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Photo of Elton Chan by Emma Lord.

Elton Chan

Doctoral student

Photo of Elton Chan by Emma Lord.

Government-driven commodification of public space: The case of Kwun Tong Promenade, Hong Kong


  • Elton Chan

Summary, in English

This paper argues that the Kwun Tong Promenade in Hong Kong is an exemplary case of government-driven commodification of public space. The waterfront public space was an integral part of the government's plan to redevelop the former industrial center into a new premier business district. Through document analysis, site observations and interviews, this paper seeks to examine how the government has driven commodification of the Promenade and to illustrate how the process was manifested both socially and spatially. It is clear from the findings that the Kwun Tong Promenade was developed and managed by the government primarily to attract investment and drive growth in the area, and, as a result, the voices and needs of the local communities were largely neglected. In addition to the decline in publicness of the public space, the government-driven commodification of the Promenade also led to the exacerbation of uneven development across the rapidly transforming district. By examining the commodification of the Kwun Tong Promenade and highlighting its link to spatial injustice, this paper represents a call for more critical attention to government-driven public spaces as public space developments become increasingly complex and contested in different social, economic, and political contexts.


  • Sociology

Publishing year








Document type

Journal article




  • Sociology




  • The Last Urban Frontier: Commodification of Public Space and the Right to the City in Insurgent Hong Kong


  • ISSN: 0264-2751