Farms are not zoos: a post-colonial study on enclosure and conservation of military heritage buildings in Hong Kong
Common property, Enclosure, Heritage conservation, Open access, Physical access
This paper explains the importance of distinguishing de facto from de jure property rights, confused by some economists, in heritage conservation planning. A comparative study on three Hong Kong examples of British colonial military buildings is used to show how neither de jure private property rights nor de facto close access is a solution to the problem of open access to heritage buildings. Also, a government museum is only a partial solution to the problem of promoting an authentic historic sense of history in a post-colonial environment. The examples to be examined are the coastal gun batteries on Devil’s Peak, the coastal gun batteries on Cape D’Aguilar, and the Museum of Coastal Defence inside the old Lei Yue Mun Fort. With the help of site photos, the case studies demonstrate that heritage buildings can only be preserved when at least three conditions are satisfied: (a) there is an intention to conserve; (b) there is a viable scheme to conserve; and (c) there is effective regulation of access. Open access, however, can have some merits as a process of information discovery by members of the public.
Lai, L.,& Ho, D. C. (2016). Farms are not zoos: a post-colonial study on enclosure and conservation of military heritage buildings in Hong Kong. Urban Studies, 53 (5), 851-866. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0042098015569967