolition by local government and property development companies in the world’s most expensive city.
The story returns to Hong Kong’s urban explorers, HK Urbex, inside an abandoned building in Kowloon. Over the last 10 years, citizen pressure for heritage conservation has intensified. Meanwhile urban renewal has taken place at a rapid pace. In 2007, Hong Kong established the Development Bureau to work with citizens groups on identifying and preserving the city’s unique cultural heritage.
A huge public outcry following the demolition and redevelopment of Lee Tung Street, known as Wedding Card Street to locals, in Wan Chai district led to the heritage conservation movement staging protests and sit-ins to save the Queen and Star ferry terminals at Victoria Harbour. Both were eventually torn down, but activists are now organized.
Today, from Wan Chai to Sheung Wan and across the harbour to Kowloon, Hong Kong residents are having their voices heard on urban renewal and gentrification, where the original inhabitants of an area can no longer afford to live there due to increasing costs of living and rent.
What HK Urbex is doing is taking matters into their own hands by entering, often illegally, Hong Kong’s old, abandoned buildings to document the city’s fading cultural heritage before it’s lost to another skyscraper forever.
Featuring (in order of appearance): Ghost and Echo Delta from HK Urbex (*not their real names to protect their identities), Dr. Lee Hoyin (Hong Kong University Department of Architecture).