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Kampung Pictures Daily Reaching out from a shoebox
Reaching out from a shoebox PDF Print E-mail
Written by straits-mongrel   
Friday, 25 September 2009 03:41

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The Pekeliling Flats were constructed from precast concrete kit-of-parts, pretty clever for its time in this region. Though not the prettiest thing, it was home for the lower-income. But a home needs personality.

And so over the years, aluminium awnings began sprouting from the individual units providing for that extra bit of shade and comfort. Not to mention colour.


Built in 1964, the flats were a fast-track public housing project for almost 3,000 families who were made homeless because of fires in the squatter areas in KL. The modular system was repeated unwaveringly over 11 blocks, some reaching 17 storeys high.

 

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Structural engineers still marvel at its construction IQ; its residents (or former ones) will tell you the project could have done with more EQ. Will the twain ever meet, especially for the affordable housing genre?

 

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Three decades later, urban redevelopment would return to forage these parts of the city. Its residents were relocated in batches over the last 10 years to other low-cost housing projects outside of KL's primeland corridors. As of June 2008, the last 152 families were given their final noice to evacuate.

 

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But all said, the question still needs to be asked: Think the new will be better? Really?



P.S. We came upon one family who used to live in the Pekeliling Flats while on a field study of urban poverty at the temporary longhouse settlement in Jinjang Utara. Their story can be read here.

 

 

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Last Updated on Sunday, 27 September 2009 16:05
 

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