Lai L W C, Kwong V W C, 2012, "Racial segregation by legislative zoning and company law: an empirical Hong Kong study" Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 39(3) 417 – 438
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Racial segregation by legislative zoning and company law: an empirical Hong Kong study
Lawrence W C Lai, Valerius W C Kwong
Abstract. In this paper we employ readily available categories of public data, rarely used in the literature on racial segregation, to scrutinise three research questions about the proposition of Lai and Yu (2001 Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 28 295–314) that statutory zoning, which discriminates against a certain class of citizens, can be a form of price control. The key findings are that there was a large Chinese population on the Peak in Hong Kong even when the law did not allow Chinese people to own property there, that the process of acquiring European properties for residential purposes after the removal of the law was slow, and the Peak remained predominantly European until the 1980s. In other words, the factual evidence supports the argument that racially discriminatory zoning in the Peak District had not been predicated on racial animosity or aversion. The residential history of the Peak and another exclusively European housing enclave in Shek O established prewar under company law points towards the reality that the attempt to prevent the Chinese from buying properties in certain areas of Hong Kong was driven by idiosyncratic demands for a particular housing style. These two case studies demonstrated that contractual planning is much more capable of preserving the character of a neighbourhood than obligatory planning by edict. Some economic reasons behind the resilience of planning by mutual agreement and their implications for sustainable development are discussed.
Keywords: racial segregation, zoning, restrictive covenants, company law, sustainable development
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