More than ‘Just Another (Chinese) City’


Architectural professor describes urban resilience as a critical study of development


Credit: Eunice Seng

How then does one write the spatial history of a city that is so intensely still in the making? How does one critically assess the stakes when vulnerability, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity characterize the current state of affairs? How can the rapid and simultaneous unfolding of events be meaningfully considered through an architectural lens?

This interdisciplinary volume explores real and invented places and identities that are created in tandem with Hong Kong’s urban development. Mapping contested spaces in the territory, it visualizes the energies and tenacity of the people as manifest in their daily life, social and professional networks and the urban spaces in which they inhabit. Embodying the multifaceted nature of the Asian metropolis, the study utilizes a combination of archival materials, public data sources, field observations and documentation, analytical drawings, models, and maps.

“the collecting and mapping of the temporary dwelling places of the homeless and the occupiers raises important questions on how the contours of modern Hong Kong are shaped, and reinforces the need to acknowledge the city as an assemblage of contested spaces, histories and aspirations.”

~Eunice Seng, Resistant City, p306

Comprising historical and field research, this book is the first of its kind to examine the architecture and urbanism of Hong Kong through text and visual analyses, and first-hand accounts. Building upon existing scholarship and public discourses on Hong Kong, it puts forth new methods in which a city and its architecture can be studied, rediscovered and re-presented. The book takes up difficult and conflicting issues of density, design, housing development, identity, land and territory, and presents and narrates them vividly through the lens of urban resilience.

Resistant City retails for US$88 / £75 (hardback), and may be found at major distributors online and bookstores. To know more about the book, visit

Praise for “Resistant City”

“Immersion in the popular uprising inspires Seng to examine less spectacular but no less effective practical and imaginable ways via which urban dwellers transgress and rework urban structures to gain spatial and social liberties.”

Chua Beng-Huat, Professor, Yale NUS College, Singapore

“This creative and insightful book engages in a spirited examination of what truly defines Hong Kong. It invites readers to reconsider the city as a site of resistance and resilience, as performed through a variety of spatial practices by dwellers and builders in the broadest sense of the term.”

Jeffrey Hou, Professor, University of Washington, USA


About the Author

Eunice Seng is Associate Professor and Chair of the PhD program in Architecture at The University of Hong Kong; and Principal of SKEW Collaborative Shanghai-Hong Kong. An architect and architectural historian, her work explores interdisciplinary intersections and questions of agency in architecture, housing, domesticity and public space.

About World Scientific Publishing Co.

World Scientific Publishing is a leading international independent publisher of books and journals for the scholarly, research and professional communities. World Scientific collaborates with prestigious organisations like the Nobel Foundation and US National Academies Press to bring high quality academic and professional content to researchers and academics worldwide. The company publishes about 600 books and over 140 journals in various fields annually. To find out more about World Scientific, please visit

For more information, contact Amanda at [email protected]

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