Changing Landscapes of Singapore

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9780071234795: Changing Landscapes of Singapore

The transformations that have occurred in Singapore’s landscape have been rapid since independence. Changing Landscapes of Singapore discusses these changes from the perspective of lived landscapes which have day-to-day meanings for Singaporeans. It begins with an exploration of the major physical changes resulting from rapid urbanisation and industrialisation and Singapore’s attempt to balance the stresses of physical development with the needs of a green agenda.

Several other themes relating to landscape change follow. A section on landscapes of community and nationhood investigates how issues concerning shelter (public housing), heritage conservation, street-names and national symbols affect Singaporeans’ notions of belonging. This is followed by a discussion on globalisation and the way it affects the nationstate’s development. This section examines not only Singapore’s efforts at regionalisation and its attempt to gain a better foothold in the workings of the global capitalistic system but also evaluates the impacts of globalisation on the society.

The last section on forgotten landscapes is a reminder of who and what may be left behind in striving for excellence. Landscapes reveal and reflect forgotten needs as much as they record what have been remembered and valued. The various strands are brought together in the fi nal chapter where the landscape is used as a lens to raise questions on future challenges. While intended as a general text for university students, this book will also provide source materials for school teachers (junior college and upper secondary levels), the general student population as well as the general reader interested in understanding the country’s rapid landscape changes.

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From the Author:

This book was conceived as a text for undergraduates taking the Changing Landscapes of Singapore module at the Department of Geography, National University of Singapore. Given the diversity of the Singapore landscape, any publication will only reflect a modicum of reality. Nevertheless, the book provides students with insights into some of the critical changes that hae taken place, especially from the perspectie of lived landscapes which have day-to-day meanings for Singaporeans. As our students come from a number of disciplines ranging from the natural sciences to the humanities, the books is tailored to suit the general reader interested in the way geographers interpret landscapes. In addition, this book is intended as useful source material for teachers and the general student population interested in understanding the country's rapid landscape changes.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The starting point in this book is the idea that changing landscapes reflect and embody shifting social values. Focusing on Singapore's rapidly changing landscapes proides us with a lens through which we may examine the social, economic and political values, frameworks and debates which have undergirded Singapore's development in the post-independence years. In particulaar, we want to document and discuss specific landscape changes which have been part and parcel of the everyday lies of Singaporeans. Although many of the changes reflected in the landscape have been drien mainly by the state, oer the years, Singaporeans have expressed increasing interest in thinking about and giving their opinions on these changes, even as they themseles become more actively engaged in the economy and society, and in charting the nation's growth.

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