Understanding the different histories and heritage meanings of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, to interpret its importance to people and the State

Caballero, Gabriel Victor (2016) Understanding the different histories and heritage meanings of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, to interpret its importance to people and the State. In: International Conference on Heritage Education: Historical Education in Asia, Issues & Challenges, 27-29 August 2015, Manila, Philippines. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract (in English)

In 2014, the State Party of Singapore nominated the Singapore Botanic Gardens to be part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. This study reviewed the Botanic Gardens’ definitions of heritage based on four relevant documents. It used the HUL Assessment Framework, developed by Veldpaus & Pereira Roders in 2013 to analyze conservation documents and interpret public feedback on the historical and cultural significance of the Botanic Gardens. Local knowledge, statements of support and personal memories have added new meanings to the site’s significance, providing alternative interpretations of what is heritage and why is it important. In the spirit of the Historic Urban Landscape Approach, this study is embedded with the principle that local people need to be seen not just as consumers or passive recipients of heritage activities, but they are also creators of heritage meanings. The site draws its rich history from the actions of people who have built it in the past, but also the users who patronize it in the present. Its cultural significance continuously evolves, intertwiningly defined and redefined by people and the state. The study found out that the Singapore Botanic Gardens has different definitions that show the diversity of interpretations of its cultural significance. Firstly, it is defined by the state, with what it believes as what constitutes as built heritage. Secondly, it is defined using the parameters of Outstanding Universal Value, as set by the State Parties to the World Heritage Convention. Lastly, it is defined by the generations of users of the Botanic Gardens. This study also corroborates with the conclusions of previous studies that the HUL Assessment Framework is effective in mapping heritage resources. It also indicates the tool’s potential as a starting point for discussing heritage attributes and values that different stakeholders can use to make sense of different histories and heritage meanings to create inclusive urban management strategies.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Caballero, Gabriel Victor
Languages: English
Keywords: heritage values; HUL Assessment Framework; historic urban landscape
Subjects: A. THEORETICAL AND GENERAL ASPECTS > 09. Philosophy of conservation
Q. LANDSCAPES > 13. Designed Landscapes
H.HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 06. Cultural landscapes
H.HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 10. Historic gardens
P. GEOGRAPHIC AREAS > 04. Asia and Pacific islands
Name of monument, town, site, museum: Singapore Botanic Gardens
UNESCO WHC Number: 1483
Depositing User: Mr Gabriel Victor Caballero
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2017 13:01
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2017 13:01
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URI: https://openarchive.icomos.org/id/eprint/1804

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