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“Mongkok might be one of the world’s most crowded places, but sometimes all you need to do to escape is to make a right turn down a quiet alleyway. That’s what I discovered when I was walking from home to the Flower Market the other day. Instead of taking the usual route along Sai Yee Street, I ducked into the laneway that runs behind it and discovered a kind of parallel university of greenery, graffiti and informal living space.

(…) Halfway down the alley is a Chinese altar, some cupboards and a rack of clothes. I’m guessing it’s used by the street sweepers who work around here. Inside the altar are cards representing the various Chinese gods; several lottery tickets are taped to the side. Ash from spent joss sticks covers the altar floor”.

“Because urban renewal is profit-driven, said Law, it encourages the development of up-market properties that drive up rents. “It basically removes the ability for small businesses to survive,” she said. Take away a street market and you take away the livelihood of everyone involved in the market. The butcher with a stake in a business and a role in the community becomes an employee at Wellcome. “The government should rethink its strategy to protect the cultural diversity of Hong Kong. Right now, it seems to be going in the direction of becoming very monotonous”