Climate change in Hong Kong has worsened housing crisis for city’s poor. Anyone who has experienced a Hong Kong summer has a story about the oppressive heat and humidity. In 2022, a heat wave has left residents sweltering more than ever. And for thousands, home is a tiny rooftop hut that offers no escape from the torrid conditions. Hong Kong’s suffocating summers are often made worse by an environment of concrete towers, concrete parks and roadside emissions. But the effects of climate change are compounded here for those of modest means. Exorbitant property prices and long waits for public housing have pushed poorer residents into bleak living arrangements such as subdivided apartments and illegal but widespread rooftop huts that dot the tops of tenement buildings. Some 220,000 people, or about 3 percent of Hong Kong’s population, live in cramped rooftop huts, subdivided apartments and cage homes, according to a 2021 government report. With the poor design of these structures, residents experience conditions that can be 5 to 6 degrees Celsius hotter than outdoors during a heat wave, according a July report by the Society for Community Organization, a nongovernment group focused on housing issues.

Award of Excellence

New Heights of Suffering

Louise Delmotte
France/Hong Kong

Louise Delmotte (b. 1999) is a freelance photographer based in Hong Kong. Originally from France, she studied politics at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). She is a regular contributor to Getty Images and The New York Times.

[ ISSUE REPORTING PICTURE STORY ] A long-term project on a single topic. It could focus on science, news, politics or any number of topics, ranging from coverage of a single person to an entire community. The project must convey a deep understanding of the subject. Each submission consists of 10 to 40 images. Each participant is allowed to enter up to 3 submissions. All images must be taken in 2022.

Judges for Issue Reporting Picture Story
Jilson Tiu
Uma Bista
Takaaki Iwabu
Parisa Azadi
Nathan Tsui
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