An Overview Of Urban Sociology Sociology Essay

Endeavoring to be Asias World City, Hong Kong embraces its colonial history along with its Chinese roots, where the metropolis ‘s alone blend of E and West is undoubtedly deserving observing. Cultural substructure in Hong Kong exists within the reinforced environment, where cultural installations like executing humanistic disciplines locales, museums and cultural heritage sites are planned, developed and preserved. Provision for cultural development, in footings of policy support, every bit good as sufficient expertness to be after culturally, appears to be missing within the planning system.

Hong Kong ‘s cultural development is on the move, but accomplishing comprehensive cultural development is a challenge, as the deficiency of a cultural policy and an all rounded vision for cultural development is suppressing. The current cultural policy in Hong Kong addresses issues related to the physical environment, including land and audience proviso for cultural installations, heritage preservation and the saving of civilization. However, such issues are non acknowledged at all degrees of the planning system, where back uping and execution functions are incoherent and inconsistent.


This survey aims to analyze cultural development in Hong Kong, and through analysis of the illustration of Tai O Revitalization, explore the cultural planning and back uping programs and policies in topographic point. The results by the strategy for different parts of the society will besides be examined.

This survey, furthermore, purposes to obtain a better apprehension of the constructs of civilization and cultural development through literature reappraisals on cultural planning, every bit good as through the scrutiny of the bing Hong Kong policy context that can play in cultural development.



Throughout the old ages, people have been seeking to specify “culture” , and in the terminal it can be understood that civilization takes many different signifiers and is about impossible to happen an all embodying definition. States and metropoliss around the universe have become more cognizant of civilization, whether it be their ain or even a type of universe civilization. The distinctions in civilization include local or international, modern or tradition, and high or low civilization. In sing the relationship between civilization and planning, as it can be perceived in different ways, Bianchini and Ghilardi ( 1997 ) province that it is of import to “note that cultural planning is non ‘planning of civilization ‘ but a cultural ( anthropological ) attack to urban planning and policy” . This complex relationship between civilization and be aftering screens many different facets, as civilization can be imbedded into societal, economic, environmental and political Fieldss, for illustration, cultural policy for societal, economic, environmental and political countries, the civilization of the built environment and urban design, and even the scheduling of the metropolis. The impact of cultural planning spans across cultural touristry, instruction, leisure, the incorporation of art in the metropolis, the demand for high quality events and activities, every bit good as the connexions that occupants have with civilization.



In sing the linkage between civilization and planning, it is of import to “note that cultural planning is non the ‘planning of civilization ‘ but a cultural ( anthropological ) attack to urban planning and policy” ( Bianchini & A ; Ghilardi 1997 ) . The complex relationship between civilization and be aftering screens many different facets of planning, as civilization can be embedded into societal, economic, environmental and political Fieldss. Cultural planning, as defined by the De Montfort University in Leicester, is the “strategic usage of cultural resources for the incorporate development of metropoliss, parts and cultures” ( Deffner 2005, p.127 ) . The thought of ‘cultural planning ‘ is a possible response to the debatable cultural deductions of globalization for metropoliss, where it attempts to dispute the traditional attacks to urban development by recognizing the value of local cultural resources.

Cultural be aftering maps as an option for both traditional cultural policies and regeneration schemes with a cultural component, where the purpose is to “overcome serious instabilities in the spacial distribution of cultural provision” , with regard to the relationship between “consumption-oriented policies and the support for local cultural production” ( Deffner 2005, p.133 ) . While traditional cultural policies tend to take a “sectoral focal point ( e.g. policies for development of theater, dance, literature, the trades and other specific signifiers of cultural activity ) , cultural planning adopts a territorial remit” ( Bianchini 2004, p.8 ) , which takes into consideration non merely the impact of civilization on policies for cultural activities, but besides on how values and beliefs affect the overall development of a topographic point. This concern for underlying influences takes into history how programs and schemes are developed, the stakeholders involved, every bit good as who should be responsible.

Cultural planning spans across the populace, private and voluntary sectors every bit good as different institutional concerns, types of cognition and professional subjects, hence it could promote creativeness and invention in cultural production. Bianchini ( 2004 ) discusses that advocators of the cultural attack to be aftering stress that policy-makers should non merely utilize cultural resources as tools for gaining non-cultural ends, but should besides allow their ain mentalities and premises be influenced by the complex assets of local cultural life. As be aftering involves the planning of resources in the present and for the hereafter, hence cultural planning should associate to activities, installations and comfortss that make up a society ‘s cultural resources. Cultural resources and their potencies basically contribute to the hereafter of a given topographic point, where use of such cultural resources through planning could accomplish more pluralistic and democratic planning every bit good as geting a better apprehension of the topographic point ‘s complexness and the causal relationships.

5.CASE Survey: Existing Policy Context in Hong Kong

Hong Kong ‘s deficiency of a policy way reflects a short-sighted cultural vision. Some queried how pluralistic cultural development could be safeguarded, as Hong Kong ‘s cultural vision should be based on interceding with universe civilization, and developing local civilization at the same clip. Besides, urban planning scheme and creative activity of public infinites are all related to a cultural vision.

Those responsible for policies related to cultural and humanistic disciplines development in Hong Kong are working out of sync, with policy affairs separated and assigned to a figure of different authorities sections and sub-sections. The deficiency of coaction within authorities sections and subdivisions, every bit good as between public and private organic structures has left Hong Kong ‘s cultural policies fragmented and equivocal.

It is critical that the community and concern of civilization be involved in planning, and although Hong Kong conducts assorted signifiers of public audience throughout the planning procedure, the dominant top-down attack in plan-making has hindered comprehensive development. Undertakings such as cultural auditing and cultural function allows for a thorough cultural appraisal on the demands and aspirations of a peculiar community. Since the disappearing of the urban council, where its former activities included cultural appraisal within territories, the deficiency of a local degree authorization taking the duty of cultural development issues has contributed to the trouble in explicating cultural programs that address communitywide demands. In a metropolis like Hong Kong, the high population denseness involves people populating in close propinquity to one another ; therefore communities will frequently hold diverse cultural demands and aspirations. Communities should be farther engaged in the cultural planning and development procedure at the earliest phase possible, as it is every bit of import for the community to to the full understand the principle behind determinations made by policy- and plan-making organic structures. Hong Kong ‘s public battle processes in cultural planning have been extremely contested.

6. Case STUDY: Tai O FishermanVillage Revitalization Scheme

In order to farther look into the function of ‘culture ‘ in urban regeneration in Hong Kong, the local instance survey – Tai O Revitalization Scheme – was chosen.

Beginning: Planning Department, 2002

Tai O is a little small town located at the south-western portion of Lantau Island ( Fig. 1 ) . It is nickname ‘Venice of the East ‘ due to the alone cultural activities, pile houses and method of transit: the sampan. As a consequence of the repute, visitants of all distances have visited this small community. The small town provides for the tourers a glance of Hong Kong ‘s cultural heritage by situated in a alone natural landscape. The little small town, hence, has become the possible touristry development and a revival strategy has been initiated by the authorities.

Tai O Revitalization Scheme

Given the broad assortment of cultural and natural attractive forces, the authorities decided to ‘revitalize ‘ the Tai O small town in 1998. Harmonizing to the Planning Department ( 2000 ) , around 300,000 tourers visit Tai O yearly, 90 per cent of which are Hong Kong occupants. The revival strategy eventually aims at pulling more than 600,000 visitants yearly, which includes the foreign tourers.

Two folklore museums, viz. , the Tai O Experience Centre and the Stilted House Experience Centre were constructed. It is hoped the museums can pull both local and abroad tourers who keen to larn the history of Tai O and its traditional salt industry. Other new elements were besides introduced, for illustration, a hand-pulled ferry and a free MP3 circuit usher along nearby nature trails.

The authorities, furthermore, has improved the physical environment for the whole country. These included the changing of information and directional marks, every bit good as betterment of the gardens at Yeung Hau Temple and Kwan Tai Temple which are two major landmarks at that place. Other betterment plants included a new pavement, tree planting and landscape gardening of the promenade and gardens around the small town. A boutique hotel has been constructing on the renovated Old Tai O Police Station, which costs HK $ 66.7 million and will be completed at mid-2011.


Local Residents

Tourism is welcomed in the community given the bing economic activities in Tai O. However, one has to see and esteem the aspirations of the community is to continue the soundlessness of the little small town, and maintain their societal ties. Aging population is a critical concern for the small town, and more societal services for the elderly occupants are another anxiousness.

The revival strategy has been seen by the population as ‘too commercial ‘ and non local people oriented whereby the local community demands were non to the full addressed. One of the major concerns of the local occupants was the remotion of the artificial constructions for the building of the river-wall along Tai O Creek. The artificial constructions of Tai O are non merely a place for the occupants of Tai O, but besides represent the history of the coevalss they have lived at that place. The multiple beds of the stilted houses ( tree bark and the bed of metal on top of it ) are the deepnesss of memory that the household has in Tai O. Furthermore, the displaced people originating from the building of the river-wall would be re-housed in the new neighboring public lodging estates, which the pile house occupants are loath to make. The ground is that being largely aged people, they cherish the societal web among their neighbors, and the house bond that have evolved over the old ages in the original small town.


New developments such as the common people museums, entryway place, waterfront promenade and the sheltered boat anchorage ( SBA ) have attracted visitants. However, inquiries were ever raised by the visitants that the new developments are non good integrated into the traditional fishing small town without impacting the small town cloth. One outstanding remark on the building of the museums is that the civilization saving of Tai O does non simply seting relics in the museums. Tourists are eager to see the existent lives of the villagers, who have built this community, but non the relics in the museums and bogus life.

Green Groups

Green groups were mostly disappointed by the strategy. ‘Earth Station ‘ of the Friend of the Earth ( FoE ) was originally incorporated in the program at Shek Tsai Po. The Station would function as an educational Centre and research and exchange base for showcasing Hong Kong ‘s natural renewable energy. It was estimated that the Station would pull 35,000 visitants per twelvemonth, most of whom would be pupils. However, the Rural Committee demanded the FoE to back up the direct North-South nexus from Mui Wo to Tai Ho on Lantau Island, in exchange for their support of the building of the Earth Station. FoE refused and made a such response, ‘advocates H2O conveyance alternatively of route because route conveyance would convey more traffic to the island and the lone donees would be existent estate developers ‘ ( SCMP, 2000 ) , and the authorities has even eventually rejected the Committee ‘s proposal. As a consequence, no green groups ( such as FoE ) can originate any educational program in Tai O.

Professional Bodies

In the procedure of outlining the revival strategy, the Hong Kong Institute of Architects ( HKIA ) started a workshop to ‘explore the agencies to conserve the unique stilted houses and continue local heritage while rejuvenating local economic system through cultural touristry ‘ ( HKIA, 2001 p,5 ) . This workshop was important as it included local ‘experts ‘ along with assorted professional organic structures and authorities functionaries and NGOs to pull decisions, which is rarely happened in the top-down planning system in Hong Kong. The local community was actively involved and sentiments solicited were of the premier importance with the professionals taking a back place and merely assisting them in pulling up programs and development. Some recommendations were accepted by the authorities, for illustration, the Reconstruction of some pile houses.



While bing be aftering procedures in Hong Kong such as societal and community planning, environmental planning and direction planning frequently address issues of cultural relevancy, cultural planning purposes to guarantee that all facets of cultural life are addressed in a systematic and incorporate manner.

It should be recognised that cultural services provided at the territory degree can be strengthened through better integrating of cultural schemes with their broader precedences and aims. Therefore, cultural comfortss are non seen in isolation to mundane life, but as being cardinal to people ‘s demands. Cultural planning can supply better penetrations into the values and aspirations of a community, where effectual executing of cultural planning ensures that, what we understand “culture” to be, can be a portion of local determination — devising and the community ‘s aspirations.

Community battle and activity, in any signifier, is how people make sense of their environment, show their aspirations and observe their singularity. This is an indispensable construct in making metropolis and vicinity environments, which are typical and have a sense of topographic point. Topographic point devising is going progressively of import with urban regeneration and gentrification.

Fostering community wellbeing and spread outing engagement in cultural activities is cardinal to growing and sustainability. Urban development and gentrification have a important impact on the aesthetic and spirit of an country, hence, it is of import to guarantee that countries are designed to complement and heighten the local individuality, every bit good as encourage integrating.


The first order of concern is to alter the authorities and community ‘s outlook, perceptual experience and apprehension of civilization. Cultural planning does non necessitate to be a separate pattern, so long as civilization in its broadest sense is taken into consideration throughout assorted be aftering procedures. A vivacious cultural life plays a cardinal function in beef uping citizenship, confirming diverseness and supplying a safe environment where a broad scope of activities can be enjoyed. An active cultural life contributes tremendously to personal wellbeing and vivacious communities. For the hereafter, Hong Kong needs to admit that it has the necessary elements to be a successful cultural metropolis, and embrace cultural development in all facets.


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