Part 1: Singapore, In the Making
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Part 1 Singapore, In the Making 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 histories, one recurring theme in this section is the highly interventionist role played by the Singaporean government in shaping the country’s landscapes. Indeed, the past 40 years have witnessed the rise of a “developmental state” in Singapore. Economic goals were prioritised by the government even if at the expense of political and social rights. Be it the realm of housing, heritage, the environment or urban planning, the associated landscapes are reflective of the top-down, pragmatic approach adopted by the state. But landscapes are never static and unchanging. As Singapore progresses and matures economically, the chapters in Part 1 underline how evolving values and sentiments within Singaporean society are reflected in and shaped by landscapes. Specifically, the chapters highlight emerging tensions and challenges emanating from the state’s top-down approach in handling societal affairs and relationships. Whilst economic concerns still hold sway, contemplations abound on how “economic” needs have to be carefully negotiated and balanced with other aspirations in Singapore’s next phase of development. The landscapes featured in this section not only document the transformations of Singapore from past to present, but they also cast a reflexive lens on the continuous making of Singapore’s landscapes. 02 C-Landscapes.indd 23 7/30/13 10:17:20 AM 02 C-Landscapes.indd 24 7/30/13 10:17:21 AM This page is intentionally left blank. ...