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People’s Negotiation of Space in the context of Urbanization and Historic Conservation in Clan Jetties, Malaysia

Author:

Kaushalya Herath

University of Moratuwa, Katubedda, Moratuwa, LK
About Kaushalya
Transport and Logistics Management, Faculty of Engineering
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Abstract

Penang is a rapidly urbanizing city in Malaysia. Neo liberal urban development in Penang challenges the vernacular built environment of the city. The urban fabric of Penang is rich with different traits of architecture from the West and the East. With the population density and the land values going up, much of the local urban spaces are being replaced by the “modern” high rises and other land uses. While the colonial legacy of Penang built environment has been recognized by the heritage discourse to be conserved, self-built and local spaces are being ignored. Both urbanization and historic conservation impacts the transformation of Penang. In this context, Clan Jetties of Penang as a self-built settlement which was produced and transformed by ordinary people over the last century is facing the challenges of both urbanization and historic conservation.

 

This paper elaborates on how the Clan Jetty residents negotiate the spaces in the context of urbanization in order to survive and maintain their sense of belongings to their neighborhood. UNESCO incorporated Clan Jetties to the Georgetown World Heritage site in 2008. Although this new designation of world Heritage saved Clan Jetties from getting replaced, it also halted the natural transformation process of the settlement. However, people desire modernization to transform their neighborhood despite the heritage guidelines imposed upon them. Clan Jetty residents who rejected the conversion of their neighborhood to a “modern” neighborhood as defined and designed by the Government are in the process of following their own instincts in making small changes in their neighborhood. This paper discusses this continuous process of production of spaces by ordinary people by analyzing and contextualizing their stories.
How to Cite: Herath, K., (2017). People’s Negotiation of Space in the context of Urbanization and Historic Conservation in Clan Jetties, Malaysia. Cities People Places : An International Journal on Urban Environments. 2(2), pp.17–27. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cpp.v2i2.26
Published on 28 Jul 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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