Thursday, 19 September 2013
Inside of the Kowloon Walled City – the most densely populated place on earth. A phenomenal way of living.
Once thought to be the most densely populated place on Earth, with 50,000 people crammed into only a few blocks, these fascinating pictures give a rare insight into the lives of those who lived Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong.
Taken by Canadian photographer Greg Girard in collaboration with Ian Lamboth the pair spent five years familiarising themselves with the notorious Chinese city before it was demolished in 1992.
The city was a phenomenon with 33,000 families and businesses living in more than 300 interconnected high-rise buildings, all constructed without contributions from a single architect.
By the early 1980s it was notorious for brothels, casinos, cocaine parlours and opium dens. It was also famous for food courts which would serve up dog meat and had a number of unscrupulous dentists who could escape prosecution if anything went wrong with their patients.
The city eventually became the focus of a diplomatic crisis with both Britain and China refusing to take responsibility.
Despite it being a hotbed of crime many of its inhabitants went about their lives in relative peace with children playing on the rooftops and those living in the upper levels seeking refuge high above the city.
The rooftops were the one place they could breathe fresh air and escape the claustrophobia of their windowless flats below.
Eventually, over time both the British and Chinese authorities found the city to be increasingly intolerable, despite lower crime rates in later years.
The quality of life and sanitary conditions were far behind the rest of Hong Kong and eventually plans were made to demolish the buildings.
Many of the residents protested and said they were happy living in the squalid conditions but the government spent $2.7billion Hong Kong dollars in compensation and evacuations started in 1991. They were completed in 1992.
Read more and watch more pictures
History on Youtube: http://youtu.be/Lby9P3ms11w"