Power relationships and coalitions in urban renewal and heritage conservation: The Nga Tsin Wai Village in Hong Kong

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Urban renewal has been predominantly driven by themes of property-led and economic profit-driven redevelopment. The immense redevelopment pressures in dense urban cities have often posed unresolved conflicts in the conservation of historic quarters, particularly vernacular buildings with local significance instead of designated monuments with outstanding heritage value. This study examines the 20-year debate over the conservation and redevelopment of Nga Tsin Wai Old Village, one of the very few remaining villages in the urban area in Hong Kong. This case vividly demonstrates the contestations between the urban redevelopment and heritage conservation regimes and the multiple power relations that exist within each coalition. By combining the urban regime theory with the growth machine thesis, this study illustrates the complex interplay of power relations and struggles amongst different actors to determine their roles and interests, exercise of power and formation of coalitions. As such, the findings of this work improve our understanding of the sequential interrelationships amongst the power struggles of different actors, the redistribution of power, the formed coalitions and the supportive institutional arrangements in the redevelopment–conservation debate, thereby minimising the imbalanced power relations between these two discourses. This study also provides insights that can aid in the formulation of land use planning policies that can also be applied to other cities that are undergoing urban renewal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104811
JournalLand Use Policy
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Coalitions
  • Heritage conservation
  • Hong Kong
  • Land use planning
  • Power relations
  • Progrowth
  • Urban renewal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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