Role And Fate Of Padang In Malaysian Historical Cities

Harun, Nor Zalina and Said, Ismail (2008) Role And Fate Of Padang In Malaysian Historical Cities. In: 5th Great Asian Street Symposium 2008, , Singapore, 5-7th December 2008, National University of Singapore.


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Historic cities in Malaysia were developed in stages with most of them were part of the Dutch and British colonial settlements during the 18th to 20th century. Cities like Melaka and Penang were established as strategic trade routes while Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh as centres of tin-mining activities. The character of these cities are formed through their unique and historic buildings, historic open spaces and their natural environmental elements like trees, hills and rivers and unique local cultures of multi racial people. One of the historic open spaces is known locally as padang, a huge green open space in the heart of the many historic cities in Malaysia. It is often reinforced by distinctive institutional, commercial and public buildings of various architectural styles. The function of padang resembles square in Europe, a place for public to socialize in premier and daily events. It is the ground for joy with vibrant and colourful activities. It was once a centre of exercising nation’s rights of assembly for democracy and good life. This article is a review on the significances and fate of padang as social nodes in historic towns or cities in Peninsular Malaysia. Five padang in Ipoh, Georgetown, Bandar Melaka, Kuala Lumpur and Kota Bharu were selected. The role and the fate of padang were identified on the basis of their morphological, sociological characteristics and architectural meanings. The study revealed numbers of padang have been disrupted by the invasion of rapid buildings and recreational development which resulted to the disappearance of unique townscape qualities. This study also implies that the padang and its surrounding area convey various architectural categories of meanings which lead to the image formation of a historic cities.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions: Faculty of Built Environment > Landscape Architecture
Depositing User: FAB IR Admin
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2013 05:55
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2013 05:55

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