The Mongkok renewal project -- changing Hong Kong for the better?

The Mongkok renewal project -- changing Hong Kong for the better?

Greening, pavement widening and goldfish sculptures -- all part of a plan to make the incredibly popular shopping district even more popular
Mongkok renewal project
Mongkok renewal project
Mongkok renewal project
Mongkok renewal project
Just in case the endless rows of goldfish stores are not enough to indicate that this is the famed "goldfish market street," the goldfish sculpture should make it clear.

The popular shopping district of Mongkok is facing a major facelift, with the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) planning to spend HK$100 million to turn it into a shopping theme park with all the subtlety of a punch in the face.

The Mongkok renewal project is to take five of the busiest shopping streets -- Flower Market Road, Tung Choi Street, Sai Yee Street, Fa Yuen Street and Nelson Street -- and place "cheerful scenes" along the streets with themes that correspond to the products sold in the shops, such as "birds and flowers, ideal fish environment, leisurely shopping and the sports world," the HK government website reported.

There will also be themed street furniture, special directional signage, decorative pavements and "greening." In other words, it sounds like it will be a combination of all the decorative intensity of Disneyland with some of the world's best bargain shopping.

The Mongkok renewal project is an effort to encourage more shoppers and tourists to visit the area, already Kowloon's most densely-populated at an average of 130,000 people per square kilometer.

The URA said "input and support from the Yau Tsim Mong District Council and the local community will be sought to finalise the plan."

For a taste of authentic Mongkok before it is touched up by the URA's magic wand starting  2011, check out flickr user manyeemiu and CNNGo contributor Christopher Dewolf's photos or watch the quintessential Mongkok film, Wong Kar-wai's "As Tears Go By." But nothing beats heading down to Mongkok in person to soak up the atmosphere and grabbing a bite at the city's trendiest eateries, which can be found on openrice.com (Chinese only).

Send us your thoughts on the proposed overhaul for Mongkok below.

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