Planning the World Metropolis on an Island-City Scale: Urban Innovation as a Constraint and Tool for Global Change

  • Charles Goldblum

Urban planning in Singapore occupies a quite unusual position in the city-state’s development, as an engine for most of the sectoral and strategic changes that occurred during the last four decades. This fact is well admitted by many professional planners and urban research scholars. What might have been less observed or analysed are the links between Singapore’s urban planning strategies and its integration in the world economy. The hypothesis developed in the present chapter is that these two dimensions, the territorial one and the transactional one, may be considered as two faces of a “global city” project.

In this respect, Singapore’s current strong position in the global economy is not to be taken as the simple result of a process driven by external economic forces (e.g. transnational capital involved in industrial relocation and foreign direct investment), but rather as a result of a political will, taking advantage of the strategic location of Singapore as a major seaport in the Far-East and using its exceptional planning and anticipation capacities in order to cope with its vulnerability as a small island-state in a period that witnesses the rising of large independent nation-states.

Therefore, this chapter aims to approach Singapore’s internationally recognized performance in urban planning not only as a tool in meeting the demands of the international economy or for protecting the national territory against adverse environmental and social impacts, but also as a means for the city-state to keep its competitive advantages through permanent urban and territorial adjustments and innovations.


Urban Planning Public Housing Urban Renewal Global City Town Development 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  • Charles Goldblum

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