CCCH9031 China: Culture, State and Society
Property Rights, Built Heritage and Sustainable Development in Hong Kong


Course Description

The goal of this course is to stimulate students’ interest in built heritage conservation and utilization, along with a view to motivate and empower them to partake in community action for heritage conservation as responsible citizens. Through organized local field studies on selected Hong Kong military heritage sites and lectures, the course examines how heritage conservation, as an emerging policy issue in Hong Kong and China, can be understood in terms of basic concepts of property rights and sustainable development. It introduces simple theoretical concepts of property rights and sustainability to students through observing examples of heritage conservation in Hong Kong from a media perspective and from personal experience as informed by an awareness of relevant policy initiatives and social actions. Students will have opportunities to review selected case studies in tutorials and participate in organized field trips to selected Hong Kong military heritage sites. The knowledge base of professional skills and concepts is in the fields of architecture, property rights, building development, and development control. Attention will be particularly drawn to examples of local real life attempts to transform areas suffering from environmental degradation into positive and attractive environmental uses.

[This course has a COMPULSORY field trip component. There will be a total of three (whole day) field trips which will be conducted on three Saturdays during the semester. Students will need to purchase government aerial photos, plans and survey maps (costing not more than about HK$300 per student) for completing the assignments based on fieldwork.]

Course Learning Outcomes

On completing the course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe and explain the observable phenomena of built heritage degradation and conservation in terms of different forms of property rights and their resource use implications and the significance of property rights for enabling/inhibiting innovations by investment.
  2. Describe and explain the notion of built heritage and the common methods of classification and conservation; competing conservation approaches and provide an overview of built heritage endeavours by government, NGO and private bodies.
  3. Critically examine the role of institutional and technical innovations in helping to foster sustainable development by conserving and using built heritage.
  4. Apply the approach to sustainable development through innovations to appreciate, evaluate and formulate policy and project proposals for built heritage conservation and use, using real world comparable examples as sources of ideas.

Offer Semester and Day of Teaching

First semester (Wed)


Study Load

Activities Number of hours
Lectures 10
Tutorials 8
Fieldwork / Visits 18
Reading / Self-study 50
Assessment: Coursework 10
Assessment: Presentation (incl preparation) 24
Total: 120

Assessment: 100% coursework

Assessment Tasks Weighting
Participation in tutorials and project presentation sessions 20
Grading of group projects based on field trips 60
Assignments 20

Required Reading

Books

  • Beder, S., & Earth Foundation Australia. (1996). The nature of sustainable development. Newham, Victoria: Scribe Publications.
  • Irving, R. T. A., Morton, B., & World Wide Fund for Nature Hong Kong. (1988). A geography of the Mai Po Marshes. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
  • Lai, L. W. C. (1998). Zoning and property rights: A Hong Kong case study. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.

Practice Papers

  • Lai, L. W. C., & Ho, D. C. W. (2003). Facilities management and planning for heritage sites: Lessons learnt from a pilot study on dis-used military sites. Facilities, 21(3/4), 80-88.
  • Lai, L. W. C., Ho, D. C. W., & Leung, H. F. (2003). Survey of the Devil’s Peak Redoubt and Gough Battery. Journal of the Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 42, 101-137.
  • Lai, L. W. C., Ho, D. C. W., & Ping, Y. (2007). Survey of the Pottinger Battery. Journal of the Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 47, 91-114.

Theoretical Papers

  • Lai, L. W. C., & Lorne, F. T. (2006). Planning by negotiation for sustainable development: A tale of two habitats. Economic Affairs, 26(1), 54-58.
  • Lu, T. L. D. (2009). Heritage management in post-colonial Hong Kong. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 15(23), 258-272.

Recommended Reading

Books

  • Ko, T. K., & Wordie, J. (1996). Ruins of war: A guide to Hong Kong’s battlefields and wartime sites. Hong Kong: Joint Publishing (HK).
  • Lai, L. W. C., & Lorne, F. T. (2003). Implementing sustainable development: Institutional features. In L. W. C. Lai & F. T. Lorne (Eds.), Understanding and implementing sustainable development. New York: Nova Science. [Collection of articles also published electronically by UNESCO under the “Encyclopedia of Life Supporting System” (EOLSS) umbrella] 
  • Lai, L. W. C., & Yu, B. T. (2003). The power of supply and demand: Thinking tools and case studies for students and professionals. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
  • Yu, Z. (2008). Built heritage conservation policy in selected places. Hong Kong: Research and Library Services Division, Legislative Council Secretariat.

Theoretical papers

  • Lai, L. W. C. (2006). Private property rights, culture, property management and sustainable development. Property Management, 24(2), 71-86.
  • Lai, L. W. C., & Lorne, F. T. (2006). The Coase theorem and planning for sustainable development. Town Planning Review, 77(1), 41-73.
  • Lai, L. W. C., Ng, F. W. N., & Hung, C. W. Y. (2009). A Coasian approach to planning and sustainable development by communicative planning. Surveying and Built Environment, 20(1), 34-59.
  • Lorne, F. T. (2009). Marco entrepreneurship and sustainable development: The need for innovative solutions for sustainable development. Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, 10(2), 69-85.
  • Yu, B. T., Shaw, D., Fu, T., & Lai, L. W. C. (2000). A property rights and contractual approach to sustainable development. Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, 3(3), 291-309.

For field trips

  • Lai, L. W. C., & Ho, D. C. W. (Producers). (2002). Devil’s Peak ruins: A glimpse of a British stronghold. [30 minutes, English documentary with Chinese subtitles, funded by the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust]
  • Lai, L. W. C., & Ho, D. C. W. (Producers). (2007). The guns of Pottinger: A snapshot of the maritime defence of colonial Hong Kong and ideas for conserving a heritage site. [About 90 minutes, English documentary with Chinese subtitles, funded by the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust]
  • Lai, L.W.C., & Ho, D. C.W. (Producers). (2012). The fall of Shing Mun Redoubt. University of Hong Kong and New Page. [Under production]

Recommended Website(s)


Course Co-ordinator and Teacher(s)

Course Co-ordinator Contact
Professor L.W.C. Lai
Department of Real Estate and Construction, Faculty of Architecture
Tel: 2859 7988
Email: wclai@hku.hk
Teacher(s) Contact
Professor L.W.C. Lai
Department of Real Estate and Construction, Faculty of Architecture
Tel: 2859 7988
Email: wclai@hku.hk
Dr D.C.W. Ho
Department of Real Estate and Construction, Faculty of Architecture
Tel: 2859 2413
Email: danielho@hku.hk