The changing "rural" setting of Hong Kong's new territories in the 20th Century

Lung Ping - Yee, David, Lee, Ho-Yin and Chow, Tsz-Yue Enphemia (2005) The changing "rural" setting of Hong Kong's new territories in the 20th Century. In: 15th ICOMOS General Assembly and International Symposium: ‘Monuments and sites in their setting - conserving cultural heritage in changing townscapes and landscapes’, 17 – 21 oct 2005, Xi'an, China. [Conference or Workshop Item]


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Abstract (in English)

In 1972, the so called “Small House Policy” was introduced to the northern part of Hong Kong known as the New Territories, which was leased by the British from China for 99 years in 1898. It was designed to meet the contradictory aims of preserving the “rural” setting of the New Territories and satisfying the rural population’s demand for property development. One of the consequences of the policy was the transformation of the “rural” setting into a “suburb”-like setting of free-standing, reinforced-concrete village houses built to a standard size and height. However, for all the misgivings attributed to the Small House Policy, there has never been any discussion on what is meant by the “rural” setting of the New Territories. It seems that the understanding of the word is based on the imagery of an agrarian Cantonese village environment at the commencement of the lease of the land. It can therefore be argued that the notion of a static, time-specific “rural” setting in the context of the New Territories is a nostalgic illusion that can neither be preserved nor sustained. Perhaps the meaning of the word can be better defined in the dynamic context of socio-economic and socio-politic changes experienced by China and Britain, with Hong Kong caught in between, during the 20th century, which thus provides a reassessment of the Small House Policy.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Lung Ping - Yee, David
Lee, Ho-Yin
Chow, Tsz-Yue Enphemia
Languages: English
Keywords: rural areas; setting; urbanization; Small House Policy; industrialization; economic aspects
Subjects: D.URBANISM > 03. Town and country planning
E.CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION > 09. Social and economic aspects of conservation
Name of monument, town, site, museum: Hong Kong
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2005, 15th
Depositing User: Jose Garcia
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2010 11:38
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2023 13:36
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