We want to live in a place not a plan

Posted on: 26 November, 2009 | Tagged as: , ,

Two integrated resorts, ION Orchard, the Singapore Sports Hub — it’s funny how a small Singapore always has such grand plans for its city.

But sometimes, the way to go is starting small.

Small changes are appealing for many reasons. They’re cheap, for one thing. Also, what works can be easily expanded, and what doesn’t work can be as easily terminated or altered.

This is from a short article in City Journal, where several examples of how small changes in other cities have made it a better place to live in. In this city so enamored with the grand and the glitzy, we think that this is something our city planners can pay better attention to — all the small things.


  1. I agree. I would also like to point out that the grand and the glitz may not even have substance; just a mask, a hollowness, devoid of real purpose – a show at best, a delusion at worse. With Copenhagen Summit coming up and trying to bind commitments for all countries to reduce carbon emission, and taking to task urgent brown and green issues like halting the pace of deforestation, many a country may take-on all too eagerly eye-catching projects to show that ‘we did it and done that’, i.e. without really doing real good.

    Take for example our fauna-link (the $20M ‘eco-bridge’) across the highway BKE. It will certainly make Singapore look good on our dossier as an exemplary eco-city in the near future. But how effective is it? I am puzzled how a costly $20M project could have seen the light of day to solve a problem which should have been solved more than 20 years ago. I find it outrageous that as we speak (of this bridge), a real fauna-link in Mandai has to make way for a spa retreat (that STB and the likes are gunning for the greater tourist dollar), a coral platform (north of Sentosa) will be buried all too soon by the IR development for entertainment space, and last but not least, a forest is in limbo of being fragmented for the ‘enjoyment’ of the visitors to IR. As we speak of this grand bridge, all these are happening… and more if you care to read the news and remember them.

    And as for a simpler change – that can enhance fauna movement across BKE in a big way – I think, all we need is not an elaborate expensive bridge but to have many strategically-located tunnels to be excavated below the highway for simpler, effective and less-obtrusive fauna movement. Simpler change and genuine change are what we really need for real solutions.