Scholarly article on topic 'Physical and Spiritual Attributes of Urban Heritage Street's Revitalization'

Physical and Spiritual Attributes of Urban Heritage Street's Revitalization Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

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{"Urban Architectural Heritage" / "Urban Revitalization" / "Revitalization Index" / Malaysia}

Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Zalina Samadi, Rodzyah Mohd Yunus

Abstract There were 911 sites including 704 cultural, 180 natural, 27 mixed properties were included as outstanding universal value by the UNESCO World Heritage Convention in June 2010. Malaysian heritage sites were Melaka and Georgetown as listed since 2007. Since World Heritage Lists is not an ultimate benchmark to rate its revitalization therefore, this research will provide a set of attributing variables to investigate the authenticity of success in creating a great heritage streets. The research employed unobtrusive method of content analysis and obtrusive method. This paper will share its findings based on research's pilot study and content analysis.

Academic research paper on topic "Physical and Spiritual Attributes of Urban Heritage Street's Revitalization"

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 36 (2012) 342 - 349

AcE-Bs 2011 Bandung

ASEAN Conference on Environment-Behaviour Studies, Savoy Homann Bidakara Bandung Hotel, Bandung, Indonesia, 15-17 June 2011

Physical and Spiritual Attributes of Urban Heritage Street's


Zalina Samadi* and Rodzyah Mohd Yunus

Faculty of Architecture, Planning and Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam, Selangor. D.E. Malaysia.


There were 911 sites including 704 cultural, 180 natural, 27 mixed properties were included as outstanding universal value by the UNESCO World Heritage Convention in June 2010. Malaysian heritage sites were Melaka and Georgetown as listed since 2007. Since World Heritage Lists is not an ultimate benchmark to rate its revitalization therefore, this research will provide a set of attributing variables to investigate the authenticity of success in creating a great heritage streets. The research employed unobtrusive method of content analysis and obtrusive method. This paper will share its findings based on research's pilot study and content analysis.

© 2012 Published by El sevier B.V. Sel ection and/or peer-review un der responsibility of Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies(cE-Bs), Faculty of Architecture A Planning & Surveying,Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia

Keywords: Urban Architectural Heritage; Urban Revitalization; Revitalization Index; Malaysia

1. Introduction

In the practice of urban heritage conservation and revitalizatioo worldwide there were active role-players and multi-disciplinarian involved in the transformation of an urban architectural heritage streets. The heritage owners were either passive spectators or active business activators on their profit-making within the urban area. Other role-players were architects, engineers, landscape architects and surveyors.

* Corresponding author. Tel. +006019-2179021; fax: +00603-55444353. E-mail address:

1877-0428 © 2012 Published by Elsevier B.V. Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies(cE-Bs),

Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia


They were experts on orchestrating the physical heritage streets and space in between. In terms of managing the city urban heritage managers were either under-controlled or over-controlled in steering the city's vision for conserving heritage properties in order to increase the city's revenues.

Besides active role-players, there were researchers whom backboned the urban heritage conservation and revitalization development. Their research contributions towards heritage street development were channeled through their input of knowledge, information and guidelines to heritage managers and developers. Though many urban designers and researchers imposed high beam on evaluating urban the indoor and outdoor of urban public space but spiritual attributes was found as the least focused area. Even though a direct relationship between physical and psychological attributes in perceiving the space could be drawn but a close-study on human senses i.e. sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch in appraising the physical quality of the heritage streets environment were rarely conducted.

The ambiance of the heritage streets differs from newly-developed street. This unique aura of heritage space can easily be detected by the end-users visual and internal senses either it's good or bad sense of place. This leads to preference and choice in decision making for visiting places. The most preferred visiting place is to places with sense of place such as heritage streets either for urban recreation or shopping pleasure. In exacting end users' consumption from marketplace in heritage streets the heritage streets shall have an authentic attraction to offer. The heritage streets' livability acts as a significant indicator in valuing the heritage property. Its' existence acts as an evidence of survivalist quality and adaptability of purchasing power all along the street. Its' physical settings and characteristic provide contextual cue and visual appropriateness to end-users in appreciating visual richness. This personal sense will assist them to develop personalization towards the space in the heritage streets. Furthermore, if the vibrancy of colour, music, trendy fashion, latest collection, antique collection and updated design really made the marketing activity around the clock in the heritage street will keep the end-users time, energy and money busily occupied all the time. Thus, this research will share twofold: physical attributes and spiritual attributes. These attributes should be included in the heritage manager's guidelines in revitalizing urban heritage streets. According to Krier (1979) urban space for public defined as streets and square. Therefore, this research focused on evaluating selected urban architectural heritage revitalization streets and the space in between heritage streets only.

2. Literature Review

The awareness on issues on urban architectural heritage is considered high among multi-disciplinarians and public. Conservation is considered as the most commonly practiced approaches in most heritage development. The heritage revitalization arise from the issue of generalization due globalization in the early decade of the millennium. The globalization has compounded heritage awareness towards particularization of local heritage among roles players as collectively agreed by B. Oktay a, M. Fasli a, N.Pa§aogullari, (2011) in the attracting tourism activities. However, the terms urban heritage revitalization is considered novelty awareness amongst designers and heritage practitioners.

2.1. Urban heritage streets revitalization

In tackling the impact of globalization, revitalization is considered as the most resilience approach towards particularization of heritage within the existing heritage settings. Urban heritage street revitalization defined as rejuvenation of culturally significant outdoor space in between heritage buildings. The livability of heritage streets were based on active participation of manager, developers and end users in the said space without scarification made to demolished the existing heritage setting. The strategy of revitalization is through enhancement of its revitalizing attributes in heritage streets.

2.2. Scenario of urban architectural heritage conservation charters

Since 1964 the Venice Charter (1964) was referred by heritage practioners and researchers in protecting heritage monuments in European countries (Y. Ahmad, 2006). The earlier guideline had encouraged researches from each participating countries in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage to interpret and acted locally. The aim was to accomplish the heritage listings requirements of UNESCO. Then, in the year of 1975 the new charter was imposed in terms of human and ecology relationship with aim to improve human happiness in through quality of life (Belgrade Charter, 1975). In analysing the Venice Charter as statement of the European stance on conservation and restoration; Seung-jin Chung and Chang-sung Kim (2010) found that the charter was not universal enough to be practiced in Asian countries.

Research on heritage were spurred globally especially on heritage conservation. The International Conservation of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) in Australia supported their local heritage practitioners and researchers for interpreting their conservation practice into a guidelines called Burra Charter. The charter was developed in 1981and the updated version was published in 1988 and 1999. The progressive guideline of the Burra Charter provided many strategies on conservation efforts in Australia. There were six methods of conservation as stated in Burra Charter: restoration, preservation, re-adaptive usage, reconstuction, compatible and combination of these. The articles of detail guideline in the Burra Charter was reviewed by Graham Brooks (2009) and Zancheti, S.M.,Hidaka, L.T.F.,Ribeiro, C., Aguiar, B. (2009). They suggested that an inclusion of feedback was substantial in assessing and preparing significant heritage in the Burra Charter. The Charter was referred for conservation practice in New Zealand in order to enhance their heritage streets condition. As one of the products from Burra Charter, Christchurch was found by many heritage observers as a city with significant visual richness in her heritage streets. However, the status quo might be challenged as the heritage streets and space in between of heritage streets in Christchurch was affeced by the recent earthquake in the early 2011.

2.3. Urban heritage conservation versus revitalization

Throughout years, the heritage practiced and the charter's contents were developed and critised in UNESCO's conferences and conventions. In the early decade of the millineum the UNESCO's Listed World Heritage Sites were challenged by globalization impact. Many heritage sites had to undergoes a great pressure towards protecting the listed world heritage sites especially in urban sites. In the urban sites the efforts on heritage conservation exposed to a grilled position in deciding between conservation or demolition. Globalization had once vibrated the whole globe with Y2K issues and internationalization of city images. It impulsed a real challenge to proceed with conservation approaches. In order to relief the strain, the Crachow Charter (2002) was developed to support local identity and heritage enhancement from globalization impact. Part of the charter's content had included a concept of 'generalization' versus 'particularization'. The purpose of this concept was to protect tangible cultural heritage from deminishing. In addition to that protection, in 2003 a special convention was conducted by UNESCO in Turkey with special purpose on safeguarding intangible heritage from imperative loss. Both conventions were hoped to enhance both tangible and intangible heritage at local level. Again, it was up to respective participating countries to respond locally in order to tolerate between conservation and new development. UNESCO continuous efforts spurred managers, private, public research and individual researchers to conduct in depth research on heritage conservation and sustainable revitalization.

Individual research on urban heritage conservation versus revitalization was conducted by Rushing, W (2009) whom shared similar approach with the American Planning Association (2009) in supporting local community's participation. Their aim was to convert the passive spectators i.e end users to become an

active incorporation during heritage city festival on heritage streets. Both Rushing, W. (2009) and Swanson, K. (2010) conducted research on social attributes through their ethnographical research in heritage streets in United States and Latin America respectively. In reviewing great heritage streets as tourism commodity and the heritage managerial domain; American Planning Association, Getty Conservation Institute, United Kingdom City Councils published a high volume of publication from heritage city's and institutional journals.

In response to the global challenges, Malaysian researchers including Ghaffar, A. Ahmad, Harun, S.N. and others participated in heritage buildings conservation practice and research within heritage cities in Malaysia. A dilapidation survey was proposed and conducted in prior to conservation project to evaluate the existing built resources. However, his focus was on conserving individual heritage buildings such as mosques and administration offices rather than revitalizing the whole stretch of any urban heritage streets.

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2.4. The lacking on urban heritage streets revitalization

The predominant monopoly of designers in the built making processes was developed in years from a civilization to the next civilization. Constructed buildings in the past become the legacy of today and the present buildings that we are constructing today will be built heritage for the future. In Malaysia, an inventory of heritage streets in heritage cities was conducted by Idid, S.Z.A. (1995). However, the main aim was to produce a list of heritage buildings in Malaysian heritage cities. Other researchers: Ismail, I, Harun S. N., Mat Zin, M.R., (2002) focused on perception survey of domestic tourist in the heritage city of Ipoh, Malaysia. There were research on success criteria for traditional heritage streets which was conducted by Wan Ismail, W.H., Shamsudin, S. (2009) but it was done based on public perception in heritage shop houses. Closer to heritage street research was on traditional heritage streets by N. H. Ja'afar, Ismar M.S. Usman (2009) but their focus was limited to the physical and transportation elements of traditional street in Malaysia.

Research on heritage streets' revitalization was apparently conducted in downtown zones of the city in the United States and United Kingdom. In their practice, urban design revitalization guidelines covered a cluster of heritage area which includes a number of heritage streets. In order to bridge the gap between research on revitalization in heritage streets and other heritage clusters; a research was conducted in 2005 to propose an integration of architectural heritage towards urban revitalization in Taiping by Samadi, Z, (2009). The physical attributes and spiritual attributes of architectural heritage streets revitalization a research was then conducted by a group of researchers as discussed by Samadi, Z (2009), Samadi, Z., Hasbullah, M. N. (2008) and Samadi, Z., Masri, M. et. al, (2006) focusing on evaluation of space in between heritage streets. Besides those research, Samadi, Z., Aida Fazlin (2010) had presented the Armenian Street of Georgetown in Penang for envisioning light in both physical and spiritual ambiance for enhancement of success heritage streets. Based on the conducted end-user sensory survey; the contributing factors of the success heritage streets was found as highly depending on the aura and spiritual attributes which acted as catalyst and magnet to the studied streets. Of course, there was none of the selected heritage streets considered as success or great heritage street without participation of endusers as the great supporters. The live of the heritage streets is highly depending on the end-users visual experience. The aura of the space in between heritage streets is the available quality outdoor living room for them to feel the authenticity of the heritage environment. The evaluation on physical elements and

characters of its three-dimensional (3D) space in between heritage streets as physical attributes shall be studied in depth with the living actors performing their natural behavioural expression in perceiving the spirit of the existing physical setting.

In the search of developing a set of attributing variables urban architectural heritage streets, references were mainly from multi-sourced references ranging from architectural heritage, urban design to city authorities' guidelines. In terms of methodology the research employed two main research methods i.e. unobtrusive method with literature review, document and content analysis activities and obtrusive methods with interviews with controllers, end-users and shop owners on the earlier study. The research on content analysis was conducted research as reported in this paper on the identification of Physical Attributes (PA) and Spiritual Attributes (SA) only.

3. Methodology

This paper presents the discussion on the ongoing local research methodology as it was conducted by singular researcher since 2004 to 2011. The following Fig. 1 is the summary of the research methodology. The earlier research activities were concluded as obtrusive research method with Findings Analysis (FA) on physical attributes and some spiritual attributes of heritage streets revitalising approaches was collected from the research conducted in Taiping, Perak Darul Ridzuan as reviewed by (Samadi, Z., 2009). The earlier research was concluded with findings of seven physical attributes of integrating architectural heritage for urban revitalization. The findings were extracted from both obtrusive and unobtrusive research typology. Thus, the consequential conduct of unobtrusive research with Content Analysis (CA) method from the existing framework was extended further to investigate more physical and spiritual attributes. The content analysis was rigorously conducted on multiple sources of literature in order to compare the breadth and depth of the attributing factors.

Fig. 1. Flow Chart of Research Methodology

¡Research Methodology

Obtrusive Research

Findings Analysis (FA)

^^ Physical Attributes ^^ Spiritual Attributes ^^ Findings |

Unobtrusive Research

Content Analysis (CA)

Other Indexes

^^ Spiritual Attributes ^^ Physical Attributes

The following Table 1 shows the matrix of the employed methods in the earlier study and the latest research activities. The first four columns of the table referred to the development of previous research and fifth column is the latest phase of the research. In collecting the physical attributes of the heritage streets a continuation of the research methods in analyzing multiple-sourced of secondary data i.e. search engine and content analysis was employed to identify all possible revitalizing attributes. The secondary

data were sourced from the global and local researches publications. Besides researching for physical and spiritual attributes, other performance indexes were explored to evaluate its' strengths and advantages.

Table 1: Matrix of Research Activities and Phases of Research

Type of Research Obtrusive and Unobtrusive Research 1 Obtrusive and Unobtrusive Research 2 Obtrusive and Unobtrusive Research 3 Unobtrusive Research

Year 2005 2006 2010 2011

Content Analysis Content Analysis Triangulation methods: Content Analysis and

List of Methods And Perception Survey And Perception Survey Content Aoalysis,Streoath, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Constraints (SWOC) Analysis and Visual Survey Document Analysis

Source Multi-Sourced Secondary Data Analysis And Focus Groupinterview Multi-Sourced Secondary Data Analysis And End Users Perception Survey Multi-sourced secondary data analysis, designer's visual observation analysis and Visual Survey Multi-sourced data from secondary data analysis + other Index

4. Results and Discussions

The paper presents the findings on the Physical and Spiritual Atrributes only. The following Table 2 presents the employed methods, focus study, study site and the findings from the research.

Table 2: Matrix of Research Focus and Findings

Focus and Findings Obtrusive and Unobtrusive Research 1 Obtrusive and Unobtrusive Research 2 Obtrusive and Unobtrusive Research 3 Unobtrusive Research

Focus Study Physical Physical Physical & Spiritual Physical & Spiritual

Attributes Attributes Attributes Attributes

Study Site Jalan Barrack Jalan Panggung Wayang Jalan Cenderasari Jalan Pasar in Taiping Jalan Tengku Kelana Jalan Raya Timur Jalan Stesyen Jalan Raya Barat, Klang Jonker Street, Melaka, Armenian Street ,Penang, Jalan Petaling, Jalan Doraisamy in Kuala Lumpur -Not applicable -

Findings Graphical Heritage Guidelines for Majlis Perbandaran Taiping Perak Graphical Heritage Guidelines Majlis Perbandaran Klang, Selangor General consensus of Heritage streets physical and spiritual attributes Identification of Urban Architectural Heritage Streets Attributes

The extracted revitalizing attributors result is coded into two main categories: Physical Attributes and Spiritual Attributes as shown in the following Table 4. There were nine attributes found in the Physical Attributes: Façade, Transport, Streetscape, Landscape, Safety, Accessibility, Activity, Advertisement and

Density. The Spiritual Attributes were Sensory, Connectivity, Vitality, Vibrancy, Livability, Aura, Magnetivity, User-Friendly and Volubility attributes found in the research.

Table 3: Physical and Spiritual Attributes of Revitalization Index



Flooring, Walling, Ceiling, shopfront, Architecture style Richness On Visual, Audible, Feel, Color, Variety,Texture


Pedestrian- Transportational Networking Pedestrian + Vehicular convenient system


Resilience street furniture Diversified,Interactive Info, Wi-Fi Connection,


Active Green, Passive green, softscape, hardscape, pergola, Kinesthetic participation, cultural activity, healthy life style


Crime- free, high surveillance level, vandalism free Education , Knowledge , Health, Quality Life Style


Covered /Uncovered walkway/pergola/semi -covered linkages Attractive Market Place, Positive Spirit, Secure, Hygenic


Programmed Yearly /Monthly/ Weekly/Daily Events Positive Timeline Mood and Celebrative mode


Passive , Active, Interactive, public info and promotion Universal design


Population/street, visitor and frequency of visit, business, UNESCO Listed National Heritage, Market able/Valuable

5. Conclusion

Heritage buildings and heritage streets stand as the last remaining relic of the previous architecture style. Those heritage owned its' physical and spiritual strengths. Without a proper revitalization strategy to uphold those qualities heritage streets will be deteriorated due to natural and time factors. When this happens the streets will lose its magnetivity and strayed from end users' memory. In order to remain relevance to the current urban environment, a proper program of enhancement of heritage streets towards great heritage streets is urgently in need. Once the revitalizing attributors are identified, categorization for rating will follow and other consequences of research will be conducted towards heritage streets' revitalization.


I greatly appreciate Professor Dr Mohamed Yusuf Abbas on his untiring efforts for the inspiration for scientific research and writing in the environmental behavior studies. My special thank is dedicated to the

Human Resources of UiTM for granting me a study leave which enabled me conducting my full time research.


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