Since the last two decades, public participation has become a worldwide issue as the bottom-up approach has spread across the field of heritage conservation and city planning. This paper aims to examine the problematic issues in public participation in built-heritage conservation. The paper begins by highlighting the importance of public participation in built-heritage conservation and provides an understanding of the role of public participation in decision-makings in other countries; then, it examines a theoretical framework by which to understand the extent of public participation. Two controversial cases in Hong Kong illustrate the major problem issues in public participation in built-heritage conservation. This study found that the issues include different preferences regarding what is worthy of conservation; the lack of an effective public participation mechanism and integrated heritage conservation approach in the decision-making process; the different and conflicting interests of various stakeholders; power disparity; propaganda and mobilisation of interest groups; and the lack of knowledge on heritage conservation. According to the issues identified in the case studies, corresponding policy implications and recommendations to enhance public participation are made.
Habitat International – Elsevier
Published: Jul 1, 2011
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