Jostling for space after death

The Straits Times                                                               

In today’s edition of The Straits Times, there was an article contribution by Professor Lily Kong and Professor James Sidaway from the Department of Geography at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences on spaces for the dead, where urban planners often have to balance the needs of the dead and the needs of the living. The authors discussed about land scarcity in Singapore, which has led to cremations and columbaria replacing burial grounds to house the dead, as well as “eco-friendly” alternatives like sea burials, scatter burials and woodland burials.

Prof Kong and Prof Sidaway noted that in many cultures, dead bodies and their ashes are associated with pollution rather than purity and that this in essence lies at the heart of objections to locating any facility related to death in proximity to the living. They opined that while death relates to the strongest human emotions which are intensely personal, practical issues relating to what happens to the deceased also reflect wider social, economic, political and cultural predicaments.

To read the full article, click here.

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