Author: Guo, Nan
Title: A model approach for conservation of historic blocks to address property rights and financing issues of historic cities in China
Advisors: Chan, Edwin (BRE)
Yung, Esther (BRE)
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2022
Subject: Historic buildings -- Conservation and restoration -- China
Right of property -- China
Historic buildings -- Economic aspects -- China
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Department of Building and Real Estate
Pages: xiv, 186 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Rapid developments in urbanisation are often accompanied by land shortages. Because of insufficient awareness of heritage conservation, a large number of historical buildings in densely populated countries and regions have been demolished to meet the needs of continued development. This practice is particularly evident in many cities in the early stages of economic development, such as those in the rapidly developing region of East Asia. In 1976, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee (WHC) established the World Heritage List to stimulate the public's awareness of the need to protect their historical heritage. After nearly 50 years of effort, heritage conservation has become a well-established field. However, many problems in practice cannot be ignored.
Activities geared toward urban renewal face two major problems, namely, uncertain property rights and shortage of funds. Unclear property rights results in great confusion as to who is responsible for managing and maintaining historical buildings. Excessive use has brought about serious harm to historical buildings, hindered their protection and adaptive reuse and even led to violence during the resettlement process, causing social instability. Insufficient funding renders the proper protection of historical buildings impossible, and overuse or excessive commercialisation makes the buildings unbearable. This paper analyses and discusses the protection and/or renovation models of historical buildings with different property rights using the Coase theorem as a theoretical support to determine the corresponding financing methods. In addition, the factors influencing the governance model of historical buildings are considered from four dimensions (i.e. social, economic, environmental and institutional) using sustainable development theory as a theorical framework. In this research, 63 historical heritage sites in the Pingjiang Historic Block are selected as research objects, and the governance model was verified and optimised through on-site field investigation and expert argumentation. At the practical level, the aim of this research is to provide a reasonable and feasible transformation scheme for the same type of heritage conservation. At the theoretical level, the discussion of the Coase Theorem based on case studies reveals that the participation and supervision of the state can ensure the smooth progress of large-scale projects. The conclusion of this work describes the extension of the Coase Theorem to other cases. Solving the heritage conservation problem from the perspective of sustainable development theory expands the applications of this theoretical framework to different domains and provides guidance for future research. The results of this research fill an important gap in the field of heritage conservation and urban renewal.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: open access

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