Carving Enclaves of Alternative Urbanisms in Hong Kong

  • Sonia Lam-KnottEmail author


Although alternative spaces are intended to represent a rupture from ‘mainstream’ forms of urbanity and are thus often depicted as autonomous enclaves by scholars, this chapter demonstrates how they are influenced by the very urban conditions they seek to challenge. Using Hong Kong as an example, the chapter examines how urban land-use policies and power imbalances between the government and the population affect the manifestation of alternative spaces and determine whether they can be maintained over time. Analysis of Occupy Central (2011–2012) and Woofer Ten (2009–2015) shows that despite using differing methods to challenge government-led urbanism, both alternative spaces shared common ground in straddling an ambiguous line between legality and illegality, antagonising Special Administrative Region (SAR) officials and ostracising support from the Hong Kong public, ultimately affecting the lifespan of these urban alternatives.


Autonomous enclaves Youth activism Hong Kong SAR Occupy Urban politics Public space 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Asian UrbanismsNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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