SEASS lecture: Livable City for Who?

Place-Making and Cultural Heritage in the era of Fragmented Urbanism

Public SEASS lecture by Dr. Rita Padawangi from the Asian Urbanisms Cluster, ARI, National University of Singapore

What is cultural heritage? What is livable city? These terms are important to understand in the context of contemporary cities. How do place-making and cultural heritage contribute to making a city livable? While current livable city indicators have their merit, many cities in rapidly developing countries are growing to become more fragmented, in which citizens in one neighborhood may have different aspirations of a livable city compared to others. Aspirational urban governance systems that do not recognize these fragmentations, as observed in the examples of Jakarta, Bandung and Surabaya in this short presentation, run the risk of bulldozing cultural heritage, as one city may contain several –and fragmented- understandings of heritage. In achieving a livable city, the reality of contemporary fragmented urbanism requires further explorations and appreciations of the following: 1) decentralization of urban governance to better capture each fragment; 2) bottom-up arts and cultural heritage; and 3) participatory mapping of existing cultural heritage in various neighborhoods to better support them.

Dr. Rita Padawangi


Dr. Rita Padawangi is a Senior Research Fellow of the Asian Urbanisms Cluster at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Loyola University Chicago where she was also a Fulbright Scholar for her M.A. studies. She has also been a Research Fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and the Global Asia Institute, National University of Singapore; Center for Urban Research and Learning at Loyola University Chicago; and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Jakarta.

Welcome and commentary by Dr. Rasmus Christian Elling, Global Urban Studies, UCPH

The lecture is part of the Southeast Asia Signature Series (SEASS)
SEASS coordinator & contact: 
Mark Philip Stadler, MA, MSc