Heritage · postA

Challenge of World Heritage and Reborn – YANZHE

The heritage could indicate different aspects such as architecture, dining or culture. These heritages are developed through centuries accumulation and have certain value to the public, however, due to globalization and other urban social movements, these heritages are facing the threat of extinction or other challenges. This blog would take Singapore’s Central Fire Station and eco-environment as example about its history and resolution to the problems.

Heritage (Definition and current status)

Heritage could be divided into several different aspects such as history, art, science or nature environment, however, these heritages are valuable to maintain and protect for the benefits of future generation (UNESCO 2016).

Take Australia as an example the culture heritage may include Hyde Park Barracks and the most represented environmental heritage would be the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland.

hyde park

Hyde Park Barracks (McMahon 2006)

Image Collection Officer

Great Barrier Reef (GBRMPA 2016)


Singapore’s heritage (Central Fire Sation)

The Central Fire Station of Singapore is one of the heritages constructed during early 20th century. As the materials used on building were usually flammable, fires frequently outbreaks and caused significant social, economic lose, therefore, British administration established the first professional firefighting force and station in Singapore (National Heritage Board 2015).


Central Fire Station (Remember Singapore 2012)

Challenge of Singapore’s heritage

The Central Fire Station was used to provide accommodation for firefighter and a place for daily training; however, the red and white painting of the station has changed to camouflage during the WW2 to prevent bomber pilots. After the war, Central Fire Station continue provide emergency rescue and firefighting service for the city, however, duo to the dramatic increasing amount of population and equipment updated, the station has become lack of capacity to continue serving the residents (103rd Meridian East 2012).

Resolution (Central Fire Station)

The architecture of Central Fire Station was design by William Ferguson, the well recognized red and white colors is known as the ‘blood and bandage’, which represent the purpose of rescue and save of the station (National Heritage Board 2015). As the building has around a hundred years history, it has certain culture and memorial value to Singaporeans; therefore, Singapore Civil Defense Force has transformed the station into Heritage Gallery since 1989 (Clarissa 2012).

fire car2

The firefighting vehicle in Central Fire Station (Meka 2014)

fire museum

Display of firefighting equipment in the museum for educational purpose (Meka 2014)

After the transformation, Central Fire Station continues to serve for a smaller area that covers CBD and Chinatown. In addition, the educational contribution of the station has outweighed its original purpose that delivers the knowledge of firefighting and the importance to prevent fire hazard (National Heritage Board 2015).

scfs education

Singapore’s civil defense force educational program (Embassy of The United State 2011)

Environmental Heritage

In many nations, the environmental heritages are the most valuable treasure not even for the tourism attraction but also for the diversity and balance of ecological system, therefore, some maintainance and protection are necessary for the benefit of future generation (Australian Government 2016).

gbr protection

Protection project for environmental heritage (Twomey 2012)

Challenge of Current Singapore’s ecosystem

Singapore is located at the tropical region, therefore, rainforest and the diverse ecosystem is the gift to Singapore. However, the rapid development project and urbanization has significantly reduced the cover range of rainforest. According to Encyclopedia (2016), from 1980 to 2010 the size of rainforest in Singapore has reduced 90% due to the urban construction and economic development.

Singapore: The Green City

To prevent the harm to local environment, Singapore has invested significantly on clean energy, green technology, park and garden in the city. Compare to other countries green authority, the National Parks Board of Singapore has relative greater power that allow it to introduce the vision of ‘City in a Garden’, and achive certain success (Tay 2015).

green city.png

‘City in a Garden’ framework of Singapore (Tan 2012)


Singapore’s park – Gardens By the Bays (Luc 2012)




Image reference:

Embassy of The United State of Singapore 2011, Ambassador Adelman’s Visit to the Central Fire Station, Embassy of The United State of Singapore, 10 September, viewed 12 January 2016, http://singapore.usembassy.gov/2011-events.html

GBRMPA 2016, Australian heritage photographic library search results, Australia Government Department of the Environment, viewed 11 January 2016, http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/heritage/photodb/imagesearch.pl?placeid=105060;proc=detail;start_rownum=3;last_rownum=3;no_rows=56;mode=full

Luc, C 2012, ‘Foreigners will pay more for Singapore new “Gardens By the Bay”’, Travel Daily News, 27 June, viewed 13 January 2016, http://www.traveldailynews.asia/news/article/49839/foreigners-will-pay-more-for

McMahon, J 2006, Australian heritage photographic library search results, Australia Government Department of the Environment, viewed 11 January 2016, http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/heritage/photodb/imagesearch.pl?proc=detail;barcode_no=dig002537

Meka 2014, Central Fire Station, Built in Singapore, web blog post, 21 June, viewed 12 January 2016, http://www.builtinsg.net/builtinsg-blog/

Remember Singapore 2012, Central Fire Station, WorldPress blog, web blog post, 03 July, viewed 12 January 2016, http://remembersingapore.org/central-fire-station/

Tan, T 2012, Dense, small city can be clean and green, WordPress, web blog post, 27 June, viewed 13 January 2016, https://cmns3520mtm.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/dense-small-city-can-be-clean-and-green/

Twomey, D 2012, UN team gets Great Barrier Reef protection petition, Eco News, 15 March, viewed 13 January 2016, http://econews.com.au/13908/un-team-gets-great-barrier-reef-protection-petition/


Text reference:

Australian Government 2016, Biodiversity, plants and wildlife, Australian Government Department of Environment, viewed 12 January 2016, http://www.australia.gov.au/information-and-services/environment/biodiversity-plants-and-wildlife

Clarissa, O 2012, ‘Fire station’s blazing story: The Central Fire Station may have needed to move with the times and expand, but its iconic facade stays’, The Straits Times, 05 August, 12 January 2016, ProQuest Central database.

Encyclopedia 2016, Singapore, Encyclopedia, viewed 13 January 2016, http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Singapore.aspx

Singapore Government National Heritage Board 2015, Central Fire Station, Singapore Government National Heritage Board, viewed 12 January 2016, http://www.nhb.gov.sg/places/sites-and-monuments/national-monuments/central-fire-station

Tay, E 2015, 2015 Guide to Singapore Government Funding and Incentives for the Environment, Green Future Solutions, web blog post, 16 February, viewed 13 January 2016, http://www.greenfuture.sg/2015/02/16/2015-guide-to-singapore-government-funding-and-incentives-for-the-environment/

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization 2016, World Heritage, UNESCO, viewed 11 January 2016, http://whc.unesco.org/en/about/

103 Meridian East 2012, Singapore’s Central Fire Station: A Century Old Architecture Gem, 103 Meridian East, viewed 12 January 2016, http://meridian103.com/issue-4/history/central-fire-station/

2 thoughts on “Challenge of World Heritage and Reborn – YANZHE

  1. This blog introduced many heritage design works for us, some of them are Australian heritage, and some of them are from Singapore where we would go in a few days. Different countries have different heritages, the heritages those are mentioned in the text are also from different aspects, there are architecture, art, environment, natural landscape, history and so on. They can be real that you can touch on them. Some of them might just be a plan or an idea. I previously didn’t know a wide variety of heritages in this article, I think this is a big help through reading it.
    -Shiyi Shao


  2. What an interesting point to Singapore’s innovative approach to tackling the challenges implemented by rapid urban growth. The growth in population and construction of more domesticated and technology driven lifestyle can pose as a threat to the irreplaceable physical environment.

    Singapore, however, just from panoramic views of the cityscape via google earth and other general images, shows plenty of greenery despite the lack of area and growing population. Singapore makes use of its location within the tropical region and scarcity of natural resources for ‘clean energy’ and green technology to see that the natural environment is not sacrificed in the place of urbanisation.


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