William Gibson's anarchic community on the San Francisco Bay Bridge (Virtual Light and All Tomorrow's Parties) had a precedent in Kowloon's Walled City.
I was once an Architecture student. Architecture with a capital A. The Kowloon Walled City was architecture with a lower case a. The Kowloon Walled City is what happens when a city is built with no rules. This is something that fascinates me.
Kowloon Walled City
thanks to consumptive.org
City of Darkness
Life in Kowloon Walled City
Hak Nam, City of Darkness, the old Walled City of Kowloon was an unmistakable presence in the midst of urban Hong Kong. It was also one of the city’s greatest anomalies. Built on a site measuring little more than 100 x 200 metres without recourse to legislation and with little regard for basic services, the City not only survived for close on 100 years, it established itself as a thriving and ever-growing community.
Through a continual process of demolition and reconstruction — with never an architect in sight — individual buildings gradually homogenised. An intricate network of communal stairways linked one to the other, creating a warren of passages that made it possible to traverse the City without once coming down to ground. Only at street level did the old grid of public alleyways still exist, but hemmed in and built over, usually dark, damp and unappealing.(..)
And yet, at its peak in the 1980s, the Walled City was home to some 35,000 people. Shops, factories, restaurants, dental clinics, apartments — all were accommodated with little apparent order to create a thriving and bustling community. How did the Walled City come about and why did it survive for so long? How was it possible for so many people to live and work in such difficult conditions, yet in apparent harmony?
Internet Kowloon Walled City