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Initiatives and intervention in promoting pedestrianization in the historic city of Melaka, Malaysia - page 1 / 21

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Paper presented to Walk21-V Cities for People, The Fifth International Conference on Walking in the 21st Century, June 9-11 2004, Copenhagen, Denmark www.citiesforpeople.dk; www.walk21.com

Initiatives and intervention in promoting pedestrianization in the historic city of Melaka, Malaysia

Syed Sobri Zubir and Wan Azhar Sulaiman Department of Architecture Universiti Teknologi MARA Selangor, Malaysia

Contact details: Syed Sobri Zubir Department of Architecture Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying Universiti Teknologi MARA 40450 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia E-mail: sszubir@yahoo.com

Wan Azhar Sulaiman Department of Architecture Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying Universiti Teknologi MARA 40450 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia E-mail : y0jimbo@yahoo.com.sg

Abstract

Historic cities are rich in archaeological vestiges and these elements become the source in projecting the cultural heritage of their built form. Since culture is a product of the collective and individual experience of the various social groups that triggered the emergence of the socio-economic, technological and political structure of colonialism, which in turn shaped their built environment, it is the task of this paper to identify these historical elements as popular walking destinations for people to visit. In doing so, a network of pedestrian movement system can be identified highlighting important urban nodes and landmarks that can propel street level activities to their maximum potentials. The paper tries to evaluate the extent of local initiative in promoting pedestrianization of local streets by safeguarding historical sites as catalysts in promoting Malaysia’s oldest city, which is a prominent colonial city in the Far East. The paper begins with a historiographical account of the city by examining the morphological context of the city to reveal the significant characteristic or brand image of the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British intervention of the urban form. It also discusses strengths and weaknesses of recent interventions by the local authority to

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