October 15, 2022

Help Wanted: Urbanists in Singapore

This November, I’ll be fulfilling a desire I’ve add for many years: a visit to Singapore.

I’m particularly interested in lessons the citystate may have for us, a place where many of us have our roots.

Singapore is an example not only for how to accommodate density on a geographically limited landbase but also how to accommodate a diversity of people.  It has been referenced as a model for affordable housing on a scale that is both both livable and equitable.  It was one of the first (and still only) cities that adopted congestion pricing.  It has taken on the challenge of sustainability, of the literally green city.   Some see it as clean, controlled and boring.  And is still dismissed as a place that prohibits chewing gum.


I want to see for myself.  But I’d also like to have a guide, or even conversations with those who know the reality of Singapore and what is it currently taking on and how it is planning to deal with its challenges.

If you know of (or are) such a person, or have a contact who has contacts, let me know.  Make a connection.  I’ll there from November 24 to 27.

Send along a link to pricetags (at) shaw.ca.






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  1. Gordon: I was in Singapore in 2018 to speak at a conference. Absolutely amazing. It is very, very interesting to see how they have handled housing and transportation. For a nation born out of racial strife it was great to see young girls together arm in arm on the street after school – some in mini-skirts, other wearing a hijab. They do give you a notice at the airport advising of the death penalty for drug offences. Look up and see the poles used to dry clothes from apartment buildings. So much to see. Check out the Housing and Development Board – “Today, more than 900,000 HDB flats shape Singapore’s housing landscape. More than 8 in 10 Singaporeans live in HDB flats, and more than 9 in 10 of them own the flat they live in.” See https://www.hdb.gov.sg/about-us/news-and-publications/publications/dwellings/housing-a-nation