Challenges of Heritage Development Projects in Macau and Penang: Preservation and Anti-Preservation

  • Peter Zabielskis


This chapter critiques what easily happens when heritage preservation is considered primarily for the purpose of tourist development rather than the needs and values of local residents. The analytic proposed, in two Asian case studies (Macau SAR, China; and Penang, Malaysia) is that houses—so often the key focal point of both preservation projects and heritage narratives—all too often end up cleaned up and emptied out in what amounts to an inappropriately universal modernist emphasis on an objectified material design aesthetic that minimizes lived experiences and identities. Despite good intentions, such projects easily distance heritage away from local uses toward a more general and standardized type of globalized commercialization/commodification of history and culture despite recently widespread efforts to preserve more “intangible” aspects of heritage.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Zabielskis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of MacauMacau SARChina

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