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Title: Dynamic Place Attachment as Enabler in Redevelopment Programs of Singapore Public Housing Neighborhoods
Authors: Rivka, Nirit Ellenbogen
Trivic, Zdravko 
Issue Date: 11-Sep-2022
Publisher: Łódź University of Technology Press
Citation: Rivka, Nirit Ellenbogen, Trivic, Zdravko (2022-09-11). Dynamic Place Attachment as Enabler in Redevelopment Programs of Singapore Public Housing Neighborhoods. INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR ON URBAN FORM - ISUF 2022. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Background. In Singapore, characterized by land scarcity, rapidly changing demographic conditions, and strong social and ethnic integration policies, over 80% of population lives in public-housing. Massive urban regeneration-induced displacement programs, including village clearance until 1990, Selective En-bloc Scheme (SERS) ongoing since 1995, and Voluntary Early Redevelopment Scheme (VERS) expected from late 2030s, have historically shaped the physical and societal environments, and are expected to intensify in the coming decades. Objectives. Due to such rising uncertainty and change, this paper highlights the harmful disruptions to communities’ place-attachment, and seeks to illuminate complex people-place relations. We hypothesize that the occurrence of place-attachment relates to presence, function and continuity of the adaptive socio-ecological system, which promotes it. We ask: What are the key-components and structure of this socio-ecological system? How can it promote dynamic occurrence of place-attachment and shape better redevelopment/relocation processes and impacts? Method. We propose an original conceptual framework to capture dynamic nature of place-attachment at displacement, comprising four interdependent dimensions of the socio-ecological system, with a heart at their intersection, namely: socio-spatial network, community ties, engagement/negotiation, and continuity/familiarity. Through theories of assemblages and affordances we aim to explain dynamic interrelations between these components, and how residents negotiate the place to acquire affordances and construct place-meanings. A pilot study was conducted in Tanglin Halt neighborhood, currently undergoing its third displacement project. It included policy-review, spatial-mapping and analysis, first-person observations, 137 surveys with local residents and visitors, and 39 interviews and/or group discussions. Findings. Key-findings indicate that displacement, as a major event in residents’ lives, triggers both grief and anticipation. Furthermore, they highlight the continuous role of built environment, socio-spatial heart in particular, in dynamically constructing place-attachment over-time, being the vital contributors to socio-ecological system’s resilience. Conclusions. Considering dynamic (rather than stagnant) nature of place-attachment can improve future relocation policies/processes and enable mobility.
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