Heritage Conservation on Local Level Battambang Municipality, Kingdom of Cambodia

Battambang City is the one of the oldest cities of Cambodia. It has been inherited a rich urban heritage with a great variety of fine historic architecture from different historic periods, representing the diverse phases of the city's development. The city center is characterized by a coherent ensemble of about 800 heritage buildings from the French protectorate and Sungkum Reastr Niyum (period of the country's independence, 1953-1970).

Outside of this area, outstanding heritage buildings including new Khmer architecture, French -classical style villas and Khmer traditional wooden houses can be found. Throughout the city beautiful Wats represent the city's religious heritage. All these historic buildings and ensembles contribute to the city's unique character and beauty.

Since 2000, with the economic boom, the rapid uncontrolled development in Battambang city has led to the loss of valuable heritage buildings and its unique character. Traditional shophouses are gradually disappearing and being replaced by monstrosities and inappropriate new constructions disrespecting the urban context and with no sense of history.

With this concern, the heritage conservation unit of Battambang municipality has been formed and a public campaign has been launched to promote awareness about urban heritage conservation with the title "OUR CITY-OUR HERITAGE". This campaign aims at preserving the valuable heritage buildings with their original appearance, in order to sustain the cultural identity and unique historic character of the city. Not only Battambang citizens can benefit of their cultural heritage, also the increasing tourism development and the local economy.

The presentation will consist of the first steps of implementation; show the main work results and challenges, lesson learned and the future perspective for the Master Plan Team of Battambang Municipality.

Mr. Som Sangvasak
local expert, Master Plan Team.

Sak_The City Development and the Challenge of Heritage Building.pdf1.37 MB