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Places of Nature in Ecologies of Urbanism$
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Anne Rademacher and K. Sivaramakrishnan

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9789888390595

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888390595.001.0001

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Hong Kong’s Artificial Anti-Archipelago and the Unnaturing of the Natural

Hong Kong’s Artificial Anti-Archipelago and the Unnaturing of the Natural

(p.87) 4 Hong Kong’s Artificial Anti-Archipelago and the Unnaturing of the Natural
Places of Nature in Ecologies of Urbanism

Andrew Toland

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter examines a proposal made by Hong Kong tycoon Gordon Wu to construct an artificial island in Hong Kong’s territorial waters in the late 1980s. His scheme has echoes in the Hong Kong government’s current plan to construct an “East Lantau Metropolis” on an artificial island in a similar same location. A close examination of Wu’s proposition reveals how it served not just commercial ambitions, but also expressed a more complex set of aims playing out through geopolitical intrigue and late-colonial domestic politics, as well as maneuverings for private dominance of urban and regional infrastructure. At an even more ulterior level, these activities additionally attempted an unconscious restructuring of the intercultural formations of nature(s) and landscape as they have emerged in Hong Kong.

Keywords:   Hong Kong landscapes, speculative infrastructure, artificial islands, infrastructural imaginary, landscape theory, Chinese and Western constructions of nature, Gordon Wu, East Lantau Metropolis, artificial nature

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