Maps as Coasian coordination tools : Heritage conservation and map representation

Lawrence W.C. LAI*, Holvert HUNG, Mark Hansley CHUA

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper is an original attempt to apply transaction cost reasoning to interpret map representation as a Coasian organizational coordination tool, the essence of Coase's (1937) theory of the firm, in modern active heritage conservation planning by the state as a firm. It is argued that maps, which have been used by voluntary organizations to promote their causes in heritage conservation, is pivotal in reducing transaction costs of heritage identification, grading and planning, by non-market means, in contrast to the case of commercial dealings in small artifacts and relics. Two Hong Kong examples of heritage conservation by NGO mapping, one backed by government and the other recipient of a UNESCO Asia-Pacific award, are used to demonstrate this proposition in terms of twelve functions maps can serve in organisational coordination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-289
Number of pages10
JournalLand Use Policy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


  • Coasian coordination
  • Heritage conservation
  • Mapping
  • NGOs
  • Transaction costs


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