Growing the green urban network
We are design students from Zurich and Sprout is our group project — it reflects on our impressions and interventions between nature, gentrification and informal ways of living in a dense and diverse city like Hong Kong.
Space for growth:
The map visualises our current sprout-network and its speculative growth in the future. The lines connect people and places in our community, which are marked with the numbers. The blank points show a possible future with space for development and sprouting.
Planting a seed in a city like Hong Kong is an act of connection.
It’s more than just growing a plant, it’s about connecting to the ones who believe in more liveable spaces, in human connections and in basic pleasures of life.
Sprout encourages people to draw the net of green spots on the map of the city.
Let’s grow the sprouts of this network together with our friends and neighbours and make room for nature in our urban daily lives.
People and places who are part of the Sprout Community:
1. Hawker — Pang Chai Fabric Market
Part of our community is the infamous Fabric Market in Sham Shui Po. If you cross the huge informal trading space you will reach several trees which provide much-needed shade. There is a starfruit tree belonging to a hawker. He likes to drink and enjoy life so he may not be the most disciplined gardener — but he willingly shares his starfruit harvest with friends and strangers alike. Also, in the far back of the market are quite a few bee hives. Tip: a beekeeper smears whisky on his face for protection!
2. Old Lady — Wang Chau Village
When visiting the New Territories, you will eventually reach the area of Wang Chau Village. The South China Morning Post calls it: „A housing project in Wang Chau, a rural area of Yuen Long“: This old peaceful place is formed of three different informal villages. Right now, they have to endure really rough times because the government plans to remove the safety of this greenbelt by January 2018. This weird but beautiful place is a wild up-the-hill community with cottages, cats and half-forgotten self-sufficient knowledge. Wang Chau villagers make a kick-ass enzyme beverage and whole-heartedly care for their jackfruit trees.
3. Parking Space — Yau Ma Tei
In Yau Ma Tei there are a lot of unusual corners. People here tend to live a busy working-class life. Pipes and mechanical parts are being welded on the sidewalk, neon foot massage ads blink on every other corner, and cute neurotic cats sceptically observe the peasants while lounging on huge piles of fabric or random material. One of those curiosities includes a flamboyant parking stall with an improvised plant-construction. Ornamental Buddhist figurines share this tiny space with smaller and bigger wild plants side by side. Completely dependent on their neighbourhood, they would wither if no one cared for them. But if one of the informal gardeners wants to water them a small shop on the other side of the street called „Kai Fong Pai Dong“ kindly offers their resources!
4. Security Guard — North Point
When walking through North Point you will inevitably notice the busy street life and crazy plants that pop up on rooftops, sidewalks, hand-railings and in between slabs of concrete. Right at the beginning of a small street, a quite atypical green space grows, formed with different sized pots. The mini garden grows untroubled around a security guard’s office-trailer. He seems to be responsible for public order on this private road. Maybe the potted plants got there by coincidence, maybe he put them there to have a more pleasant work environment on this busy crossing, or maybe both?
梁志剛 Michael Leung 王淨江 Tsing-Kong Wong, 里佬鏈 Léonard Lin, Sonja Böckler, Tunay Bora, Michal Bzdziuch, Jonathan Erne, Estela Gless, Irina Huwiler, Priscille Jotzu, Annamaria Kozma, Eveline Moser, Kevin Perlinger, Angel Rose Schmocker, Sandra Staub, Christoph Untersander, Nadine Wüthrich, Diana Wotruba.