The Recognition of Fragrant Plant Characteristic in Enhancing the Place Identity for Royal Town of Kuala Kangsar, Perak

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A flower or Bunga in Malay, expressed about the beauties and aesthetics in Malay art through the motifs and pattern since the early Malay life traditions. The fragrant plant could be a representative of paradise, which is also said to have a pleasant fragrance. Nowadays, industrialization in a city seen as a significant problem in Malaysia. It caused the rapid growth of urbanization within the area of the Royal Town in Malaysia. Consequently, it will continuously affect valuable elements of identity and characteristic of Malay Royal towns and its heritage. Specifically, for the Royal Town Kuala Kangsar in Perak, the Municipal Council of Kuala Kangsar (MPKK) stated that the Royal Town of Kuala Kangsar almost eroded by the uncontrolled development and modernity due to the lack of uniformity development, no continuity of streetscape elements from the main road to the town and entrance to Iskandariah Palace of Royal Town. This paper aim to analyze the qualitative response on recognition of plant characteristics to support the reinforcement of place identity on townscape elements for the case study of the Royal Town of Kuala Kangsar, Perak. A semi-structured interview was carried out for 12 participants based on purposive sampling, including professionals, policymakers, and skilled practitioners through qualitative coding by using Atlas ti. The results suggested that the fragrant plants which are Teratai (Nelumbo), Melur (Jasminum) and Tanjong (Mimusops elengi) were the most significant extrusive flower among others can build the streetscape design character of the Royal Town. Findings have shown that the plants could enhance the place identity and character of the Royal Town through the attractiveness, legibility in creating the identity that symbolized the historical and cultural context. Further research is recommended to assess the details on the plants' character image to assist the city council in establishing the future plant motif design in order to preserve the unique and invaluable historical heritage that has become the place identity of the Royal Town of Kuala Kangsar, Perak.


Keywords:  Fragrant plant; Criteria; Enhancing; Identity



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