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Soaring towers shape Hong Kong’s urban landscape

HONG KONG (AFP) – Home to some of the world’s densest living districts and tallest skyscrapers, Hong Kong has for decades mesmerised locals and visitors alike with its famed skyline.

The Chinese finance hub has more than 550 buildings that are at least 150 metres tall and is the “number one tallest city” in the world, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat skyscraper database.

Hong Kong saw a construction boom in the latter half of the 20th Century as its population skyrocketed, and development kept pace after the former British colony was handed over to China in 1997.

The city’s two tallest buildings, the International Commerce Centre (484 metres) and the Two International Financial Centre (412 metres), stand gleaming on opposing sides of the Victoria Harbour and cast shadows on the rushing traffic below.

Meanwhile, many of the city’s 7.5 million residents live in cramped flats, with households having a median per capita floor area of around 16 square metres in 2021.

A cluster of residential blocks nicknamed “Monster Building” in Quarry Bay was catapulted to international fame after it was featured in the 2014 blockbuster Transformers: Age of Extinction.

Apartments at the ‘Monster Building’ in Hong Kong. PHOTO: AFP