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The Singapore’s Economic Development Board is sponsoring a series, Singapore Sessions, that publishes views from one professional working in Singapore and three others around the world in response to a question related to their field of work. These bite-sized responses have appeared in top magazines like Monocle, Wired and The New Yorker.

In the latest session found in Monocle’s June issue, the question asked was “Where will people congregate?”

The CEO of our Urban Redevelopment Authority represented Singapore and her response, was not surprising:

Therefore, through careful planning on all scales, we strive to make Singapore a greater sum of its distinctive districts and neighbourhoods, and create a city that is enriching, lively and enjoyable for all.

Yes, planning on all scales, that’s Singapore for you!

In contrast, the only other urban planner in the session, Jamie Lerner gave a much shorter response. He said that good cities have to deal with sustainability, mobility and socio-diversity. How so?

if you want creativity, cut a zero off your budget; sustainability, cut off two; if you want solidarity, make your identity count while respecting diversity.

Or, urban planners should do less for more.

URA is conducting a public consultation on how land will be used in Singapore in the next 40 to 50 years. You can let them know what you think in a 10-minute online survey where you get to tell them what you’ll love to have in the space around you and how they are faring in the moment. We think it’s a good opportunity to “reclaim” back your land, so have your say!

Posted on: 18 April, 2009 | No Comments | Tagged as: , ,

In this economic downturn, why not save some money from traveling overseas and tour Singapore instead? That’s what the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) hopes to achieve in its latest campaigns to encourage Singaporeans to rediscover this city. At a keynote speech made at its annual Corporate Plan Seminar, National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan outlined its upcoming programme My New Singapore that will include exhibitions and tours to various local attractions. 

“I hope that when Singaporeans rediscover Singapore, we will realise what a special little city we have and perhaps, we will love our city even more.” 
Mah Bow Tan, National Development Minister 

There is a lot to love about this city and we think it is more than what URA has in mind. Besides some of the places it plans to take Singaporeans like  Sungei Buloh, Changi Boardwalk and the new Marina Bay, all grand state initiatives, what is missing is getting people involved in their own city! We can fall in love in our city even more by being an active participant in its creation instead of being distracted by how lovely the state has made it.

So on top of holding exhibitions to outline what plans are in store for neighbourhoods, why not hold tea sessions with residents to solicit ideas on how to make their housing estates lovable? How about holding tours that show ordinary Singaporeans living and making this their city?

Moreover many of the examples mentioned by in Minister Mah’s speech are nature spaces and this seems to be a deliberate strategy to use nature to soften the effects of a crowded city as pointed out in Spaced Out, a recent opinion piece in IS-Magazine on city planning here. There are more ways to love and seek leisure in this city beyond going green and it’s just waiting to be discovered!