Scholarly article on topic 'A Conceptual Foundation and Methodological Framework for Developing Urban Indicator of Heritage City'

A Conceptual Foundation and Methodological Framework for Developing Urban Indicator of Heritage City Academic research paper on "Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries"

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Abstract of research paper on Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, author of scientific article — Raja Norashekin Raja Othman, Amran Hamzah, Jamalunlaili Abdullah

Abstract This paper designed a conceptual framework for developing indicator by using indicator selection methodologies with a strong emphasis on intangible cultural for Heritage city. The pillars of this framework are policy context, theoretical perspectives and local issues. This framework developed based on bottom-up approach by using Stakeholder Consultation Model. It is a community based and holistic approach. It focused on local community participation and association with government policy objectives. This is due to the local consensus of the cultural heritage value. This framework as a mechanism of a methodological process to ensure all the essential aspect represented.

Academic research paper on topic "A Conceptual Foundation and Methodological Framework for Developing Urban Indicator of Heritage City"

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Procedía - Social and Behavioral Sciences 85 (2013) 474 - 483

AcE-Bs2013Hanoi ASEAN Conference on Environment-Behaviour Studies Hanoi Architectural University, Hanoi, Vietnam, 19-22 March 2013 "Cultural Sustainability in the Built and Natural Environment"

A Conceptual Foundation and Methodological Framework for Developing Urban Indicator of Heritage City

Raja Norashekin Raja Othmana*, Amran Hamzahb Jamalunlaili Abdullahb

aFaculty of Build Environment, University Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Skudai 81300 Johor, Malaysia bFaculty of Architecture Planning and Surveying, University Tekologi MARA (UiTM), 40000 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia


This paper designed a conceptual framework for developing indicator by using indicator selection methodologies with a strong emphasis on intangible cultural for Heritage city. The pillars of this framework are policy context, theoretical perspectives and local issues. This framework developed based on bottom-up approach by using Stakeholder Consultation Model. It is a community based and holistic approach. It focused on local community participation and association with government policy objectives. This is due to the local consensus of the cultural heritage value. This framework as a mechanism of a methodological process to ensure all the essential aspect represented.


Selection and peer-review under responsibility of Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies (cE-Bs), Faculty of Architecture, Planning&Surveying,UniversitiTeknologiMARA,Malaysia

Keywords:Urban indicator; heritagecity;intangible cultural heritage

1. Introduction

The number of designated World Heritage Site (WHS) has multiplied around the world in these two decades. Currently the number of urban WHS has increase and extends to broader areas within cities (Pendlebury, Short and While, 2009). This urbaneness of WHS existent a series of challenges related to designation, assessments and management of conservation object in the context of dynamic and heterogeneous of the urban system. In today's world, the fundamental planning problem facing this

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1877-0428 © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Selection and peer-review under responsibility of Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies (cE-Bs), Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying,

Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia


World Heritage Cities is the pressure between the need to conserve the urban historical culture and the demands of the activities currently taking place within it or attracted to it (Rodwell 2007). Studied by Beser and Sebnem (2009), proved that most of the historic of urban quarters have treated, physically degraded damage by the impact of the urban development. The most notable issue of this element is the deterioration of local cultural values. There are possibilities that certain elements of Intangible cultural heritage could vanish without help.To be sustaining, those elements must be relevant to their community, constantly recreated and transmitted from one generation to another. For safeguard the culture; legal provision needed. Previous studies have shown that, urban indicator always been used to mitigate and eliminate this problem by providing the measurement. Nevertheless, certain urban indicators are not fully sufficient enough in terms measuring urban heritage site. For historical city, the used of the urban indicators need to be selected with more thoroughly. It is a unique place that are not only containing physical elements, yet it is also has its own unique cultural value to be shown. For this reason, it is hard to determine intangible issues in the urban area. It is due of lacking appropriate quantitative data to develop satisfactory and meaningful measure for intangible elements. To resolve this issue, it needs to review the process of developing urban indicator so that it will reflect the local value. Therefore, it needs a framework to clarify the concept of the indicator development process.

This paper will describe the conceptual framework for developing urban indicator of the heritage city. It designed to address the ambiguities in the literature by highlight a possible key performance to be used in this process, initiative within designed area. Studies were conduct on local communities that have cultural heritage significance of the historic city of Melaka. In this paper, it will explain the steps in the formation of urban indicators. It more emphases and refines the aspects of urban intangible cultural heritage in the study area. In addition, the importance of the formation of the framework was highlighted.

Here, Stakeholder Consultation model has used to identify the local community's culture issues. The model has represented the main concern from the viewpoint of key informant of stakeholder and it involve bottom up approach, which applicable in identifying issues from the grassroots. The role of the local community in participating in the process of developing indicator also will determine. This conceptual framework wills offering a methodological process to develop urban indicator for heritage city. It also involves a painstaking process, in connection with; this research is still in the process of validation. Therefore, in this paper it only resulted in the discovery initial entry (based on the views and opinions of local communities and government Authorities).

2.Sustainable development indicator in the environment of heritage city

Since 1990's, sustainable referred as a management tool. It has predicted to be one of the best yardsticks to determine the well-being of a development. The concept of sustainable development (SD) has been a focal point for decision makers in the industries. The Brundland Report has defined the SD is a development that able to meet the needs of existent generation without compromising the capability of future generations' necessities' (WCED 1987). In line with the heritage city, sustainable has referred as a developing, managing and protect the urban asset and heritage value for present used and preserved it for the future generation (Roadwell 2007). Strange (1999), has put forward the view that local identity becomes increasingly valuable when globalization of world market breaks down spatial and temporal barriers. The 'heritage aesthetic' becomes a key factor in ensuring local distinctiveness when globalization takes effect. It needs to conserve and preserve the quality and the value of urban heritage. Therefore, sustainable development approach has used as an urban management tool as well as mitigation approach to solve the urban problems.

Here, indicator and composite indicator are recognize as useful tools for measuring performance in a field such as society, ecology and economy (R.K Singh et. al 2012). It also a benchmark to measure the

level of sustainability. Good indicator assurances the validity in determine the level of sustainability. It based from an appropriate process of indicator development. Bossel 1999 stress that, the most essential requirement for a holistic approach of developing the indicator is the robust methodologies. This apparent is looking quite easy, but it lead to the complicated situation in the process of selection and developing the indicator started. Previous studies have shown that the lacing of the indicator formed from the weaknesses proses of development indicators. Based on Wong (2006) experience, there are numbers of failure reason, included the lacking of appropriate data source, the indicator was too ambiguous for interpretation and the indicator was of minor or no relevance to the urban vision. Stubbs (2004) also identified that there is lacking a robust framework in developing sustainable indicator within which a number of such feature can be measured. For the heritage city, certain urban indicators are not comprehensive enough as they do not include urban intangible heritage measurement. Most urban indicators provided the preservation and conservation of physical urban spatial and building facade (tangible heritage assets).

They lack emphasis on intangible cultural heritage assets (Zalina and Rodziyya, 2011). As a consequence, these assets less guarded and increasingly threatened with extinction. Besides that, in preparation for ICH indicators it needs significant emphasis and approaches. The theory or the experience from other countries cannot simply been applied. It may be different approaches. For instance, in Asian country, authenticities refer to the spirituality of the site but not the material of the architecture for instance oldest temple vested based on the holiness of the area, not because of the buildings (Rodwell, 2007). Chung (2005) and Ismail (2012) also stress on the European values that more emphasize on visual beauty, while East Asian societies define the values by natural and spiritual sensibilities'.In UNESCO World Heritage Cities Programmed (2010), Ron van Oers has recommended the urban heritage is moving in the dynamic process which safeguarding of culture significant (historic, social, scientific and aesthetic or spiritual value from past, present until future generation) as a key role. In this substance, it should facilitate more holistic approach towards historic cities management. Therefore, it needs some clear and precise framework. Green and Champion (1991), critic that there is no recognized common practice to select indicators for analytical used, with the current practice often characterized by an ad hoc and piecemeal approach. However, Hatry (1977) in (L. Hemphill, 2004) has suggested few criteria should frame for the selection of performance measure that included appropriateness and validity, uniqueness; accuracy and reliability; completeness and comprehensibility; controllability; cost and feedback time. The indicator must capable of satisfying various criteria in term of being scientific maturity, objectivity, independence, measurability, accessibility, dynamic, relative and stability (Repetti and Desthieux 2006; Wang and Xu 2005 and Button 2002). In the current practice, it would be unusual for all the highlighted criteria to be met in a single indicator especially in balance and representative package of indicators to be developed for heritage city.

Why it is happened? This is because of unclear process in developing the indicator; beside the main pitfall is lack of intellectual rigor (expert and end user) in validating and evaluating the measure and also the deficiency of literature and policy understanding. Therefore, it needs a clear understanding and framework in the process of developing the indicator. To ensure that, the procedure of selecting the relevant indicator will be breaking down into more manageable steps (framework) (L. Hemphill, 2004). Framework is useful tools to clarify the concept sustainable development and which indicator to use. It is not a mode to select the recommend indicators, it as a mechanism or a process to ensure that all the significant aspect represented (Jonna, 2007). In this study, the framework is under the category of theme based indicator. It is the most widely used of framework especially in national indicator sets (Peter S. and Lombardi, 2011; Peter Newton 2001). This indicator grouped into various different issues relating to sustainable development theme (Heritage city indicator). The issues determined on the basis of policy relevance. This framework is to link indicator to the policy process and targets, to adjust and flexible to

new priorities and policy targets over time. It also can provide a clear and direct message to the decision maker; raise awareness to the public; suite to monitor progress in attaining the objectives and goal stipulated in national sustainable development strategies.

3. Methodological framework of indicator process

The process of developing indicator is the most crucial stage to produce interpretable and relevant indicator that adequately reflect the key issues of concern. Since the social indicator movement, different suggestions have made over the process of developing indicators. This study has identified upon the four-step methodological framework which has introduce by Coombes and Wong (2004). This methodological established from strategic planning process. It involved the creation of quantitative data sets. However, it is a challenge in order to study the intangible culture issues, community identity or aesthetic quality which involved qualitative data set and requires subjective judgment and opinion from public. There is an implicit assumption that we can qualify and measure the issues.

Fig. 1.The four-step methodological framework of indicator development

Those issues are difficult to measure because the nature of this field is qualitative. Therefore, it requires thoroughness and flexibilities' in managing the data. This four-step methodology involved 1) conceptual consolidation; 2) analytical structuring; 3) identification of indicators and, 4) Synthesis of indicator value (refer fig. 1). This process has applied by (Wong, 2006), Hemphill (2004) and Coombeset. al (1994) in their work for Measuring Urban Sustainability. In this paper, the procedure is leads towards the derivation of indicator from general to a specified approach. Each step representing its own set methodologies with related to the discipline (heritage city) and focus on the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Step 1: Conceptual consideration: Theory and policy

In this part, it involved two sub stages. First is to clarify the basic concept to represent the analysis and identify the policy context in rational. The recognition of the basic conception is particularly beneficial as it will lead to different indicator systems that represent different interest (Duall and Shamir 1981 in Wong 2006). To have a good grasp of the policy context and practical, Interview and discussion with policy makers, stakeholders and end user will help to inform the subject of the study. The aim of this stage is to clarifying the issues that the decision maker considers being most relevant. It also a comprehensive review of the best practice in this field should conduct a detailed discussion with the agencies involved. This process inevitably involved the judgment of policy makers who are end users of the indicators. Furthermore, the policies of the local culture and heritage asset need to be encompassing with current urban policy agenda. It is to ensure that urban and heritage value integrated and synonymous with good practice. In this process, it is imperative that the issues of Intangible cultural Heritage as well as, the tangible asset has thoroughly examined, to leads towards illustration of the key areas of investigation at a case study level. The engagement of policy makers in the process of indicator development can enhance the understanding of the policy operation environment and the subject value and interest that a policy maker has over the research. Expert opinion is a determining a list of criteria and the significance of the local issues where this knowledge does not find in the literature (Wong,2006).

In the second part, it has clarified the theoretical ideas that can be used to underpin the development of indicators. This theoretical concept has elicited primarily through a review of existing literature as well as from the view of expert in the field. As in literature, heritage city is a linkage between physical part of urban element and historic association with the mythical part of the urban stories. They have a mix uses, traditional characteristics and functions, a historical identity with a unique local character, a historic fabric and street pattern. It also is centres of economic, communication, social and cultural life of the towns (UNESCO, 2010; Bounchenaki, 2008; Rodwell, 2007; Ito, 2003 and Aplin, 2002). The goals of the urban heritage development are to generate high economic impact in tourist attraction, employment generation and revenue creation, recreation, cultural enrichment and or to fulfil certain political agendas (Chang, Milne, Fallon, Pholmann, 1996). The heritage value (people, place and heritage) needs to be conserved; preserve and the quality should be protected. From this process, it has identified the issues and problem as well as the importance of understanding the concept of measure. Most important, there is a fundamental need to clarify and delimit the meaning of the concept were measured to provide a common understanding of what exactly the subject of measure.

Step2 : Analytical structuring

This stage is to set out the structure and requirement upon which key elements of the indicator will eventually be developed and assessed. This involved setting out the list of issues to be covered with the analysis and providing the rational for the identification of the indicators. It closely related to the current

issues which policy makers need to address. This stage can be seen as the blueprint or the operational plan that provides a platform to underpin the collation of statistics data. In this stage, it will generate an analysis framework. There are different schools of thought. Wong (2006), state there is 3 approach that can be used to identify the relevant factors either 'bottom-up' approach, 'top-down' or combining both (Bottom-Up and Top-Down) mix approach based on research subject. In this study, Bottom-up approach is appropriate to apply. 'Bottom-up' approach is the factor that can be argued to be individual beneficial, mostly from grassroots level (Hemphil 2004, Wong 2006). This is due to local consensus of the cultural heritage value. In conjunction with this, Stakeholder Consultation Model is a part of the approach. According to (Peter Newton 2001), this model (as in fig.2) represents a significant concern from the viewpoint of stakeholder in the subject matter. It involved community-based and holistic approach that explicitly the view of different actors. It is a procedure to establish a comprehensive list of concern and associated with policy objectives. The advantages of this model are highlighting possible alternative view points; the association of indicators with strategic and outcome; incorporation of indicators as part of general policy department. Relate into the study area, this model involves two main stakeholders', local communities and the government authorities (refer figure 3). It is to identify some issues, problems, views, opinion and comments regarding the cultural heritage value and the urban heritage management. Local Communities was made up of several groups (community leaders, NGOs and urban communities). They comprised of homogenous communities (involved/ contribute/ interested in the cultural heritage). They stay or working in this historic residential and commercial area in the core zone. It also includes 'A' special areas (the settlements of outstanding ethnic group in Melaka, which stay outside from the core zone but have their own function in that area) and also the artisans. While, government authorities is urban managers and also a policy and decision maker at every level (National/ federal, state and local level). It is to identified the policy and strategies of urban heritage, the urban management tools (include the implementation of Sustainable Urban Indicator) and also identification of the documentation/ inventories of the cultural elements.

1. Identifying current issues

Fig. 2.Stakeholder consultation model(2001)

From the model, study has identified two main categoriesoffindings (from local communities and government authority), there are:

1. Local communities

High level of local community involvement in culture program

Most of the present generations are not interested to practice / transmit the knowledge.

New generation weak in appreciating and understanding of the actual story / Historic of urban quarters.

Less of financial assistance from the government for ICH program.

Government Authority

Insufficient ICH documentation

Urban indicators are insufficient enough in terms measuring intangible urban heritage value. Weak in ICH safeguarding program.

Government Authority

- Urban Manager / Policymaker

Identifying Current Issues

Federal • Department of Town & Regional Planning

• Department of National Heritage

State • Department of Town & Regional Planning

• State economic Planning Unit

• Department of National Heritage

• State Tourism Action Council

• State Culture Council

Local • Local Authority (Department of Town & Regional Planning)

• Museum cooperation

Identification of the policy at every level in the process of cultural heritage management and the process of developing the SD indicator.

• Practicing the indicator and managing the study area

• Identification of cultural element / documentation

/ inventories of the product

Local Communitie

Culture Expert

a. Local • Baba &Nyonya Identification of Urban

Communities By • Portuguese Cultural Heritage Issues.

ethnic ('A' special • Chitty • Identification of urban

group)] • Malay cultural heritage asset.

• Straits of Melaka • Identification of cultural heritage management at local level

b. Historical Urban Quarters Historical residential and commercial area in core • Description of respondent of local institution and

Community zone (included artisan) community leader.

c. Community Leader

Ethnic representative

Fig. 3. The participant of the stakeholders

Step 3: Identification of indicators

This step involves laborious search for a wide range of possible indicator for identifying the issues in the analytical framework. List of the indicator established from academic literature and extensive review of related policy practice. Here, comprehensive searches of statistical source in all relevant area are required. This data searching process enabled the assessment of information gaps in public statistical source that affect the compilation or dimension of the dataset. Since measurement indicator is exceedingly technical task, operational decisions have to make in relation to handling statistic and other methodological issues. In this studies, the selection process of the most appropriate indicators is through by two parts (first, from the review of literature and secondly, the opinion from the key expert and local community). It specifically focuses on the ICH as well as the tangible elements.

This study has developed four main key factors of indicator measurement based on the list of research findings above from the process of weight age and scoring of the issues. This selection also is consistent with the sustainable development principle. As in Figure 4 the key factors included 1) Cultural Safeguarding. It shows the level of transmission and dissemination of knowledge and skills by process and practice by the communities. It is to ensuring the viability of the value including identification, documentation, research, preservation, protection and promotion. 2) Culture Revitalization. It is focus on the activities and the interpretation of the culture. It is to ensure the appropriate method (activities/ interpretation mode) the process of transmitting the culture activities. 3) Local Participant. It is about the involvement level of the local communities in the culture activities or performance that representing the ethnic. 4) Community Economic equality. It is a concept of fairness in economic. Specifically it refers to equal life chances among ethnic to offer them with a basic and equitable income/goods/services chances or to increase funds and commitment for redistribution. Each of the parameter should include the quality value of Authenticity and Integrity. Authenticity is the originality of the element, and it include of creator/ material/ function/ concept/ History/ Ensemble/ context of the element. While, integrity is a measurement of wholeness and intactness of the cultural heritage or the natural asset and its attributes. Wholeness is the ability to tell the actual story (history) of the site/monument, and the sufficiency of the property to embrace the features. Whereas, intactness is the condition and surrounding of the property in relation to threat it existence (UNESCO-OG 2008).

Intangible culture Heritage and

Tangible Heritage Value

Fig. 4. Key factor of heritage city indicator

Step 4th : Synthesis of indicator values

This final stage involves the synthesis of the indicator value. It is to develop a composite index by synthesizing the proposed indicator, according to their relative importance into a single measure that used for policy targeting. Data validation considered being a prerequisite before seeking a weighting method to create a composite index. An inspection of the statistical properties indicator is a need to initiate, before placing the index. For instance the frequency distributions and the correlation coefficient between different indicators in the compiled database. This step is to provide a consistence scale of measure to avoid the exaggerated influence of certain indicators. After the initial data processing of the indicator value, indicator can be combined to create a composite index by applying a weighting scheme to individual indicators. For further strengthen of this result, a sequel studies still conducted. This four-step methodology approach can serve as a norm of what indicator research should be achieved in methodological terms. Likewise, this method is an attempt to instil a sense of realism to make sure that the proposed indicator is methodologically sound as well as practically plausible to meet with policy needs.

4. Conclusion

This paper covers an overview of a methodological framework for Developing Conceptual indicator of urban heritage city. This study is a reference in identifying the key steps that need to be considered during the development of indicators. It intended to deal with the current local issue of ICH in the study area. Through this study, it can define the ways to mitigate and improve the problems. The methodological framework developed through the study of literature, government policy and from the view and opinion of the local community. Literature is necessary to be familiar with the field. While, government policy is to provide guidance about key indicators that formed parallel and meet the current government policies as well as it can also ascertain the policy issues. However, the local community and identity is a main subject. In Parallel, Bottom-up approach is adequate in this method. This is to identify problems and issues from the grassroots level. This method has an emphasis on ICH value. All issues have measured by using the authenticity and integrity as the main parameter. Before the indicator used, it has evaluated by the expert panels of stakeholders (group of the local community), experts from government agencies and also academic expert. This is because to develop rigorous indicators that can be used at every level of stakeholder and it can practice at other historical cities. From this specific methodological approach and techniques it could help conservation professional understand the complexity of social relationship and cultural dynamic in developing the indicators.


Special thanks, to AmranHamzah, and Jamalunlaili Abdullah for comments and discussion. This study constructed possible by continues support from to all participant, involved in data collection process (government agencies and the communities) of Melaka Heritage City, 2012.


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