Thursday, 17 July 2008

Reclamation

Land reclamation has a long and illustrious history in Hong Kong, and it continues at an incredible rate. There is quite a logical reason behind it. Taxes here are unusually low - no one pays more than 16% (I think that's it) so the government doesn't actually receive a lot of cash. However, it is and always has been reliant on the revenue generated by land sales to go some way towards bridging the gap. However, if you create new land, then you don't have to buy it from the Government, and you can sell it at a premium as (at least temporarily) harbour-front property.

I've found some interesting maps about this - here's an excellent animation from Wikipedia, which demonstrates how Wan Chai has developed. Luard Road is between 3&4 on the map.I also found a very old, incredibly detailed map from 1909 (here's the original). It's a map of the territories leased to the UK by China under the Convention of Peking on 9th June 1898, above a google map today. The north coast in particular has changed a great deal, as well as Tsim Sha Tsui, which is the area at the southern tip of Kowloon (at the top of the map).

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