WRITING, PEER REVIEWED
An Investigation on SARS shaping Hong Kong and fragmenting its cultural, economic, political, and physical borders (2020)
Essay for Informa: Urban Disruptors, Vol. 13, 2020-21, Peer Reviewed Journal Publication of University of Puerto Rico School of Architecture
Shaped in reaction to tuberculosis and cholera, nineteenth century cities most evidently embody the coupling of urbanism and disease. Today, amidst technological advances of antibiotics and hyper connectivity, SARS (as the first global health alert of the twenty-first century) highlights how cities continue to be mutated by pandemics. Originating from civet cats in the Guangdong Province of China, the epidemic spread globally through Hong Kong to more than 29 countries worldwide. Lasting only 6 months, SARS cost the world roughly $40 billion. Rather than increasing border control as a method to contain disease, this investigation argues that multi-centred cities with fragmented borders, are crucial for the formation of new pan-alliances against outbreaks. Connectivity is the cause of SARS, the result of SARS, but also the method for controlling SARS. Operating in a Chinese cultural context, post-SARS urbanism addresses the para-doxical benefit of connectivity as a tool to combat future epidemics.
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First iteration of this essay was written before COVID-19.