In Western, capitalist democracies much attention has been directed towards the gendering of cities along public-private lines, the demise of public spaces as sites of democratic politics and the emergence of psuedo-public spaces of corporate interest and consumption (see, among others, McDowell, 1999; Fraser, 1992; Mitchell, 1995; Zukin, 1991). These issues are also important throughout many parts of urban Asia as economies and societies transform. The implications for city life of widespread inclusion of women into the labour force and the rapid development of shopping malls and other spaces of mass consumption are only two pertinent cases in point. Yet the meanings attached to public space and the anxieties associated with its disappearance are mediated through cultural politics that can be quite distinct from those that unfold in places such as Europe or North America. This paper examines how contemporary anxieties about public space in Hong Kong are difficult to disentangle from the post-colonial moment.