Hong Kong from Connaught Road Central

I took this one while walking through a glass walkway over Connaught Road Central towards the Central Ferry Piers, in the Central district on Hong Kong Island. To the right is Exchange Square, noticeable by the glass and steel building that looks like a cube tipped on its axis. Exchange Square is cluster of buildings that houses the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and several international banks and lawyers including Bank of Montreal, Credit Suisse, etc.

Notice the traffic — buses, double-decker buses, mini buses, taxis (identified by their yellow license plates), and utility vehicles can all be seen driving down Connaught Road Central in this photo. Personal vehicles are rare and an extreme luxury in Hong Kong due to its density and lack of parking space personal vehicles require (parking is wasted space that could be used to house people or commerce). Public transportation is king in Hong Kong and heavily relied upon by most all people. Only the extremely wealthy can afford the exorbitant price of a vehicle, the insurance and the parking fees associated with owning a vehicle. Taking public transport is not viewed as lower class, by any means. Government officials, bankers, doctors, everyone takes transit.

The Central district in Hong Kong is the main banking and government district in Hong Kong, and has a density of 20,000 people/sq km (52,000 people/sq mi). By comparison, LA has a very low density of 207 people/sq km (530 people/sq mi) and all of Manhattan has a density slightly above Central’s at 27,502/sq km (71,229/sq mi). These density factors are attributed to the lack of space both Hong Kong and Manhattan have for sprawl. LA, being landlocked, has had the ability to sprawl considerably. When factoring in the Central, Western, Wan Chai and Eastern districts (all on the northern coast of Hong Kong Island), their density makes this area one of the densest places in the world.

This photo was taken May 16, 2013 with an iphone5 and edited with Snapseed.