In Planning Singapore: The Experimental City, Stephen Hamnett and Belinda Yuen have brought together a set of chapters on Singapore’s planning achievements, aspirations and challenges, which are united in their focus on what might happen next in the planning of the island-state. Chapters range over Singapore’s planning system, innovation and future economy, housing, biodiversity, water and waste, climate change, transport, and the potential transferability of Singapore’s planning knowledge. A key question is whether the planning approaches, which have served Singapore so well until now, will suffice to meet the emerging challenges of a changing global economy, demographic shifts, new technologies and the existential threat of climate change. Singapore as a global city is becoming more unequal and more diverse. This has the potential to weaken the social compact which has largely existed since independence and to undermine the social resilience undoubtedly needed to cope with the shocks and disruptions of the twenty-first century. The book concludes, however, that Singapore is better-placed than most to respond to the challenges which it will certainly face thanks to its outstanding systems of planning and implementation, a proven capacity to experiment and a highly developed ability to adapt quickly, purposefully and pragmatically to changing circumstances.
The book launch was organised by the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities and supported by The Arts House. The Guest-of-Honour was Dr Cheong Koon Hean, Chief Executive Officer, Housing & Development Board. During the launch, there was a panel discussion moderated by Dr Belinda Yuen, Professorial Fellow & Research Director, Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities and featuring the following panelists:
- Prof Stephen Hamnett, Emeritus Professor of Urban & Regional Planning, University of South Australia
- Ms Tan Shin Bin, Senior Tutor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore
- Dr Paul Barter, Principal, Reinventing Transport & Adjunct Associate Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore
- Assoc Prof Tan Ern Ser, Department of Sociology & Academic Advisor, IPS Social Lab, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore
This event was by invitation only.