Harbour Views 21 Feb 2007


Heritage - All we need is the will to make it happen

There is enough knowledge on how to ensure that the built heritage is preserved in Hong Kong. Click any of the following papers for detailed heritage policy recommendations:

  1. Comprehensive Review of the Town Planning Ordinance, 1991 - Specifically the sections related to heritage, special design areas, and compensation
  2. Saving Hong Kong's Cultural Heritage, Civic Exchange, 2002
  3. Heritage for the People, Position Paper by the Conservancy Association, October 2003
  4. Consultation document on "Review of Built Heritage Conservation Policy" by Home Affairs Bureau, 2004
  5. Culture and Heritage Commission, Policy Recommendation Report: Government Response, 2004
  6. Report on Heritage Conservation íV we all gain, The Conservancy Association, 2005 , Sponsored by the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust

Why is Home Affairs asking the same old questions again today?

The new consultation on heritage is repeating old questions. The answers were formulated already by the Government themselves in the 1991 Town Planning Review.

So why has it failed to implement them?

Think money: lower land sales revenue, cost of resumption/compensation, and cost of up keep/maintenance.

Think vested interests: dependency of Government on land related revenues, and unwilling to face off property owners and developers.

We need Government leadership to provide funding and to adjust the necessary institutional arrangements (see the papers - specifically papers 2 and 3). We don't need to convince Home Affairs Bureau, the Antiquities and Monuments Office, or the Antiquities Advisory Board:

  1. The funds are needed from the Financial Secretary;
  2. Sites, support and mechanisms are needed from Housing, Planning and Lands.