Urban Political Ecologies of Heritage: Integrating Cultural and Natural Landscapes in Penang, Malaysia

Connolly, Creighton (2020) Urban Political Ecologies of Heritage: Integrating Cultural and Natural Landscapes in Penang, Malaysia. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 45 (1). pp. 168-180. ISSN 0020-2754

Full content URL: http://doi.org/10.1111/tran.12335

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Urban Political Ecologies of Heritage: Integrating Cultural and Natural Landscapes in Penang, Malaysia
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Abstract

Over the past few decades, there have been numerous studies examining the interface between cultural heritage conservation and urban (re)development, particularly in rapidly developing regions. On the other hand, scholars have also examined nature conservation movements in the con-text of encroaching (urban) development. However, this body of research has, with a few exceptions, not considered the inter-relationship between natural and cultural heritage in urban settings. The pa-per argues that a renewed understanding of urban heritage - consisting of both cultural and natural elements – is required for effective and socio-ecologically sustainable approaches to heritage conservation and urban development. To illustrate this argument, the paper draws on an empirical examina-tion of Penang Hill, which is a culturally and ecologically significant area of Penang Island, Malaysia. In conceptualising this relationship, the paper draws on the urban political ecologies of landscape, which is useful in examining the urbanisation of nature and problematising distinctions between urban/rural and natural/cultural. As I will demonstrate, invocations of Penang’s rich natural heritage are often framed alongside urban and cultural heritage in local resistance to these developments, which relate to the particular socio-environmental sensibilities of local stakeholders. The analysis is based on discursive analysis of primary written sources and original interviews with local residents and civil society activists, which helps to demonstrate the crucial role of local communities in achieving more socio-ecologically just forms of heritage management.

Keywords:heritage, Landscape, Conservation, political ecology, Malaysia
Subjects:L Social studies > L722 Urban Geography
L Social studies > L700 Human and Social Geography
Divisions:College of Science > School of Geography
ID Code:36807
Deposited On:04 Sep 2019 08:25

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