Contesting Space in Colonial Singapore: Power Relations and the Urban Built Environment
Brenda S. A. Yeoh
In the British colonial city of Singapore, municipal authorities and Asian communities faced off over numerous issue. As the city expanded, disputes arose in connection with sanitation, housing, street names, control over pedestrian 'five-foot-ways', and sacred spaces such as burial grounds. Brenda Yeoh's Contesting Space in Colonial Singapore details these conflicts and how they shaped the city.
The British administration structured the private and public environments of the city with an eye toward shaping human behaviour, following scientific principles and the lessons of urban planning in other parts of the world. For the Asian communities, Singapore was the place where they lived according to their own values, priorities and resources. The two perceptions of the city frequently clashed, and the author reads the cityscape of Singapore as the result of this contest between discipline and resistance.
Drawing on meticulous research and a theoretically sophisticated use of cultural and social geography, post-colonial historical discourse, and social theory, the author offers a compelling picture of a critical stage in Singapore's past. It is an important contribution to the study of colonial cities and an indispensable resource for understanding the shape of modern Singapore.
Brenda S.A. YEOH is Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the National University of Singapore, and Co-Principal Investigator of the Asian MetaCentre for Population and Sustainable Development at the University's Asia Research Institute. She is the co-editor of Gender and Migration (2000), and co-author of Singapore: A Development al City State (1997), andConstructions of Nation: The Politics of Landscape in Singapore (2003).
«What a splendid book this is!»
Journal of Southeast Asian Studies
«Historical urban geography at its best!»
Progress in Human Geography
[A Singapore: Studies in History and Society Series]
publication year: 2003
ISBN: 978-9971-69-268-1 Paperback US$30.00 S$38.00