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Authors: LOH ZIXU
Keywords: Architecture
Design Technology and Sustainability
Ng Wai Keen
2011/2012 DTS
Red light district
Urban ecology
Issue Date: 26-Jan-2012
Citation: LOH ZIXU (2012-01-26). THE URBAN ECOLOGY OF A RED LIGHT DISTRICT : GEYLANG. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: It is true that the focus of any Red Light district is the provision and procurement of sex. However, the existence of a whole other myriad of activities associated or even complementary to prostitution is often overlooked. In studying the urban ecology of a red light district, this dissertation hopes to uncover and analyze the patterns and relationships present. Every red light district has a different composition as the ecology is dependent on the socio-cultural context - a term used to describe the habits and behaviours of people within the ecosystem. Therefore to form a picture of the ecology of any particular RLD, it is necessary to first understand the socio-cultural context of that RLD. A single specific RLD, Geylang, is chosen to be the focus ecosystem of study within this dissertation. Geylang is Singapore’s most famous Red Light District and spans a huge physical area with prostitutes and clients come from different backgrounds. A holistic approach towards understanding the RLD ecosystem is undertaken. Through interviews with regular patrons of the sex industry and the prostitutes themselves, on-site observations of how spaces are utilized, online discussions on forums with people well acquainted with Geylang’s flesh trade, as well as published books and sources online regarding prostitution in Singapore, the social-cultural context starts to unveil itself. The ‘organisms’ identified was divided into four categories – sex-providing spaces, civic and residential spaces, food spaces and commercial spaces in order to highlight the difference in the nature of each ‘organism’. This categorizing and documentation of each ‘organism’ is a necessary precursor to describing the links between them. Comparisons of the mappings of these spaces are made to see whether and if so, how these models of behaviour and usage translate into unique spatial distribution patterns. Adding the knowledge of the social-cultural context to an analysis of the spatial distribution of activities and places will enable the links and patterns within the RLD ecosystem to be better understood.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Restricted)

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