Un-Happy Valley

apartment_flat_happy_valley_hong_kong

Happy Valley was once something of an oasis in Hong Kong’s high-rise, high-density jungle, but it now appears to be headed in the same direction as other areas of the city.

Contrary to the low-density charm that the neighborhood is coveted for, Hong Kong property developers are quickly transforming Happy Valley into another soul-less forest of charisma-challenged buildings with grandiose names.

Sadly, perhaps it’s already too late to change the future of the neighborhood. A quick walk around the area yields multiple sites being developed on nearly every block.

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Once the new buildings are complete, many of the benefits that made Happy Valley an attractive place to live will continue to erode.

The quaint, less crowded sidewalks; shorter lines at the bank, grocery stores, and restaurants, will all become a thing of the past.

Happy Valley is already experiencing problems. Current issues such as traffic, will go from bad to worse. Already, during certain times of the day, vehicle congestion turns the main arteries of the neighborhood into parking lots.

Unlike other neighborhoods, there are very few roads that tie Happy Valley to different parts of the city. As anyone who has fought for a taxi can attest, the addition of a large number of high-rise buildings will tax the current infrastructure, and lower the quality of life.

Hong Kong’s urban planners need to recognize that neighborhood value goes beyond looking at old and new. Some thought needs to go into protecting and preserving the integrity of the area. An attempt should be made to recognize the special qualities that contribute to the desirability and charm of neighborhoods.

Property developers are doing a disservice to the community and lowering the long term value by cheapening the area with their cookie-cutter high rise “luxury” flats.

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3 Comments

  • Sad to see… I loved living in Happy Valley before I left HK but the traffic was already a huge issue then… I can’t imagine what it is going to be like with thousands of new people living in the area 🙁

  • Graduated from Marymount Secondary School, I LOVE HAPPY VALLEY!
    I haven’t been there for a long time but it was definitely one of the most peaceful and charming neighborhoods I came across… Happy Valley is definitely not a place for such development so this is a surprise to me seeing this happening right now…
    It’s a shame to see this unique area being treated in such way… :'(

  • So true!
    I’ve been living in Happy Valley for 2 years thinking that is was one of the best place in HK to live but… finally I left.
    There’s no doubts that the race course is very charming but there are constructions almost everywhere and it’s becoming such a noisy place!! The roads are dark, noisy and polluted now, no more air can go though those high buildings. Too bad… I loved that place but the price is not worth the so called “quality of life” there.
    🙁

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