5-6 March 2020


International Conference on Urban Planning & Heritage Conversation: A Comparison between Hong Kong and Paris

The Research Institute for the Humanities and the Leung Po Chuen Research Centre for Hong Kong History and Humanities of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macau will host a two-day conference on 5-6 March 2020 in Hong Kong. Historians, urbanists, architects and specialists in heritage and museums from Hong Kong and France will exchange their ideas on urban planning and heritage conservation in Hong Kong and Paris.

Cities are a crucial attribute of the rise of human civilisation. The identity of a city is always inseparable from its history. Unlike the history of politics, economy, thoughts or cultures, which observes a city merely from the perspective of personalities or events, urban history analyses a city’s evolution process, the turning points in its transformation and the reasons for its breakthroughs in order to identify keys to its future development. A review of a city allows us to reconstruct our identity by revisiting various landmarks, historical sites and characteristics of spatial design. The process by which a city is built from scratch depends on its geographical environment, inhabitants, economic resources, development status of its neighbouring regions, as well as objective economic and political circumstances. As a city’s population grows continuously and its structure changes, its government’s pace of urban development is influenced by the measures employed to address urgent social needs. How does a city’s early construction and planning reflect the cultural encounters and conflicts of different civilisations? What are the factors that cause town planning to adapt and change with the times? What opportunities does its government make use of to introduce urban development models of other cities? How major a role does conservation and revitalisation of historical sites and buildings play in urban renewal policies? Are there conflicts between urban renewal and new planning? How do the authorities balance the interests of different parties through urban planning and achieve established goals? These are all questions worth exploring in depth.

To facilitate discussion and exchange of ideas, the conference will be organised into three sessions:

1. Origins and transformation
2. Conception and governance
3. Conservation and revitalisation