NAKHARA (Journal of Environmental Design and Planning)

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The structural change of Sawahlunto, Indonesia from a mining-based to a tourism-based economy has triggered environmental problems and challenges. Revitalization combined with conservation efforts became a priority in order to maintain the cultural dynamics of the ex-coal mining city. Cultural heritage conservation utilizing the urban fabric and mining-related installations has been criticized due to its emphasis on beautification. This paper argues that historic urban fabric contributes significantly to place making but these endeavors need strong political leadership. The case of Sawahlunto reveals the important nexus between physical intervention, rehabilitation of socio-economic activities and the problem of institutional development, which is often neglected due to conflicting interests.

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