International Development Planning Review

Public space and the developmental state in Singapore

International Development Planning Review (2002), 24, (4), 433–447.

Abstract

The development history of public space in Singapore has been dominated by the hegemony of planned spaces. The transformation of public space in public housing estates can be read as an essay in realising Foucault's idea of disciplinary technology. The hegemony of the state dictates the spatial practice of control and discipline effected through the instruments of new town planning. This paper argues that the consequent decline in the use of public space is in some measure a result of this increasing loss of individuality and privacy in the public realm. Hence, planned public spaces have not served the civic needs of the citizenry. The role played by the use of public spaces in the realisation of 'self' and its public expression has been displaced. Castells described urban planning as political intervention. The increased abstraction and homogenisation of space, albeit ideological space, has displaced public space from its larger context, the city, and its greater role as civic space.

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Author details

Ling, Ooi Giok

Limin, Hee