Singapore is an anomaly. It is a city state – the city is the country and the country is the city. Everything that we need for a country has to be accommodated within our island, a unique situation which no other city in the world has to deal with. Thanks to the good foresight of our predecessors, after some six decades, a whole generation has now grown up in a green garden city, with easy access to clean water, good facilities and decent housing. We have come to expect such a quality environment as a natural order of things.
However, cities have to contend with growing complexity and disruptions from changes in demographics, climate change, the economy, new technology, and people’s aspirations and expectations. These issues will similarly have an impact on Singapore. How, then, do we continue to secure a better urban future for Singapore?
The 5th IPS-Nathan lecture series is themed, Seeking A Better Urban Future. Dr Cheong will examine how cities deal with their urban challenges to create a better urban life for their citizens. In particular, she will discuss the considerations needed to plan and develop Singapore in the face of rapid change and uncertainty.
Lecture I: What Makes A City Successful? Lessons from Inspiring Cities
There is no lack of plans drawn up by cities – but only some implement them successfully. The opening lecture sets the stage by taking a global view to draw insights from some inspiring cities and to uncover their secrets of success. As a founding member of the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize, Dr Cheong will distil the key traits and best practices from the Prize’s laureate cities which have led to their dramatic transformation, providing useful learning lessons for other cities, including Singapore.