Cemeteries have been viewed in opposed ways as ritual spaces that either mirror society or present an idealized model of society. In this article, we propose an analysis of cemeteries as ritual spaces, focused on the case study of municipal cemetery Tongerseweg in Maastricht, among the most important monumental cemeteries still in active use in The Netherlands today. Drawing on historical as well as interview material, spatial and ritual studies, the authors argue for a new “Arena Model” to understand cemeteries as dynamic ritual spaces. Cemeteries do not only form an ensemble of ritual spaces that are reliant on pre-existing communities, they also evoke, produce and maintain communities. Codeterminants are the physical layout and a wide range of ritual markers that variously underscore, mitigate or even contradict the communities created by the spatial layout. Important actors pertain to municipal politics and administration as well as the users, their respective allies and service providers. The article further analyses the wide range of competing values that help to shape a cycle of cocreating plural ritual spaces as well as communities
For the environment, humans and their way of life have become one of the most
decisive factors of influence: their impact defines the geochronological era of the Anthropocene.
These manmade changes include one specific type of sediments, namely that of
human remains. In industrialized regions, the biologically degradable, organic matter of
the human body is often altered by medical implants and pharmaceutical residues. Sepulchral
practices may add other toxic substances. This article examines how the recent trend
towards woodland burials of cremated remains in Luxembourg is embedded in ecological
discourse and imagination, and asks whether it does provide an environment-friendly
alternative to traditional full-body inhumations.
Bacteria and parasites are constant companions of humankind. Usually, they are harmless. When they turn against their hosts, however, they become harbinger of diseases. It seems to be a paradox of history that diseases and their global spread may be seen as indicators for the process of civilisation. We investigate this phenomenon from two angles: the so-called Black Death and leprosy. After a short general introduction by Martin Uhrmacher and Thomas Kolnberger, the latter presents the globalization of “the plague” in three historical waves. Michel Pauly then scrutinizes the impact the second wave had in the fourteenth century on the region of today’s Luxembourg. In the last part, Martin Uhrmacher introduces leprosy, its social consequences and the history of its perception.
Bacteria and parasites are constant companions of humankind. Usually, they are harmless. When they turn against their hosts, however, they become harbinger of diseases. It seems to be a paradox of history that diseases and their global spread may be seen as indicators for the process of civilisation. We investigate this phenomenon from two angles: the so-called Black Death and leprosy.
This article uses a novel quantitative methodology to examine sepulchral material culture.
Drawing on the theoretical frameworks of social spatialization and art as agency, the authors
contend that variations in grave designs and materiality cannot simply be explained in terms
of changes in fashion and mentality. Other factors also need to be taken into account. Using
a digital data collection tool, the Cemetery Surveyor Application (CSA) developed at the
University of Luxembourg, they compile a set of data encompassing all the material aspects
of each grave in a cemetery in Luxembourg (Western Europe), the setting of their case
study. The graves are dated from the 1850s to 2015. |The authors compare the chronological
evolution of the most recurrent material features with a GIS-based spatial analysis of the same
features. The results of the spatial analysis not only largely confirm the chronological study,
but also allow them to be more precise (dating is often problematic) and include undated
graves (a third of the sample). The digital data collection tool also allows them to compare
cemeteries and to highlight variations in these that cannot merely be imputed to chronology,
but also to spatial proximity and material agency.
Research in urban morphology rarely takes account of the specific forms of burial grounds. This paper offers a synthesis of how Christian cities of the dead mirror the cities of the living, and provides an overview of different Western European 'funeral epochs'. The shifting location of burial grounds realtes to major changes in town planning and building. Adopting a historico-geographical approach, micro-morphological transformatins of grave-plot forms and their cardinal orientations and accessibility are explored in the context of changing religious beliefs, rules of hygiene, and practical and aesthetic consideration. The role of cemeteries in fringe-belt development is presented, using Vienna as a historical case study.
Während des Ersten Weltkrieges gehörte Luxemburg weder in die Gruppe der kriegsführenden Nationen noch war sein Territorium Teil der Kampffront gewesen. Trotzdem wurden hier
hunderte deutsche, französische und US-amerikanische Soldaten begraben. Die meisten von ihnen wurden in der Nachkriegszeit exhumiert und innerhalb oder außerhalb des Großherzogtums ein zweites Mal bestattet. Dieser Artikel zeichnet die geschichtliche Entwicklung dieser Soldatengräberstätten in Luxemburg nach. Zitierung: Kolnberger, Thomas. "Tote Soldaten und ihre Gräber: Kriegs- und Militärfriedhöfe des Ersten Weltkrieges in Luxemburg" (2018). Éischte Weltkrich: https://ww1.lu
Among the roughly 150,000 soldiers sent to the Dutch East Indies between 1815 and 1914, the Luxembourg contingent made up a tiny minority of just 1,075 men. Based upon extensive research into their careers, data on these soldiers provide further clues to understanding what drove Europe’s young men to become colonial soldiers. The results of this national case study will be compared with earlier investigations by Bossenbroek and Bosma on recruits for the Dutch colonial army. Similar to the Dutch soldiers, their Luxembourg counterparts had a predominantly urban provenance. However, in contrast to the Dutch, they did not have a strong military background, and it appears that fewer Luxembourgers stayed behind in the Dutch East Indies after their tour of duty. They were more attracted by the payments that the recruiters doled out in advance, particularly at a time of economic crisis, than in a career in the tropics.
Luxembourg is a 'delayed nation', as far as cremation is concerned. It was in 1995 that the Grand Duchy opened its own cremation center, only ahead of Malta and Cyprus in the EU zone (Orthodoxe Greece is a special case). While the discussion about the pros and cons of cremation is mirroring the general debate of the last hundred years since the introduction of this alternative form of burial and funeral technique in neighboring countries, especially in Geermany and France, the case study of Luxembourg also offers insights into the development of a small state shaped by its Catholic heritage. This mentaliy-argument is, however, only one side to be considered when investigating the history of cremation. Another decisive factor is the embedddedness of Luxembourg in a transnational context.
This article discusses funerary politics in relationship to the political culture of the small state of Luxembourg in northwest Europe during the age of modernisation. During the long nineteenth century, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg experienced several political changes which affected sepulcral culture, but this did not lead to a 'Kulturkampf' over cemeteries between the Church and the State as is occurred in neighbouring countries. Disputes were resolved at the local level. We apply small power theory to explain the relatively harmonious co-existence of State power with the Catholic clergy, and hightlight the important role of local government. For the top-down introduction of cremation, we need ot change scale and focus on an urban elite setting the national agenda. Luxembourg was one of the last member states of the European Union to place body/earth burial andd cremation on an equal legal footing and its own 'national' crematorium only opened in the 1990s.
Disciplinary and regulatory governmental proceedings intersect, for instance when disciplinary rules and judiciary norms operate on the basis of suspicion and there-fore just happen to disenfranchise certain groups of people. The case study of Luxembourg’s practice of expulsion before the Second World War offers insights into the administration of ‘undesirable foreigners’ which was based on identifying women who supposedly infringed bourgeois moral gender order. Women from abroad of dubious reputation could become a double threat to bourgeois norms and values. Based on extensive research on archival funds, this article seeks to shed light on the intersecting quality of gendering foreigners and ethnicizing prostitutes in a self-reinforcing bureaucratic procedure leading to deportation.
August Kohl ist einer von über tausend Luxemburgern, die im Zeitraum von der Französischen Revolution bis zum Ausbruch des Ersten Weltkrieges in der Kolonialarmee Niederländisch-Indiens gedient haben....
This article argues that there is a morphological continuity between rural and urban plot forms in Cambodia. The environment and agrarian use of land are the decisive factors for the location and shape of the plots in the countryside, while urban plots are merely compressed rural versions in a situation of higher population density. From a historico-geographical approach, the morphological emergence of Phnom Penh in its early stage as colonial town and capital of a French protectorate will be presented to highlight this persistency of rural settlement pattern in a specific urban context.
During the 1980s, refugee camps along the Thai–Cambodian border constituted the power base for the civil war parties opposing the People’s Republic of Kampuchea (PRK, 1979–91). Politics of accommodation and basic services also played a key role in the ‘original accumulation’ of political power by the new regime in Phnom Penh. The resettlement process of Cambodia’s deserted cities developed into a major playground for clientelism, the founda-tion of Cambodia’s state-building process after the Khmer Rouge. Focusing on the archival heritage of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cam-bodia (UNTAC) 1992–93, a spatial analysis of Phnom Penh’s political geography from the late 1970s to the late 1990s will be provided. This paper argues that the UNTAC time marked a watershed, whose impact has been underrated for Cambodia’s political future: the transition in the accommodation policy of a besieged regime. UNTAC did not end the civil war, but changed the political economy of the country. As the need to ‘camp-in’ and share billeted living space gradually diminished, the socialist ‘moral economy’ mutated into quick money politics and political family business to ensure the hegemonic status of Cambodia’s ruling party further.
This paper examines the roles of both ‘coloniser’ and ‘colonised’ in the spatial construction of Phnom Penh. This key site of French colonisation in Cambodia was part of a network of French-ruled cities in Indochina, established to steer and enhance the productivity of the colonial society. The production of this particular space in Phnom Penh, however, was at no time simply a top-down process, imposed by the coloniser on the colonised. At the very moment of the foundation of the colonial town, indigenous actors used the city as an opportunity to pursue their own interests. Two contradictory phenomena – the constraints of colonial structures and the agency displayed by individuals – converged to produce a new, ‘equifinal’ urban space. Based on a historical analysis of the expanding urban morphology (in a historico-geographical approach), this article examines the ‘mise-en-valeur’ (capitalistic valorisation) of city space as a bilateral process: com-modification of urban estates and formalisation of planning by the colonial administration with indigenous bandwagoning and – vice versa – freeriding of the colonial state with regard to indigenous common property resources. The supposed opposition between the action of planning and the reaction to being ‘planned’ thus turns out to be a false dichotomy: Phnom Penh’s colonial space emerged as a joint venture in a settlement process that was both formal and informal.
Der vorliegende Band ist ein umfassendes Werk zur Stadtgeschichte und Stadtentwicklung von Phnom Penh von 1860 bis 2010, in dem ein weiter Bogen von der Stadtentwicklung während der französischen Kolonialherrschaft und den verschiedenen Phasen der Herrschaft der Khmer-Eliten über die Schreckensherrschaft des Khmer Rouge-Regimes bis hin zur parlamentarischen Monarchie seit 1993 spannt. Der interdisziplinäre Untersuchungsansatz, der nicht nur auf die Zugänge der historischen Wissenschaften und der Stadtgeographie zurückgreift, sondern auch Perspektiven der Politikwissenschaft, Soziologie und Architektur miteinbezieht, sollte das Werk nicht nur für Historiker/innen und Geograph/innen interessant machen, sondern darüber hinaus auch für eine generell an Stadtentwicklungsprozessen in Südostasien interessierte Leserschaft. Ausgangspunkte der umfassenden historisch-geographischen Analysen, in denen eine Fülle von bislang noch nicht wissenschaftlich bearbeitetem bzw. öffentlich nicht zugänglichem Quellen- und Archivmaterial, vor allem aus der Zeit des französischen Protektorats, ausgewertet wurde, sind zwei unterschiedliche Entwicklungsphasen, die gleichzeitig markante Zäsuren in der Stadtentwicklung darstellen: nämlich einerseits die Etablierung von Phnom Penh als Kolonialstadt in der Doppelfunktion sowohl als Sitz der französischen Protektoratsverwaltung als auch des kontinuierlich an Einfluss verlierenden Khmer-Königtums von den 1860er-Jahren bis zur Unabhängigkeit 1953 und andererseits der „Neustart“ von Phnom Penh durch seine „Wiederbesiedlung“ nach der Vertreibung der Khmer Rouge im Jahr 1979. Tatsächlich stellt Phnom Penh mit der radikalen De-Urbanisierung der Stadt während der Pol Pot-Zeit und der anschließenden Re-Urbanisierung wohl einen einmaligen Sonderfall in der jüngeren Geschichte Südostasiens dar, quasi eine „Laborsituation“, die eine Reihe interessanter Analyseperspektiven ermöglicht.
This thesis offers an analysis of Phnom Penh`s urban space in the longue durée, examining the concurrence of planning ‘from above’ and spontaneous order ‘from below’. By privileging the spatial point of view, the investigation attempts to overcome the false dichotomy of ‘planned’ versus ’unplanned’ order in urban development. Using Phnom Penh as a case-study for city development in a pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial context, the production of space as a social process is identified in two ways: first ‘literally’ by a historical-critical analysis of the chronological course of urban construction based on archival records and, second, ‘visually’ by scrutinizing master and city plans as well as photographical veduta (i.e. aerial and satellite photography, photos of cityscapes or other relevant urban situations) of past and present. Structure: The thesis consists of five chapters (A-E), organised in three parts (Erster, Zweiter, Dritter Teil). After an introductory chapter (A), dealing with the research topic in general, the first part (chapters B-C) of the investigation follows a morphological approach. It presents the local building and historical town planning traditions of the lower Mekong region in pre-historical times onwards, analysing the pre-colonial times, followed by the French colonial era. The second part (chapter D) deals with the local development during the Cold War, subdivided in two distinct phases: the independence of decolonization (1954-1970s) and the civil war and Khmer Rouge-time (1970s-1989). The third part (chapter E) specifically examines the situation after the fall of the Pol Pot-regime: the ‘new’ independence after the Vietnamese and UN-intervention. The appendix is ex-tensive, but ‘tailor-made’ providing datasheets and detailed background information, e.g. on climate, to allow the interested reader to further deepen some topics. Research questions: Three questions run like a thread through the thesis as recurrent themes:
(1) To what extent is the city development a ‘planned’ or ‘unplanned’ process, and which interactions between the two dynamics can be discerned?
(2) What power politics from ‘above’ and ‘below’ make up the political economy of space?
(3) What kind of continuities and discontinuities can be identified as persistency and change in the cityscape? Social engineering projects ‘from above’ (by diverse governments and power groups) have continuously been challenged, partly evaded and actively counteracted in their own interest ‘from below’ (by the ‘common man’, informal settlers), thus characterizing the social space of Phnom Penh as a ‘common field of action’ (gemeinsamer Aktionsraum). Since colonial times, the physical engineering of space (aligning the urban morphology into a grid-pattern; dividing the city space in [marketable] plots) has been both a transfer from abroad and a quasi-continuity of local proceedings in urban construction. From thispoint of view the transformation of the royal residence-town into a colonial city and the subsequent change from a colonial administration centre of lesser importance within the French Indochinese Union to a dominant capital city of an independent state are revealing a complex pattern of competing interests of all ‘spatial’ actors: rich and poor, mighty and weak, officials and individuals, military and civilian, singles and families.
Attempts of social engineering by the use of the built environment and the imple-mentation of physical change to it, however, have also been producing ‘frictions’ (Friktionen) ever since. As result, a third degree of order, besides the intended and non-intended, has emerged: epiphenomena (Epiphänomene; Phänomene der dritten Art). The self-organisation through the ‘auto-agglomeration’ of businesses during the resettlement process after the fall of the Khmer Rouge is examined as an example for this kind of spatial (re)ordering. Concluding the longue durée-analysis of Phnom Penh, the spatial distribution is analysed and presented in full detail as economy of espionage and imitation in chapter (E). Methodology: In order to achieve the primary object of this undertaking to write a historical geography of the production of Phnom Penh’s space, a multidisciplinary approach was necessary, combining historical-critical analysis (Historisch-kritische Methode); geography (spatial analysis, urban morphology) and sociology (questionnaires and interviews, ‘observing participation’). The very heterogeneous mixture of archival sources and newly generated data that informs this study required a reflexive grounded theory.
City planning and land use in Phnom Penh: looking back from "now" to "then". Space is a social product and the production of city space in particular is a cooperative act, combining town planning from "above" and individual land use from "below". Therefore, any dichotomy of "planned" versus "un-planned" is a false one. Looking back from Phnom Penh's "now" (after the fall of the Khmer Rouge-regime" to "then" (colonial times), this lecture will highlight the on-going production of spatial relations between "planning from above" and "from below" as grass-rooted urban planning.
The city of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, is a particularly interesting case study metropolis for an urban structure reformation process. The Pol Pot-regime forcefully evicted Cambodia’s urban population in 1975, leaving the capital a ‘ghost-city’ for years. Phnom Penh had then to reboot its urban life after the Vietnamese expulsed the Khmer Rouge from the city in 1979. For nearly three decades, urban space has been reorganised mainly as a self-organised process by the neo-city dwellers. The widely open use of public space as a multiple-purpose surface for transportation, economic activities or as a place for leisure has recently become contested by the state authorities. Buildings and road systems are the material basis of a city. Constructional arrange-ments constitute spaces and regulate or limit their use. Accordingly, public space is a hybrid of built and mobile environments with fluid social delineation and fluctuating official allocation. On the basis of historical evidence, states around the world have eagerly assigned themselves the role of arbiter regarding these contested areas in-between the private and the public sphere since the ‘age of modernisation’. The (re)rise of state power in Cambodia gives an example of reshuffling urban space and demarcating it in separate spheres by traffic regu-lations which are implicitly performative and demonstrative acts.
This paper is based on participatory observation, interviews with policy makers of the Municipality of Phnom Penh (MPP) and various inhabitants of the capital.
The city of Phnom Penh after the fall of the Khmer Rouge is probably a unique case study for the spatial distribution of retail, services, and small manufacturing business as a spontaneous process of spatialization. The inhabitants of a million strong metropolis were forcefully evicted by Pol Pot 1975; years after this social tabula rasa, the same city had to reboot its urban life routine from scratch. Taking advantage of that “year zero” situation, this article examines the emerging business sites and its spatial distribution in statu nascendi. The focus is put on the question, to what extent the process of localization can be regarded as a general pattern or as a very specific pattern at the initial stages of urban (re)development for Phnom Penh only. The results suggest that (a) Phnom Penh is a special case, however, highlighting typical features of retail localization with clear path and place-dependencies; (b) by making many individual locational decisions, the neo-inhabitants, in turn, send messages to the rest of urban society creating, non-intentionally, a high degree of market transparency based on (self-)agglomeration effects. /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Phnom Penh nach der Vertreibung der Roten Khmer bietet eine singuläre Fallstudie zur Untersuchung der Verräumlichungsprozesse von Geschäfts- und Gewerbestandorten als spontanen Prozess. Die Bewohner einer Millionen-Metrople wurden 1975 von Pol Pot zwangsvertrieben. Erst Jahre nach dieser „Stunde Null“ einer sozialen tabula rasa konnte die Stadt ihr urbanes Leben von Grund auf neu starten. Dieser Beitrag nimmt diese Startsituation zur Grundlange, um die Neu- und Wiederpositionierung von Geschäftsstandorten hinsichtlich ihrer räumlichen Genese zu untersuchen. Der Schwerpunkt hierbei liegt auf der Frage, ob der Prozess der Standortentscheidungen einem verallgemeinerbaren oder einem spezifischen Muster im Zuge einer Reurbanisierung entspricht. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass Phnom Penh (a) zwar in diesem Umfang einen städtischen Sonderfall repräsentiert, der Standortentscheidungen mit Pfadabhängigkeit und Persistenzen aufweist; doch zeigt Phnom Penh auch, wie (b) zahlreiche individuelle Standortentscheidungen zu hoher Markttransparenz führten: diese sind nicht-intentionale Folgen der Selbstagglomeration (economies of agglomeration).
THE ‘TYRANNY OF THE LINE’: CITY PLANNING IN COLONIAL PHNOM PENH, 1860s – 1940s.
Université du Luxembourg, FLSHASE (Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education), Research Unit IPSE (Identités.Politique.Sociétés.Espaces), Campus Walferdange, Route de Diekirch (B.P.2), L-7201 Walferdange, Luxemburg
This paper aims to highlight the role and influence of both ‘colonizer’ and ‘colonized’ on place and space. Their specific purposes are part of a process of mise-en-valeur of the French colonial regime on the one side and indigenous commodification of city space, examined here as a form of “bandwagoning”, on the other side.
Cities in general are disputed places with regard to questions of urban development, planning and social control. Colonial cites in particular became central places for steering and enhancing the productivity of the entire colonial society. Thus, new urban structures were designed to house the agencies of an unequal relationship. The production of this particular space, however, was at no time a purely top-down process, imposed by the ‘colonizer’ on the ‘colonized’. In the very moment of the foundation of the colonial town, indigenous actors took the city as an opportunity, as a “structure and agency” for pursuing their very own interests. Colonial Phnom Penh is a good example to review these interactive processes under the following aspects:
- ‘clash of civilizations’: Traditional French and Khmer linear planning as rivaling ‘top-down’ processes in a shared town
- ‘grass-root urban planning’: The ‘bottom-up’ production of space of the indigenous city dwellers
- ‘tyranny of the line’: The “social engineering” of the colonial city by land rents, building codes and regulations as grid squares
The study is based on historical-critical analysis of archival sources in Cambodia (National Archives of Cambodia, Phnom Penh) and France (National Overseas Archives of France, Aix-en-Provence) with a focus on public works, maps, and photos.
The struggle to belong
Dealing with diversity in 21st century urban settings.
Amsterdam, 7-9 July 2011
Eye contact, clientele alignment & laissez-faire: the production of public space and neighbourhood in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Paper presented at the International RC21 conference 2011
Session: Nr. 12 – Belonging, exclusion, public and quasi-public space
(*) Université du Luxembourg, Luxembourg,
Research Unit IPSE (Identité, Politiques, Sociètes, Espace)
Universität Passau, BR Deutschland
Southeast Asian Studies
Private, public or quasi-public spaces are terms that seem particularly difficult to apply to non-Western societies: as in the ‘West’, their boundaries are fluid and routinely transgressed, but in ways that are distinctive to the local situation and history. This paper is arguing that these concepts retain practical descriptive power, particularly for the city of Phnom Penh, a case study of demographic extremes, as nearly all her inhabitants could be classified as immigrants. In deed, the Khmer Rouge had forcefully evicted the ca. two million people-strong population of the capital in 1975, virtually erasing all ‘bourgeois urbanity’ during Pol Pot’s Cambodian ‘auto-genocide’. After the fall of the regime, the new socialist government slowly repopulated the deserted metropolis with new urban dwellers. Their social and spatial belonging needed to be set up from scratch. “Who belongs to whom” (in terms of political clientelism and patronage), “who is doing what” (regarding face-to-face control and eye contact investigation), and “who owns what” (concerning redistribution and also new original accumulation of capital) were the essential questions in this ‘struggle to belong’. In this urban setting, people have been employing a mixed set of strategies for implementing ‘belonging’ ever since. Based on empirical surveys (mapping & interviews) and research in Cambodian and French colonial archives, this paper presents the constant negotiations of private and public space in a changing economic environment from three angles:
- streets, squares, and parks as spaces of interaction: the spatial inheritance of the French colonialism in a new context
- the emergence of different types of gated communities since 1975: at first by spatial inclusion strategies generating patronage networks, then by urban planning separating rich from poor
- the economy of espionage and imitation of Phnom Penh’s retail trade: the neighbours’ curious gaze
- The city of Phnom Penh in Cambodia is a case study for a `rush economic evolution´ - This paper aims in one part to highlight the role and influence of place and space for a specific process: the spatial location of business sites in a unique window of opportunity as a self-organizing process `from below´. By applying spatial analysis (GPS mapping), a specific pattern of retail agglomeration and dispersion of this `atomistic´ metropolis could be identified.
The analysis is based on fieldwork investigating the use of the city’s space for economic ends. 1,000 kilometres of built frontage (`streetscapes´) with 14,647 cases of land use features (e.g. shops, `pavement economy´ etc.) have been surveyed and mapped. Subsequent to this quantitative part, 100 semi-structured interviews and numerous ad hoc conversations were conducted including a dozen of expert interviews (city administration, NGO, city planners).
Results and Thesis
- The city of Phnom Penh in Cambodia is a case study for a `subsistence urbanization´ -
Much economic geography research has focused on the importance of the social context for various transactions. ‘Face-to-face contact remains central to coordination of the economy, despite the remarkable reductions in transport costs and the astonishing rise in the complexity and variety of information – verbal, visual and symbolic – which can be communicated near instantly’ (Storper and Venables, 2003, p. 43 ). Visual proximity and eye-contact are particularly important in environments of imperfect information, like in Cambodia after Pol Pot. Information was scarce at this time and communication hardware rare. Thus, in Phnom Penh’s initial retail business formation, an ‘economy of espionage and imitation’ provided the necessary information for deal-making, decisions concerning the assortments of goods, prize, and trends. The first merchants and producers were heavily dependent on visual contact ‘around the corner’ and close contact also proved to be beneficial to customers. This specific knowledge and information externality (an externality or transaction spillover is a cost or benefit, not transmitted through prices) could only be reaped by spatial agglomerations. While screening and socialization of network members and potential partners were essential for the build-up of Cambodia’s original clientele-system during the gradual resettlement, visual contact became the decisive steering mechanism for the original distribution of business agglomeration or its dispersion.
For a `subsistence urbanization´, the public and quasi-public space are the most important `common-pool resource´. The influx of the population into the city produced a `non-rivalrous´ and `non-excludable´ economic good by the neighbours’ curious gaze.
- The city of Phnom Penh in Cambodia is a case study for a `spatial club´ -
From a New Institutionalism’s point of view ‘City’s neighbourhoods – residential, industrial and commercial clusters – are like firms, nexuses of agreements and understandings about entitlements to share and pooled resources. They differ from firms in that they are spatial clusterings and in that they cluster around resources that remain to varying extents in the public domain. They are like spatial clubs. Members co-operate by various forms of informal and formal rules and agreements in order to ensure the continued supply and enhancement of shared public domain goods. Municipal government is itself a type of club, delivering collectively consumed infrastructure and regulations from a tax on its citizens, firms and visitors. Communities, in the social sense, are also clubs – delivering collectively consumed benefits such as a sense of belonging, security and culture’ (Webster and Lai 2003, p. 58).
This spontaneous `neighbouring´ as ‘rational herding’ (Banerjee 1992; Hung and Plott 2001) helped to reduce transaction costs during the initial resettlement process (and beyond). It can be described as a continuous act of self agglomeration of business, creating bazaar-type streets over the whole of the city, which specialise in specific goods and services forming thus, from a bird’s view perspective, a `mental retail map´ for the inhabitants. This is one side of building neighbourhoods in Phnom Penh.
The base for this laissez-faire et laissez passer behaviorism of the government in (micro)economy was the redistribution of Phnom Penh’s real estate amongst trustworthy followers. A `New property Deal´ of first in, first served allocated the built environment piecemeal. In this political economy, two steps are discernable. First, a community-building process regarding the public administration. Each ministry was assigned to a certain area of the city and in a top-down process, starting from the top echelons to the simple civil servants and officials, distributed land and housing. Initially, each responsible could pick `his´ followers and could reward him/her with the allocation of living space, a social structure, which represents a spatially bond replica of the traditional clientelism and patronage-network in Cambodia. These ’strings’ (ksae) formed the first neighbourhoods as a kind of `original´ gated community because each administrative unit was planned to be self-sufficient. Each ‘cité’ (Carrier 2007) was thus clearly demarcated. Its decisions were autonomous, too. In certain areas of Phnom Penh, remnants of this socio-politically gathered community can be found. In a second step, and with increasing immigration, secondary ksae (the mother’s cousin, the friend of a friend) proliferated and the city was being `filled up´.
Today, the pattern of co-residence in technically secluded areas of Phnom Penh resembles the typical economical founded example of gated communities as neighbourhoods around the world: the rich and the better off separate from the rest. The once moral economy of the civil war and initial post-conflict years is dissolving. Regulation, commodification and the government’s efforts to demarcate public and private space is replacing/reducing the common good ‘public space’.
Spatial Analysis of Inner City Retail Sector in Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Evidence of Path-Dependence?
Geoffrey CARUSO (1), Thomas KOLNBERGER(2)
(1) Associate Professor, Geography and Spatial Planning Research Centre, University of Luxembourg. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(2) Research and teaching assistant, Department of History, University of Luxembourg. Email: email@example.com
The city of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, is a particularly interesting case study metropolis for a “rush economic evolution” and urban structure formation. The Pol Pot-regime forcefully evicted Cambodia’s urban population in 1975, leaving Phnom Penh a “ghost-city” for years. Phnom Penh had then to reboot urban life with a predominantly new group of inhabitants from scratch. If one adds its rather homogenous and flat physical geography, plus weak political interference in the location of business in the town, Phnom Penh turns to be almost a perfect laboratory situation for understanding inner city location processes.
This paper aims to highlight inner city clustering and agglomeration/dispersion processes through the analysis of a specific process: the spatial location of retail sites and the emergence of sub-centres. The study builds upon a detailed, almost exhaustive, micro-scale dataset obtained from field survey in 2010. The dataset includes over 14000 retail sites associated with some 100 commercial categories. Spatial analysis is conducted to explore patterns of retail concentrations and associations using standard factor and clustering techniques, plus a systematic analysis of Moran’s I, and LISA maps over each type of retail, including sensitivity analysis to the definition of distance weight matrices. Results are discussed in light of the existence of path-dependence and lock-ins in the economic agglomeration, dispersion and association processes within the city
Phnom Penh, LISA, agglomeration/dispersion, retail sub-centres
`Behaviours of settlement´: patterns of inertia and change in the history of Cambodia
This paper deals with morphological dynamics of settlement patterns in the south-western part of mainland Southeast Asia. The vicissitudes of Cambodia’s history from pre-Angkorian times to the present offers unique insights in the formation and persistence of townscapes and human settlements. Recently, ancient Angkor has been hallmarked as “the world’s largest preindustrial settlement complex” (PNAS 2007) . This paper analyzes the dialectic of form and function over time. It examines first the original morphology of this wide spread, low density settlement, a “hydraulic city” inspired by antique Indian town planning and shaped by environmental constraints. Secondly, the later urban models of that particular region, based on French colonial layouts and modern town management, will be examined, based on extensive field work and personal research in and about the capital Phnom Penh.
Between swampy backwaters and “golden” riverside: the water frontiers of Phnom Penh, Cambodia in historical perspective
Colonial Phnom Penh used to be an amphibious urban landscape, tucked between canals and the riversides of the Mekong, Tonle Sap and Bassac. Periodically filled up lakes and swamps during the monsoon – a kind of marshland locally called boeung – still dot the town area. However, the agricultural lands around the swamps and the sites of “floating villages” (motley throngs of boats & houses on stilts) along the riversides, once neglected, are now a golden playground for developers’ extravaganzas.
Today in Cambodia, power is money and money (and not land-property) is power. The rapid expansion of the city in all directions is driven by the need for construction plots to attract direct investments. As in the past, the role and meaning of the urban waterscape is changing. The history of Phnom Penh offers a unique case study for persistency and adaptation in the interaction of people, water, and land. This paper will present the transforming perspectives, and the symbolic and social connotations of the urban waterscapes of this Southeast Asian city since its (re)founding in French colonial times (with references to the “hydraulic cities” of the ancient Khmer) providing insights to today’s changes in a longue durée.