The HKCGG mourned the passing of the well-known Geographer Neil Smith, who died on 29th September, 2012, at the age of 58.
Prof. Smith was one of the most influential figures in the field of Critical Geography. Among others, his writings on uneven development and gentrification have long been regarded as one of the theoretical cornerstones on understanding of the perpetuation of the socially under-privileged positions of the grassroots and of the developing world. Besides, he was active in social practices, not only by himself, but also via generations of students and activists so inspired by him.
Prof. Smith was first invited to speak to the Hong Kong audience in December, 2003. Last December, HKCGG invited him to give a talk entitled “Revanchist City, Revanchist Planet". We were inspired by his insights and amazed at his openness to criticism from the developing world. After the talk, we visited the ‘Occupy Central’ movement in Hong Kong. He listened enthusiastically to the movement and proposed to connect it with the similar one in New York. This showed his great care to the humanity of people this part of the world. In sum, his insight, enthusiasm, openness, comradeship, etc. will forever be with us.
We mourned the loss of a great comrade!
Prof. Smith於國際地理學界舉足輕重，其有關仕紳化及不平均地理發展的著作及論述，影響深遠，多年來啟發學生與學者無數，也為低下階層對抗城市發展帶來之不公義－－尤其是市區重建抗爭－－立下重要理論基礎。去年１２月，本會有幸邀請Prof. Smith來港為香港批判地理學會作演講，其廣博宏大的學養、風趣幽默又具前瞻性的言語，讓人獲益良多。批判地理學失去一位良師益友，實為一大憾事，本會深表哀悼。