Is Chinatown losing its local flavour?

Survey finds that only 10 of 113 S'poreans polled would recommend eateries, 5 would recommend architecture

Shoppers and tourists walking past restaurants in Chinatown. A forum at the URA Centre discussed the challenge of balancing commercial interests with cultural ones in the precinct, and its evolving role.
Shoppers and tourists walking past restaurants in Chinatown. A forum at the URA Centre discussed the challenge of balancing commercial interests with cultural ones in the precinct, and its evolving role.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

Amid an influx of eateries selling mala hotpot alongside shops touting kitschy souvenirs, some tourism and heritage experts here are questioning if Chinatown is losing its local flavour.

At a forum at the URA Centre yesterday, where preliminary findings of a survey on Chinatown were presented, attendees discussed among other things, the challenge of balancing commercial interests with cultural ones in the precinct, as well as its evolving role.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 18, 2018, with the headline 'Is Chinatown losing its local flavour?'. Subscribe