Critical social sustainability factors in urban conservation: The case of the central police station compound in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify the critical factors for enhancing social sustainability of the conservation of built heritage projects and to highlight the importance of addressing social sustainability in urban conservation. Design/methodology/approach: First of all, a list of social sustainability factors is compiled from the international literature and then verified by a panel of experts in the field of heritage conservation and laymen through a pilot study in Hong Kong. Afterwards, through a questionnaire survey carried out in Hong Kong for an urban conservation project, the citizens' responses were obtained and evaluated. Results were derived from factor analysis. Findings: The results indicated that social considerations should be incorporated for achieving social sustainability in urban heritage conservation. "Educational and local cultural promotion means", "Meanings of the place", "Social inclusion and psychological needs" and "Public participation and opportunity for skills development" were found to be the significant underlying factors for enhancing social sustainability of the case study project. Social implications: The underlying social factors found in this study can help enhance planning, management and implementation in conservation projects that should promote social well being in society. Originality/value: The case study provides a valid basis for an interesting analysis on the relevance of the social sustainability aspects to an urban conservation project that also provides insights for other urban conservation projects of a similar nature. The factors identified can form an evaluation framework to measure the social sustainability level of a significant urban conservation and revitalization project in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-416
Number of pages21
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2012


  • Building conservation
  • Built heritage
  • Factor analysis
  • Hong Kong
  • Social sustainability
  • Urban conservation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction

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