Heritage Conservation in Hong Kong

Hong Kong's heritage policy needs muscle

Historical buildings No 10 and 11 in Wong Chuk Hang San Wai. Photo: Warton Li

The government likes to portray Hong Kong as a city with a clear strategy on heritage conservation. Thanks to growing public awareness and conservation efforts, more than 1,000 buildings and monuments are graded as worthy of protection. The result may sound reassuring in a place known for its strong appetite for tearing down old blocks for redevelopment. But a closer examination by the government auditor shows the situation still leaves a lot to be desired.

Sunday, 21 April, 2013, 4:56am

Hong Kong needs review of historic building heritage policy

The city's lack of space and strong appetite for development means old buildings are constantly under the threat of demolition. Photo: David Wong

What is more sad than for a great city to lose its heritage bit by bit? Historic buildings and monuments, once demolished, are gone forever. That is why world cities steeped in history and culture have long embraced heritage conservation. A city that turns its back on its past loses its soul and character.

1 Apr 2013 - 3:00am 3 comments

Don't let Hong Kong's young lose sight of their past

1881 Heritage

Many young people in Hong Kong don't have a sense of their past, perhaps due in part to the rapid technological changes. Under the mountain of Facebook and weibo updates, history can easily be overlooked or, even worse in the case of some mainland cities, swiftly demolished.

27 Mar 2013 - 7:35am 1 comment

Heritage policy must balance conservation and development

The residential redevelopment of Ho Tung Gardens is dropped after all. Photo: Sam Tsang

The public can be excused if they are confused about the government's commitment to heritage conservation. From the controversial U-turns on Government Hill and the historic Ho Tung Gardens to the choice of appointees on an advisory panel, there appears to be a lack of consistency and priority in preserving our diminishing heritage.

8 Jan 2013 - 2:57am

Letters to the Editor, December 10, 2012

Starbucks stirred anger over unpaid dues. Photo: EPA

Police's holistic scheme fights animal cruelty

I refer to Ms Iris Ma's letter ("Set up police unit to curb animal abuse", December 3) and the article by Ms Patsy Moy ("Police unit urged after stray cats slaughtered", December 3).

10 Dec 2012 - 1:28am 1 comment

Hong Kong's balancing act on heritage building conservation made difficult

Good and bad news about the city's heritage buildings can create confusing perceptions about the government's commitment to conservation. In a welcome "about-face" on the redevelopment plan for the former government headquarters, the new administration has decided that the west wing will not be turned into a commercial tower, as had been decided by its predecessors.

10 Dec 2012 - 7:31am

Ho Tung Gardens was an eyesore … not Hong Kong heritage

Ho Tung Gardens

Failure? It was a victory of common sense. We were being asked to pay HK$7 billion to preserve an ugly, squat 1920s building of no historical significance and the Executive Council decided it wasn't worth the money.

6 Dec 2012 - 3:16am 9 comments

Urgent need for Hong Kong conservation trust

There is increasing awareness of the importance of heritage conservation in Hong Kong. Moves to establish a statutory conservation trust in Hong Kong must be speeded up.

In his 2007-08 policy address, then chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen announced a range of initiatives on heritage conservation.

10 Nov 2012 - 12:56am

Antiquities board can't admit last old building is long gone

At Thursday's meeting an [Antiquities Advisory Board] member raised a new piece of historical information about the [west] wing, showing a 1969 news article that recorded that the first indoor 'trendy dance party' was held in there. Such parties were organised by the government after the 1967 riots in an effort to let angry young people vent their energy.

SCMP, June 20

24 Jun 2012 - 12:00am


Heritage goes beyond architecture

It has been very encouraging to see such a lively exchange of ideas regarding Hong Kong's heritage preservation efforts and the government's revitalisation policy.

28 Apr 2012 - 12:00am

The Dragon keeper

Cynthia Lee Hong-yee says it was probably her destiny to preserve Dragon Garden. Lee, founder of the Dragon Garden Charitable Trust, is one of 13 grandchildren of the garden's original owner, the late tycoon Lee Iu-cheung, who spent 25 years perfecting it.

29 Jan 2012 - 12:00am

Heritage policy something to build on

Hong Kong does have a 'new heritage conservation policy' for private sites that started in 2007.

Intended only as a beginning, the three-tier grading system has brought some success and has enabled officials to hand out HK$16 million to subsidise owners of 19 properties who were willing to repair their graded buildings.

22 Jan 2012 - 12:00am

Trial and error

Critics and the public have been hard on 1881 Heritage, the shopping complex and boutique hotel built out of the former Marine Police Headquarters in Tsim Sha Tsui. But it is also seen as a natural, albeit flawed, step forward in Hong Kong's fledgling conservation movement.

30 Oct 2011 - 12:00am

Heritage bid to protect oldest home on The Peak

Government heritage advisers are considering upgrading the historic rating of the oldest surviving residence on The Peak to stop owner Hutchison Whampoa from demolishing it.

25 Oct 2011 - 12:00am

Our heritage needs better protection

Heritage buildings, like collectable wine, improve in value with age. Unlike wine, however, they can be opened time and again to give pleasure to generations of people, so long as they are lovingly conserved. Saving them from the developer's hammer is therefore just the beginning of heritage preservation.

6 Sep 2011 - 12:00am