Hong Kong adopted the practice of assessing social value of heritage sites in the late 1990s or early 2000s, which by then had been widely incorporated by other places around the world, in line with the Burra Charter of 1979. However, social value appraisals in Hong Kong continue to be inadequate, due in part to a lack of understanding of this complex notion and how it works. Similar challenges have also been observed in other places, as attested in existing literature. This article reviews the rich literature on place and place-related concepts, and how these are operationalized by various authors to achieve their research objectives. Adopting a phenomenological perspective of heritage, with a particular stress on people-place relationship and interaction, the study unpacks and operationalizes the rich concept of social value. The resulting framework is applied to a specific place in Hong Kong to illustrate its capacity to raise the standards of assessments. The methods used in the study emphasize the importance of engaging the local community to better understand their relationship with place. Some policy implications are discussed.
Bibliographical noteThe study was conducted according to the guidelines of the Declaration of Helsinki, and approved by the Human Subjects Ethics Sub-Committee of City University of Hong Kong [Reference No.: 2-2-201708_01].
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- Social value
- place attachment
- place meaning
- place identity
- place memory