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Formation of new partnership on built heritage and identity

  Published: 07 August 2018

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) announced the formation of a new Heritage and Identity Partnership (HIP), to support public-private-people collaboration in shaping and promoting Singapore’s built heritage and identity.

The HIP will take on an expanded role from the Conservation Advisory Panel  (CAP), which had ended its last tenure in May 2018. In addition to taking on the CAP’s role of providing advice to URA on ways to protect and conserve buildings, the HIP will contribute ideas to sustain the built heritage and memories of places, as we develop and rejuvenate our city.

URA CEO, Mr Lim Eng Hwee, thanked members of the CAP for their contributions over the years in shaping Singapore’s distinctive landscape. “Conservation of our built heritage has been done in partnership with the community to ensure that our conserved assets remain meaningful in celebrating our past, and relevant in meeting our current and future needs.  We are encouraged that many people are increasingly keen in contributing to Singapore’s heritage and identity. As we shape up plans for Singapore’s continued development as an economically competitive and liveable city, we also want to involve our partners more deeply in building an endearing home that is strong in heritage and identity”, he said.

Shaping a liveable and endearing future city together

The HIP comprises 18 members from diverse backgrounds and specialisations. They include individuals from the building industry, arts and heritage sector, journalism, business and property owners, and academia. The diverse composition of the HIP will contribute a wide range of perspectives and ideas. The HIP members are appointed on a two-year tenure. See Annex A [PDF, 90kb] for the list of members.

The HIP will engage in regular dialogue with URA to discuss ways to address issues concerning built heritage and identity, as well as promote and sustain the heritage and memories of places in development plans. For example, URA will be working with the HIP in the on-going Master Plan review, to seek their views on ways to meaningfully integrate built heritage and identity as part of the plans for new areas, and in the rejuvenation of the city.

URA will also work with the HIP to promote public understanding and appreciation of built heritage and identity. For instance, URA can reach out to the wider public through the HIP members’ networks to collect stories about heritage areas, as well as foster greater public awareness about the balanced approach involved in managing development and heritage in Singapore.

Mr Chan Sui Him, incoming Chairman of the HIP, said, “Through the conservation of buildings, Singapore has retained significant parts of her heritage landscape. The HIP presents an opportunity for us to go a step further to get more views on board to shape a future Singapore that is familiar and endearing to Singaporeans, even as we continue to progress and urbanise.”

Another member of the HIP, Mr Jerome Lim, added, “We often look at built heritage and urban spaces from an architectural and historical perspective, and less from a perspective of identity and what a place or building means to the person on the street. The HIP can now be a platform to broaden this view, especially with the greater diversity of its members. I hope I can contribute in a meaningful way, especially in discussions about places that provide us with sense of home and belonging, from the perspective of the man on the street.”

Strengthening Singapore's overall heritage through close collaboration

The formation of the HIP will help URA to better integrate stakeholders’ input on heritage and identity as part of the urban planning process. In addition, URA will continue to work closely with partner agencies and other stakeholders, such as the National Heritage Board and its expert panels, to facilitate collaboration in conservation, and in strengthening the overall heritage and identity of our built environment.

1 The CAP was formed in 2002 to provide advice to URA on conservation matters.