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Can we ever strike a balance between conservation and development? PAGE 4



What is the value of our heritage?

How can we build our past into our future?



ISSUE 8 // APRIL 2018

What's the Focus Issue: Conservation and Heritage Question: How can our shared memories around people, places and experiences of the past be a constructive force for our future? Takeaway: In tackling the issue of conservation, we need to consider...


Economic Realities

... the aspects of heritage (tangible or intangible) needed for us to anchor our collective sense of belonging.

... the necessary trade-offs, given our land constraints and our need to remain globally competitive.

Taking Action ... the actions that we can take to create a better balance between conservation and development.

nostalgia: a double-edged sword?

The sentiment of nostalgia is often connected to the longing for familiar icons or experiences that might have disappeared in the process of development. It is especially common in cities that have experienced rapid rates of modernisation. In the last couple of years, Singapore has also experienced a resurgence of nostalgia. But will this be a constructive force, or an anxiety that holds us back from the future?

A walk down memory lane: What will we get out of nostalgia?

"I've lost the city I used to shoot." (BBC; April 2018)

(Challenge; July 2015)

Watch this video to see why Mr Lui Hock Seng, an 81-yearold photographer, is nostalgic for the old cityscapes of Singapore, and how he's bringing a new lens to this issue!

Nostalgia can drive greater public awareness of and activism for heritage protection, but it could also lead to dogmatism and a rejection of change. Read this article to find out how we can use nostalgia to empower change! Icon: © Teo Yu Siang

who is conservation for?

What's the Focus

Tourists vs Locals

Little India: Conservation that "keeps it real" (CNA; January 2017)

In developing districts such as Chinatown and Little India in the name of heritage conservation, are things tidied up too neatly for the tourists – with locals and residents lamenting the loss of authenticity? How do we retain the authenticity and social fabric of the community?

Use this CNA video as a trigger for conversations with your students!

Elderly vs Youth

Tiong Bahru: A hip and miss affair (Today; August 2014)

Does heritage conservation necessarily benefit the elderly residents in Tiong Bahru? This article explores the tensions that arise from gentrification. Some welcome the influx of hip eateries that have given the neighbourhood a new lease of life; others lament how these shops are "not meant for older people ... but the young and the tourists."

National Interests vs Personal Wishes The House at 38 Oxley Road (ST;  April 2018)

The debate over what should be done with 38 Oxley Road has gripped the nation. Given that the house has "architectural, heritage, and historical significance", what are the various options for its future?


Icons: © Teo Yu Siang

In the Classroom

For this week’s issue, we had the privilege to speak to Ms Yang Huilin, who shared with us why it is important for our students to learn about their heritage.

Ms Yang Huilin

Senior Teacher (History) River Valley High School

It is important for our students to be aware of the key issues surrounding our heritage. Some of our heritage has disappeared and is disappearing. When I showed my students some pictures of places such as Haw Par Villa or trades such as traditional Indian goldsmithing, they were surprised that these things existed. It sparked their interest to find out more and inspired them to do their part in preserving our heritage. Some of them even designed heritage tours in Tiong Bahru and Toa Payoh for the Singapore Heritage Festival 2018!


THE LAST KAMPUNG IN SINGAPORE Use this video to trigger a discussion with your students on Kampung Lorong Buangkok.

Questions to consider:

What were some stories shared by the residents in the video? What do you think the residents care about? What are some places in Singapore that you care about? How would you feel if these places were torn down and redeveloped?  How can we ensure that our stories are not lost?

Lorong buangkok 1954

QUICKLOOK+ LESSON Level : Sec 1 | Theme : This is Home , Truly Title : There's No Place I'd Rather Be


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