Community attachment and resident attitude toward old masonry walls and associated trees in urban Hong Kong

Alex Y. LO, Chi Yung JIM

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mature urban trees dwelling on old masonry walls are a rare urban ecological and landscape treasure. These 'stonewall' trees denoting synergy between nature (trees) and culture (masonry) are worth preserving. This study aims to identify factors influencing public attitude toward this important but threatened natural-cum-cultural asset in a compact city milieu. Evidence is solicited from a face-to-face questionnaire survey involving 800 citizens of Hong Kong. Results indicate that Hong Kong people generally appreciate the existence of stonewall trees. Younger adults harbored doubts about their value, whereas the older ones were more sympathetic. Local residents of the suburbs that host the majority of stonewall trees registered stronger commitment than non-local residents. Community attachment had positive effects across both resident groups, but length of tenure was not a key factor. This suggests that affinity for stonewall trees is a function of the affective bonding between people and the community where they live. Deep engagement with the local community elevated the desire for preserving the walls and associated trees. The findings are important for understanding public perception and enlisting support from the larger society for preserving the urban asset against mounting pressures for urban development and renewal. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-141
JournalCities
Volume42
Issue numberPart A
Early online date29 Oct 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015

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masonry
Hong Kong
resident
assets
community
urban renewal
synergy
suburb
urban development
young adult
commitment
citizen
questionnaire
public attitude
questionnaire survey
evidence
Residents
Values
Group

Bibliographical note

Lo, A. Y., & Jim, C. Y. (2015). Community attachment and resident attitude toward old masonry walls and associated trees in urban Hong Kong. Cities, 42(Pt. A), 130-141. doi: 10.1016/j.cities.2014.09.006

Keywords

  • Urban trees
  • Stone-retaining walls
  • Compact city
  • Public perception
  • Urban nature conservation
  • Place attachment