Conservation and change - A Singapore case of urban conservation and development

Lih, Chan Yew (2005) Conservation and change - A Singapore case of urban conservation and development. In: 15th ICOMOS General Assembly and International Symposium: ‘Monuments and sites in their setting - conserving cultural heritage in changing townscapes and landscapes’, 17 – 21 oct 2005, Xi'an, China. [Conference or Workshop Item]


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Abstract (in English)

In land-scarce Singapore, the conservation approach adopted is to integrate conservation with urban planning. Thus, while historic buildings have been protected, these buildings have been allowed to be modified to accommodate new uses; while preserving historic districts, new activities have been introduced to revitalize the districts. Such intensification and contemporization interventions, if not appropriately handled, can dilute the cultural significance of the heritage. This would certainly be a cause for concern.This paper examines the conservation approaches in Singapore and the issue of genuine cultural continuity. It considers whether the new intensive development in the surrounding areas has significantly impacted the character of the historic place, and whether the various forms of massive extension to the historic buildings have affected their architectural value. The paper also examines whether the characteristics of a historic district have been retained in the process of revitalization and contemporization. Has its social meaning in Singapore’s multi-racial social context been lost or can it still be experienced despite the changes made? Finally, the paper discusses positive approaches and techniques adopted to retain cultural significance in conserving heritage. It also attempts to define ‘cultural setting’ in both tangible and intangible terms.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Lih, Chan Yew
Languages: English
Keywords: architectural heritage; urban conservation; urban development; town planning; conservation areas; setting
Subjects: D.URBANISM > 02. Urban planning
D.URBANISM > 01. Generalities
H.HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 26. Habitations urbaines
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2005, 15th
Depositing User: Jose Garcia
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2010 15:57
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2011 19:14
References: 1. Australia ICOMOS, (1999) Burra Charter (Charter for the Conservation of Places of Cultural Significance).

2. Cantacuzino, Sherban, (1976), Architectural Conservation in Europe. London, Architectural Press.

3. Feilden,M,Bernard (1982), Conservation of Historic Buildings. London : Boston, Butterworth Scientific.

4. ICOMOS, (1987) the Washington Charter (Charter for Conservation of Historic Towns and Urban Areas).

5. Liu, Gretchen, (1996) In Granite and Chunam – the National Monuments of Singapore, Landmark Books.

6. National Trust for for Historic Preservation, (1980) Old and New Architecture. United States, The Preservation Press.

7. Urban Redevelopment Authority, Singapore (1988) Historic Dictricts in the Central Area- A Mannual for Chinatown.

8. Urban Redevelopment Authority, Singapore (1993) Objectives Principles and Standards for preservation and Conservation in Singapore.

9. Urban Redevelopment Authority, Singapore,(Current) Conservation Guidelines.

10. Urban Redevelopment Authority, Singapore, (2004) Architectural Heritage – Singapore.

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