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Changing Landscapes of Singapore

Old Tensions, New Discoveries

Elaine Lynn-Ee Ho, Wong Chih Yuan and Kamalini Ramdas

Publication Year: 2013

Changing Landscapes of Singapore illuminates both the social and the physical terrains of modern Singapore. Geographers use the term landscape to refer to visible surfaces and to the spatial dimension of social relations. Landscapes arise from particular historical circumstances, and in turn help shape social arrangements and possible courses of future development. The authors describe how the settings inhabited by various social groups in Singapore affect life experiences, and explore the impact of broader regional and international forces on Singapore. Written for non-specialists, the volume reflects fresh perspectives from the scholarship of Singaporean academics. Their work is sensitive to historical and geographical trends in the region, and also engages with broader theoretical themes.

Published by: NUS Press Pte Ltd

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 1-4

All rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced inany form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any information storage and retrieval system now known or to beNational Library Board, Singapore Cataloguing-in-Publication DataChanging landscapes of Singapore: old tensions new discoveries / edited by ...


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pp. v-vi

List of Tables

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pp. vii-8

List of Figures

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pp. ix-xiv

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pp. xv-xvi

Landscapes can be deeply personal. They furnish the visually rich and ever changing milieu that accompany us as we journey through life. In trying to excavate these visual remembrances from the recesses of my mind, I realise that most of the landscapes which hold significance for me are comprehended through the idiom of loss: the Gurkha police settlement with its broad grassy ...

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pp. xvii-xviii

Changing Landscapes of Singapore is a module that has been taught by the Department of Geography in the National University of Singapore (NUS) since 2001. The module has been popular with successive cross-disciplinary cohorts of students in every semester in which it is offered since its inception. This edited volume presents the substance of the module ...

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Chapter 1: Introduction: Rediscovering Singapore's Changing Landscapes

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pp. 1-22

...?Rediscover Singapore??it encapsulates a call to see the urban form of Singapore differently, to engage with otherwise familiar landscapes in new ways. Such is the series title of a guidebook and a collection of maps commissioned by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA Website) in conjunction with Timeout, an internationally renowned travel magazine, in ...

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Part 1: Singapore, In the Making

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pp. 23-24

Part 1 is titled ?Singapore, In the Making? to emphasise the importance of taking into account past developments when analysing the contemporary landscapes of Singapore. Landscapes are rarely tabula rasa; as landscapes experience successive rounds of redevelopment, past and present social and economic relations become repeatedly layered over. In excavating these critical ...

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Chapter 2: Heritage Landscapes and Nation-Building in Singapore

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pp. 25-42

In an era of globalisation, as nations become less insular and people increasingly mobile, forging identities that connect people to place has become more challenging than before. This chapter highlights how heritage is mobilised in Singapore to fulfil this objective. After discussing key concepts and providing an account of heritage conservation in Singapore, the chapter draws upon ...

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Chapter 3: From Housing a Nation to Meeting Rising Aspirations: Evolution of Public Housing over the Years

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pp. 43-60

With over 80 per cent of the Singaporean resident population residing in Housing Development Board (HDB) flats, it is certainly not an overstatement that public housing is and has remained one of the key cornerstones in Singapore?s successful public policy over the last few decades. The collective consumption of the public housing landscape, to be sure, is about more ...

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Chapter 4: Nature and the Environment as an Evolving Concern in Urban Singapore

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pp. 61-80

The concept of landscape is a useful tool for interrogating the meanings of nature and environment, as well as society?s relationship with nature. Landscapes reflect competing societal views on nature and environment (see Kong and Yeoh 1996, for a discussion on the social constructions of nature in Singapore). As Mitchell (2000: 100) points out, landscape ?is a way of carefully selecting ...

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Chapter 5: The Heart of a Global City: The Remaking of Singapore's City Centre

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pp. 81-106

Singapore?s urban landscape is recognised globally as one that has undergone tremendous change in the last half a century. It has been transformed from the status of a ?Third World? city to one that is comfortably positioned within the echelons of developed nations. In recent years it has ranked favourably in international city indices in terms of vibrancy, ease of doing ...

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Part 2: Singapore, Its Heartbeat

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pp. 107-108

Whilst the preceding section focused on the historical developments that shape contemporary landscapes in Singapore, the chapters in Part 2 address the centrality of people who comprise the ?heartbeat? of its landscapes. By adopting an actor-centred approach to analysing landscapes in Singapore, we can decipher the ways in which people contribute to the (re)making ...

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Chapter 6: Contesting Landscapes of Familyhood: Singlehood, the AWARE Saga and the Pink Dot Celebrations

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pp. 109-125

In the 1990s, the Singaporean state inscribed a set of ?shared values? (Chua 1996: 59) as the bedrock of the young nation. One of the five values maintained that the family should be the basic unit of Singaporean society.1 Inherent in this is the assumption that the family unit would consist of heterosexual partnerships enshrined by the institution of marriage. These shared values ...

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Chapter 7: Growing Old in Singapore: Social Constructions of Old Age and the Landscapes of the Elderly

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pp. 126-141

Population ageing is a demographic phenomenon that most governments are concerned about and find challenging. This phenomenon has always been cast in a catastrophic light by policymakers and the media who draw attention to its possible social costs and detrimental effects to the economy. Currently, 9 per cent of the resident population in Singapore are 65 years ...

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Chapter 8: Migrant Landscapes: A Spatial Analysis of South Asian Male Migrants in Singapore

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pp. 142-157

Did it ever occur to you that the people we interact with daily are as different as we are similar? (Singapore Heritage Festival Website) The question above was featured on the homepage of the Singapore Heritage Festival that took place in August 2010. It makes reference to Singapore as an immigrant port-city that is, and has always been, diverse. The transnational ...

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Chapter 9: The Singaporean "Diaspora" Landscape: Nation and Extraterritoriality

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pp. 158-176

Nearly 200,000 Singaporeans live overseas according to a population policy report published in 2011 (National Population and Talent Division 2011). Politicians and the media refer regularly to this group of overseas Singaporeans as the ?Singapore diaspora?. What are the connotations of the label ?diaspora?? How is it related to landscape? Why is the diaspora ...

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Part 3: Singapore, "Writ-large"

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pp. 177-178

Flows, processes and events occurring at different geographical scales constantly impact landscapes. Part 3 is titled ?writ-large? to cast attention on the way Singapore is defined and constituted by trends and developments that transcend its territorial boundaries. The chapters in this section work together as a whole to iterate the variety of flows enabling the city-state to ...

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Chapter 10: Geopolitical Landscapes of Terror and Security in Singapore

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pp. 179-195

In December 2001, the Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs announced that it had unearthed and successfully intercepted a series of malicious, terrorist plots aimed at local infrastructures (e.g. train stations and water plants) and U.S. military facilities within the country. The initial relief that such acts of terror were prevented from materialising was overwhelmed quickly ...

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Chapter 11: Singapore's Economic Landscapes: Local Transformations and Global Networks

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pp. 196-217

With its geographically small land area, maritime positioning and few natural resources, Singapore?s historical role as an entrepot means it has always been dependent on its external networks for survival and prosperity. This outward-looking attitude continues to guide the country?s economic development policies through the challenging periods of post-independence. ...

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Chapter 12: Spaces, Places and Landscapes for the Arts

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pp. 218-236

Singapore?s development as a ?global arts city? may be traced back to 1989 when a high level government committee was established to jump-start the country?s cultural development. The main role of the Advisory Council on Culture and the Arts (ACCA) was to envision Singapore as a culturally-vibrant society by providing recommendations on arts infrastructure, ...

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Chapter 13: Tourism 2015: Making YourSingapore

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pp. 237-256

In 2005, Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr Lim Hng Kiang, unveiled the Singapore Tourism Board?s (STB) bold targets for 2015. These include tripling tourism receipts to S$30 billion, doubling visitor arrivals to 17 million, creating an additional 100,000 jobs in the services sector, and launching a series of iconic projects with the aim of remaking Singapore into an appealing ...

Engaging Landscapes

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pp. 257-258

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Chapter 14: The Changing Landscape of Jalan Besar

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pp. 259-281

Jalan Besar literally means ?big and wide street? in the Malay language. It began as a 19th-century path into mangrove swamps, and later transformed into a busy road in the city. Jalan Besar is also a district?a triangular area bounded by Rochor Canal, Serangoon Road and Lavender Street. Located on the edge of town between the two ethnic communities of Kampong ...

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Chapter 15: Landscape Encounters: Students' Photo Essays

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pp. 282-287

I took this photo while on a geography fieldtrip last year in Tiong Bahru. It showcases some remaining Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT) flats juxtaposed against the backdrop of towering Housing Development Board new Built-to- Order (BTO) flats. This picture is significant as it reflects how the state and market forces affect space materially, promote certain values, and displace or...

Notes on Contributors

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pp. 288-292


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pp. 293-295

E-ISBN-13: 9789971697976
Print-ISBN-13: 9789971697723

Page Count: 314
Illustrations: 5 tables, 77 images
Publication Year: 2013

Edition: New