Hong Kong is one of the most exciting cities in the world, and part of its charm lies in its modernity. Dubbed ‘the most vertical city in the world’, Hong Kong captivates visitors with its futuristic architecture. But Hong Kong was not always like this. For more than a century, what one saw were monumental European colonial buildings. Chinese architecture and quarters were relegated in the less central areas of the city.
The European-style city has disappeared almost completely. With the economic take-off starting in the 1960s, Hong Kong embarked on an era of modernisation. Colonial buildings were demolished one after another. Only the most representative ones have survived. The past didn’t matter. People relentlessly marched toward the future.
Hong Kong was thus the first Chinese city to have transformed itself into a modern megacity, long before mainland Chinese cities created their own aesthetic modernisation.
I prepared a short video that shows some of the changes that have taken place in Hong Kong between the early 1900s and the 2000s.