Victoria Harbour, with its beautiful skyline, may be one of Hong Kong’s most iconic sites.
What better place than the waterfront promenade next to the Star Ferry Pier in Tsim Sha Tsui can you soak up the view of the IFC, Bank of China, HSBC tower or the Convention and Exhibition centre?
Yet, the harbour is in constant danger of constant reclamation, whether to build new building apartments, commercial towers, recreational spaces such as the West Kowloon Cultural Area or MTR extensions. In the 1950s, the waterfront line on the island was at Hennessy road. Nowadays, the public rarely gets direct access to the water. Very strange for a city that started as an island and is still today one of the world’s most important harbours in the world. The ongoing reclamation that stretches from Central to Causeway Bay is meant for a new bypass and a brand new waterfront promenade that hopefully will be ready in the coming years.
At the South China Morning Post, we decided, in January, to focus on the harbour from a historical point of view. One of my videos accompanied the print story. In the video, I decided to focus on the importance of the harbour for Hong Kong and what mistakes have been made in the past (in terms of protection and urban planning). I also met with a ship captain at Star Ferry, who tells us how the ferry routes, crossing Victoria Harbour, used to be a very common mode of transportation for Hong Kong people commuting to and from work; the ferry is mainly used today by the tourists (although many Hong Kongers use it to commute every day, still). Shooting aboard the ferry, commuting back and forth on a sunny day from Tsim Sha Tsui to Wanchai, was a memorable filming experience.