Cities and Urban Policy |

Cities and Urban Policy

  1. Shaping Policy for the Sharing Economy

    Author/s:
    JEAN CHIA
    Year:
    2016
    Abstract:

    The sharing economy had only started to take off in Singapore in recent years, but had already shaken up certain sectors, with the likes of Uber, Grab and Airbnb making the biggest splash. The sharing economy companies had introduced innovations in business models and technology that helped to address market inefficiencies and resource under-utilisation. At the same time, they were at odds with existing regulatory frameworks. This case study discusses the development of sharing economy in Singapore, how policymakers in Singapore have approached the sharing economy, and the policy considerations. The case study focuses particularly on ride-sharing and home-sharing which are more prevalent in Singapore, and have a greater impact on public policy.

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  2. Developing the Business and Financial District in Marina Bay

    Author/s:
    JEAN CHIA
    Year:
    2016
    Abstract:

    From a tract of largely empty reclaimed land, Singapore’s Marina Bay has been transformed into the new business and financial district for prosperous city-state. Adjacent to the existing Central Business District (CBD), the 360-hectare Marina Bay area was designed to extend the CBD and support Singapore’s growth as a global business and financial hub. Marina Bay stands out as an instructive example of long term urban planning – spanning four decades – and public-private collaborations in anticipation of the growth of the downtown. How did the transformation of Marina Bay come about, and what were the challenges encountered in its development? This case study discusses the impetus, policy approaches, and implementation mechanisms that went into the development of Marina Bay. In particular, the case study focuses on the 85-ha area in Marina Bay designated as the new business and financial district. The case study also examines the participation of the private sector, as well as explores how Marina Bay has affected the existing CBD and its wider implications for Singapore’s development.

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  3. Killing the Buzz: Curbing Public Drinking in Singapore

    Author/s:
    TAN SHIN BIN
    Year:
    2015
    Abstract:

    On weekend nights, youngsters would often congregate along pedestrian bridges and public sidewalks in Clarke Quay and Robertson Quay to drink before moving into the surrounding clubs for a night of dancing.  Similarly, foreign workers would gather in public fields or in the void decks of Housing Development Block (HDB) flats on weekends to drink and unwind. Unsurprisingly, residents living around these drinking ‘hotspots’ frequently expressed dismay over the nuisances created by large groups of drinkers, such as vomiting, rowdiness, and sometimes even violence. This case explores whether policy-makers should clamp down on public drinking in these hotspots, and if so, how they could go about doing so. The case then provides an overview of a new law restricting public drinking that was passed in 2015, and examines reactions to this law.

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  4. A Global City on Singaporean Soil: Growing the Economy, not the Gap?

    Author/s:
    TAN SHIN BIN
    Year:
    2014
    Abstract:

    Singapore is a small, resource-scarce state without a natural hinterland or a large domestic market to generate sufficient jobs and economic sustainability. Responding to these constrained circumstances, generations of policy-makers formulated and implemented economic strategies to integrate Singapore into the global economic system, and steer it towards becoming a ‘Global City’, in order to achieve long-term survival and prosperity. This case examines how Singapore’s ‘global city’ strategies affected equality outcomes in the country, and seeks to facilitate a discussion about how, or even whether, Singapore’s policy-makers should adjust these long-held strategies to safeguard equality in the country.   Read more  

  5. Containing Commercial Sex to Designated Red Light Areas: An idea past its prime?

    Author/s:
    TAN SHIN BIN and ALISHA GILL
    Year:
    2014
    Abstract:

    In Singapore, the sale of sex is tolerated in selected spaces like Geylang, as part of a wider, pragmatic policy to contain prostitution.  However, over the years, illegal prostitution activities seem to have expanded beyond the boundaries of designated red light districts, and into residential and commercial neighbourhoods like Joo Chiat and Duxton Hill—a phenomenon which points to the limits of governmental efforts to contain prostitution within clear geographical boundaries. How then, should policy makers address the problems that a pure strategy of containment seems ill-equipped to handle? To facilitate a discussion about Singapore’s policy towards prostitution, the case first provides a general description of the commercial sex market in Singapore, and more specific details about the evolution of Geylang, Joo Chiat and Duxton Hill. It then identifies some of the challenges and problems that have arisen from the current approach, and provides an overview of how other countries have sought to regulate the commercial sex industry. Read more

  6. Non-Ideal Toilets in India: The Solution to Sanitation Woes Or The Source of New Problems?

    Author/s:
    APRAJITA SINGH, EKROOP CAUR and KASHYAP SHAH
    Year:
    2014
    Abstract:

    In Bihar, India, a women-led urban sanitation project by an NGO provided thousands of women with access to privacy or a safe environment to relieve themselves. However, it also raised serious concerns about the nature of sanitation solutions (“soak pit”) being constructed, including safety norms and the contamination of ground water. This case examines a microcosm of the sanitation landscape and related cultural complexities in India, when policies have unintended potentially hazardous outcomes and result in competing goals. Read more

  7. How Should Singapore Improve Spatial Diversity and Equity in the City Centre?

    Author/s:
    Wu Wei Neng
    Year:
    2014
    Abstract:

    In November 2013, the URA released its Draft Master Plan (DMP) 2013, earmarking a new district, Marina South, for development into a high density, mixed-use residential area. Marina South lies within Singapore’s Central Area and can be considered Singapore’s city core. It covers 11 planning areas, or about 1,650 hectares. This is in line with the Ministry of National Development’s promise to “provide more housing in and around the Central Region to enable more Singaporeans to live nearer their workplaces. How different is the city centre, and how different should it be?   Read more  

  8. Renting out State Properties: Short Term Uses, Long Term Consequences

    Author/s:
    TAN SHIN BIN
    Year:
    2014
    Abstract:

    The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) leases out vacant state buildings, such as former schools and community centres, on a short-term basis to the public. This rental scheme had been formulated and operationalised to serve very practical, pragmatic purposes such as optimising state assets and providing additional built capacity that can be deployed quickly and flexibly to meet a variety of short-term demands for space. However, despite the scheme’s practical underpinnings, when the leases of certain developments approach expiry and when the state steps in to reclaim the state buildings, responses from tenants and the public have proved to be emotive and negative. This case provides an overview of SLA’s state properties rental scheme, and investigates how and why the implementation of the scheme has bumped up against contestations in recent years. The case also explores whether authorities should reconsider how the state properties rental scheme negotiates trade-offs between public demands and pragmatic land development needs, and if so, how.   Read more  

  9. The Evolution of Public Transport Policies in Singapore

    Author/s:
    TAN SHIN BIN and LEONG CHING
    Year:
    2013
    Abstract:

    This case explores the evolution of Singapore’s policies on public transport, starting from the landmark 1996 Land Transport White Paper and how it has shaped Singapore’s transport landscape from the 1990s to early 2000s. It then examines the challenges, such as the December 2011 train breakdowns, and corresponding policy shifts that occurred between the early 2000s and the present, which culminated in the revised Land Transport Master Plan and fare reviews released in 2013. From there, the case explores the rationale behind the shifts and the reactions to them, and highlights key considerations and tradeoffs that transport policy makers face when deciding on further policy adjustments. Read more

  10. Long-Term Land Use Planning In Singapore

    Author/s:
    TAN SHIN BIN
    Year:
    2013
    Abstract:

    The Singapore government has a well-deserved reputation for its long-term, forward looking approach to land use planning, earned largely because of its success in transforming the island-state from a chaotic ‘third-world’ country to the well-run city it is today. In recent years however, Singapore experienced rapid population growth, which threw the planning system out of gear because infrastructure growth could not catch up. In response to public concerns over the long-term viability of its population policies and the liveability of the island, in 2013, the Singapore government released a Population White Paper[1] as well as a forward-looking Land Use Plan articulating the government’s proposed land use and infrastructure development strategy to support a population of 6.9 million by 2030. Despite best intentions, the reactions to the Population White Paper and the accompanying Land Use Plan proved negative. The events leading up to the Population White Paper, and the subsequent public uproar over the government’s proposed population policy roadmap and Land Use Plan raised key questions about the efficacy of long-term land use planning in Singapore. This case looks to examine whether Singapore’s long-term planning over the years has been effective, and also explore how and why it may have fallen short. Read more

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