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Title: Property rights and transfer of development rights (TDR) for conservation of privately-owned built heritage : the Hong Kong case
Authors: Hou, Jun
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2017
Abstract: Numerous densely-populated cities, like Hong Kong, face the issues of urban development with limited usable land to meet the growing population with the growth rate of 0.6% in 2016 compared with 2015, and the re-development process threatens the conservation of privately-owned built heritage. There are total 46 private-owned monuments and 1043 non-government graded buildings in Hong Kong. City authorities, by allowing private owners to transfer the unused development rights to other sites, namely, "transfer of development rights" (TDR), see such transfer as a win-win method. It is introduced as an incentive to the private owner to promote the built heritage conservation, while not prohibiting economic development. However, the implementation process often involves various problems such as insufficient receiving areas and time delay. This study aims to contribute to sustainable conservation of privately-owned built heritage by exploring ways to use TDR to deal with the private property rights, and it develops a new framework with guiding principles of TDR to support policy-making. This research area is significant, yet has been inadequately explored in the existing literature. The research proposes a theoretical foundation based on property rights and institutional arrangements to initiate the analysis of the TDR in the conservation of privately-owned built heritage, using Hong Kong projects as a case study. After defining the role of TDR, that helps to decrease the negative impact of the government regulation/zoning over the private property rights, the study develops a framework to appraise the critical success factors of TDR for built heritage conservation, which includes seven criteria: political acceptability; TDR leadership; public support; social equity; simplicity; market incentive; and the environment. TDR is a good concept but the difficulty lies in its implementation. How to put these factors into practice is a complex problem. Based on this framework, analyses of international comparative studies, and interviews with Hong Kong experts are carried out, to explore how to put the framework into practice. In addition, a survey of North Carolina is conducted. After analyzing the interrelationship between these factors using software NVivo, the study finds that TDR supporting policy, incorporating TDR in planning mechanism, government support and public support are extremely important and the study provides some policy options to implement these factors.
By examining the institutional arrangement of TDR in Hong Kong and three most controversial local TDR cases- Sheng Kung Hui, Carrick building and Ho Tung Garden, the case studies find support to most of the findings obtained in the analyses conducted in this study that the three levels of constitutional, governance, and operational institutions arrangement governing the TDR are inadequate to form an effective system and they do not match the theory of institutional arrangement. The constitutional level cannot provide sufficient legal basis and guidance to the governance level and the operational level, and the governance level cannot play a coordinate role between the constitutional level and the operational level. The research identified the major challenges of application of TDR in Hong Kong as a case study for dense cities, including (1) Lack of legal foundation for TDR; (2) Conflict of TDR with nature conservation; (3) Conflict of TDR with land use planning and urban planning; (4) Institutions cooperation problems, (5) Lack regulation to ensure social equity; (6) Public participation problems. Based on triangulation analysis of the above findings, the study provides in-depth discussions of the consolidated results and recommends guiding principles for policy design integrating land use, urban planning, building control, environmental control and the conservation to improve the overall efficiency of TDR practice. It is expected that the study results can provide urban policy-makers an objective reference to strengthen and promote the TDR programme. The framework with guiding principles resulted from this study may also be a strategic tool in understanding the difficulties in TDR programme in other cities like Hong Kong and be a foundation to provide research directions for future studies in this area.
Subjects: Development rights transfer -- China -- Hong Kong.
Monuments -- China -- Hong Kong -- Conservation and restoration.
Historic sites -- China -- Hong Kong -- Conservation and restoration.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Pages: xviii, 233 pages : color illustrations
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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