December 10, 2018

Indonesia: New horizons for the old tin mining town of Muntok

Every year, Indonesian cultural heritage professionals gather during the Pan-Sumatra Network for Heritage Conservation. This year’s focus was a training and capacity-building session on Unesco’s Historic Urban Landscape approach.

The chosen venue was the old tin mining town of Muntok (Bangka), with its European, Chinese and Malayan harbour districts. Prior to this event, a workshop was organised by the University of Indonesia, Trisakti University, Heritage Hands On and the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands. Students from universities in Medan, Padang and Jakarta explored challenges and opportunities for Muntok by following a Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) Quick Scan method developed by the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands. This method enables practitioners to understand an urban landscape in a relatively short period of time and formulate principles and proposals for its future development, based on tangible and intangible urban heritage features. Exploration, inspiration and translation are key elements in this approach.

Street interviews in Muntok provided input, and local authorities stimulated discussions on how to deal with the city’s challenges. This try-out of the HUL Quick Scan method in Muntok proved to be very fruitful. The results were presented at the training session, where they received a lot of positive response and provided grounds for enthusiasm and commitment with regard to possible follow-up actions in Muntok. An accomplishment which was mainly due to the students, whose achievements during the workshop were outstanding.