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OS Number: 03

URBAN STUDIO PROJECT:


URBAN REGENERATION APPROACH OF HERITAGE BUFFER
ZONE IN KAMPUNG JAWA, MELAKA CITY

ABSTRACT
This paper discusses on the process of urban design
project based on planning and urban conservation of
Master in Urban Design program at Universiti Teknologi
Malaysia. The study area is situated at Kampung Jawa in
Melaka which is a heritage buffer zone and vitality area
that connects to a historical core zone and other adjacent
buffer zones. In late 1850s, Kampung Jawa was a vital
commercial center with variety of entertainments and
cultural activities. Physical development as tangible
heritage and social cultural integrity as intangible activities
are the key components to delineate the liveliness of this
place. Currently, competitive agglomeration of peripheral
new commercials has caused a significant decline to
Kampung Jawa economy which turned it to a dying and
dull place. To revitalise the place, this studio conducted a
design methodology constituted of initial understanding
on site historical background, literature review study, field
visit to verify site issues and interview with locals. The
design process continued with design rationales,
solutions and recommendation to interpret an urban
regeneration strategy to the place. As a result, the design
process enabled students to understand urban
conservation theories, urban design technique and
application on how to regenerate a poor urban place
while maintaining its identity of place as a traditional
shopping district.
Keywords: Regeneration, buffer zone, urban design
studio, design process

1. INTRODUCTION
Kampung Jawa is located in a buffer zone and situated
near to Melaka River. The project study area inclusive
important streets located adjacent to this heritage buffer
zone which are Jalan Bunga Raya, Jalan Kee Ann, and
Jalan Munsyi Abdullah. Another streets positioned at the
boarder of core zone are Jalan Kampung Hulu and Jalan
Kampung Pantai. All of the streets are linking both
physically and visually connected to the main access to
Kampung Jawa.
th

In the late 18 century, Kampung Jawa begun as a


fisherman village and later turned into a popular traditional

shopping district constituted of bazaar, vendor, hawkers,


municipal market, street activities, night market, old bus
station and cinema. The perceptive on identity of place
can be recognized by senses, experiences, and physical
environment (Lynch, 1960; Relph, 1976). For Kampung
Jawa, the uniqueness of this place renown as traditional
shopping center to get cheap-price merchandises
comprise of varieties household utensils, textiles, bridal
accessories, handicrafts, hawker foods and street vendor
activities (Melaka Municipal Council, 2006). Llewelyn
(2000) also believed to understand and recognise the
local characteristic is regard to history and morphology of
the past uses, nature landscape and buildings. Instead of
vivacity commercial activities, Kampung Jawas
landscape comprised of local architecture including
townhouse (shophouses), residential dwellings, and the
Madrasah Al-Hidayah which is an old Malay mosque
located near to Melaka River.
At present, Kampung Jawa is facing economic decline
because of the commercial competition. Due to factor of
closing municipal market, the local traditional business
especially bazaar and vendor activities are affected and
declined. Additionally, after fire tragedy, the local
inhabitants had turned it into slum residential. However,
Gadlini (2005) explicated a sustainable liveable city can
be accomplished through urban regeneration.
Regeneration strategy is imposed through socialeconomic revitalization, cultural conservation, local
heritage resources enhancement, and rehabilitation in
alleviating against the grey field destructions. This
approach may turn Kampung Jawa to a sustainable
development.
The aim of study is to prepare urban regeneration project
using urban design methodology and techniques. Spirit of
place is being use as attribute to indicate design
implications for further design process. As mentioned by
Karaman (2001), the identifiable spirit of place or the site
essence is an imperative discourse and practices in urban
design. In other words, a spirit of place or genus loci is a
good attempt to study about the nature of site precisely
(Moughtin, et al., 1999). Hence, this paper explains the
urban design studio pedagogical and methodology

process to reveal the regeneration approach executed in


Kampung Jawa.

2. REGENERATE KAMPUNG JAWAS IDENTITY


The term of regeneration defined as an inclusive aims
and action to resolve urban dilapidated and declining area
through enhancing economic fabrics, physical constraint,
social, environmental condition and rehabilitation
(Roberts, 2000; Peter, 2000; Portas, 2004 & Galdini,
2005). Galdini (2005) also emphasized the urban
regeneration strategy contributed to the reconstruction of
urban identity and heritage preservation. Additionally
Peter (2000) stated that urban generation principle should
base on sustainability aim. This means that the intimate
influences of urban regeneration is a comprehensive
process to reach a sustainable development. The goal of
regeneration process is to ensure communities
participation mainly to increase people living qualities
(Galdini, 2005; & Ciftci et al., 2010). In another
perspective, Wansborough and Mageean (2000)
disputed cultural led to regeneration as an integral part of
regeneration process. They also revealed the integration
of traditional commercial, cultural and mix used
development can revive the economic strategy in
regeneration program. Despite the cultural vitality enables
to rejuvenate the physical development, architecture and
historical conservation, social- economic revitalization and
create local identity to the urban area (Wansborough &
Mageean, 2000; Galdini, 2005 & Ciftci, et al., 2010.). As
summary, the urban regeneration concept at Kampung
Jawa is to recover its physical environment, intangible
heritage and urban living quality. The interpretation of
cultural identity renewal is important to regenerate
traditional commercial, cultural activities, livelihoods, and
create places that allow meaningful activities in Kampung
Jawa. In sum, public participation is leading to the
sustainable
achievement
through
regeneration
development.

3. URBAN DESIGN METHODOLOGY


Urban design studio prescribed as a systematic process
deal with design theories and technical methods to attain
design solution (Moughtin, et al., 1999). Literally, this
urban design project is completed in within a semester
and committed by individual study and group project. This
project is started from January to May 2011, which took
five months to be completed. During urban design studio
learning process, studio master was leading each studio
meeting on urban design theories input, group

discussions, brainstorming,
presentations.

critique

sessions

and

Initially, literature study helped to increase the proficiency


perceptive and understanding of urban regeneration
approach to revive Kampung Jawa in the deteriorated
condition. The field survey included site inventory and
observation, and interview survey. Three site visits were
conducted to collect data on physical structure, building
use, land values, streetscape, visual characteristics,
circulation, accessibility and pedestrian count to examine
the site issues. As Llewelyn (2000) mentioned site
characteristic assessment is a decisive to comprehend
urban regeneration project. Concurrently, those key urban
design techniques integrate contextual studies and site
issues implications to prepare initial conceptual design.
The design process of Kampong Jawas urban
regeneration project was conducted in three stages: site
preparation, data collection and analysis, and design
implementationview Fig. 1. These stages were
performed in four design techniques: literature review, site
survey, design rationale, design development, feasibility
study and design guideline and report (Table 1). The
design process has contributed vital findings to the urban
regeneration master plan that encapsulate with design
guidelines.
Table 1: Urban design studio methods
Design
Functions
Methods
1. Literature General understanding about urban
review
conservations and urban regeneration
approach. Background study is vital to
clarify the history of Kampung Jawa.
The insights of secondary data and
literature references are initiative to
outline preliminary idea of studio project.
2. Site
Three site visits had been undertaken:
survey
first to familiarize site milieu, observation
survey to investigate physical site
conditions base on site issues, visual
assessment, pedestrian and traffic
survey are conducted to appraisal
townscapes and physical characteristic
of Kampung Jawa. Finally, interview
surveys technique used to obtain more
perceptual
and
opinions
from
stakeholder and local community
regarding to site issues and responsive
to new developments.

Fig. 1: Urban design studio stages and design process flow chart.

3. Design
rationales

4. Design
develop
ment

5. Feasibility
study

6. Design
guideline
and
report

The qualitative and quantitative data are


analysed and translated into mapping
which refer to the categorised of site
issues. All of the particular findings for
site potentials and constraints are used
to synthesize design rationales.
Design concept is developed and
translates into master plan layout.
Additionally, graphic presentation such
as elevations, sections, sketches, and
3D images are prepared to illustrate the
overview and impression of design idea.
Computer aided tools such as AutoCad,
Adobe photoshop and 3D-max advance
to produce outstanding character
illustrations.
The feasibility study is designated to
ensure the design proposal is able to get
economic returns and the design
proposal is benefit to deliverable.
All the design guidelines are undertaken
and recommended to design proposal.
The report writing is comprised all the
project descriptions and design
suggestions present in the illustrations
and diagrammatic format.

4. FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION


Through the field study and analysis, there are seven
main issues faced by Kampong Jawa community which
were: (1) dying genus loci resulted to the lost of liveliness
activities and commercials competition from adjacent
area; (2) segregation from major development of historic
core zone of Melaka city; (3) low land value; (4)
impermeable vehicular access; (5) incompatible building
use; (6) poor streetscape, unmanaged building
conditions, unattractive and dirty environment; and (7) the
regeneration accomplishment will affect locals
displacement. These factors resulted negative impacts to
the urban village including abandoned sites, poor building
conditions, neglected and displeasing spaces, slum
residential site, derelict commercial building, land
conversion disputation, and land compensation (Figure 2).
Nevertheless, from the site inventory and interview, it was
found that the residents would accept any new changes
as along Kampung Jawa identity is remained traditional
shopping is preserved.

Fig. 2: 38% of vacant buildings are identified in Kampung


Jawa (left) and inadequate provision urban amenities
impact to low land values and (right).

4.1 DESIGN CONCEPT


Kampung Jawa regeneration development goal is to
revitalize its identity of place and thus protect the local
culture of its people into a lively living community. The
design idea Theatre of Life meant to bring back
liveliness In Kampung Jawa by reconciling spaces for
people activities. Provision of spaces for people to
participate in live-theatrical experiences can contribute in
restoring and prolonging identity of place in Kampung
Jawa. This concept symbolizes that most convivial and
lively activities generated via culture-social and economic
activities. Collectively, the design rationales are used as
guidance tool to elaborate conceptual theme and support
the master plan planning.

4.2 MASTER PLAN


The master plan proposal (refer to Fig. 3) focuses on
regeneration of five aspects: (1) physical and visual
connection, (2) genus loci enhancement, (3) to improve
imbalance development, (4) reconnected open spaces
and (5) adaptive reuse existing shophouses. Firstly,
makes use the opportunity to strengthen visual and
physical linkages to reconnect Kampung Jawa to the
important commercial street at Jalan Bunga Raya and
open up a new gateway to historic core zone at Jalan
Kampung Hulu. In fact, enhance the visual quality at
riverfront to control building height, proportional, skylines,
and development scale to prevent visual obstructed. The
restoration of genus loci in Kampung Jawa is a vital
regeneration attainment. Emphasize on street activities,
pedestrian environment, and riverfront activities are to
preserve and maintain the local identity and the
distinctiveness characters. Thus, these formal and
informal activities capable to boost up the stage of life by
interacting between local people, physical development,
uses, meanings, and the sense of place to Kampung
Jawa. Economic revitalization constituent is to imbalance
developments overcome by compatible land use and
commercial stimulation such as mix use development
and traditional shopping bazaar intense to revive local
economic. Moreover, land use improvements and
residential rehabilitation heightens to quality of life and
better living condition for local communities.

Fig. 3: Master plan design layout (left) and aerial of new


commercials frontage are facing to the riverfront in
Kampung Jawa (right).

Reconnecting these isolated opens spaces and pocket


areas incorporate landscape composition to create
meaningful and multifunction recreational and gathering
places. The tendency of linking these open spaces
enables more cultural activities, street activities and event
celebration help to prolong the identity to Kampung Jawa.
Ultimately, adaptive reuse of vacant buildings introduced
to conserve and retain architectural integrity in order to
generate economic vitality. Those design essences are
integrated into master plan and detail areas design (refer
to Table 2). The detail areas such as pedestrian mall,
green open spaces, street activity, leisure riverfront,
handicrafts gallery, commercial used, and mix use
developments cooperatively to support urban
regeneration approach and design guidelines.

Detail area
1. Pedestrian
mall

2. green
Pocket
spaces
3. Hawker
centre &
fruit stall
4. Gallery

5. Bazaar

6. Riverfront

7. Mixed use
developm
ent

Table 2: Detail areas


Functions
Pedestrian mall connected between
commercial buildings create attractive
pedestrian environment for shopping
and outdoor activities. This pedestrian
mall is linked with drama square,
vendor corner, and memorial wall.
Therefore, pedestrian be able to
provide greater, safe, and enjoyable
walking experiences.
Pocket spaces provide green
amenities for local neighbourhoods for
outdoor recreation and friendly
walking environment.
Hawker centres and fruit stalls
convivial to street activities and
ambience at Jalan Kee Ann.
Gallery located at riverfront is
important for exhibition, entertainment,
and commercial purposes. The
handicraft is essential to attract tourist,
increase local income and contributed
in protecting and preserving local
heritage and culture.
The revitalized of Kampung Jawa
Bazaar functions as traditional
shopping centre for locals and visitors
to get varieties merchandises.
The outdoor cafes and restaurants
situated by riverfront plaza created
nodes activities and manifested
panoramic riverfront view.
Mixed use development is to improve
the quality of life and local inhabitants.
The commercial used and amenities
such as basement parking is to
support local needs.

5. CONCLUSION
In conclusion, urban design regeneration strategy fosters
Kampung Jawa to achieve equilibrium and a sustainable

development in conserving the significance identity.


Inasmuch, the design proposal of urban regeneration and
rationales collectively in giving a new perspective towards
protecting local cultural and restores its heritage
characteristics. In this study, urban design methodology
executes a cyclical processes begin with site study, data
collection and design implementation stage to gain urban
design skills and urban conservation pedagogical.
Undoubtedly, the accumulative in literature review
research, site study, interview methods have established
an encouraging learning experience as well as research
technique for urban design studio exercises. In other
words, the narrative of studio learning outcomes and
constantly process greatly carry out on design intuitions,
adaptation of theoretical knowledge, increase critical
thinking and similarly to generate the sensitivity towards
urban design solutions. On the other hand, this studio
progression is distinguished to other former urban studio
method. Whereby the studio nurturing learning method
inclusive: site familiarization for first site visit, site issues
verification
and
discussion,
design
rationale
determinations for design decision, and feasibility study
for economic reality. As result, the appreciation to this
urban studio is inspired by the learning entity viable to
design methods, technique application and design
solutions.

REFERENCES
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Municipal Council (MBMB).
Moughtin, J.C. et al. (1999). Urban design: method and
techniques. Architectural Press.
Relph, E. (1976). Place and Pacelessness. Pion
Limited, London.
Roberts, & Peter, B. (2000). The evolution, definition
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Hugh Sykes (eds.) Urban Regeneration. A handbook.
London: Sage.
Peter, B. (2000). Urban Regeneration In Britain:
Progress, Principles And Prospects International
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from the Sustainability and Private Sector Initiatives of the
EU, Tokyo, Japan.
Wansborough, M. and Mageean, A. (2000). The Role
of Urban Design in Cultural Regeneration. Journal of
Urban Design, Vol. 5 Issue 2, p181-197.