What would you think of when you heard the word “slum”? A very dense living environment where people live in small squatters? Or a place that is very squalid? This is mostly what normal people would have as first impression of a slum.
Pok Fu Lam Village, however, changed my perception towards it. Once I entered the village, apart from the squatter huts, I also noticed about the amount of greenness in the village. Comparing to the space they have, the amount and the effect of vegetation they plant in their neighborhood surprises me.
From staircase to windowsill, plants can be found basically everywhere in the village, enriching and greening it’s surrounding, even a broken segment of a PVC drainage pipe can be a potential place for planting. There are also a few small farmlands in the village, where old villagers plant different kinds of fruits and vegetation both for interest and self-sustaining.
Potted plants are extremely mobile and takes up only very little space, but it’s contribution to the overall quality of living environment can be very significant. It can greatly enhance the visual quality of the squatter, on the other hand also improve the living standard by greening the community, making Pok Fu Lam Village a more pleasant and likable place to live in.
But is planting really a long-term solution in improving the living quality of Pok Fu Lam Village, or is it just creating an illusion covering up the existing problems?