Life in Mong Kok, the World's Most Crowded Place

Created: 2011-10-26 10:31 EST

Category: Life


The world is becoming a more crowded place as it is set to welcome the 7th billion human at the end of this month.

But living with people all around you is part of Hong Kongers' everyday life, especially those who live in a district that is in the Guinness World Records for being the world's most densely populated place on Earth.

Mong Kok, which literally means "busy corner" in Cantonese, has on average 130-thousand people squeezed inside one square kilometer - equivalent to putting about 900 people inside a football pitch.

Although Mong Kok is one of the most popular shopping areas in Hong Kong, residents complain of air, noise and light pollution and the overstretched transport network.

District Councillor Paul Zimmerman said the compact nature of city living has its pros and cons.

[Paul Zimmerman, Hong Kong District Councillor]:
"You see the roads are congested, there is overcrowding, there are noise pollution issues. There are some anger among the community, some people have been throwing acid from roofs are hurting people. But it was associated to noise and overcrowding pressure. But those are the kinds of things that come with it. The good thing, of course, is that it's very efficient. Hong Kong is energy efficient compared to other cities because we are so compact. Because so many people are living very closely together, sharing public facilities."

For Hong Kong residents, living near Mong Kok has its advantages and disadvantages.

[Frank Yong, Shopper in Mong Kok]:
"Pollution is the problem. As you can see there are many cars. There are good things and bad things. It's very busy here but you can find many shops here that you can't find anywhere else."

Hong Kong's neighbor, Macau, is also in the record books for the most densely populated territories, with nearly 20-thousand people per square kilometer in 2010.