The Historical Evolution Of Streetscape In Reviving Old Town District

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1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background Study

Urban development is the from underdeveloped areas to developed areas or areas to be more advanced then ever before. From a geographic perspective, these changes will effect on the national historical values. National historical values is defined as a permanent entity that is hereditary from generation to generation. Urban development is a wave of change that will be a bad influence on people’s lifestyles in the area. This is clearly reflected in the values and experiences of the peoples living in urban areas experience.

At present, the townships or old town areas have been forgotten because of new urban sprawl and future development with modern influences and technology among present generation till future generation. The new modernism development makes the townships dim and loss their identity while the appreciation about old town can reminiscing the nostalgic placed from human perception while appreciate the historical value an old town. The spirit of the place or genius loci of an old town was unknown from the public and future generation and almost dim from human memories. They assume the metropolitan city more meaningful rather than with new entertainment rather than old town area richness with the historical value.

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People observe the town while moving through path, and along these paths the other environmental elements are arranged and related. Street is one example of path. Path is one of the physical components that are classified under five main elements of the city images namely paths, edges, districts, nodes and landmarks. Streets record and determine the history of town kind, quite the other part of the urban infrastructure. For centuries streets have contributed to defining social, cultural, economic and political functions of a town. Streets in traditional town are the best example in determining the form and function of a town and its community because streets are the most distinctive element to mark the transformation of a place, from a village to a town, from a town to a city or from an old town to a historic heritage town.

The knowledge of the history of the old town helps in understanding its historic streetscape characters and gives meaning to the townscape. The art of relationship that forms the townscape is the result of the accumulation of buildings, streets and other physical elements from different periods; from the early beginnings on the town until present time. It is important to study the morphological form of the town to understand its origins, growth and function that shape the town as well as establishing its identity through its spatial pattern.

1.2 Problem Statement

In the recent decades, many approaches, trends, and visions had been introduced and applied for promoting and revitalizing cultural identity in the historic cities. Places evolve through times due to the demand of the occupants. Changes took place to accommodate the need for a better life. The study look at the changes made to the streetscape in old town to adapt to the requirement of a better quality of life for the occupants. As we know Melaka a well-known historic area (recognized as Malaysian World Heritage Sites by United Nations Education, Scientific and Community Organisation – UNESCO since 2008 together with George Town in Penang). Both cities are known for their uniqueness as the melting pot of multicultural heritage from all over the world that set them apart from other places. The cities retain its distinctive architectural style.

Time passing, especially, increases the physical quality deterioration of the urban environment which leads to physical and social problems in historical parts of cities. Improving the physical environment clearly cannot solve all social problems, yet, it may lead to the prevention of problem (Sauter & Huettenmoser, 2008). In many communities time has taken its toll on some historic main streets and incompatible changes may have damaged, altered or hidden the beauty and / or relevance of these downtowns.

Urban heritage streets revitalization in most heritage streets is not an impromptu situation since the urban physical setting is a result of the implementation of idea and policies based on thinking process from heritage committee supported by local authorities (Samadi, Z. et al., 2015). The process of “living up the almost dead of outdoor space” of space in between heritage streets requires heritage awareness and full participation of heritage shop owners. It is not enough just to conserve individual heritage shop lots, but the efforts need a pro-active resolution in taking care and regenerate of the outdoor activity and quality. On the other hand, an unattended space in between heritage buildings needs public attention rather than just left as no man’s land (Samadi, Z. et al., 2012)

1.3 Scope of Study

The study look at the changes made to the streetscape to revitalize old town district. The different approach to regeneration scheme of old town could provide insight into modern demands for the city. Other than that, an understanding of sustainability concept, intervention guidelines and characterization for historic streetscape are going to be discussed and identified as it complement the revitalization concept.

1.4 Aim & Objective of Study

The paper aims to study the place identity of old town the factors that contribute to the loss of the identity and therefore the attainable ways in which in revitalizing the place identity.

In order to achieve the aim of the study, few objectives are constructed. The objectives are as follows :

  1. To study the sustainable planning strategies and streetscape guidelines.
  2. To study on methods used to analyze streetscape.
  3. To identify the factors that caused the old city to lose its identity
  4. To identify the current condition of streetscapes in historic quarters according to this typology.

1.5 Research Methodology

Several methods were employed to get the necessary information for the research. The gathering of the relevant data basically by computerized searches from online database sources for the literature review are conducted to further understand the study topic. The data will be collect through the reading of past documents or records, observations, and interview of the local authority and the locals. The review of the literature will referring to the printed sources such as books and articles, data from the local authority and internet sources.

The initial step of assessment is subjective methodology of social affair information. To acquire the physical and spatial issues of these zones, the present states of recognized physical traits of the two roads are analyzed by profound perceptions and photography of various pieces of the regions. The discoveries of this part are database for the subsequent stage of the exploration information accumulation

1.6 Significant of Study

This study will be a guidance to the reviving strategy of streetscape element of old town. It also can be a guideline for the future designers in planning and managing historic streetscape in old town areas in order to protect and safeguard the historical value existed. From the findings and result of this study, it helps designers to create a sustainable development towards historic site. This study will also be beneficial for us to really understand about the strategies to be tackled in developing historical town sustainably. Considering the sensitivity heritage value in an urban development would create a better environment for the old town area where the spirit of the place make people appreciate the historical remnants.

1.7 Research Structure

1.7.1 Chapter 1: Introduction

This chapter as a whole give a focus on the brief introduction and background of the study topic followed by the issue and statement of problems, aim and objectives, the scope of study, research methodology for the flow of the whole report, study outline and ended with the summary of the chapter.

1.7.2 Chapter 2: Literature Review

This chapter would brief in detail on the literature of the study topic that include the definition, related terms, character, concept, principles and guidelines. The information from the study will support the products of the findings of the findings and as a guide in the design stage. The contents generally will be related on the identified issues of the topic.

1.7.3 Chapter 3: Reference Study

This chapter will come out with two reference study that are selected based on the related study topic. The analysis and comparison from both reference study will give a clearer view and understanding on the implementation of revitalization strategy to conserve the historical site.

1.7.4 Chapter 4: Analysis, Findings and Discussion

All the data and information gathered from the reference study conducted and literature review would be analysed and compared accordingly. The result of the finding were discussed and concluded. This chapter will more present about the analysis, finding and discussion of the chosen references study and also literature review. It will consummate the potential and constraint to develop sustainable streetscape in old town area based on the guideline and framework that can be found in the previous chapter. The result will be used for developing design principle and design criteria that is appropriate for historical streetscape strategy.

1.7.5 Chapter 5: Recommendations and Conclusion

The findings gathered will be synthesized and conclude in Chapter 4 to provide the recommendation and suggestion for historical streetscape reviving strategy in achieving the aim and objectives of the study up earlier. Recommendations were done to provide best suggestions for this research and later to be applied into landscape design. Finally, the research will draw out the potential and lacking of the research that can be carried for further investigation.

1.8 Summary

This chapter gives a clear outline of the study topic on the historic streetscape revitalization for old town in urban heritage area. Its highlight the issues and problems of streetscape degradation, moving to aim and objectives, scope and the research methodology. Finally, it presents the study overall chapters which serve as the structure of the whole study.

This study continues to second stage which is literature review followed by analyzing the reference study. Analysis and discussion will discuss on references study and finally come out with the findings and recommendation after the entire previous chapter had been taken into consideration.

2.0 Proposed Site

2.1 Introduction

Figure 1: Key Plan

Figure 2: Location Plan

Figure 3: Plan of Proposed Site, Bandar Penggaram (1045 acres)

Batu Pahat Town (also known as Bandar Penggaram or BP) straddles the state’s northwest coast in a district that bears its name.It is south-east of the Royal City of Muar, south-west of Kluang, north-west of Pontian and just south of Segamat.As of the 2009 census, this fast growing city was the 20th most populous urban area in Malaysia, replacing Muar in 2006 as the second largest urban area in Johor, and becoming the 16th most populated Malaysian urban centre by 2012.

Bandar Penggaram serves as the State Regional Center which is the Main Settlement Center within the Batu Pahat District. In the context of this study, the selection of the study area is based on the potential and current situation a city center with a wide range of economic activities and the existence of heritage zones in the Bandar Penggaram.

Site Photos – Bandar Penggaram


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