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Initiatives and intervention in promoting pedestrianization in the historic city of Melaka, Malaysia - page 15 / 21





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roof tiles. They were heavily built and the architectural styles reflected a Dutch tradition with profusions of Chinese and indigenous elements (Figure 8).

Figure 8 Illustrates the different building styles with varying heights along Jalan Hang Jebat or better known as Jonker Street

There were cantilevered porches that created irregular setbacks and inconsistency in the street front. A continuous passage or verandahway was not implemented to cater for pedestrian movements during the Portuguese and the Dutch era. Only after the establishment of the Straits Settlement “Ordinances” of 1822, based on guidelines set out by Stamford Raffles, was it that continuous open frontage of a certain depth to act as covered walkways appeared in shophouses (Kohl.1984).

Prior to that, pedestrian movements were relegated to street levels. Local streets in the study area had been designed to cater for bullock carts and therefore the width of the streets are proportionately scaled to the heights of the shophouses creating a safe and pleasant environment. Since the layout plan of the city had been established before the existence of any building/planning regulations, existing blocks are long with under utilized back lanes. Under the Enactment on Preservation and Conservation (Act 168, 1976), the law protects the study area and new developments will be scrutinized by strict guidelines even though many of the shophouses are vacant and left tenantless. Due to the migration of local residents to recent housing schemes that offer new business opportunities, many of the properties were sold to foreigners especially the Singaporeans. Close to 30 percent of the historical shophouses had been transformed into antique shops, art studio or galleries, budget hotels, restaurants, bookstores and etc to meet the tourist demand of the area. To regenerate the place it is important not only to conserve the built form, but also to initiate programmes that can lure people to take up residence and indirectly to activate the social and cultural activities of the place. These are in nfact, salient points that sell Melaka as a tourist destination.

Due to the lack of public transportation and other related infrastructure facilities, the study area is inundated with varieties of issues pertaining to traffic jams, lack of available parking spaces, encroachment of surface parking on pedestrian ways and other problems that need to be urgently addressed by the authorities. Obstruction of pedestrian ways by numerous items of unplanned street furniture and illegal installation of business activities also contribute to the problem (Figures 9 & 10). The relegation of pedestrian ways along the narrow streets at

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