Exploring the challenges in protecting the identity of small historic towns in Malaysia

Azmi, Nur Farhana and Ali, Azlan Shah and Ahmad, Faizah (2021) Exploring the challenges in protecting the identity of small historic towns in Malaysia. Open House International, 46 (1). pp. 64-80. ISSN 2633-9838, DOI https://doi.org/10.1108/OHI-05-2020-0028.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/OHI-05-2020-0028


Purpose Built heritage constitutes the uniqueness and identity of a place. While being overlooked in existing research, built heritage in small towns is increasingly threatened by dilapidation, exhaustion and disappearance. Therefore, this study aims to examine the challenges in protecting the unique features and identity of small towns with regard to building regulations, guidelines and policies. Design/methodology/approach A semi-structured interview was conducted amongst a purposive sample of nine stakeholders from different organizations involved in heritage matters in Malaysia to investigate the issues and challenges facing the protection of small towns' identity with regard to existing protection mechanisms impacting development of the towns. The data were then analyzed using the qualitative software package NVivo 8.0. The summary models imported from NVivo were created to visualize the connections between various dimensions of constructs, concepts and categories identified in the interviews. Findings The study found that the current issues of built heritage protection at the local level can be classified into five emergent themes: legislative, institutional, economic, social and technical issues. While absence of specific guideline for identifying local cultural places has been identified as the most fundamental issues facing the protection of unique and distinct resources in small Malaysia towns, the paper concludes with a framework of measures that can then be used for identification and protection of small town identity. Originality/value This study is the first of many fruitful contributions that examine heritage identification and protection mechanisms at the local level.

Item Type: Article
Funders: Postgraduate Research Grant (PPP) at the University of Malaya, Institute of Research Management and Consultancy (IPPP)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Regulation; Identity; Challenges; Built heritage; Socially and culturally sustainable architecture and urban design; Small town
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
T Technology > TH Building construction
Divisions: Faculty of the Built Environment
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2022 03:50
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2022 03:50
URI: http://eprints.um.edu.my/id/eprint/26275

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