Tuesday, May 28, 2013

paragraph 8::Sustainable Intervention of Maritime Urban Village

Hello there .sustainablesenipeople.readers!

I was in the mrt way to the office when writing this issue! Anyway how was the previous issue; paragraph7th? Hoped that you enjoy reading it as I enjoyed writing! Haha.

This picture was taken during our Brainstorming trip to Penang. 

I am basically retrieving back all memories while doing my final year project. I started my final year with a semester exercising on a thesis writing named as topical study studio. We were split into 2 studio bases which regard to different studio's master. 

My work base at one Siamese Temple in Kedah. This was during our Brainstorming Trip.

Initially, I was being conducted by a lecturer from Thailand, named as Dr Sirima Nasongkhla. She was formerly a lecturer in Melbourne University. Concise on the way of teaching and learning would not happen with singular spoon-feeding way of teaching, she taught us in a series of overwhelming discussions which lead us to present our ideas and formulas in out-sourcing a win-win decision. She was very good in doing it. 

Topical study was actually a studio base semester particularly helps student to develop and generate scope of studies base on one fundamental issue. My topic was regard to demolishing issuance of the authentic and pristine fishing village located within a town of Malaysia.

Considering the pattern of evolvement most of towns (urban morphology0 in world, it normally starts either in remote forested areas which were rich in various types of staple plants and edible natural sources or along a riverine even a shoreline. If we are about to refer back to the conventional definition of cultural landscape, it is an interaction between human and nature whereby if we cross-referenced these two elaborative definitions, actually those small fishing villages scattered along the shore and riverine of world should be define as a cultural heritage where it lasts for decades without valuable significance by the government of most countries including Malaysia! Dushh am not gonna elaborate further on that.. hahaha

Anyway as I deliberate the site issues with the governance policies there were some diplomatic rationalization depicting the Malaysia as a developing country where the development scenarios today also need to consider the heritage value of this particular type of site. There are a lot of traditional maritime village and maritime township with distinctive architectural model and potential economic value that need to be revitalized in terms of the development direction and sustainable intervention. 

There are several ways to collect the data in heritage site. First is the archival document study, there are a lot of information can be obtained from this archival document study such as the governance acts that manage to sustain the maritime village up until today. Secondly the master plans studies. The objective is to identify the development movement and urban morphology of the town including the heritage site. From this we will manage to know the human concentration and how the urban sprawl does begin. Thirdly, it is to do field observation on human dispersal and concentration that will shows the dynamism of the particular maritime village. There will be few interviews which will be conducted with native and outsiders as to identify people awareness of the development and disturbance for certain activities and how do they react to the disturbance. GIS application is the last method to be used as to collect data and analyze data base on landscape architecture concern.
Key Plan

Location Plan

Pontian Besar Maritime Village was chosen because of its significance as the old town part of Pontian District Township as for the whole. The place was previously known as the piracy port of Bugis, Siak, Sulu and Siantan sea pirate (Rozita M.L,1998), where the indigenous Duano Tribe Settlement found today was a proof that they have been working for Johor Sultanate Empire to secure the particular port from the sea pirate. The uniqueness of Duano Indigenous Tribe is the informal and organic composition of traditional stilt house along the river mouth of Pontian Besar River. The usages of natural surrounding resources in daily life also portray their dependence on the water bodies till today. This study perhaps would reveal the reasons and rationales of physical design that will suits the community demand as well as evoking the community life style by providing enough economic and ecological substances at the same time sustaining the unique of culture and genus loci of the place through sustainable intervention.

Problems Statement

  1. Why most of traditional maritime villages being left and abandoned as an isolation area within a townscape development?
Planning of Pontian district as for the whole only concentrated on economic growth of new reclaimed land town and noticeable landmark such as Tanjung Piai and Kukup. The authenticity of maritime villages ambiance along the coastal never be revealed and some might say that these traditional maritime villages as a threat of developing the region with coastal corridor. The essence of these kind of areas should be promoted with sufficient facilities and accommodations through sustainable interventions which will help to evoke economic opportunities and ecological senses that will improvise the community lifestyle (M Yusri O., 2002).

  1. Why the policies of governance in a certain developing town did not considered the traditional maritime village as a part of potential development to evoke economic activities?
Although local planning authority has identify the potential area that need to be preserved and conserved but some development direction previously have destroy the identity and images of the townscape as a maritime base townscape. The disturbances on unplanned development have fading the authenticity and heritage interpretation on site. This have been supported by a research by Kadaruddin Ayub (Akademika-Jan 1997), the uncontrolled development were cause the changing of the lifestyles, landuses and the decrease of the natural resources and also pollution along the coast around the fishermen village in West Coast Peninsular Malaysia.
  1. How the government reacts through the development of a certain area, which some did not consider the interpretation of the site as a heritage site and genus loci?
Local planning authority only noticed the gazette of Pontian as a southernmost tip of Asian continent through the attraction of mangrove area named Tanjung Piai, but still there is certain development which failed to respect and evoke the context of site as a heritage site during the late Johor Sultanate. The development should consider the community sense of belongings as well as respective site previously. The over development of a certain area will reduce the authenticity of the area as well as the sense of a place. The fishermen villages in Peninsular Malaysia were the attractive place for tourism because of natural uniqueness and high cultural value of community lifestyles, but the uncontrolled of the tourism development mostly ruin the natural image of the fishermen village settlement (Shamsul M, 2000).
  1. What kind of development intervention that suits the heritage fishing village in an urban area?
The development intervention will be base on three domains which are; sociology, ecology and economic substances. We have to identify the level and distinctive intervention of a certain limitation and planning guideline. The conservation and preservation of main natural resources along the river of Pontian Besar will help to sustain the traditional maritime activities of the community such as Nypha, Nibong, Rasau, Rhizophora, and Bamboo for craft making and soon. The changing of technology affect the cultural and community lifestyles and create a gap between fishermen community and the others community with different socio economy (Raymond F., 1996). The enhancement will include facilities that promote the product of the community to generate economic and lifestyle standards. Perhaps there will be a certain physical development interventions that will help to enhance the economic growth of site. In this case we will be guided by sustainability concept and intervention guidelines and acts by UNESCO and local authority.

Significance of Study

Sustainable Interventions of Traditional Maritime Urban Village is a study on how the cultural landscape elements in a traditional maritime village like Kampung Nelayan, Pontian Besar, Johor would be preserved and conserved in such away to promote sustainable maritime village as a unique potential area to be valued and appreciated as a tourism spot. This study will be beneficial for us to really know about the strategies and policies on how the government could manage to sustain the buildings and landscape features as the time evolves (dynamic landscape). Furthermore the study will suggest the limitation on intervention that could be make in terms of development direction through the sustainability concern which really need to be considered as to sustain the spirit of the place for people to appreciate the city. 

This project had attained A grade for this subject. Department of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Built Environment, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia had awarded me overall 4th year best student and designer.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

paragraph 7::Eco-City Concept and Its Implementation

Hey peeps!

How is it going? I apologized for the inconsistency in deliberating my idea with you guys. Hope that you understand that I've been all day busy with my final year project while doing some freelance jobs. Then once I've finished my final year project I am undergoing my last internship in Singapore. 

I straightly being offered a position as a landscape architect there once i've finished my internship with the company... Anyway, I would have to give you something after all this while right? 

Okay! Let us warm up a bit! This is the 7th paragraph of Sustainable Seni People.. which gonna be discussing a tiny movement in urban design and planning which regard to the Eco-city concept and Its implementation.

Let's give a hit to this video before we run the discussion!

So.. What would be the words and paraphrases that come in your mind when we talk about Eco-City?

Let me tell you something peeps!

Richard Register was the first coined the term "ecocity" in his 1987 book, Ecocity Berkeley: Building Cities for a Healthy Future. Other leading figures whom had envisioned the sustainable city concept are architect Paul F Downton, who later founded the company Ecopolis Pty Ltd, and authors Timothy Beatley and Steffen Lehmann, who have written extensively on the subject.

Eco-city or Sustainable City is a movement of concerns among urban design professionals including urban planner, landscape architect, architect and so forth. It is a concern of stabilizing the urban ecology with its overpopulated in-habitants in achieving an optimum run of economic activities. If you browse through most of recent development of city of world, we are all running through it.

As far as my concern as a landscape architect, it is a vital movement that should be considered as part of every development of world in reducing carbon footprint issues and so on. In promoting a low carbon footprint community, an integrated smart pedestrianize system should be created. It also should be inculcated with an efficient and holistic public transportation system. Despite of our cravings in industrializing the urban area, we somehow should recycle all the wastage so that it could be purified before being returned back to the mother nature. 

How could it be achievable?  
Yeah, again that's the question. I throw you some examples of successful eco-city patch-up works on existing urban areas;

1. Bilbao, Spain The country faced economic turmoil following the decline of the steel and port industries but through communication between stakeholders and authorities to create inner-city transformation, the local government benefited from the increase in land value in old port areas. The Strategic Plan for the Revitalisation of Metropolitan Bibao was launched in 1922 and have flourished regenerating old steel and port industries. The conversion from depleted steel and port industries to one of Europe’s most flourishing markets is a prime example of a sustainable project in action.

2. Belo Horizonte, Brazil The city was created in 1897 and is the third largest metropolitan in Brazil with 2.4 million inhabitants. The Strategic Plan for Belo Horizonte (2010–2030) is being prepared by external consultants based on similar cities infrastructure, incorporating the role of local government, state government, city leaders and encouraging citizen participation. The need for environmental sustainable development is led by the initiative of new government following planning processes from the state government. Overall, the development of the metropolis is dependent on the land regularization and infrastructure improvement that will better support the cultural technology and economic landscape.

So let us go in details of another piece of idea implementing eco-city in one of site in Malaysia. As I remembered, its quite a fruitful project for me. This project require you to understand the sustainability concept in macro before we deeply going to discover how to sustain a city. First you would have to go through the city get the smell, recognize the color and people before you are able to digest the identity of the townscape.

Located in Malacca City, this project exercise run through for several weeks. Malacca is 148 km south east of Malaysia's capital city Kuala Lumpur, 235 km north west to Johor's largest city Johor Bahru, and 95 km north west to Johor's second largest city, Batu Pahat. This historical city centre has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 7 July 2008.

The idea of those sketches was to develop basic understanding on the issues and problems which happen on site. This is a basic practice of any urban design project. Zooming into just a small location of Malacca Historical City, this project supposed to respect all existing public realm and human  dispersal movement in town.

Respectively the design plays around with patterns and forms which allocate some interpolation of greeneries respectively to current site activities. Despite of its historical ambiance, this site was used among youth to meet before getting through the victoria square, jonker st and so forth. Located by the river of Malacca, the design also considerate the idea of inviting the natural wildlife to come into the river. I know it sounds ridiculous, but this is where it comes the role of environmental engineer to segregate the existing sewerage system a part of the river it self. It should be channeled somewhere, purified before being released back into the river. In the madness of Malacca in self-claiming as a heritage city of Malaysia, there are a lot unnecessary 'accessories' claim to be 'returned back on site' such as the water wheel! Dush I cant go further to elaborate that, but salvaging the water wheel, I somehow proposed it to be cycled based on solar panel+river flow and generate electricity that will move it respectively while increasing the oxygen capacity in the polluted water to activate the bacterias to eat all the toxic wastage (ambitious) that reduce the bad smell and so forth. 

Yes, it is achievable and possible but of course it requires you a holistic modules and design sensitivities before we start the design in detail. Okay am gonna let you guys think. I leave you with some good references. Please retrieve from those links I stated below;






This project had been used for a exemplary images for a paper presented on 24th to 25th February 2011 entitled Innovation in Teaching Urban Landscape Design Studio by respective academicians from Department of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Built Environment, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia's Paper presented during 5th South East Asian Technical University Consortium Symposium, Hanoi.

 Take Care! Chiao!