We tend to think of buildings as permanent. There is even an English phrase, “As safe as houses,” which is presupposed on their ability to withstand damage and protect their contents. But is this justified? The building next to the one I’m sitting in has just been demolished, and across the road there is a new office building which opened this year next to another demolition site. Within the block there are another three buildings that were completed within the last 5 years, all on the sites of large buildings built in the last 50 years. There is a reason why there is so much redevelopment here. A new MTR station will open later this year and the area is changing from light industrial to commercial. Similar changes are taking place in many areas across Hong Kong.