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.[photopress:happy_valley_real_estate_property_hong_k.jpg,full,pp_image]
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.[photopress:happy_valley_the_altitude_hong_kong.jpg,full,pp_image]