While the history of greening in the City of Victoria through the establishment of the Hongkong Botanic Gardens and efforts to reforest the ‘barren rock’ in the 1870s is widely known, the role of the street tree in the early colonial period is not. Trees were planted along streets from as early as 1847. As they grew and started to cast shade across the street, they began to affect public life, creating tolerable summer conditions in the new public spaces, attracting and organising transactional and community activities within the street, and encouraging new recreational pursuits. Street trees quickly took on broader meanings for the community, and came to emphasise colonial authority and social order within the emerging city. In this presentation, Mathew Pryor sets out the genealogy of tree planting in the early years of the colony and discusses their role in shaping city life.
Mathew Pryor is Head of the Division of Landscape Architecture, at The University of Hong Kong, and teaches landscape design, sustainable technologies, and professional practice. His current research explores issues of public space and walkability, sustainable urban tree management, greening and public health, and urban rooftop farming. His 25 years as a practicing landscape architect in Hong Kong has included leading project roles at the Hong Kong Wetland Park, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, and within CEDD’s long running initiatives in the landscape treatment of man-made slopes.
6:30 pm admission, lecture starts at 7:00 pm
RAS Members $100; Non-Members / Guests $150
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