The Future of Hong Kong
Green Mong Kok is an urban planning idea inspired by the occupy movement in Hong Kong. An occupied street without traffic but filled with park, people, farms, art, religion and public assembly can totally be the blueprint for the future of Hong Kong. It is democratic and sustainable. We can learn from this lesson and take this one step forward. Green Mong Kok will be a neighborhood that is tied together via bridges, tunnels and parks. It will provide more greenery and public spaces to promote better air, better transportation and better quality of life. However, the core and heritage of Mong Kok will be maintained. The drawing shows a list of elements we learnt from the movement and developed further. We implemented some of the sustainable idea on our design for Upcycle Park. The drawings and photos were also exhibited in South Africa.
Art and Religion > Chinese Opera
Chinese Opera is an important art, but it is becoming less popular among youngsters. This new Mong Kok Opera will become a professional theatre but also an education center for traditional art. It aims to provide new perspective into the heritage. Like Mong Kok, it wants to mix different pop culture together to create ever-changing themes. Chinese drama with a modern twist will raise local and international awareness. It wants to be hip but unique to the Mong Kok (MK) culture.
Street Library > Mong Kok Library
Library in 21st century is still free to the public but functions more like a think tank for cultural and information exchange. It is no longer a quiet place for study or a typical data storage but rather a place to exchange public knowledge in all kinds of medium. This library can easily form partnership with local electronic store in Mong Kok. Providing 3d printers, 3d scanners, laser cutters and other new technology, this library and local merchants will provide a platform for students and trend-makers to test their new ideas. It will become an incubators for youngsters to gain world advantages without investing a fortunes on equipment.
Free Electricity > Solar Panels
Mong Kok is well-known for its signage and outdoor lighting for retail store. Solar panels can provide a renewable energy source to maintain this tradition while creating a phenomenon in itself. The panels can be installed with sun tracking mechanism. The movement of the array will become a large art installation that changes with the sun. Solar panels can also be served as shading for roof top terrace. Extra energy produced in the system can be stored underground to recharge electric cars.
Better Air > Cross Ventilation
Cross ventilation between streets will improve air quality and pedestrian connections in Mongkok. Buildings in Mongkok should no longer be considered as individual blocks but rather as small puzzle pieces to a giant puzzle. All the private and public spaces should be interconnected with tunnels, bridge, park, terraces and walkways to create a multilevel circulation system. These urban perforations will not only allow air movement to remove stagnant pollutants, it will also allow people to enjoy the neighborhood from multiple perspectives.
Street Art > Overhanging Gardens
Signage will continue to be a local attraction while some newer signs can be turned into hanging oasis. These air gardens are meant to drive curiosity, but also to encourage buildings to extend beyond its property. Since building is now perceived as pieces pf a bigger puzzle, building’s footprints should be allowed to extend in mid-air to enhance the tie between private and public space.
Transportation > Electric Car and Subway
Subway will continue to be the main option for mass transit. Electric car will share the subway tunnels as highways. This underground transportation hub is condense but efficient. It opens up the street level for greenery and other public programs. The tunnels will be illuminated by skylights on the ground and air will be filtered by greenery. This subway-car hybrid will be an efficient but pollution free environment.
Street without Traffic > Park
Street without traffic will be turned into park, small retail and rainwater filtration system. Residents can enjoy a park which has been lacking in Mong Kok. Business owner can run flea market style tent on the street to promote local creatives. These temporary retail will provide a much lighter carbon footprint than a big shopping center. Building property will increase in value due to this large scale amenity. The street are also graded into multiple steps with different plant species for filtration. Rainwater can be collected and turned into gray water for future uses in flushing and irrigation.
Alternative transportation > Air Tram
Air tram is the tram of 21st century. Like traditional tram in Hong Kong Island, they are not the most efficient way to travel but they are the best way for people to enjoy the neighborhood. Air Tram as a floating vehicle will draw people to travel vertically through the surrounding buildings. This method will not only become Mong Kok a tourist destination, its route will pull pedestrian upward. Circulation is no longer 2D but a 3D network that intertwined.
Commercial Mall > Green Mall
Existing mall will rethink itself as a mall that promotes green living. Instead of selling fast fashion, fast food and fast designs, it should focus on sustainable fashion, slow food and responsible designs. Customers are encouraged to learn and participate in the manufacturing process of foods and products. They will become more aware of the ingredients they consume and products they wear. It is a process that dig deeper into the chain of consumerism and essentially goes beyond it. Green Mall is a place to buy and exchange ideas. It is to promote best practice in material management and lifestyle management.
Unused spaces > Playground
Sports are promoted on different levels of the neighborhood as a way to fight urban diseases. Underground subway are often under-utilized at night. Sports underground can promote physical and emotional health and increase human interactions. Underground tunnels is no longer an intermediate space, but rather as a place of destination filled with sunlight and natural air.
Car > Electrical Car
Underground parking for electric car is provided with battery charging station. Along with solar panels, they will form an efficient public system for people in need of point-to-point transportation.
Bridges > Hyper Connected Mong Kok
Bridges are built across buildings to encourage multilevel circulation. They will become a key factors to turn Mong Kok into a neighborhood without boundary.