Updated 19 March 2020: The format has changed to an online webinar via the Research Zoom Room: https://uqz.zoom.us/j/5446144196.

Singapore’s city-making practices are seen by many Asia Pacific cities as a model to achieve today’s most desired “world class city” status. They constitute sources of innovation, experimentation and creativity, able to shape alternative social configurations, and successfully break established norms of dominant urban standards. This paper focuses on the urban corridor defined by the connection of Changi Airport, East Coast Parkway (ECP) and Gardens by the Bay as a single urban entity, unified by a visual and experiential choreography. The Changi Airport–Gardens by the Bay leg is a part of Singapore to be experienced by the majority of the 18.5 million of annual visitors arriving in the city-state. The 18-km route is a major infrastructural project that began in 1971 and is still in progress. It is a highly landscaped artery of the island, through which the airport has injected its hyper-urbanism strategies into the city. By its rapid and scenic connection to Gardens by the Bay, Changi has thus gone well beyond its status of world’s best airport, constituting a major global attractor. While conveying the history of the developments of these poles and their strategic links, we are arguing for the development of a form of transnational elite urbanism based on leisure and recreation, where urban design plays a key role. We unpack the planning mechanisms used to enable this development, including the land reclamation powers of the state and the government land sales program.

The paper also scrutinizes the strategies that underpin the urban succession of the ECP’s infrastructural nodes, including the Jewel and the conservatories, and investigate the choreography of the airport landscape in relation to the city, by means of infrastructural strategies (public spaces, parks); leisured functions (retail, hospitality) and a coherent design language (iconic pavilions, gardens and bridges). Drawing on official documentation from Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), field-research and using a multi-disciplinary lens, this paper interpolates planning and architectural studies with unique insights gleaned by on-site investigation.

About 2020 research webinar series

The School of Architecture presents the 2020 Research Webinar Series.


School of Architecture
Research Zoom Room: https://uqz.zoom.us/j/5446144196