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CONSERVATION AND THE MODERN PROJECT

SOME THOUGHTS ON CONFLICT


BETWEEN MODERNITY AND TRADITION
Manajemen Konflik di Ruang Terbuka Publik melalui Urban Desain
Jogjakarta, 1-7 Maret 2004

Abstract:
The current popular political strength of the urban conservation movement is the expression of a widely held
dissatisfaction with the result of modern project, which is derived from the spirit of the Age of Machine. This
all goes back to the period of disenchantment with effects of untrammelled development on the historic
environment. Conservation and urban design share an ideological basis and have a long established symbiotic
relationships. As a part of cultural appraisal, both have been an everlasting project in maintaining the character
of place in changing context. Conservation movement should go beyond saving individual historic buildings
and call for concerns of total heritage. This effort can be designated to an area of distinctive character,
regardless the presence of individual buildings that according to standard criteria would have considered
worthy of preservation. Thus, regarding the conflict between modernity and tradition, which are articulated by
pluralism and diversity, a carefully planned framework/management of change in historic urban quarters is
needed. This, as precedents demonstrate, will help urban quarters being capable of evolution and responsive
to the future, without severing the thread of continuity of the past.
Keywords: modern project, conservation, urban design, image of cities and management of change

[1]

Conservation and the Age of Machine


It has been said that a city without old buildings just like a man without a memory. But
environment is not just a question of buildings. Cities must be made environmentally
attractive. The essential qualities of all towns require sensitive conservation of building fabric
and relationships which give positive character (Rose 1974: 135)

Bodenschatz and Geisenhof (1991) argue that urban conservation is a process of


cultural appraisal. Conservation is not a single task anymore, in which historic fabrics were
simply modernised through a tabula-rasa method, but meanwhile it has been an
everlasting project, to develop the specific characteristics of architectural and urban
artefact in changing context (Schubert, 2000). The whole conception of conservation is
based upon positive change and imaginative reuse of historic quarters, while retaining
their essential character and appearance.
The discussion on historic preservation in Indonesia has already commenced since the
beginning of 1970s with some difficulties and unwillingness. After three decades a growing
interest in historic urban quarters and its utilisation for present needs has made a come
back. In recent years undertakings on historic urban quartes and issues on preservation
lead to an impetuous discourse on the role of conservation in urban development. In line
with this, C. Abel (1994) and H. Bhme (1998) note that the notion of image of the city
(Stadtgestalt) has been an important debate in future urban development.1 This, however,
is neither merely related with the economic potentials nor developments pressures, but it
1

As Stones (19??) points out urban design and conservation have a long established symbiotic relationship,
since much urban design practice -even when applied in a non-historic context- is inspired by the conservation
concerns.

based on the notions of identity making. The growing interest in history inexorably has
been accompanied by the increasing thoughts on social sensitiveness and ecological
considerations, which both influence and define the quality of built environment.
In post-war development modernisation of Indonesian cities has been mostly
associated with urbanisation, revitalisation, and redevelopment of the traditional cities. The
cities are facing the rapid pace of transformation and change that are often disruptive and
distressing. Within the shade of modernisation and change inner-city districts and historic
urban quarters, which are with no doubt locus of valuable architecture and archaeological
features, have often been under development pressures.
In the age of machine2, when economic achievement is valued most highly, the culture
of nations with developing economies come to be looked on as developing cultures, as
archaic impediments to modernisation. With such understanding economic achievement is
considered as a progress and thus, is reflected in the production of space and spatial
planning (Habermas, 1994). As one can conclude the architecture of the 20th century, the
age of machine, was based on this view of progress. Therefore, architects from nonWestern countries, who wish to be on the cutting edge, distance themselves from their
own tradition and history. Within the rapid pace of modernisation, driven mainly by the
spirit of the age of machine, efforts on conservation of indigenous/traditional, colonial and
other built heritages in urban quarters -including their norms and values- has often been
considered irrelevant and even politically anti-progress.
It is also true, that changes -in term of value and physicals- cannot be avoided, but on
the other hand, the need to preserve some important fabrics in our built environment is
also imperative.3 Due to transformation questions on the role of conservation can be
raised, and more specifically how should conservation be adapted into the broader
framework of urban development policy? Undoubtedly (urban) conservation is more than a
question of the management of cultural and economic resources, and indeed it is
inextricably locked into a wider national political framework. It is in this context that this
paper will discuss the conflict between changes that represent progress, movement, i.e.
the modern project, and conservations attempts that will enhance tradition/regionalism
and promote diversity as well. Based on such dilemmatic notions between development
and conservation, this paper will argue that conservation must establish new
interpretations of its meaning regarding to urban development. Hypothetically conservation
must be a part of the modernisation constructs, within which approaches in the planning
policy must be able to address the changing context sensitively. As part of environmental
policy, conservation must recognize that the existence of urban fabrics, with their cultural
diversities, their socio-economic relationships and their mixed-use character, are
resources for understanding the present, and offer lessons future urban forms.

The age of machine was the age of the European spirit, the age of universality. Thus, we can say that the
twentieth century, the age of machine, has been an age of Euro centrism and Logo centrism. Logo centrism
posits that there is one ultimate truth for the whole world, and that it can be demonstrated with human
intelligence. This attitude results in a society that honours science and technology, over art, religion and culture
-fields to which feelings and sensitivities contribute- to an inferior position.
3
Accordingly, Larkham (1996) explains that it is almost impossible to preserve urban landscape without
change, but he moreover states: "the practical implications of this, the decisions underlying the selection of
what is kept and relating of new development to historical urban landscape, must be understood".

[2]

Modernity and Modern Project

The terminology modern project, which I borrowed from the writing of Michael Thomas
(1996) titled Conservation of the Urban: Issues and Politics, is used here to denote actions
and policies, which during the 20th century have transformed the world through application
of science and technology to control and manipulate nature on a large scale for benefit of
humans and programmes of special engineering dedicated to creating a society based on
rationality ground theory. The promised benefits of the modern project were freedom from
scarcity and individual emancipation. The outcome of this process is modernity; that is the
world we now live in with its complexities.
We are witnessing and living in a world that is both global and urban. As one can
argue, we live in a time where our lives are increasingly based within similar lived
experiences and inhabit urban environments that in some respects are extraordinarily the
same.4 With the rapid introduction informational technology, the contemporary world
culture is both affected and supported by an increasingly large segment of the world
population across national and ethnic boundaries. Our changing world that is similar to the
industrial revolutions era, in which production of space and life requirements are also
changed (social change). Here comes the period of technological revolution
(Terlinden/Drhfer, 1998). Diversity, pluralism and rebelliousness as well as tolerance
and freedom are its fundamental ingredients. Such trends add richness to our lives and
our visual environment, and on the other hand new solutions are continuously being
introduced in response to our new lifestyles and expectations. These all, as one can
argue, have been driven by globalisation.
A powerful imprint of globalization is reflected in the landscapes of the Indonesian
cities in form of high-rise office buildings, hotels and shopping centers. New development
had been commenced since the 1970s, in which many cities until the first half of 1990s
were facing a period of rapid change. Thus, many multi-stories buildings and modern highrise structures were built in the prime area of Jakarta (mainly along main streets like Jalan
M.H. Thamrin), very much like in other Southeast Asian countries. Those modern
structures shaped mostly by the latest modern fashions of architecture are standing in
juxtaposition with the traditional/indigenous low-rise structures. This has evidently led to a
unique typological (urban) contrast. On the contrary, efforts on heritage preservation for
historic districts of Jakarta Kota gained fairly small attention at that time (see J. Cobban,
1985). Preserving historic urban quarters was not in the list of priorities of urban
development agenda, which was then mainly dominated by urban infrastructure
development. (Fig. 1)

There is general disagreement as to whether we are witnessing a convergence of sameness or a


reinforcement of difference in cities, as to whether we are witnessing the emergence of a liberating one world
phenomena or maturation of an exploitive capitalist system. There is argument as to whether globalisation is
the key to wealth or the cause of greater spatial and social stratification. There is ample evidence to suggest
that there are powerful forces, which deliberately aim at the propagation of sameness in cities. This can be
seen in efforts to market world standard real estate projects. Further, there exists a powerful motivation on
the part of some governments to create world standard projects to promote their national and city economic
interests. For further reading, see Hans-Dieter Evers/R. Korff in Southeast Asian Urbanism, 2000

Fig. 1: A typological contrast, modern, high-rise apartment building stand vis--vis with the low-rise indigenous
urban Kampong. Such new typological buildings are mostly defined by the economic imperative.
Source: Centre for Urban Design Studies, Department of Architecture ITB, 2002

In Indonesia modernisation was also pursued in every field by adopting Western


modes and models in the educational system, the economy, government policies, the
constitution, and in the legal system.5 As R.K. Biswas (1996) concludes, it is the feeling of
inferiority that the equating of progress with westernisation has been evident at national
level, just like other Southeast Asian countries. Consequently, such equating has great
impacts on social and environmental issues. Nonetheless the change as such does not
affect all parts of societies to the same degree. While the social reality of the nation is
exactly at the transition between the feudal-agriculture community and democraticindustrial society, the socio-cultural construct that shapes norms and limitations in spatial
planning and design, is also still immature, and to some extent even bewildering. This
goes back to the reality that the radical change of social structure has institutionally not yet
been supported by comprehensive development policy. Moreover, the radical change of
planning culture and contemporary architecture gives image of monotony in urban
structures. In the pace of rapid modernisation, therefore, many traditional and historic
urban quarters, have been radically replaced by modern structures with the latest styles of
kitsch-architecture.
What many individual Modernist buildings and development lacked, as representation
of the modern project, was a positive response to the external -and often historic- context
(Tiesdell et al, 1996). Buildings are merely all objects in space, and there is no texture to
define that space. This has led to a situation that the city as representation of cultural
environment gradually loses its spatial coherence.

According to Evers and Gerke (1997), one of the factors for the success of modernization has been policies
aiming at international integration. Indonesia, like other countries in Pacific Rim has adopted the free market
economy in order to maximize the benefits of private initiative. Since early of the 80s Indonesia learned quickly
and adopted effectively many of the development strategies already in use in the fully industrialized nations of
the world.

To conclude, modernity and the modern project with their complexities lead in some
ways to the destruction of cultural environments, be that urban or village. As mentioned
before, the modern project has taken place in form of urban redevelopment or urban
renewal. They include among others: neglect, ignorance, desire to re-use old materials
and traditional ornaments in new projects, desire to maximize economic return from every
piece of land (modernisation through maximizing FAR), political pressures, urban
redevelopment, construction of roads and highway due to traffic demands, inappropriate
zoning ordinance and other unsuitable forms of institutional or public policies. (Fig.2)
Berman (1982) takes a more poetic illustration about the dark side of modernity, i.e. the
modern project, as follows: To be modern is to find ourselves in an environment that
promises adventure, power, joy, growth, transformation of ourselves and the world and,
at the same time, that threatens to destroy everything we have, everything we know,
everything we are.

Fig. 2: New architecture on historic ground. New architecture is mostly driven by economic imperative, a typical
contemporary urban (infill) development in historic urban area of Jakarta Kota. This kind of modern approach
with maximum utilization of floor area ratio (FAR) is an example of an arrogant market-led development, which
has no intention in appreciating the historical setting of the place. Thus, such tabula-rasa development has
ignored the unique morphology and the existing indigenous building/traditional Chinese shop-houses.
Source: Jakarta dalam Dinamika Penataan Kota 1987-1992

[3]

Conservation within the Socio-Cultural Context

As one can argue, the realm of architecture and urban design is not only important for
understanding the political and cultural development of contemporary Indonesia. Indeed,
architecture and urban design have also a central and critical role in building the norms,
and shaping forms of the countrys society and politics. In Indonesian urbanism the
question of identity, in terms of place making, will still be relevant in modernisation and
globalisation. The significant character of a place will not only contribute a strong identity
to city, but also enrich the quality of urban life. In short, the issues on maintaining the spirit
of place (conservation) and enhancing the social networks deal in many ways with built
heritage, i.e. the patrimony of the past. It is in this sense that conservation could guarantee
the continuity of cultural and the sustainability of socio-economic patterns embedded in

urban structures. (Fig. 3) There, however, are still a lot of conflicting contentions amongst
the actors with regard to what conservation is all about. Moreover, heritage conservation
could be socially as well as politically vulnerable when the objects to be preserved were
created during the colonial period, or when they are culturally related to certain nonindigenous ethnic groups. (Fig. 4) Based on the arguments above three leading premises
on conservation can be distinguished as follow:

Fig. 3: A super block development in urban renewal development for Segitiga Senen (Senen Triangle), Jakarta
in the late of 1980s. A number of Chinese shop houses of historical and cultural significance were eroded in
the process of betterment by reckless commercial interests and were being replaced by the so-called kitsch
architecture. Increasingly some of these striking new buildings are much larger in scale than earlier ones, using
industrialized building materials and technology. Practices of renewal projects in form of large-scale
redevelopment have driven away the local population (gentrification). The tabula rasa approach in urban
development can be seen as a serious threat for the existence of urban culture and social structure that was
previously integrated in urban fabrics. Undoubtedly, this all leads not only to marginalization of urban poor, but
often to serious destruction of historic urban artefacts. As a result, the inner-city areas have lost its significance
in terms of sense of place and dynamics as well.
Source: W. Martokusumo, 1999

First, the discourse on challenges of design and change with regard to spatial design
and architecture of urban quarters has a close correlation with the maintenance of the
genius loci, since the spirit of place is an historic urban quarters most important aesthetic
attribute. Therefore the continuity and development of the quarters genius loci becomes
one of the most important design considerations in those quarter. Thus, here conservation
consists of all attempts to use and to explore wisely all related resources, and must be
accepted as an apparatus to obtain an understanding of the built environment within its
socio-cultural context.

Secondly, from various views on the idea of district preservation an argument was
defined that conservation movement should go beyond saving individual historic buildings
and call for concerns of total heritage. This effort can be designated to an area of
distinctive character, regardless the presence of individual buildings that according to
traditional criteria would have considered worthy of preservation. A key issue in
considering character is preventing historic buildings or urban quarters from becoming
merely empty symbols of past ways of life, or mere expressions of artistic endeavour or
taste, and instead aiming to retain the sense of living past. In this sense, it is the district
itself that matters.
Thirdly, comparing to the situation in the Western the age of the existing structures
and/or old building in specific urban quarters Indonesia is relative younger. The
heterogenic character of such artefacts and their diverse influence of culture need
comprehensive approach in assessment this patrimony of the past as an integrated part of
cultural environment. A complex task remains for the conservationists and stakeholders of
urban development to elaborate standard criteria for judgement and interpretation
regarding the significance of urban artefacts.
For a developing country conserving the past is not usually high on the list of priorities
(S. Cantacuzino, 1984). In recent years the exponential loss of cultural heritage as a result
of the rapid renewal and modernisation fabric is becoming a pressing concern to various
Third World cities (Yeoh and Huang, 1996). Historic centres are often former colonial
administrative and economic centres, and as evidences in Indonesia reveal, may contain a
number of architectural and spatial references that point symbolic of the domination of this
period. Rearranging the past to fit in with present-day agendas, however, is as much a
desire in developing countries as in the developed world. In some countries efforts on
conservation has been correlated with the goal of nation-building (Singapore) or just as a
means of rejecting the past urban planning models (Russia). Even in some cities,
conservation programmes are also closely associated with a discourse of removing
polluted and unhealthy landscapes. In this case, historic centres are often condemned in
terms of moral decay, crime and disorder, unsanitary housing and dimly-lit street
(Serageldin, 1997). In short: conservation is forwarded to improve or renew the centre, or
as a clean-up or rescue operation.

Fig. 4: The need of more spacious spaces


result in an addition of second to third floor of
the
existing
building.
Transferable
development rights, whose mechanism
should be first contextually tested, will
hypothetically enable the legal transfer of air
rights from historic building to another site.
Approach as such will retain the existing
significant buildings from development
pressures.
Source: Centre for Urban Design Studies,
Department of Architecture ITB, 2002

It is acknowledged that Indonesia is a country with abundance of historical layers. The


influences from Hinduism/Buddhism, until the modern times (after the independence) have
certainly shaped the structures of the settlements. The urban heritage -including
architecture and significant sites- needs to be effectively understood and integrated into
our evolving value system. This is necessary in order to provide a distinct identity for the
community and the nation as well. At the same time, it is worthy to examine the different
cultures, and the increasing convergence of values and lifestyles arising from the common
acceptance of todays contemporary world culture. For years, this has been indicated by
an increasing number of confrontational debates and critical comments relating to the
conflict of cultures between oriental and occidental (East and the West). Traditional values
that include vernacularism/regionalism can either provide strength and identity, and the
acceptance of todays more enlightened values. The positive aspects of our traditional
values will have to be recognized and supported before they can be adopted, transformed
and integrated into our fast-evolving values system. As highlighted before, the role of
conservation is to guarantee the continuity of those cultural richness.
However, Danisworo and Martokusumo (2002) conclude that current heritage
conservation exercises, although gaining a growing public support, are still based on trial
and error rather than through a well-formulated public policy oriented guidelines. It is,
therefore, compulsory that appropriate definitions, policies, and institutional framework
shall be conceptually formulated. Moreover, direct and real contributions in terms of social,
economic and cultural significance are still in question and/or being debated. It also
explains why the spreading and the acceptance of conservations ideas to local tradition
have been considered irrelevant.
[4]

Re-Thinking Tradition and Philosophical Basis for Conservation Policy


If one does not hear the past clearly and honestly, it cannot become part of ones work.
Architecture, like other visual arts, is in the final analysis the domain of the intuitive mind and
eye (C. Correa in: Contemporary Vernacular, 1997).

According to Adorno and Horkheimer6 the discourse of Aufklrung (entlightment) and


myth explains that modernity and tradition should not be conceived as a dualism, but
rather as dialectic (D. Ipsen, 1998). The dialectic between modernity-tradition, order-chaos
and entlightment-myth, also the dualism of modernity, will set up the basis of a
contemporary urbanism, which should open to diversity, multivalence and ambivalence as
well (D. Ipsen 1999). The current information society and the information industries are
based on the production of such distinctions and meanings, which strongly promote
plurality (K. Kurokawa, 1994).
The meaning of traditional spatial design for future development can be articulated
within the attempts of conservation. Theoretically conservation will have two related
dimensions, in which the tradition is not against the modernity and vice versa. Tradition
and modernity with their conflicts in term planning and politic, architecture and way of life,
stand in the present time hand in hand in compatibility. Thus, the redemption (Auslsung)
of the dualism will offer opportunities for new interpretation of meaning. The antithesis or
the contrast (Gegenstze) between modernity and tradition will enrich the appreciation of
existing cultural diversities reflected in spatial design. Thus, it includes the richness of
6

Cf. Max Horkheimer/Theodor W. Adorno, 1995.

variety of architectural form in our cultural environment. The historical traces embedded in
the architectural and spatial form play an important role not only as a source of collective
memory, but also -in the dynamic of changing context- will promote the process of
modernisation and transformation per se. Thus, with the new opportunities for
interpretation, possibilities for new utilization of existing urban fabrics are guaranteed. This
condition also expresses the closed relationship between, past, present and future. Such
discourse has in many ways relevancy with the idea of place making or identity making.
As previously mentioned, being confronted by conflicts between modernity and
tradition, between change and stagnation a carefully planned and designed framework of
change for our built environment is needed. As Habermas (1994) in his essay on
modernity argues, in line with the making of our Lebensraum public awareness and indepth understanding of conservation must be open to discourses. For this reason,
comprehensive thoughts on the state-of-the-art of the conservation our environment are
imperative.
Since more than the last two decades, a quest for identity in architecture and urbanism
Indonesia has been commenced. To reach this goal, it is agreed that the role of
architecture and urban design must be able to build form and norm of the built
environment. Furthermore, the building of the latter must certainly be based upon the
richness of the regional and cultural dimensions. This commitment was and is argued as a
solution to bridge the gap between the dichotomy of rural-tradition community (informal)
and urban-modern society (formal) in the realm of built environment. The problems of
architecture and urban design in search for national identity should not merely be
discussed in terms of style, but rather to re-interpret and re-articulate all existing concepts
of norms and values. Accordingly, one can here refer to the wisdom of traditionalindigenous architecture with strong influences of Hinduism, Buddhism and the richness of
colonial heritage as well7. The assessment of these valuable resources would and should
be the starting point to explore the identity of Indonesian urbanism.
Based upon arguments described all above, a special critical consideration to the
legacy of the past is a priority regarding the conservation. Creative and ingenious efforts
are necessary to preserve the existing precedents in architecture and urban design. The
essence of conservation activity which consists of all attempts to use and to explore wisely
all resources must be accepted as an apparatus to gain a new understanding and a
mechanism of re-thinking of traditional and colonial architecture. Looking backwards -by
conserving ideas and thoughts- has also eloquently been explained by Richard Rogers
(1988): In all fields, not least in architecture, it is generally accepted that to learn from
the past if the way forward and that history is a prime generator. Also, according to
Maitland in Tiesdell (1997): The city in history provides the themes and inspiration for
contemporary action, but in novel and unpredictable ways. From the point of method, this
kind of educational process could essentially be conceived as the Geist (spirit) of
conservation.
It is argued that in elaborating conceptual development and utilisation the historic
building and urban quarters, there must be significant contributions for the community.
This all should regard the present and future needs. Nonetheless, it is misleading to
7

Many appropriate materials and technological inventions were achieved by the case of Indische architecture
in Indonesia. Indische architecture is not just par excellence in elaborating architectural style, but rather it is the
product of creative and responsive design concerning climate, building technology and geographical context.

discuss conservation in terms of romanticism and preserving the past as it was, but rather
creating alternative solutions to the strategic issues of ongoing development. Cultural
sentiment against the colonialism should wisely be assessed, on the contrary the
precedents as such must be learned at their best advantage in order to create sustainable
cultural environment.
Michael Thomas (1994) argues that the conservation of the built environment can
assist in the maintenance of traditions of urban life and urban culture by keeping
(conserving) the physical structure of an urban society intact, with the communication
possibilities that that implies. It is also convinced that maintaining the interaction between
past and present, allowing the latter historically to inform and enrich the future, thereby
avoiding the tendencies to museumize the past as it is conserved. With the keyword
management of conflict, according to Tiesdell et al (1996), the act of planning in historic
urban quarters therefore is the process of managing change in a sensible and appropriate
manner to preserve the character of the locality, while at the same time permitting
necessary economic change.8 Such contention is also expressed by Burtenshaw et al
(1991): There is a need to plan for cities which are capable of evolution and can welcome
the future and accommodate the present without severing the thread of continuity of the
past. From this view one can hypothetically put forward, that conservation will have to
involve two conflicting processes, i.e. on one hand the rehabilitation of building and areas
of significance, and on the other hand the preservation. While the attempts on
rehabilitation aim to accommodate the consequences and requirements of economic
change, preservation seeks to limit change and protect a historic buildings and an areas
character as well.
[5]

Concluding Remarks: Conservation and Inspiration

From the discussion highlighted before, the realm of architecture and urban design is
important for understanding the political and cultural development of contemporary
Indonesia. Furthermore, that architecture and urban design have also a central and,
indeed, critical role in building the norms, and forms of the countrys society and politics. A
related problem is the preservation of the built heritage that in course of urban quality
certainly plays a major role in shaping and building both local and national identity. The
current political situation, in which the role of community within the context of public
participation, democracy and development becomes stronger, can be regarded as an
important starting point.
The conflict regarding the occupation of space and the repression of cultural practice
has been the current main theme of modern urban space, also the modernisation per se
(D. Ipsen, 1999). Thus the discussion on urban conservation in Indonesia recognises the
problem, in which the planning processes associated have not proportionally paid attention
to the existing urban structure and archaeological features, be that social, economic,
cultural and politic. That signifies a need of substantial and procedural improvements in
8

Whereas the internationalism of Modernism sought to make everywhere the same, postmodern has sought
inspiration from the local and the particular. As Maitland in Tiesdell (1996) states: where the context provides
some very clear historical morphology, the new project may derive its authority from its respect of that fact.
Accordingly an emphasis on the local and historic context has been paramount with a greater respect for the
uniqueness of the place and its history, and greater concerns for the continuity of its traditions. For historic
areas, the first step must be to recognize its value and a desire to preserve it. Increasingly, urban renewal and
redevelopment takes the form of mixture of old and new, for economic, cultural and aesthetic reasons.

terms of conservation and urban development. As Ipsen (1999) points out, approaches in
the planning policy must also be able to address realities sensitively and, to some extent
accommodate ambivalence in the current problems of urban development as well.
It is also clear enough, that with the keyword of management of change, it is necessary
to manage the conflicting interests in historic urban quarters which are capable of
evolution and can respond to the future and accommodate the present without severing
the thread of continuity of the past. Thus, conservation movement should also call for
concerns of total heritage. This refers to an area of distinctive character, regardless the
presence of individual buildings that according to traditional criteria would have
considered worthy of preservation. (S. Cantacuzino, 1984)
The basic idea of conservation aims to broaden the intellectual discourse and
appreciation. Even historical narratives and writings on urban artefacts become the
essential source of conservation movement, an in-depth understanding of conservation
should always offer opportunities and inspirations of new interpretation, re-thinking and
critical assessment of meaning anchored within the urban artefacts. New interpretations of
the meaning of conservation in urban development are required and therefore,
conservation, as this paper will argue, must be a part of the modernisation and
globalisation constructs. (D. Ipsen, 1998) In brief, conservation must also be a part of
future constructs, in which the time-space relation will be enhanced.
If one then argues, as the discussion above has pointed out, that national identity can
be achieved by conservation of our cultural heritage, thus the creation and the making of
our cultural milieu must apparently be based upon the realities. The process of
understanding of cultural urban patrimony and the appreciation of historical meaning will
certainly take time, since these two interrelated processes are part of a long and manifold
cultural maturity of community per se. Shortly, as once indicated, conservation is with no
doubt a culturally defined movement that need open ended discourse.
Last but not least, a new interpretation of the meaning of conservation in urban
development is undoubtedly required. Consequently, following Ipsen (1998), within the
time-space constellation conservation must be a part of the modernisation constructs and
future oriented.
[6]

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