There’s no place like home: remembering and experiencing the changing Singaporean cityscape
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 22:09 authored by Tanya Evans
Widespread urban redevelopment has profoundly impacted how the Singaporean people understand the built environment. Analysis of Singaporean collective memory and hidden transcripts will demonstrate a growing detachment from national heritage and disengagement from the international image promoted by the government. This disengagement is exacerbated by the Singapore Tourism Board’s reduction of cultural heritage to themed attractions. This will be demonstrated by examining the development and local understanding of key sites in the city, including the Merlion, museums, Bugis Street, and former ethnic enclaves at Chinatown, Kampong Glam and Little India. The destruction of peoples’ connection to the past and places has resulted in a tabula rasa for redevelopment of the built environment. The contemporary Singaporean cityscape will be considered using the theoretical framework of Marc Augé and Rem Koolhaas to determine whether a new sense of place can be established or if the city is becoming a non-place. Modern urban design is increasingly promoting a transitory relationship between Singaporeans and the city, producing spaces that are passed through rather than places to engage with. This is reducing peoples’ identity to a contractual relationship with their function of the environment (a customer, a traveller) rather than an independent, self-directed individual.