Onward, Singapore: Setting the New Standard for Urban Innovation

Boyd Cohen takes us through a brief tour of the Lion City's many progressive and wildly successful programs, from affordable housing to traffic management and beyond.

For all the unprecedented urban development taking hold of Asia lately, China has a way of hogging the limelight. But the often undercelebrated city-state of Singapore has quite a few programs underway that place it at the forefront of smart cities across the globe, Cohen writes. 

With ownership-oriented public housing, unheard-of personal vehicle tax rates (well in excess of 100%), world-class mass rapid transit, leading-edge water management, and high-tech traffic monitoring, the city has quite deservedly earned a reputation in the region for aggressively (and effectively) implementing forward-thinking technologies.

On the flip side, Cohen notes that there's room for improvement: "the culture appears to be quite risk averse... I do not believe Singapore is doing enough to encourage local innovation to meet the needs of its smart infrastructure. It appears the bias is much more on tried and true products from branded multinationals."

But in the end, he concedes that the current state of the city is astonishing, all considered. "Given that it was relatively poor only a few decades ago, it is impressive to see how Singapore is now a robust, vibrant, multi-cultural, clean, and safe place to be."

Full Story: Singapore Is On Its Way To Becoming An Iconic Smart City

Comments

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.
Melissa and Doug Town Blocks Wooden Play Set

Block play meets role play

New! Town block set from Melissa and Doug Toys
$28.95
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95