Another in a series of  talks in Hong Kong, September 11-16


on Wed, 13 Sep 2017 at Cafe 8
(top floor on the Maritime Museum at Central Ferry Pier 8)


Los Angeles has long been considered the quintessential horizontal city, the capital of sprawl, and the ultimate “autopia”. Decades-long car-centric urban development and transport planning policy has given Los Angeles the dual reputation as the twentieth-century model of a new type of urban region in the United States and the country’s most polluted urban environment. Hong Kong, on the other hand, has taken a transit-oriented approach that yields perhaps the most efficient urban public transport system in the world in a compact and vertical urban context, with the highest percentage (about 90%) of public transport usage in the city and a very low car ownership rate among cities of similar economic status. With this, Los Angeles and Hong Kong cannot be more different.

Yet, in response to acute environmental challenges such as air pollution and climate change, Los Angeles and Hong Kong are now preaching similar transport and city planning solutions that would reduce emissions and other environmental impacts – expanding the public transit system, promoting walking and cycling, or even discouraging car use – with varying degree of commitment and success. In the Green Drinks talk, Prof. Robert Gottlieb and Mr. Simon Ng will compare and reflect on the experience of Los Angeles and Hong Kong in their quest for sustainable mobility and urban liveability, and will also shed light on the similar challenge faced by the ever-growing Chinese megacities.

Robert Gottlieb is Emeritus Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and founder and former Director of the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College. Simon Ng is an independent consultant and Fellow and former Chief Research Officer at Civic Exchange, a public policy think tank in Hong Kong. Robert and Simon co-authored Global Cities: Urban Environments in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and China, published by the MIT Press in May 2017. For more information about the book visit

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