In many ways, the linked growth of Singapore and its neighboring cities, Batam and Johor, brings to mind Hong Kong and Shenzhen some years earlier. In 1979 Shenzhen, then a fishing village, was declared China’s first special economic zone, and grew rapidly, serving as Hong Kong’s productive hinterland. Today however, the roles are changing. Going from Hong Kong’s vertical factories to Shenzhen’s urban villages, we were searching for the sites and the stories of the twin cities.


Special thanks to Ass Prof Hendrik Tieben for showing us Hong Kong’s terrace houses, to Prof Gordon Mathews for the walk through the backstage of Chunking Mansions, to Dr. Max Hirsh for the tour of Hong Kong’s airport infrastructures, to Mary Ann O’Donnell for the drive through Shenzhen’s productive hinterlands, to Ass Prof Joshua Bolchover for envisioning a section through Hong Kong, and to Tammy Wong and Chen Ting for their help and for travelling together.