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“Hacking” Kowloon East: activating technology for urban life

In conjunction with the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, the Independent Activities Period virtual site visit to Hong Kong marked the beginning of 2021 for the MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node.The City Design and Development Group’s head, Associate Professor Brent Ryan, created the two-week “hacking” series to look at how the current Kowloon East initiative can make better use of emerging digital technologies to connect residents and expand economic opportunities.

Hong Kong is a good example of high-density urbanism and the center of a lot of global and local problems. It offers a chance to rethink how digital technologies and physical spaces can work together better.Participants in the “Hackering” series took advantage of this fact.

MIT students and Hong Kong-MIT graduate students based in Boston were paired with equal numbers of undergraduate student ambassadors recruited from local universities.Retail revitalization, environmental and health care promotion, and the establishment of a human-centered urban design were among the project concepts.


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