Padang As A Public Space Of Malaysian Cities

Harun, Nor Zalina and Said, Ismail (2009) Padang As A Public Space Of Malaysian Cities. Ministry Of Housing And Local Governments, Special Edition.


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Dynamic public spaces are essential component for the urbanites to have their recreational activities and social interactions. Streets, squares and parks of a city are open public spaces that form a city fabric and its character. Such spaces are often considered as green nucleus, void or breathing space of the city beside gives form to the ebb and flow of human exchange. Greater appreciation on public place has been expanded whereby the physical and social functions are elements that afforded pleasure, safety and care urban users. In other perspective, public space is the stage upon which the drama of communal life unfolds with a symbiotic relationship between the complexities of the urban structures. As development in the city increases, the needs of space to cater the large crowd and vehicles have also increased. In turn, the increment forced the city authority to provide infrastructure for the new buildings and modes of transportation. As a result, many public spaces were sacrificed for realizing these needs. Nevertheless many of public spaces within the cities did not receive right attention in urban planning analysis. In Malaysia, Padang Maziah in Kuala Trengganu, Padang Merdeka in Alor Setar and Padang Kalumpang in Kota Bharu are examples of open spaces of historic cities which have been converted into vehicle parking spaces. Likewise, there are many upgrading projects for open space especially with regard to huge open space like padang followed the concept of a European plaza or roof top garden where paved, pavilion and concrete stage are included. Similar case goes to Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur where no one among the early pioneers of this part of the country would have imagined that their much admired padang would one day be completely dug up and an enormous underground car park and commercial outlets built under it. Apart from these, what happened to Dataran Pahalawan in Melaka is said to be the most dramatic case for a historical public space where the first proclamation of independence held in 1957. It had been demolished for a commercial purpose. In light to this circumstances greater understanding of the roles and social values possessed by public place concentrating on the public space contributing to the quality urban area is needed. This research also supports the concern in searching the special attributes and properties which may influence the image of city in Malaysia. By having this, it is hoped that urban planners, architects and landscape architects can play a more influential role in the preservation of the historical public space. Therefore, this paper reviews the roles of two of the earliest and historic public spaces in Malaysia, the Padang Kota Lama, Penang and Dataran Pahlawan, Melaka. Both sites were chosen because of their long history as well as drastic social, economic and environmental changes attracting many controversies for its preservation.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Built Environment > Landscape Architecture
Depositing User: FAB IR Admin
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2013 05:56
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2013 05:56

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