The Death and Life of a Tropical Landscape: Envisaging a New Melaka, Malaysia

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The UNESCO heritage city of Melaka, Malaysia, is a historically rich centre, but one in which environmental, urban, and above all social crises are currently taking a heavy toll: building speculation, strong touristic spatial imbalances, reclamation work along the coast with immense dredging operations, deforestation of coastal mangroves, soil erosion, sea-water incursion, water pollution, and hydraulic risk are the heavy price paid for the city’s rapid and destructive development. In addition, it is also evident that behind the changes in the built landscape lies racial and religious discrimination against certain ethnic minorities. In this context a small fishing community, descants of the early Portuguese colonizers, merits special mention as pharaonic reclamation projects, and dredging work are destroying the marine ecosystem upon which the already severely compromised livelihood of these fishermen depends. This article aims to present a series of design scenarios to tackle complex issues at city scale. Design works start from the belief that the landscape is not only an environmental resource, but also a factor that can become an economic resource, a major driving force for alternative development of the territory and its cities and people.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTropical Constrained Environments and Sustainable Adaptations
Subtitle of host publicationBusinesses and Communities
EditorsSimona Azzali, K. Thirumaran
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-334-631-4
ISBN (Print)978-981-334-630-7
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameManaging the Asian Century
ISSN (Print)2364-5857

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project

Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Tropical landscape
  • Reclamation projects
  • Melaka city
  • Landscape economies
  • Design scenarios


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