You may not think that the space under a bridge would be an ideal place to call home, but a group called Under Bridge Action is proposing to transform the unused space under Hong Kong’s overpasses into affordable shipping container homes. The industrial area of Kwun Tong has endless overpasses, which the group sees as desirable unused spaces that could be turned into youth hostels, arts performance venues, small businesses, and pop-up housing for young professionals. Under Bridge Action is currently campaigning for the government to deem these areas as the next new neighborhood, under the bridge downtown.
As Hong Kong’s population expands, the lack of buildable land stays the same. The city’s natural hills, in addition to governmental restrictions, makes it difficult to build new residences to accommodate the growing population. While Hong Kong has allowed for a shipping container district affairs office complex to be built, it is currently prohibited to build residences in these areas. Under Bridge Action sees these vacant spaces under Hong Kong’s flyovers as fair use solutions that will provide affordable living spaces that could also be easily removed.
Shipping container living is an affordable and customizable solution for pop-up residences that can also cater to the young, or lower income class. The group favors shipping containers because they can be set up quickly; Under Bridge Action claims that 300 to 500 homes could be built in a matter of months, rather than several years for block housing.
But the question that remains is, just because this space under Hong Kong’s overpasses is available, does it make for a livable place? Noise pollution, air pollution from cars and lack of sunlight make living under a bridge less than desirable. But Under Bridge Action sees this as a better option to the over-crowded run-down tenements that many poor Hong Kong residents currently call home.
Via Smart Planet
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