Manhattan has the highest population density of any city in the United States, at 27,000 people per square mile. Whoof! That is an awful lot of people. Unless you're comparing it to the vice-ridden former Chinese military fort known as Kowloon Walled City, which prior to its destruction in 1994 had a population density of 3.25 million people per square mile.
The Walled City dates back about a thousand years, but it was only in the 1950s that it turned from a former military fort into an outrageously densely populated structure controlled by vicious gangs. But it remained one of the most peculiar inhabited areas on the planet, its jurisdiction unclear, a country within Hong Kong within China or Britain. To mark the 20-year anniversary of its demolition, the South China Morning Post made this fascinating infographic. If you like the sorts of graphics that show intricate structures, this is definitely one to pore over. Read more about it here.
This city is fascinating, as it is perhaps the "best" example of long-term anarchy at work in the modern world. Granted, it was overrun with crime syndicates, pollution and hazardous building practices, but that's kind of the point.
Always defer to facts rather than philosophy.
List of cities proper by population density
$35HK a month!? The rent is TOO DAMN HIGH!
There's an indie game in there somewhere waiting to break free.
-Knock, knock. Hello ma'am; I'm taking a neighborhood survey for an occupational breakdown of Kowloon City. Would you say there are more mass murderers in your building or in the one next to yours-which so far, tops our list? Do any auto mechanics live in your building? Oh. Ok, how many of these kids are gainfully employed by stripping them even though they just sell parts? And I noticed that the heroin dealers are a lot more pushy on this side of the alley-are they making as much as the dealers over there? Oh, prettier child hookers. Yep, that will do it ma'am, and Raving Tiger Neighborhood Benevolent Organization thanks you for your help and support!
I wonder how they would have handled a serious fire. Did they ever have any? Or would it have burned the whole place and every one in it to the ground?
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J James, you're missing the obvious. Look at how population dense it is, and the fact that despite the conditions you just described, people still preferred to live there than be governed. It is an overwhelming argument in favor of anarchy over government. It's actually brilliant use of land, to minimize the sqft per person to leave more green land freed. Cities are more efficient than rural areas in per person energy expenditure, and this is like a hyper-city, a microcosm of Paolo Soleri's "arcology" skyscraper cities.
Imagine if instead of it being a refuge, one of the few areas where a government doesn't enforce laws on you, it were one of many, such as if a large corporation set it up such as Apple or Amazon or Ikea, and charged residents a monthly rate, and you were free to leave, while the only laws would be against violence or theft and perhaps a few other nearly universally agreed upon rules of conduct.
What is so bad about being unregulated and uninspected. Clearly despite all that, it thrived wonderfully with doctors and drug dealers working side by side. It never once burned down. The infographic even notes that residents took certain safety precautions with electric wires. This is an example of anarchocapitalism working. And working well. The only reason it ended was because the HK government was upset that it was not able to control the people. Their drug laws made it seem like Kowloon was the source of the problem, when it was in fact the solution. I bet drug use in Kowloon was lower than the rest of HK.