The painful lessons of the outbreak of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and fatal building-related accidents have alerted the community in Hong Kong of the catastrophic consequences of building neglect. To tackle the problem of building dereliction, proper building management is indispensable. However, Hong Kong's community has been slow to embrace building care culture. This article analyzes key drivers and barriers to engaging Hong Kong homeowners with voluntary building care initiatives. Generally speaking, the surveyed homeowners were sensitive to the economic costs and benefits of their participation in building care. Besides, homeowners approach towards building management and maintenance is predominantly reactive, and legislation remains the key drive for engaging them with the building problems. Operational difficulties in building management and lack of confidence in repair and maintenance personnel contribute significantly to the comparatively poor development of building care culture in Hong Kong. As long as most homeowners regard voluntary building management and maintenance as time- and money-consuming extras, fundamental improvements in the urban built environment, particularly the existing buildings, will be difficult to achieve.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The work described in this article was fully supported by a grant from City University of Hong Kong (Project No. 7200123). The author thank the student helpers in City University of Hong Kong for their assistance in the carrying out of the opinion survey.
- building care
- homeowners' participation
- management and maintenance