Past, Present and Future: Conserving the Nation's Built Heritage

Conserving the Nation's Built Heritage: Chinatown Shophouses

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Today, Singapore stands out for its unique urban landscape: historic districts, buildings and refurbished shophouses blend seamlessly with modern buildings and majestic skyscrapers. This startling transformation was no accident, but the combined efforts of many dedicated individuals from the public and private sectors in the conservation-restoration of our built heritage.

Past, Present and Future: Conserving the Nation’s Built Heritage brings to life Singapore’s urban governance and planning story. In this Urban Systems Study, readers will learn how conservation of Singapore’s unique built environment evolved to become an integral part of urban planning. It also examines how the public sector guided conservation efforts, so that building conservation could evolve in step with pragmatism and market considerations to ensure its sustainability through the years.

“ Singapore’s distinctive buildings reflect the development of a nation that has come of age. This publication is timely, as we mark 30 years since we gazetted the first historic districts and buildings. A larger audience needs to learn more of the background story of how the public and private sectors have creatively worked together to make building conservation viable and how these efforts have ensured that Singapore’s historic districts remain vibrant, relevant and authentic for locals and tourists alike, thus leaving a lasting legacy for future generations.”

Mrs Koh-Lim Wen Gin, Former Chief Planner and Deputy CEO of URA.