Developing a framework to appraise the critical success factors of transfer development rights (TDRs) for built heritage conservation

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Although the transfer development rights (TDR) is not a new concept in the context of built heritage conservation in cities around the world, it requires a well-integrated management system to implement the TDR programs. In densely populated cities like Hong Kong, it has been demonstrated that there is certain a potential for the use of TDR to preserve the built heritage. However, TDRs have only been used as a case-by-case method to deal with the privately built heritage conservation, which is not a sustainable approach. Internationally, especially in the U.S., many researchers have addressed TDR from the policy and programming perspectives. Some authors have proposed a range of factors that affect the TDR success, based on the empirical data from farm land projects or environmentally sensitive areas. However, a successful framework for using TRDs for built heritage conservation is lacking, in particular in densely built and populated cities, such as Hong Kong, due to the high land price. This study aims to overcome these shortcomings by developing a framework that can be applied to appraise the factors affecting the TDR pertaining to built heritage conservation. Using the theoretical basis, an initial framework is developed, and is subsequently refined through the Hong Kong case study. The study adopts a qualitative method to select the most important factors, identified through expert interviews, while quantitative analysis is conducted to ascertain the ratings of the selected factors. This approach has yielded 22 critical success factors under seven criteria that are most relevant to the success of TDR programs for built heritage conservation. The framework, together with the identified factors and criteria, provides valuable reference for city government to formulate policy pertaining to the use of TDRs for built heritage conservation in densely populated cities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-43
Number of pages9
JournalHabitat International
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015


  • Built heritage conservation
  • Development right
  • Success factors
  • Sustainable
  • Transfer development rights (TDRs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urban Studies

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