Singapore University of Technology and Design
8 Somapah Road Singapore
19 May 2021 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm


Power is central to stakeholder dynamics and interactions within cities. The way that power is exercised can affect citizens’ ability to partake in democratic initiatives and determine their access to essential health resources.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought issues of power to the fore. While acknowledging that power is indispensable to effective pandemic response, evidence of state power abuse raise critical questions about the boundaries and expectations of governance.

What safeguards should be put in place to ensure flexibility, transparency, and accountability during times of pandemic? Are democratic values a disposable and unattainable social conquest during of health emergencies? How does this affect health resiliency of cities? This form will provide a timely discussion of urban governance in times of pandemic.

Keynote Address by Marco Kusumijaya

Session 1: Authoritarianism: Emergency Governance?

Moderator: Harvey Neo, Rafael Martinez and Winston Yap
Panelist: Prof. Luis Angel Guzman, Prof Sherwin Ona
This forum explores discourse on the politicization of the Covid-19 pandemic. It explores questions of corruption, accountability and transparency, and the nature of democracy during times of crises.

Session 2: Nationalism, Economic Response, and Measures

Moderator: Harvey Neo, Rafael Martinez and Winston Yap
Panelist: Natharoun Ngo, Ica Fernandez
The pandemic has triggered spatial and trade lockdowns. At a national scale, nationalism manifest itselfs in both socio-economic dimensions. At the regional scale, supply chains are being restructured. At the society level, issues point to a widening of existing social chasms led by accounts of structural racism towards foreigner labour, retrenchment, or hiring.

Session 3: Health Awareness: A New Civic Duty?

Moderator: Harvey Neo, Rafael Martinez and Winston Yap
Panelist: Prof. Ranjit Singh Rye and Prof. Erwin Alampay
Like most pandemics, Covid-19 has prompted increased health awareness. People are more conscious about hygiene and many are taking necessary precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones. While some believe that old habits die hard, some say that changes are here to stay.