HONG KONG - Gardens in the Sky

Arno Froese

Invisible to those below, a sprawling garden of radishes, carrots and rhubarb is flourishing at the top of the 150-meter tall Bank of America tower, a stark and colorful contrast to the monotone shades of concrete, steel and glass of the city’s financial district.

The farm is among more than 60 that have sprouted across the space-starved city since 2015—on decommissioned helipads, shopping mall rooftops and public terraces—thanks to initiatives like Rooftop Republic, a local social enterprise which promotes urban farming.

“What we are looking at is really how to identify underutilized spaces among the city and mobilize the citizens, the people, to learn about food,” RSS Cofounder Andrew Tsui told AFP during a blustery site inspection of the skyscraper’s garden. 

Tsui believes Hong Kongers need to re-establish a relationship with what they eat that has been broken “since we started outsourcing our food and relying so much on industrialized production.”

Around 90 percent of the food eaten by the city’s 7.5 million inhabitants is imported, mostly from mainland China.

But while Hong Kong is one of the most densely packed places on earth, there is still considerable space to grow food locally.

“The challenge for us is to design urban farming as a lifestyle to integrate into our daily life,” he added. “And the first step for that, of course, is to be accessible.”

To incorporate urban farms into the blueprints for office buildings, Rooftop Republic closely collaborates with architects, developers and property managers.

“In Hong Kong, most of the people focus on the commercial value of the properties. But we want to promote the concept of sustainability,” said Eric Lau, the group’s senior director of property management.

-www.forbesindia.com, 12 July 2021

Arno's Commentary

Increasingly, news originates in southeast Asia. Hong Kong is now part of China based on the agreement, “One country, two systems.” The city’s population stands at about 7.6 million, and life expectancy is one of the highest in the world: 83.4 years. GDP per person stands at $60,000 annually. In plain words: a super-rich and super successful city-state. 

Based on a Google search, Hong Kong has recorded a total of 11,996 cases of Covid, with 11,721 recovered and only 212 deaths, as of 5 August 2021. That fact has rattled some experts, who insist that density of population is the greatest danger. Hong Kong proves that theory wrong. What Hong Kongers do and have been doing for a long time is wear masks in public spaces. Having an excellent healthcare system, Hong Kongers are environmentally and health conscious. 

Thus, the question: will the skyscraper-top garden work? There is little to no doubt. When they put their mind to it, they do it. As indicated in the article, food is the issue, as about 90% is imported from mainland China. Nevertheless, Hong Kongers are inventive, extremely hardworking, and reliable. Will they grow enough food to feed the city? That’s very unlikely, but their hard work and diligence is to be admired. 

Incidentally, the Church is growing in Hong Kong. Believers are being added, and that is what really counts. Here again, we are reminded of the words of Jesus: “I will build my church.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

Read more from this author

ContactAbout UsPrivacy and Safety