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Kowloon Walled City: Real Life Inspiration for Dystopian Fiction

Introduction

The Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong was a largely self-governed city enclave of more than 40,000 people living in over 350 interconnected high-rise buildings – constructed without architectural, engineering or health and safety oversight.

While it stood, the Kowloon Walled City was considered to be the most densely populated place on the whole planet. Fitting so many people into such an incredibly small space meant building upwards was an absolute necessity, turning this “city within a city” into a stunningly dense vertical slum.

“It was like nothing else in Hong Kong: a mass of interconnected 12- and 14-story buildings forming a single huge structure, its facade glowing from the light of hundreds of apartments and shops. Clearly there was no administrative oversight. It was too dense, too ad-hoc, too unrestrained. All this was clear before even entering the place.” Greg Girard1

In this article we will take a closer look on this astonishing urban anomaly: From the unique visual appearances of its buildings and infrastructure, the manifold (at times almost anarchistic) living conditions of its residents, to the various influences the Kowloon Walled City had and has on numerous dystopian cultural media works.

 

Kowloon Walled City - Night View - Greg Girard
Kowloon Walled City at night, view from SW Corner, 1987 by Greg Girard

 

The Kowloon Walled City in reality

Before we dive into the depths of the Kowloon Walled City’s appearances in dystopian fiction, it is important to look at the cornerstones and basic facts of its history. This also goes for the societal developments during the time of its existence and details about its complex infrastructure. I will try to cover these aspects in this section of the article extensively.

Dedicated people like e.g. Greg Girard and Ian Lambot will get coverage in this section too. Both were present at the time of the KWC’s existence and they shared their experiences with the world in form of amazing collections of photographies and stunning 1st-hand tales. They are the ones to thank for the available media heritage of the KWC’s inherent visual impressions and societal implications. Features, which heavily influenced numerous forms of cultural media.

 

Kowloon Walled City - Rooftop View - Greg Girard
Kowloon Walled City TV aerials with Kai Tak Airport in background, 1990 by Greg Girard

 

Historical development of the Kowloon Walled City

The Kowloon Walled City originally started as a minor military fort dating back to the Chinese Song Dynasty to defend the local area against pirates and to manage the production of Salt. During the Opium Wars the fort became a defensive position against further British incursions into Quing-Chinese territory.2

After the events of 1898 the area ended up in a sort of Limbo where it was partially under China’s control. However, neither China nor Britain had actual control over it, as the British administration agreed to let it remain almost untouched. The Hong Kong authorities attempted to demolish much of the former military outpost in the 1930s, which left the Walled City’s formerly small population close to zero at that time.3

 

Kowloon Walled City - 1898
Entrance to the Kowloon Military Installation 1898, Wikipedia

 

During the occupation in World War II, Japan continued to tear down the military installations to gather resources for the new airport nearby. Following the Japanese surrender, China reasserted its claim on the area, causing masses of squatters to enter the city. Two attempts to evict them end in widespread riots that threatened to cause a diplomatic incident with China, so the British administration decided to just tolerate the area’s strange autonomy. Leaving the Kowloon Walled City largely lawless, the result was an isolated, crumbling but growing micro city-state.4

From then on, the population grew exponentially. It reached 10,000 people by the early 1970s. Its largely lawless state and the low living costs attracted all kinds of people: From criminals and dreamers to dissidents and refugees, to the plain desperate. Driven from mainland China, the crime syndicate of the Triads established their own form of rule and started to reign over the KWC like kings, aiming to quench the needs of Hong Kong’s upper echelons of society for cheap sex, drugs and gambling.5 The gangster’s absolute rule ended when over 3,000 raids by the Hong Kong police cleared most of them out at the end of the 1970s.6

 

 

After the rise and fall of Triad gang activities, the city still kept its ungoverned status and began to thrive even more. The population multiplied to somewhere between 35,000 and, as some estimate, up to 50,000 people in the 1980s – making it the most densely populated place on earth, if you consider its area of just 6.7 acres (0.027 km²).7

The low standards of living and the often flagrant violations of law embarrassed both Britain and China, neither of whom wanted much to do with the city and its inhabitants. The fact that the Kowloon Walled City was located close to the international Kai Tak airport, as if on display for the whole world to see, only magnified that embarrassment for both sides.

 

 

The situation once again changed as the handover of Hong Kong from british administration to chinese authorities approached near the end of the 20th century. As neither country’s government particularly liked this uncontrolled pocket that their almost century long dispute had created, an agreement was made between Great Britain and China: The residents were forced to move out to other public housing projects in Hong Kong and got evicted between 1993 and 1994. Hong Kong spent a total of $384 million in compensation for the businesses and residents. The whole Kowloon Walled City got demolished in a short amount of time, as soon as the last residents left the area.8

 

 

Today, the site is occupied by a city park, which was built in honor of the Kowloon Walled City. Some artifacts from the city remain to be seen there, but much of it has been replaced with aesthetically more pleasing natural exhibits and traditional Chinese architecture.9 The Kowloon Walled City’s actual presence and almost everything it once represented had been erased.

 

 

Society & Infrastructure inside the Kowloon Walled City

The general lack of outside support due to political and societal isolation lead to the Kowloon Walled City being build on itself by itself. With a wild mix of different service, commercial and various other industries mingled into the living spaces of its residents, the Kowloon Walled City produced mostly self-sufficient urban organism. A whole, almost self-sustaining city – built in three dimensions and growing.

 

 

However, this astonishing mix of ingenuity and improvisation further deepened the KWC’s isolation and problems. Public services like basic sanitation, public safety or crime prevention were things that only the locals took care of. There was no regular garbage collection, so people threw their trash out of their windows. Heroin addiction and drug deals, illegal prostitution and other crimes were rampant and the KWC’s citizens were basically on their own.

“Walking into the city, you found narrow alleys between the buildings with dripping pipes overhead, discharge flowing in gutters, people stripped to the waist in their underwear working in tiny factories, the sound of metal pounding metal, butchered animals, unlicensed dentists, a two-man rubber plunger factory, carts stacked with steaming food, everything mixed together. It felt unreal (especially in the early days), and yet totally normal to everyone living and working there.” Greg Girard10

 

 

Besides these conditions, violent crime was, in most cases, lower than in other neighborhoods of Hong Kong. Doctors and entrepreneurs who were not able to afford the necessary licenses in Hong Kong sat up shop and tried to make a fortune.

The harsh living conditions had partially strengthened the bonds within the community. Without any official bodies and authorities that took care of them, the inhabitants could often rely only on their families and each other.

 

 

A resident’s organization settled many disputes and there was even an informal kindergarten. Things like these are also reasons why some of the former citizens of the Kowloon Walled City remember the loyalty and friendship between each other besides the negative aspects they have seen and witnessed.11

 

 

In regards to the infrastructure, the city was a messy fusion of improvised architecture and ingenious ragtag engineering that was not built to any code at all. Water and sewage pipes were leaking all over the place, electrical wires were dangling everywhere and the sunlight – especially on the lower levels and inner sections of the KWC – was all but closed off to the inhabitants, even at day time. But even as the high-rise buildings practically merged into monolithic, interconnected labyrinths, people managed to build a life in the Kowloon Walled City.12

 

 

The communities also worked out many basic rules for each other. For example, to avoid fires, the laying of electrical wiring outside the building was enforced. They also dug over 75 groundwater wells – pumps brought the water onto the roofs first, the water was then delivered to various buildings through a complex system of pipes. Although the pipes were constantly leaking and water penetrated everywhere, especially in the lower levels, the entire system still worked for the residents for the most part. The communities also imposed height restrictions on buildings to avoid trouble with the nearby airport. The creation of volunteer patrols in order to maintain some ground order in many areas of the KWC was also a result of these random collaborations.

“[…] What you discover when spending any time there is that the place was so misunderstood. It’s a community that worked, and worked quite well, […]” Greg Girard13

“Everything in my architectural training had taught me that such a place shouldn’t be possible, but here it was — and by all accounts, on its own terms at least, it worked very well.” Ian Lambot14

 

Kowloon Walled City - Rooftop Apartment - Greg Girard
Rooftop Apartment, 1991 by Greg Girard

 

Greg Girard’s and Ian Lambot’s explorations

As we will see, the Kowloon Walled City’s unique features inspired artists and professionals of all kind. This would have been quite different, if it weren’t for dedicated people like Greg Girard and Ian Lambot. Both actually visited the city countless times between 1986 and 1992 and documented it extensively.

 

 

They combined their efforts to produce the text and photographs of their cooperative books “City of Darkness: Life In Kowloon Walled City” (first published in April 1993, just a month after the demolition of the KWC began) and City of Darkness Revisited(the 2014 edition, which includes new essays, maps, drawings, photographs and interviews).

These works provide the most thorough record of the Kowloon Walled City and they have served as visual references for creative artists all over the world in creating imagined urban dystopian-themed environments and scenarios.

 

 

Back in 1986, Greg Girard decided to photograph the Kowloon Walled City in color and along the way, he decided to adhere to the traditional documentary form of telling the story as it evolves: After countless visits, he was eventually accepted by the inhabitants and gained the trust of many members of the KWC’s community. He was thus able to gain access to the living quarters, businesses and areas of the KWC, which were usually considered closed to any outsiders.

More about his and Ian Lambot’s experiences in and around the Kowloon Walled City as well as various quotes are available in Niina Pollari’s article The Life and Death of an Impossible City from 2014 on Kickstarter Stories, when they were crowdfunding the new edition of “City of Darkness”.

Incidentally, back in 2012 Greg Girard had an interesting conversation with Nick van der Kolk of 99% Invisible. The article and the podcast session can be found here.

 

Kowloon Walled City - Noodle Factory Desktop - Greg Girard
Desktop of a Noodle Factory inside the KWC, 1989 by Greg Girard

 

Other notable footage and experiences

You can still find some rare footage of the life in the Kowloon Walled City. The following Austrian documentation from 1988 (with English subtitles) is a good example. It features many views from outside and within the KWC, interviews with common inhabitants and views into the daily life of that fascinating place in general:

 

 

In 1993 a group of Japanese architects, engineers and city planners, named “Kowloon City Explorers” and led by the Japanese cultural anthropologist Hiroaki Kani, traced the KWC’s development from its origins till its destruction. Takayuki Suzuki joined forces with them and got the publisher Suzushi Kuwabara and others to produce their stunning book Daizukan Kyuryujyou (“Large-scale Illustrated Kowloon City”). Besides amazing photographs and analysis in the respective professions, it contained a complete cross-sectional map (drawn by by Hitomi Terasawa) on a five-page spread. A part of this map can be seen here:

 

Kowloon Walled City - Crosssection drawn by Hitomi Terasawa
Kowloon Walled City – Crosssection drawn by Hitomi Terasawa, via RioLeo.org

 

For a perspective that is more focussed on the architectural and engineering aspects of the KWC, check out the following ten minute in-depth presentation on Vimeo, made by Christopher Glebe in 2013:

 

 

For those of you who are interested in some more first hand experiences: I can highly recommend this reddit AMA (Ask-Me-Anything) from 2012 by a user named “Crypt0n1te”, a former resident of the Kowloon Walled City. He provided enough circumstantial proof to be considered authentic and answered many questions of other users regarding his time in the KWC. It’s a good read, if you can handle the notoriously uncomfortable platform of Reddit.

 

Kowloon Walled City - Temple underneath the KWC - Greg Girard
Daylight barely penetrates the metal grates over the KWC’s Tin Hau Temple which was built in 1951 on an alley off Lo Yan Street, 1989 by Greg Girard

 

Inspiration & Usage of the Kowloon Walled City for dystopian fiction

Many cultural media works that got inspired by the KWC are embellished with their own artistic spin, while others are almost documentary in nature. The sheer amount of connections between the Kowloon Walled City and all kinds of creative arts, be it western or eastern ones, analog or digital, passive or interactive is staggering. Due to the eponymous topic of Planet Dystopia, this section of the article primarily focuses on the cultural media works with dystopian-themed plots and settings that are connected to the KWC.

 

Literature

Whenever there is a breeze of cyberpunk in the air, you can be sure that William Gibson is around somewhere. His works  “Virtual Light” (1993) and “Idoru” (1996) – parts of his Bridge trilogy – are not only known for being classic works of the subgenre but also feature the Kowloon Walled City as one of the plot’s center points.

A group of ragtag outlaws are rebuilding the KWC as a lawless, maze-like virtual reality construct. Constructed randomly on the net as needed, in an attempt to escape the governmental regulations and influences of mega-corporations, to let its users live “like when the net was new”15 – a form of use that underlines the similarities to the structures of the real KWC.

Gibson himself made no secret of the fact that he got heavily inspired by the Kowloon Walled City:

“There was a place near an airport, Kowloon, when Hong Kong wasn’t China, but there had been a mistake, a long time ago, and that place, very small, many people, it still belonged to China. So there was no law there. An outlaw place. And more and more people crowded in; they built it up, higher. No rules, just building, just people living. Police wouldn’t go there. Drugs and whores and gambling. But people living, too. Factories, restaurants. A city. No laws.” William Gibson16

While not being futuristic by nature, there are newer literary approaches to the topic like e.g. Nicholas Morine’s “Kowloon Walled City, 1984” (2016). The novel uses the KWC as a framework for a kind of retro-dystopic mix of fast-paced action elements and detailed visual expressions. Seemingly inspired by the vibes of 1980s action flicks and various aspects of Hong Kong cinema, Morine’s work focusses on the Kowloon Walled City as a clandestine, immoral place that is filled with all kinds of shady people – mirroring the shambolic outer surroundings with their inner confusion. Ryan Graudin’s novel “The Walled City” (2014) is shaped in a similar way. It also uses the KWC as semi-historic background setting for its plot, and character developments.

 

Movies

The unique visual impressions as well as the societal implications of the Kowloon Walled City inspired many creative works, which also goes for the film industry. Among the various Hong Kong based productions and international projects, there were also some dystopian-themed movies that borrowed heavily from the often harsh conditions of the KWC.

One of the best examples is the adaptation of these features for the fantasy crime-film “Batman Begins”, produced by the British-American director Christopher Nolan. Nolan and his design team were heavily inspired by the KWC:

“[…]From Hong Kong we took the ‘Walled City of Kowloon’ as the basis for the ‘Narrows’, which is this kind of walled-in slum. So what we really did was putting together the elements that let you exaggerate all the socio-economic factors that feed into Gotham[…]” Christopher Nolan17

The placement of the infamous “Arkham Asylum” in the – also suitably called – “Narrows” conveys an atmosphere of chaos and lawlessness in the dark and gritty, decaying alleys and buildings, much like much of the public perception of the Kowloon Walled City.

Nolan and his production team even built a scale model of the area, which led to the following sequence in the final version of the film:

 

 

Another production, the Hong Kong horror fantasy adventure film “Re-cycle” / “Gwai Wik” (2016) made by Danny and Oxide Pang, also features a decrepit, nightmarish version of the Kowloon Walled City. Partially set in a twisted parallel universe where all kinds of abandoned beings and things end up, it exaggerates the basic chaotic appearance of the improvised urban environments to the extreme.

 

Kowloon Walled City - Re-Cycle / Gwai Wik
KWC meets M.C. Escher, Scene from “Re-Cycle” / “Gwai Wik”, 2006 by the Pang Brothers / Matching Motion Pictures & Universe Entertainment, via MartialHorror Reviews

 

Animes & Mangas

One of the earliest examples of the Kowloon Walled City’s influence on japanese manga and anime is “Crying Freeman”, a manga series made by Kazuo Koike. It has multiple connections to the Kowloon Walled City, both visually and plot-wise. Based on his works, the Toei Animation company published an anime OVA series from 1988 to 1994, which also features the KWC in its 3rd episode, titled “Eternal Love”, where the main characters travel to the KWC to improve their sword fighting skills and stand their ground against various local thugs.

 

Kowloon Walled City in Crying Freeman
The Kowloon Walled City in Kazuo Koike’s “Crying Freeman”, Ep. 3, “Eternal Love”, anime made by Toei Animation (1988-1994)

 

However, the elephant in the room in regards to the KWC’s influence on japanese creative arts is certainly the “Ghost in the Shell” franchise. It started in 1989 with the original manga series that got adapted into an animated film in 1995.

Have a look on these scenes to see the parallels to reality for yourself:

 

 

The series ventured further into the visual styles and societal implications of highly urbanized environments via various media works like e.g. the series and film “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex” (2002-2005), the OVA series “Ghost in the Shell: Arise” (2013-2016), as well as the eponymous live-action movie from 2017, produced by Steven Spielberg.

If you like to know more about the first “Ghost in the Shell” movie from 1995 and how its makers Mamoro Oshii and Takeuchi Atsushi got inspired by the KWC and Hong Kong in general, check out this blogpost from 2011, written by David from RandomWire. It contains very interesting comparisons between scenes from the movie and photographies from real life Hong Kong.

Various quotes from the makers are also present there, like this exemplary one from Atsushi, capturing some core essences of the setting of “Ghost in the Shell” and of cyberpunk itself:

“In the midst of the profusion of signs and the heat of the messy urban space, the streets are remarkably chaotic. Passers-by, shouts, cars, all kinds of mechanical noises and human ‘sound pollution’, all merging into one, forcing itself into humans’ central nervous systems through their ears. But why do people succumb to this ‘destructive’ environment? Now that the artificial has replaced the natural, humans are like animals in the past, deprived of the characteristics of being human as a whole. Pulled directly into the whirlpool of information through the stimulation of visual and auditory senses, their feelings are henceforth numbed. On the other hand, countless mutually interfering and uncertain data pass through cables at light speed. This is the way informatics continues to expand its domain.” Takeuchi Atsushi18

The Manga series “Blood+: Kowloon Nights” (2010) by Hirotaka Kisaragi is also a good example of the KWC’s influence on another famous manga and anime franchise. The main plot in this Blood+ offshoot revolves around the investigation of blood-drained murder victims that got found in the abandoned Kowloon Walled City.19

Furthermore, Yu Wing Leung, also known as Yu-Yi, made an interesting manga series also named “City of Darkness” (2010-2011). The series takes place in the Kowloon Walled City and covers the struggle of the main characters with organized crime. Yu-Yi himself went to a school near the KWC in the early 1980s as a young child and ventured into its dark alleys occasionally . Based on his childhood memories, his fascination of Triad gangs and inspired by the works of Greg Girard and Ian Lambot, he created his own version of fictional adventures based on the area.20

 

Video Games

The dystopian adventure game “Kowloon’s Gate” (1997, Sony Music Entertainment Japan, PlayStation) features the Kowloon Walled City in its plot and as the main scenery of action: The demolished KWC suddenly reappears in modern day Hong Kong and the players has to enter the area to unravel the meaning of this mysterious event.

With its quite unique and cyberpunk-inspired visual style and interesting gameplay choices the game gathered a strong fanbase over the decades21 but – as with so many games from the land of the rising sun – it never made it to western markets. To get an idea about the original “Kowloon’s Gate” game, check out this ingame footage:

 

 

At the end of 2017, twenty years after the release of the original PSX adventure game, “Kowloon’s Gate VR: Suzaku” (Jetman & Sony Music Entertainment, PlayStation 4) got released on the PlayStation Network in Japan.

Thanks to stereoscopic sound and the PlayStation VR headset, the game allows players to walk through the narrow streets of the original game’s cyberpunk version of the Kowloon Walled City again – this time in HD. See for yourself:

 

 

Another good examples in regards to a dystopian-themed Hong Kong setting, inspired by the aesthetics of the Kowloon Walled City, is “Shadowrun: Hong Kong” (2015, Harebrained Schemes, PC/Mac OSX/Linux). Set in the eponymous Shadowrun cyberpunk universe, the KWC has a futuristic revival in form of an overcrowded, crime-ridden 2056 role playing version of the area in which players have to fulfill numerous assignments.

 

 

Serious fans of cyberpunk should already know the “Deus Ex” video game series. The latest offshoot of the series, “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” (2016, Square Enix, PC/PlayStation 4/Xbox One/Linux) features a place heavily inspired by the visual concepts of the KWC22: The so-called “Útulek Complex” / “Útulek Station”, also nicknamed “Golem City”, is an enclosed city on the outskirts of Prague, Czech Republic, established in 2027.

Initially intended as temporary housing to Prague’s working class, the complex quickly devolved into a ghetto for mechanically augmented people. Any undocumented augmented people are sent to live in the Golem City, segregated from the non-augmented population and under constant fear of governmental and corporate repressions.23

 

 

In “Phantasmal” (2016, Eyemobi, PC), the player ventures into Kowloon Walled City on the verge of its demolition. In search for an aunt who established a drug clinic to help with the city’s addicts, the player falls through the floor of her apartment into the city’s countless layers of bricks, wood and steel. The game is a procedurally generated horror game, which means that the scenery is randomly generated each time a new game gets started – a technique that makes sense for a place as dark, gritty and labyrinthian as the Kowloon Walled City.

Some ingame impressions of “Phantasmal”:

 

 

Other games that covered the Kowloon Walled City, while borrowing just a few dystopian-themed elements for their plot and / or setting24, are e.g.:

  • “Final Fight 2” (1993, Capcom, SNES), a classic side-scrolling beat ’em up game that includes some Hong Kong based stages and one specifically visualizing the KWC.
  • “Ghost in the Shell” (1997, Sony Computer Entertainment / THQ, PlayStation), a 3rd-person shooter based on the popular manga and anime franchise mentioned in the section above.
  • “Shenmue II” (2001/2002, Sega, Sega Dreamcast & Xbox), an open-world action-adventure game, featuring the Kowloon Walled City as main scenery for a revenge plot.
  • “Bujingai” (2003, Taito / RED Entertainment, PlayStation 2), a 3rd-person beat ’em up / hack & slash game, using the dark alleys of the KWC as a battleground for the players.
  • “Stranglehold” (2007, Midway, PC/PS3/XBOX), a 3rd-person shooter heavily inspired by the (neo-)noir game series “Max Payne” by Remedy, has a whole stage that features the Kowloon Walled City’s (in)famous links to Triad gang activities.
  • “Wet” (2009, Bethesda Softworks, PlayStation 3/Xbox 360), a 3rd-person shooter, also shows the links between the KWC and asian crime syndicates.
  • “Call of Duty: Black Ops” (2010, Activision, PC/Xbox 360/PlayStation 3/Wii), a game of the famous 1st-person shooter series “Call of Duty” has one whole level in the area of the KWC, including various gunfights on the rooftops of the interconnected high-rise buildings.
  • 光輝歲月 / “Glorious Years” (2015, Lakoo, iOS/Android), a role-playing game set in the 1980s features scenes in the KWC and Hong Kong in general.

 

Kowloon Walled City - Rooftop - Greg Girard
Watching aircraft land at Kai Tak Airport from Kowloon Walled City rooftop, 1990 by Greg Girard

 

Conclusion

The Kowloon Walled City continues to fascinate people around the world. Even decades after the demolition of the city and its disappearance from the landscape of Hong Kong, the fascination remains. The assorted living conditions that the city offered its inhabitants and the diverse infrastructure inspire the academic and creative world alike. From architects, sociologists and urban scientists to creative artists and media analysts.

The visual impressions of the Kowloon Walled City influence plots, styles, settings and themes in various fictional and nonfictional works. Considering these aspects and the unrefracted popularity of urban dystopian scenarios, especially the cultural medias found a willing muse in this formerly shunned and ostracized area of Hong Kong.

However, this fascination also has its price for the reception of the Kowloon Walled City: The numerous myths, rumors and exaggerations that are associated with the KWC make it much harder to navigate through facts and fictions in favor of rousing settings and plots. The waves of media hypes around futuristic-dystopian scenarios intensify this tension.

At the same time, the unique history and conditions of the Kowloon Walled City also stand as proof that some of the various fictional futures we imagine, have already been built and lived in. It is understandable, on the one hand, that the negative sides of KWC provide a good source for media-induced horror stories and apocalyptic views on advancing urbanization. On the other hand, the Kowloon Walled City is also a good example of the fact that even in a “city of darkness” there is still light to be found.

JHS

 

Addendum: I’d like to personally thank Greg Girard at this point – not only for his permission to use many of his images, but especially for the friendly email conversation we had, his passion for the KWC and his interest and knowledge in the field of dystopian fiction. Thank you, Greg!

 

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  1. Quote from Greg Girard in Niina Pollari’s “The Life and Death of an Impossible City”, Kickstarter Stories, 2014
  2. Cf. Lara Day & Diana Jou: Kowloon Walled City. WSJ Timeline Project, 2016
  3. Cf. Wikipedia: Kowloon Walled City, History, Urban Settlement. Wikipedia.com, 2017
  4. Cf. Fionnuala McHugh: How Kowloon Walled City survived attempts to knock it down for almost a century. Post Magazine / SCMP, 2014
  5. Cf. Kate Schneider: Kowloon Walled City was a gangsters paradise that shunned rules. News.com.au, 2016
  6. Cf. Gwulo: Old Hong Kong. Gwulo.com, 2014
  7. Cf. Nick Routley: Inside Hong Kong’s chaotic and lawless Kowloon Walled City. BusinessInsider.de, 2017
  8. Cf. William O’Connor: Lost Masterpieces – The Lost Chinese City Police Feared to Enter. TheDailyBeast.com, 2016
  9. Cf. Hong Kong Leisure and Cultural Services Department: Kowloon Walled City Park. LCSD.gov.hk, 2014
  10. Quote from Greg Girard in Niina Pollari’s “The Life and Death of an Impossible City”, Kickstarter Stories, 2014
  11. Cf. John Carney: Kowloon Walled City: Life in the City of Darkness. SCMP.com, 2013
  12. Cf. Nick van der Kolk: 99PI – Ep. 66 – Kowloon Walled City. 99percentinvisible.org, 2012
  13. Quote by Greg Girard from Charlotte Harding’s: The Lost Labyrinths of Kowloon Walled City. British Journal of Photography, 2015
  14. Quote from Ian Lambot in Niina Pollari’s “The Life and Death of an Impossible City”, Kickstarter Stories, 2014
  15. William Gibson: Idoru. Viking Press, 1996, p. 221
  16. William Gibson: Idoru. Viking Press, 1996, N.pag.
  17. Quote from Christopher Nolan about his inspiration for the look of Gotham City, in: Christopher Nolan on Batman Begins, Interview with ComingSoon.net/SuperheroHype.com, 2005
  18. Nozaki, Tohru et. al. The Analysis of Ghost in the Shell. Tokyo: Kodansha Young Magazine, 1995. N.pag.
  19. Cf. Snow Wildsmith: Review Blood+ Kowloon Nights. BookReporter.com, 2012
  20. Cf. Ian Lambot: Kowloon Walled City in Popular Culture. CityofDarkness.co.uk, 2017
  21. Cf. Bryan Crimmins:  Kowloon’s Gate. HardcoreGaming101, 2017
  22. Cf. Paul Davies: The Art of Deus Ex Universe. Titan Books, 2016, N.pag.
  23. Cf. Deus Ex Wiki: Útulek Complex. Wikia.com, 2017
  24. Eddie Lau: Kowloon Walled City Games. Hong Kong in video games Blog, 2016

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