Wishing you Good Health: Origins and Evolution of Urban Sanitation Policy inHong Kong (1860s–1930s)


25 Apr 2020


3pm – 4pm


Zoom Webinar


Prof. Ho Pui-yin, Department of History,CUHK

Biography of Speaker:

Professor Ho Pui-yin is a social and economic historian who previously worked as a research consultant at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris. She is a Professor and Head of History Division of the Department of History at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. She is the author of numerous books and articles on Hong Kong, and social and economic history of modern China.


Tel: (852) 3943 7107

Event Details:

Free and open to the public, this series of webinars will present research by a diverse group of scholars from the Faculty of Arts at CUHK. Each speaker will bring refreshing and historical perspectives on our contemporary moment, either directly or through reflection. Together, these public events will speak for the value and relevance of humanities scholarship at a time when we face profound global challenges. Lectures will be about 30 minutes in length, followed by a question and answer session with the audience. events/534-public-online-lectures-arts-andhumanities- in-the-face-of-global-challenges

Synopsis of Lecture:

The controversial development of urban sanitation policy in Hong Kong deserves a thorough understanding for it impacts the contemporary society. It reflects not only problems of the spread of infectious diseases in this densely populated city, but also problems of racial segregation between Europeans and Chinese and socialeconomic inequalities between the rich and the poor. This lecture analyses the origins of the earliest urban sanitation plans, their contents and characteristics, and the process of how and why they evolved from the building of survival infrastructure to improvements of urban health. From the cultural perspective, the intervention of urban sanitation measures on the pretext of infectious disease control and improvement of peopleʼs living conditions had made the importation of Western culture inevitable. The experience of urban sanitation policy serves as a breakthrough point in observing Chinaʼs cultural transition from tradition to modernity.