Revitalising an aging high-density city centre to preserve its heritage and increase livability
Wan Chai is one of the oldest and busiest district in Hong Kong. According to statistics, its MTR station has probably the highest number of weekday patronage of all train stations in Hong Kong. The richness of its heritage is unfortunately untapped with many missed opportunities within its eclectic mix of new and old developments. The team engaged local designers and community groups to re-think the everyday experience for residents and inhabitants of Wan Chai, prototyping ideas ranging from semi-permanent urban structures to interactive community events.
Through a series of design thinking workshops and the subsequent public engagement exercises with various stakeholders and the public, the project team worked with over 20 local design and community groups to organize 7 placemaking projects throughout Wan Chai. This included various spatial transformation of the main pedestrian arteries frequented by weekday commuters, various weekend community events with local artists, craftsmen and members of the community.
The project was one of the first in Hong Kong that successfully incorporated Design Thinking into a precinct-wide urban transformation. The significance of the project does not only rest on the semi-permanent spatial interventions itself, but how they have successfully transformed the city’s normal way of perceiving public space and infrastructure in with a user-centric approach. This demonstrated future possibilities for placemaking in Asia. The project was completed in 2019 by One Bite Design Studio where Billy was Managing Director of.