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Strengthening The Nation’s Roots? Heritage Policies In Singapore

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Chapter Summary

In the immediate post-independence period and for at least two decades after, Singapore?s preoccupation with constructing a new nation-state based on a vision of modernity required the erasure of traces of the past on the urban landscape, thought to impede the work of the new order. This chapter gives attention to the emergence in the mid-1980s of a State-crafted heritage policy and its subsequent development in the next two decades. It examines significant heritage initiatives and projects, including the conservation of historic and cultural districts, heritage centres related to World War II, and a variety of museums. Drawing primarily on a nationwide survey conducted in 2002, the chapter explores popular attitudes towards various aspects of the State?s heritage policy and heritage activities before drawing the key issues to a close in the light of post-industrialisation.

Keywords: cultural districts; heritage activities; heritage policy; historic districts; Singapore; urban landscape



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