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From Grey to Green

Haoyi wushan & Chau Yuk Ching Christie
Hong Kong

“From grey to green.” encapsulates the transformative nature of initiative to convert urban spaces from concrete dominated environments to green space. It represents the vision of bringing life and vitality to areas that were previously devoid of nature and turning them into sustainable ecosystems. We aimed to enhance the wellbeing of residents, improving the quality of the environment and resilient the city. It also serves as a call to action, encouraging individuals, organizations and even government to actively contribute to the collective effort of making the society greener and livable.

Our design intention were inspire by the follow features we have discovered among MongKok.

Designing a tiny forest in the midst of Mong Kok's urban jungle presents an extraordinary opportunity to weave together elements of nature, culture, community, and wildlife. Mong Kok is a bustling commercial and residential district with heavy vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The narrow streets and high population density contribute to congestion, making it challenging for vehicles and pedestrians to move efficiently. The high population density and limited land availability pose challenges in providing enough green spaces for residents to enjoy nature, relax, and engage in recreational activities.

Besides, there is limited public space for community activities. The scarcity of public spaces in Mong Kok hinders community activities and gatherings. There is a need for more parks and activity spaces where residents can build social connections. Mong Kok is renowned for its vibrant street markets. The design of the tiny forest should pay homage to this cultural aspect by incorporating elements inspired by the market atmosphere. The use of colorful and visually striking materials in walkways, seating areas, and artistic installations can evoke the lively ambiance of the street markets.

Additionally, the inclusion of small stalls or pop-up spaces within the forest can provide opportunities for local artisans, craftsmen, and food vendors to showcase their products and engage with visitors.

Creating spaces that cater to different age groups and encourage intergenerational interaction is crucial for fostering a sense of community in Mong Kok. A tiny forest designed for Mong Kok recognizes the importance of fostering connections between generations. Dotted throughout the green space are designated areas catering to different age groups, inviting them to come together and share unforgettable moments. Nature-themed playgrounds emerge, where children's laughter fills the air as they explore and engage with their surroundings. Seating areas thoughtfully placed beneath the shade of majestic trees offer respite for elderly residents, providing a space for relaxation, conversation, and intergenerational bonding. Community gardens flourish, nurturing a sense of pride and ownership as young and old work side by side, cultivating fruits, vegetables, and flowers, while sharing wisdom and knowledge.

To support local biodiversity, we designed with wildlife in mind. Native plant species that attract pollinators, such as butterflies and bees, can be selected to create a welcoming habitat. It's important to ensure that the design promotes a harmonious coexistence between humans and wildlife, with clear guidelines on responsible interaction.

By designing a tiny forest that embraces these principles, Mong Kok can create a transformative green space that enhances the well-being and quality of life for its residents and visitors. This miniature sanctuary offers respite from the hustle and bustle, nurtures a sense of connection to nature and community, and serves as a testament to the harmonious coexistence of humans and wildlife. The tiny forest becomes a source of inspiration, education, and delight, weaving together the natural and cultural fabric of Mong Kok in a unique and sustainable way.

Ultimately, the design of a tiny forest in Mong Kok stands as a testament to the transformative power of nature and community in the heart of an urban jungle. It is a place where the richness of biodiversity, the vibrancy of street market culture, the warmth of intergenerational connections, and the beauty of wildlife converge, creating an extraordinary tapestry that enriches the lives of all who encounter it.

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