Recreational trespass, “rooftopping” or urban exploring is the exploration of any open or abandoned space.
Hong Kong has the most skyscrapers in the world.
Hence, it attracts a lot of explorers from all over the world to reach the climax in Hong Kong.
For rooftoppers worldwide, conquering buildings and breaking the rules are the main spirit of this activity, but for rooftoppers in Hong Kong, it’s much more than just a death defying stunt.
Here’s some reasons why they do it:
- To redefine their limit
For many rooftoppers, it’s the feeling of empowerment and being on top of the world that the adventure brings. By conquering their own fear, capture stunning images of uninterrupted views and turning these rooftops as their own personal playgrounds, they push themselves beyond own limit.
- To recharge from hectic city life
To rooftoppers, everyday is ordinary life — everything is so structured and you have to follow orders. Hence, they want to get away from that.
“Rooftopping is like a getaway from city life to me — Hong Kong is such a fast-paced city with so much pressure and noise,” well known Hong Kong rooftopper Daniel Lau said. “When I’m on a rooftop, everything slows down, you don’t hear anything but wind, all the rush from the ground became like slow-motion.”
- To explore the city’s landscape
The world famous breathtaking skyline of the concrete jungle is a must-see for tourists.
But if you’ve lived here your whole life, you’d probably be bored of visting the same places at the exact same spots.
Rooftopping allows rooftoppers to appreciate Hong Kong from a whole new perspective and reconnect with the vibrant city which they consider as a home.
- To reclaim the urban space from big business
The cost of living and flat price in this dense vertical city of over seven million is among the highest in the world.
As a result, the majority of Hong Kong’s youth still live with their parents in their adulthood without adequate personal space.
Spaces hidden in the famous skyline thus becomes the only ones left to explore for free and sneaking onto rooftops has become a statement of reclaiming the city from big business.
“[The] Roof is for everyone. Pick a book, read on a crane, get some inspirations,” rooftopper William Cheng said.
5. Rooftopping for freedom and disobedience
The city’s young people are part of a generation who have grown up with the umbrella revolution, worsening economic prospects and increasing worries of eroding individual freedom.
Rooftoppers – like other youngsters- showcase their frustrations by celebrating disobedience.
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