Contested Space Revisited: George Town, Penang, before and after UNESCO World Heritage Listing
In August 2007, the month when Malaysia celebrated 50 years of independence from colonial rule, two historic sites were jointly assessed for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List – Melaka and George Town, ‘Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca’. This book explores the cultural, social and physical history of George Town and its multi-ethnic population, tracing its urban evolution, the cultures of its diverse communities and the reﬂection of their cultures in their architecture, urban forms and traditional ways of living and celebration. It also investigates national and international inﬂuences – including those of heritage conservation bodies – and examines their impact on cultural perceptions, in order to unravel the identity reconstructions that have taken place over the nation’s first 50 years.
The first part of this book documents the issues of George Town’s ‘contested space’, as World Heritage listing was sought; it ends on the day the nominated sites were visited for evaluation. The second part of this book relooks at the issues of ‘contested space’ in the decade after UNESCO listing, and the impacts of population decline, site management, urban interventions, cultural interpretations, gentrification and tourism.
List of Illustrations and Tables
Abbreviations and Acronyms
Contested Space: Cultural Heritage and Identity Reconstructions,
Conservation Strategies within a Developing Asian City, 2008
Preface and Introduction
Methodology, Fieldwork, and Personal Reflection
The Layout of this Book
Whose Heritage? Whose Culture? Whose Space?
Urban History: Community, and Architectural Identity 1786–1970
National Development: Policies and Practice 1957–2007
Penang State: Development and Conservation 1957–1990
Contested Space: Urban Development or World Heritage Site? 1990–2007
Heritage, Culture and Tourism:
Cultural Identity and Consumption of the Historic Inner City
Case Studies: Heritage Conservation Realities
The World Heritage nomination,
at the point of UNESCO evaluation in 2007
THE VISUAL STORY
Contested Space Revisited, 2018
Preface to second edition, 2018
Managing Half a World Heritage Site: 2008–2018
Case Studies Revisited: Changing Values, Lost Significance?
George Town World Heritage: Past, Present and Future