Urban regeneration in Asia: mega-projects and heritage conservation
With the advent of globalization and the concept of creative economy, Asian cities are connecting to culture and increasingly reformulating urban regeneration by using culture-related activities. At the simplest level, culture strengthens the city’s identity and creates new narratives of place-making and economic development in declining inner city areas. The strategies adopted reflect the approaches to cultural regeneration of the Global North. The major methods include: building iconic mega-structures, transforming derelict industrial areas into cultural/entertainment districts, heritage mining and thematization – hosting cultural events and festivals, using cultural resources of the past to develop tourism. Examples include the Singapore River regeneration where the number one industry after conservation is leisure and entertainment. While attracting new activities and place-users, the regenerated spaces are being challenged by changes in their economic and social environments.