The First Estates

The Story of Fairview Park and Hong Lok Yuen with Documents

Roger Nissim

The First Estates

Roger Nissim

Distributed for Hong Kong University Press

160 pages | 15 b&w illus. | 6 x 9
Hardcover $52.00 ISBN: 9789888528240 Published March 2020 AAUKEU - ALL AMERICAS & UNITED KINGDOM & EUROPE
The First Estates shows the impact on Hong Kong’s urban history of Fairview Park and Hong Lok Yuen, the earliest examples of private estates provided in the New Territories of Hong Kong. Completed in the 1970s and 1980s, both are examples of land development projects built as low-density, American-style suburban house living, the first true alternative to the typical high-rise urban living of Hong Kong. In this book, Roger Nissim traces their evolution—from retreats for urban dwellers to family residences—that followed the expansion of Hong Kong’s public transportation system. The book draws heavily on the original documents that are reproduced in the book. These unearthed documents detail land acquisition process and the negotiations with the government, financiers, local villagers, contractors, and new residents. Read together, this collection of key primary sources—concerning government approvals, site selection, planning and implementation, layout plan, and sales policy—provide the reader with an unparalleled vision of this unique period in the evolution of Hong Kong’s urban development before the establishment of formal town planning. Nissim also re-examines the role of Clifford Wong, the visionary behind these projects. Exhaustive research and interviews with early residents who still live in the estates, early employees in the various relevant departments, and Wong’s descendants complete this volume and enhance the understanding of Hong Kong’s urban history.
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