Post-colonial conservation of colonial built heritage in Hong Kong : A statistical analysis of historic building grading

K. W. CHAU, Lawrence W.C. LAI*, Mark H. CHUA

*Corresponding author for this work

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

3 Citations (Scopus)


Based on government appointed specialists’ (Antiquities Advisory Board or AAB’s) assessments of the heritage value of more than 1400 heritage items in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, we found no evidence of nationalistic bias against British or Japanese built military heritage buildings and structures after the handover of Hong Kong to China in July 1997. We also found no evidence of bias in favour of imperial Chinese architecture in the postcolonial period. Incidentally, we found some evidence that suggests AAB’s assessments of heritage value for military heritage buildings and structures have increased while those for imperial Chinese architecture have decreased after 1997, which is somewhat puzzling and merits further investigation. The reasons for the results are discussed in terms of the governance of the AAB as a government appointed committee.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-686
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science
Issue number2
Early online date17 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are thankful to the useful advice and comments by three anonymous reviewers and the help of Mr Paul Lok and Anson Yu for data collection. Credit for Figure 1 should be given to Mr Y.K. Tan. The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • conservation
  • decision making
  • enemy heritage
  • probit modelling
  • Sustainability


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