Showing posts from February, 2018

Five-foot Ways as Public and Private Domain in Singapore and Beyond (from Journal of Property, Planning and Environmental Law]

    Abstract: This article explores the concept and spread of the five-foot way (5FW) as an aspect of urban design peculiar to Southeast Asia. It locates the 5FW as an aspect of planning law and property law that has been adapted culturally to provide a unique space for public-private interaction. The article also explores, in a related context, conflicts over the appropriate use of 5FWs and the issue of regulating such use. The approach adopted is to look at the development of the 5FW over the entire colonial period of Singapore, starting in 1819, up to the present day. Comparisons are drawn from other urban settlements over a similar period. The article finds that the 5FW, with its related device of the shophouse, provided a uniquely efficacious space for protection of the public from the elements and for public-private interaction. It finds that regulation of 5FWs should be undertaken with due regard both to public right of way and to the cultural element of making priva