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Space+ (Eastern District)

In September 2023, Very Hong Kong initiated the third phase of the "Space+" project in the Eastern District. Unlike the development history and urban texture of Yau Tsim Mong District, the Eastern District is an old area that evolved from a fishing village. Due to its narrow and long terrain, backed by mountains and facing the sea, it attracted many Shui Sheung Yans to settle and gradually developed into a military stronghold and commercial area on Hong Kong Island. As the population grew, the community fabric of the Eastern District became increasingly diverse, forming a rich historical culture.

However, as time passes, double-aging of buildings and original residents in the Eastern District have become severe, and the problem of wealth disparity has also emerged. At the same time, the district still preserves many famous historical buildings, and the government has been promoting "water friendly" culture in recent years, gradually opening different waterfront areas for public use. How to preserve the community's characteristics amidst cross-sectoral development has become a major challenge for the district.

Against this development backdrop, the team recruited 18 community workers from 10 non-profit organizations for the "Space+ Academy." Based on their daily observations and personal work experiences within the community, they formed groups to come up with "placemaking" proposals that address the needs of the Eastern District, which were then implemented during the "Space+ Festival."

Space+ Academy

(Eastern District)

Oct 2023 - Mar 2024

Space+ Salon
(Eastern District)

Mar 2024

Space+ Festival

(Eastern District)

Mar 2024

Space+ Academy (Eastern District)

This batch of "Space+ Academy" recruited 18 trainees from over 10 non-profit organizations or community groups, mostly based in the Eastern District. They work in various service areas like culture, community development, environment, social care, and education. Since they are familiar with the Eastern District, they have some understanding of the area's development and community needs.Unlike the previous Yau Tsim Mong District, the Eastern District has characteristics that are more complex than just being an "old district" and a "fishing community". After 8 training sessions, the trainees should be able to find new perspectives beyond just social welfare, using placemaking theories and tools. This will allow them to explore another side of the Eastern District and seek new possibilities for future service development.

The first four sessions of the workshop focused on theoretical introductions and case sharing. Participants engaged in community-building simulation games to understand the relationships between "space," "place," and "community," and to learn about the context of urban development in Hong Kong, as well as various concepts related to public space and "placemaking." We also invited Ms. Jin Jing, the co-founder of Bigfish Community Design Center, and local placemaking experts to share their past project experiences, providing practical considerations for participants to note when engaging in "placemaking."

The latter four sessions emphasized skill enhancement. Through games and interactive discussions, participants learned various "placemaking" techniques, including spatial SWOT analysis, community resource mapping, and place auditing. They were also trained on the local procedures for venue and license applications. Additionally, we invited locals who engaged in "placemaking" to share their experiences in the workshop. Participants could learn practical execution techniques and methods for addressing common challenges in "placemaking" from their experiences.

Let’s check out the trainees’ creative proposals!

Group 1:  Shau Kei Wan CHAT

To help residents rekindle their fond memories of Shau Kei Wan, this event has selected six representative locations where participants can draw their sensory experiences and share important memories of Shau Kei Wan. These memories could include places perfect for solitary moments or the most charming small shops. Participants can also instantly print and display photos taken at these locations, hanging them on strings at the booth. Whether they are lifelong residents of Shau Kei Wan or new to the area, everyone can rediscover the community through this event, fostering intergenerational connections and exchanges. This event aims to bring residents together to reminisce about Shau Kei Wan's stories, listen to the voices of different generations, seek out shared memories, and inject positive energy into the future of Shau Kei Wan.


#NostalgiaTrip #FusionOfOldAndNew #OldPhotosReimagined

Group 2: Time Traveler: A Curious Mystery in Shau Kei Wan

Welcome to our immersive interactive theater! The activity will take the form of a real-world exploration game, where you will transform into a fisherman, a factory girl, or a missionary, completing a series of tasks through time travel. We hope to act as connectors, helping you gain an in-depth understanding of the community history of Shau Kei Wan, uncovering some of its lesser-known and traditional spots, thus establishing an emotional connection with your community and rekindling your imagination of Shau Kei Wan. Wishing everyone a pleasant experience and an enjoyable adventure through time!

#NostalgicShops #SunsetIndustries #CommunitySecrets

Group 3: DON’T You Dare?

Welcome to the most challenging park pavilion in the Eastern District! During the "Space+ Festival," we will transform the main venue pavilion into a four-stage large-scale board game. In each stage, players will complete different tasks to explore their feelings and memories of the Eastern District. To reach the highest throne, you need to unite the people of the Eastern District and solve one challenge after another. Don't think that only residents of the Eastern District can answer these questions; perhaps those of you who don't live here have even more unique insights. Let's rediscover this area together, and I guarantee you will leave the pavilion with a smile! Are you not afraid? We are waiting for you to compete for the throne!

#Challenge #BoardGame #EasternDistrictExpert 

Group 4: “The Bite of Main Street East” Food Tour

Focusing on the moments of life, tasting the flavors of human connections—each ordinary day may hold no special meaning, yet it is uniquely precious. We will host a food tour on both Saturday and Sunday, themed around "food," narrating the changes of Shau Kei Wan Main Street East. The "Fish Ball Feast" tour will guide you from Mong Lung Street Sitting-out Area to Tam Kung Temple at Aldrich Bay Promenade, exploring history and coastal changes, while learning about Shau Kei Wan's food culture. The "Satay Delight" tour starts from the tram terminus, traversing from Main Street East to Mong Lung Street Sitting-out Area, observing the evolution of shops and understanding how eateries adapt to their surroundings. Through these activities, we aim to present the evolution and context of Shau Kei Wan's community spaces, inspiring participants to view the community from new perspectives, capturing life's moments, and resisting forgetfulness and change.

#FlavorsOfConnection #TasteTheCommunity #NewExperiences

Words from Trainees

"In the eyes of the residents, social workers are the only community asset they can rely on. We need to show our service recipients that there are actually other groups within the community, and each group can also be a community asset to one another."
Cherity Tam | Team Member of "Shau Kei Wan CHAT"

Space+ Salon (Eastern District)

*Special thanks to Sideny Cai for the illustration

Space+ Festival (Eastern District)

Similar to the previous two community festivals, this event was held in public spaces that represent the local characteristics and are commonly used and familiar to the residents.


With this premise, Space+ Festival took place primarily at the Mong Lung Street Sitting-out Area in Shau Kei Wan. Other venues include the Tung Hei Road Sitting-out Area under the flyover, the open-air food stalls on Kam Wa Street, and the North Point Promenade. Through diverse community activities and space transformation designs, the festival aims to give a refreshing experience to the elderly who rest and gather in the parks daily and the passersby. In addition to government public spaces, the festival is co-organized with St. James' Settlement, opening up the "Quarryside" in Quarry Bay—a community rest spot revitalized from vacant site—as one of the venues. A series of special activities was organized for the residents to participate in. From March 15 to 24, 2024, a total of 34 activities was held, including guided tours, interactive exhibitions, workshops, and song and dance performances, addressing community issues such as family and children, youth outreach, environmental conservation, community arts, intergenerational integration, and physical and mental health through the use of space.


Besides the proposals and achievements of the 18 trainees and the participation of over 30 local organizations, the team hopes to better give back to the community with the strength gathered from the Space+ Festival. Therefore, for the first time, the festival collaborated with 16 local shops in the Eastern District to offer exclusive discount coupons, increasing opportunities for interaction between residents and merchants, and promoting the local economy. This is the essential capital for sustainable community development and aligns with the concept of using placemaking to enhance community connection and empowerment.

Words from Participants

"Public spaces should be freely accessible to everyone without barriers, but they also require users to exercise self-discipline, mutual respect, and trust. As operators, we hope to experiment with different levels and methods of regulation to determine how users can enjoy these spaces most comfortably."
Anthony @ Quarryside | Venue Partner




Thank you for your support!

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