The Newsletter 66 Winter 2013

Canals and concrete: floods and the Singapore state

Loh Kah Seng

Singapore is at a crossroads. Since the 1990s, the city-state has not only ambitiously tried to transform itself into a global city, but more recently, has declared its excellence in balancing economic, social and environmental priorities. In 2011, Singapore was ranked the 4th most livable city in Asia (51st overall) in the Global Livability index. Five years earlier, its government had adopted the ABC (‘Active, Beautiful and Clean’) Waters program, where rain gardens and roof gardens would not only store water for use, but also ‘beautify urban spaces, create new community focal points and enhance biodiversity.’


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