Theses Master's

Community Participation in Heritage Management: A Case in Macao

Chan, Pui Yu

This thesis examines what community participation means in heritage management, particularly the notion of a meaningful participatory process in preservation. The discourse of historic preservation today is shifting focus from physical intervention of a site to a more integrated approach which embraces also the social contexts of a cultural heritage. There is growing recognition that cultural heritage can benefit social well-being, especially in the formation of personal or collective identities. Community participation then becomes an indispensable component of contemporary preservation practice. Management of participatory processes is key to successful community participation, and it requires the use of mechanisms to interpret and solicit these processes. This thesis proposes two frameworks to enhance participatory processes in heritage management. The first one is an interpretative framework that allows preservationists to evaluate the different levels of participatory activities and what each level means. The second model is a joint fact-finding framework that seeks to enhance collaborative endeavors between local communities and decision-makers in consultative programs. The thesis also uses the city of Macao as a case study to understand the dynamics and nuances of community participation in heritage management. The case study analyzes contexts of community participation in Macao and explains why direct dialogue between local citizens and the government is not necessarily effective. It also examines three incidents that involve contentious preservation practices in Macao and evaluates the level of participation in each case. In the last part, the thesis proposes a joint fact-finding framework that is specific to the context of heritage management in Macao.

Geographic Areas


  • thumnail for ChanPuiyu_GSAPPHP_2016_Thesis.pdf ChanPuiyu_GSAPPHP_2016_Thesis.pdf application/pdf 1.81 MB Download File

More About This Work

Academic Units
Historic Preservation
Thesis Advisors
Bentel, Paul L.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
June 20, 2016