Creating New Urban Landscapes in Asia
Chapter 5: The making of a 'Renaissance City': building cultural monuments in Singapore
Without a doubt, Singapore has global aspirations to be in the superleague of cities. Indeed, some argue that it can already claim global city status (Baum, 1999, p. 1098), as a ‘linchpin of the new global capitalism’ (Chua, 1993, p. 105). Sally (2014) goes even further, asserting that there are only four truly global cities – London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore. There are numerous reasons for this confidence. Baum (1999, p. 1098) attributes it in part to Singapore’s physical infrastructure – its ‘efficient transport system and telecommunications network, modern and efficient airport and sea terminals, efficient business districts and a highly developed public housing system, all of which act to strengthen the city-state’s global competitiveness’. It is also a function of Singapore’s ‘international presence as a major commercial and financial centre as well as a significant location for the regional headquarters of major multi-national corporations’ (Lim and Malone-Lee, 1995, p. 90). Baum (1999, p. 1098) further points to the increasingly ‘global reach of both the economy and society’, evidenced by the ‘numbers of foreign-controlled companies, the amount of foreign capital invested in Singapore and the extent of international transport flows, both cargo and passenger’. These passenger flows, in turn, are of multiple hues, ranging from the business and professional class to unskilled immigrant workers and tourists.
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