- Opening Ceremony 7 Sept 1800-2000
Around one thousand people come regularly to Duckling Hill. Most everyone – young and old alike – have come to see Duckling Hill as a restful place for an early morning walk, exercise, conversation, or contemplation, a place where people can tend a little garden. They see the hill as a buffer zone from the everyday crowds and sounds of the city.
Over the years, and particularly since 1989, when most of the people moved into public housing estates in Tseung Kwan O, the local residents have created several rain and sun shelters, a set of stairs up to the summit, pavilions, small decorative gardens, shrines, benches and rubbish bins – a soft appropriation of the space with a strong feeling of home and identity. Their care in constructing the informal community infrastructure reflects their intimate relationship with the hill and an innate knowledge of the hill's ecology. Their acts in balance with the natural environment, are of enormous value not only for themselves, but for visitors to the area, and for researchers and practitioners in landscape, urban planning and architecture alike.
Since 2006, the Government has been clearing the people’s “ illegal ” infrastructure and heritage. In 2013, architects from Parallel Lab and students from the School of Design of Hong Kong Polytechnic University became aware of this and began recording and studying the situation in the hill. The research has focused on both the physical and the metaphorical relationship the people have had with the hill. Dialogue also intensified between the walkers, Sai Kung District Council, Sheng Kung Hui Tseung Kwan O Aged Care Centre, students and researchers from Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the designers at Parallel Lab. This publication combines the research diaries and discussions and seeks to raise awareness of the value of people centered development.