1 October 2020

PI: Prof Chan Heng Chee (LKYCIC, SUTD)
Co-PI: A/P Sam C Joyce (ASD, SUTD), Dr Harvey Neo (LKYCIC, SUTD)
Team: Dr Dinithi Jayasekara, Dr Felicity Hwee-Hwa Chan, Dr Samuel Chng, Dr Rafael Martinez,  Dr Yunkyung Choi, Mr Li Bayi, Ms Emma Goh-En-ya, Ms Sara Ann Nicholas (LKYCIC, SUTD), Mr Winston Yap (NUS)

How people live and work in the city have been slowly but surely changing even before COVID19, as seen from the increasing popularity of flexi-work arrangements and online shopping (due largely to the emergence of new communicative technologies and logistical innovation). This project investigates how the COVID19 pandemic accelerates the impact on the sociospatial processes of Singapore and the possible reimagining of the city as we know it.

The project comprises of three interlinked themes:

  1. “The Future of Office”
    This theme explores how office use has, and will, change due to COVID-19 and the shift to WFH and Hybrid working. It will triangulate its understanding of the impact of these by combining commuting data, worker-surveys, and c-suite interviews to capture peoples past, current, and desired activities. Using Social Physics based simulations to understand how different office configurations drive connectivity and the buildup of social capital. Leading to recommendations on how we may encourage social, productive, and inclusive offices for the New Normal.
  2. “Revitalising the Poly-centres”
    This theme aims to trace the evolution of the regional and poly-centre concepts in Singapore. Additionally, it will re-examine the future of these ideas in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and consider how one might develop these concepts to their fullest potential in the context of Singapore. This research draws on existing materials as well as analysis of real estate data such as rental rates and transaction trends in areas of regional and poly-centres.
  3. “Sustaining the Magic of the City Centre”
    This theme explores Singapore’s city centre through 4 parts: 1) Is the City Centre Hollowing Out? 2) Digital Economy Takes Over 3) Magic of Modernity and 4) Cultivating Magic: The Discreet Charm of the City Centre. It will capture the macro and micro aspects of Singapore’s city centre, from its physical make-up to its economic characteristics. Additionally, it will examine ways to reconfigure Singapore’s city centre post-COVID. This is done through secondary research, spatial analysis, and analysis of real estate data such as rental rates and transactions.