LIVEABLE AND SUSTAINABLE CITIES - A SINGAPORE CASE-STUDY
2013/2014, Semester 2
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (Lee Kuan Yew School Of Public Policy)
Modular Credits: 4
Liveable and Sustainable Cities - A Singapore Case-Study
Khoo Teng Chye, Adjunct Professor, Executive Director / Centre for Liveable Cities
Alex Ho, Manager / Centre for Liveable Cities
Brian Patrick Tan, Assistant Director / Centre for Liveable Cities
An unprecedented level of urbanization is expected worldwide, presenting immense resource challenges as well as opportunities for cities. It is critical that the future city leaders learn from urban pioneers and case examples, to gain insights into the urban development challenges of cities, and to make informed decisions based on the principles and practices of dynamic urban governance.
Through this course, students will have the chance to draw upon CLC’s research in the form of Urban System Studies (USS), and analyze Singapore’s urban development journey from the lens of CLC’s Liveability Framework.
Students will get the rare opportunity to hear from industry leaders, experts and practitioners, gaining insight into the challenges of cities’ urban development. Thereafter, being equipped to make informed decisions based on the principles and practices of dynamic urban governance
Classes will be interactive and students will be expected to read the USS beforehand, and contribute to discussions.
Schedule and Topics of the Module
Key elements of Singapore’s urban development are captured as case studies in the form of USS, available as required readings. Moreover, there will be 2 Learning Journeys (or excursions) to exemplify the concepts and principles discussed in class. The schedule and the topics to be discussed via the USS are:
Topics / Module Outline
The CLC Liveability Framework & Urban Governance
Learning Journey: Inter Agency Effort – Singapore River
Sustainable Environment: Balancing Growth with the Environment
Public Housing: Turning Squatters into Stakeholders
Learning Journey: Integrated Newtown – Punggol New Town
Transport: Overcoming Constraints, Sustaining Mobility
Integrated Master Planning & Singapore’s Water Story
Industrial Infrastructure: Growing in Tandem with the Economy
Application of the CLC Liveability Framework
Closing Presentation and Dialogue
Students will learn about the CLC Liveability Framework and analyze Singapore’s urbanization through its lens. Thus, understanding how a city can achieve sustainable urban development.
Furthermore, students will also discover the foundations of Singapore’s success in sustainble urban development through lessons learnt from the USS.
Students will then be able to apply principles of the CLC Liveability Framework (e.g. dynamic urban governance and integrated master planning) and lessons from the USS to solve a city’s urban challenges.
Guest speakers who are experts in the various topics have been invited to give their take on Singapore’s liveability and sustainability. This presents a rare opportunity for students to interact with such industry leaders. Potential guest speakers include:
Dr Cheong Koon Hean
CEO of Housing & Development Board
Mr Vincent Hoong
CE of Singapore Land Authority
Dr Leong Chee Chiew
Commissioner of Parks & Recreation
You will be assessed on the following criteria:
Participation will be assessed in terms of: (1) frequency – how often you participate in class discussions; and (2) quality – the extent to which your contribution value adds to the topic of discussion, whilst demonstrating that you have thought through beyond the readings and understand/reflected the subject matter.
Students must come prepared for class and be expected to be called upon to contribute to discussions. The quality of discussions during each session depends on students’ active participation in discussion and preparation beforehand. Thus, reading of the materials and in particular the USS before each class is essential.
The platform for the forum discussion is online via the IVLE. Questions will be posted online, and students will be given a specific timeframe whereby comments or discussion can take place.
Group Presentation and Report
The assessment question is:
How can lessons from the Urban System Studies and principles from the Liveability Framework be applied to a city, to ensure sustainable urban development?
As a guide, you may wish to choose a city and expound on various factor contributing to liveability and sustainability; or explore policies, concepts and principles which will steer us through the future of a liveable and sustainable city.
This is a group assignment. Each group should consist between 5-7 students. There will be two components to this assessment: (1) a 20 minute presentation followed by a Q&A session; and (2) a report detailing the group’s findings, with a maximum word limit of 1500 words.
The group presentation and report will be due on 14 April 2014. The group presentation will take place during lesson time, whilst the report has to be submitted at the start of lesson.
About Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC)
Set up in 2008 by the Ministry of National Development and the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, the Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC) has its mission “to distil, create and share knowledge on liveable and sustainable cities”. CLC’s work spans three main areas – Research, Capability Development and Promotions. Through these activities, CLC hopes to provide urban leaders and practitioners with the knowledge and support needed to make our cities better.
The Singapore Urban Systems Studies Booklet Series draws on original Urban Systems Studies research by the Centre for Liveable Cities, Singapore (CLC) into Singapore’s development over the last half-century. The series is organised around domains such as water, transport, housing, planning, industry and the environment. Developed in close collaboration with relevant government agencies and drawing on exclusive interviews with pioneer leaders, these practitioner-centric booklets present a succinct overview and key principles of Singapore’s development model. Important events, policies, institutions, and laws are also summarised in concise annexes. The booklets are used as core course material and must be read before each respective class. They are:
Housing: Turning Squatters into Stakeholders; CLC, HDB
Sustainable Environment: Balancing Growth with the Environment; CLC, NEA
Industrial Infrastructure: Growing in Tandem with the Economy; CLC, JTC
Transport: Overcoming Constraints, Sustaining Mobility; CLC, LTA
Water: From Scarce Resource to National Asset, CLC, PUB
These booklets can be bought online at: www.amazon.com (print and digital editions), and http://store.vitalsource.com (digital edition only). Print editions are also available at the NUS Co-Op, Kinokuniya, MPH and Popular bookstores in Singapore.
Throughout the course, there may be additional USS related to the module topics. If so, they will be made accessible on the IVLE.
Urban Solutions, Issues 1, 2 and 3
Urban Solutions is an international magazine aimed at mayors and related urban experts and practitioners. It draws on the work of CLC and its partners to profile practitioner-centric features, interviews and essays on how to make our cities more liveable and sustainable. The Urban Solutions issues can be downloaded free of charge as E-Magazines from
10 Principles for Liveable High Density Cities Lessons from Singapore
The E-book can be downloaded free of charge from
Clean, Green and Blue
– Tan Yong Soon, Lee, Tan
Conserving The Past, Creating The Future. Urban Heritage in Singapore
– Lily Kong
Dynamic Governance, Embedding Culture, Capabilities and Change in Singapore
– Neo Boon Siong, Geraldine Chen
Dynamics of the Singapore Success Story
– Ngiam Tong Dow
Economics in Public Policies, The Singapore Story
– Tan Say Tin, Leong Foong Lin, Basil Chan Aik Leong, Tan Chien Ming, Tan Dai Hwee
From Third World to First, The Singapore Story: 1965-2000 – Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew
Goh Keng Swee, The Economics of Modernization
– Chua Beng Huat
Habitats In Harmony: The Story of Semakau Landfill, 2nd Edition
– Marcus Ng Fu Chuan
Heart Work, and Heart Work 2
– Chan Chin Bock
Housing A Nation, 25 Years of Public Housing in Singapore
– Aline K Wong, Stephen H K Yeh
Lee Kuan Yew, Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going
– Han Fook Kwang et al
Our Homes, 50 Years of Housing a Nation
– Warren Fernandez
Singapore Hawker Centres. People, Places, Food
– Lily Kong
The Political Economy of a City-State Revisited
– Linda Low
Workload Components : A-B-C-D-E
A: no. of lecture hours per week
B: no. of tutorial hours per week
C: no. of lab hours per week
D: no. of hours for projects, assignments, fieldwork etc per week
E: no. of hours for preparatory work by a student per week