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On Asian Streets and Public Space

Edited by Heng Chye Kiang and Low Boon Liang with Hee Limin

Publication Year: 2009

The rapid urbanisation of the Asian continent and the transformation of its cityscapes have led many professionals and scholars to pay urgent attention to the study of Asian streets and public places in the hope of recording them, learning their complex nature, and testing theories in new environments before they disappear under the assault of rapid urban transformation. This volume presents articles focusing on four prevalent themes, namely transformation and modernity, the culture of streets, the experience of the street and finally, the design and quality of streets. However, these themes inevitably overlap, pointing out the complexity of what we call the "street" and the necessity for interdisciplinary research. Finally, adding "Asian" to "street" opens up the discussion about spaces in the Asian city, and concepts of "Asian-ness," if indeed such a concept can be defined. This book will interest not only urban planners, architects and other design and building professionals, but also geographers, sociologists, environmentalists, anthropologists, historians as well as the general public.

Published by: NUS Press Pte Ltd

Title Page, Copyright

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CONTENTS

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pp. iii-iv

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PREFACE

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pp. v-

The Great Asian Streets Symposium (GASS) was established in 2001. The initiative to organise such an event came form recognition that there is a need for an Asia-based node of excellence on networks of ideas and results of research projects that focus on Asian cities. Historically and today, research activity and literature on Asian cities and public...

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INTRODUCTION

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pp. vi-

When we conceptualized and started the first Great Asian Streets Symposium in 2001, we were inspired by Allan Jacobs’ book Great Streets. We wanted to provide a forum for discussion and research on Asian Streets and, by extension, Asian public space and, indeed, the public realm in general. The...

I. The Street: Transformation and Modernity

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AVENUE PRAIA GRANDE

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pp. 3-24

Hence wrote Henry Norman of the Praia Grande and its surroundings in 1894 in his manuscript The Peoples and Politics of the Far East after his nearly four years of travel and studies in the British, French, Spanish and Portuguese Colonies, Siberia, China, Japan, Korea, Siam...

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A STREET OF ELUSIVE SIGNIFICANCE

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pp. 25-38

Hamilton Road in Singapore is really not a street of great significance. It is five hundred and fifty feet long, and is located in the Jalan Besar district, a secondary settlement area on the edge of Singapore’s expanding urban core. The buildings on the street consist of seventy-two shophouses and a church. The shophouses, of Neo-Classical and Art-Deco styles...

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FROM THE ARISTOCRATIC TO THE COMMERCIAL

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pp. 39-50

The ingredients of a main street are a microcosm of the larger city. Every major world city seems to have a main street whose mere name instantly conjures images and memories of the city. In Seoul that street is Chongno. With more than six hundred years of history, Chongno is a prominent reference in the urban and architectural history of Seoul....

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THE ROYAL ROAD REVISITED

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pp. 51-60

Queen’s Road is the second road built along the original coastline of Hong Kong Island at the beginning of British colonial rule. The longest road in Hong Kong running east and west, it passes through significant public spaces in the old Western and Sheung Wan Districts, the heart of CBD in Central, the military encampment in Admiralty, the residential...

II. The Culture of Streets

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AN INSIGHT INTO THE ASIAN STREETS

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pp. 63-78

Streets of Asia have been and continue to evolve as distinct from those of the West, reflecting the unique Asian cultures. Contemporary Sri Lankan streets, like many of the Asian streets, have evolved from the traditional streets that enabled...

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THE MALAYSIAN MULTICULTURAL STREETSCAPE

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pp. 79-90

In Malaysia, a multiracial country comprising three major racial groups in Asia — Malay, Chinese and Indian — co-exist especially in the urban sector. In congruence with the Asian population trend and growth of the new millennium, the Malaysian urban growth pattern and trend characterised by a population boom in the urban sector will have a great as well as significant impact on the urban and cultural landscape of the country...

III. Experiencing the Street

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SAVOURING THE STREETS OF SAMPALOC

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pp. 93-104

Much has been written about the colourful City of Manila. In the same way, its districts, particularly that of Quiapo, Malate, Binondo, and Escolta have always been a popular subject of books and magazines. What then qualifies a district to become a worthy...

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HONG KONG ESCALATOR OR THE LIQUID JOURNEY

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pp. 105-118

The Central/Mid-Levels Escalator/travellator extends through the Central district of Hong Kong and up the lower slopes of Victoria Peak. As opposed to a stream, it begins its source at the foot of the mountain, at Queen’s Road Central and Central Market. With an approximate length of 800m, it successively crosses Hollywood Road, Caine Road and...

IV. Design and Quality of Streets

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REMOULDING TAIWANESE HISTORICAL MARKET STREETS

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pp. 121-132

Those who visit Fengtian’s Market Street are immediately struck by a strong sense of “place”. The noisy and busy market space along the street lined by colonial town houses expands broadly towards the landmark, the Guowang (king) Temple. At Fengtian, the situation of a marketplace is particular: here the two kinds of space emerge and blend together, the temple square in front of a beautiful Taiwanese traditional temple and the..

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COMPETING FOR THE SIDEWALK

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pp. 133-142

Most Western literature on urban design encourages street peddling as a way to improve the liveliness of city centres. Contrary to this, Indonesian major cities need to curb the spread of street peddlers on central city sidewalks. Since the monetary crisis in Indonesia, informal hawkers...

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THE STREET AND ITS INFLUENCEON THE SENSE OF PLACEOF MALAYSIAN CITIES

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pp. 143-158

The street is one of the key elements that constitutes the urban space as forwarded by Krier (1979). It is also one of the five elements, which Lynch (1960) propagated that people use to structure the city in their minds. Moughtin (1992) also suggests that the street plays an important role in determining the urban pattern, thus...

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THE IMPORTANCE OF STREETS

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pp. 159-169

Professionals and lay people alike understand the importance of streets for the critical urban functions of transportation, access to property, and for property protection. These functions of streets are as important...

NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS

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pp. 170-173

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

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pp. 174-176

Credits for illustrations and photographs not cited below are provided by the authors themselves. The editors and authors have attempted to resolve all copyright issues related to material in this publication. It has not been..


E-ISBN-13: 9789971695934
Print-ISBN-13: 9789971694906

Page Count: 192
Illustrations: 20 images
Publication Year: 2009

Edition: New