ARI Working Paper Series
WPS 268 Creative Placemaking as a Policy and a Practice of Urban Regeneration in Singapore: Negotiating Power Relations and Forging Partnerships in Civic Society
Publisher : Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore
Publication Date : Sep / 2018
Author/Speaker: Yulia PAK
Keywords : Placemaking, Singapore, urban regeneration, policymaking, Asian urbanisms, public-private partnerships.

Existing research of emerging urban paradigms like heritage activism, placemaking and other creative interventions establishes a strong link between urban cultural production and emerging forms of civic participation in East and Southeast Asia, marking the shift in relationships between states and civic societies. Although prosperous Singapore with its tightly controlled urban planning and cultural policies is spared of many issues that have been targeted by urban regeneration initiatives elsewhere in Asian cities, placemaking has been firmly established as a government-led policy and a practice since some 10 years ago. By unpacking multiple factors involved in creation of its current momentum in Singapore and mapping out its evolving placemaking landscape along with the key social, economic, spatial and cultural conditions and policies that continue to form the setting for local placemaking practices, the paper argues that uncontested leadership of government agencies resulted in the initiatives mainly serving the broad national agenda rather than localizing social and spatial regeneration impact by focusing on concrete issues and interests of communities and local stakeholders. Unsurprisingly, this entices a shift in the scope of placemaking missions and effectively discourages community and private sector stewardship. The paper, however, suggests that there are several existing opportunities for creative placemaking in Singapore to gradually develop into a more inclusive and truly participatory practice.