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Model city Singapore shows symptoms of urban stress

 

ShareretweetEmailPrintTopics:Economy Government and Policy On Wednesday 25 August 2010, 10:49 SGT

 

Flash floods along posh Orchard Road. Packed subway trains. Traffic gridlock in the morning and evening rush hours. Intensifying competition for public flats.

 

What happened to squeaky-clean, smooth-flowing Singapore?

 

Widely acclaimed as one of the world's most "liveable" cities, Singapore is now experiencing urban growth woes as it moves to expand its population to 6.5 million in 20 years, up 30 percent from the current level of five million.

 

The target was first cited in 2007 as an optimal population size for long-term economic competitiveness, but strains are already beginning to show as more immigrants and guest workers jostle for space with the locals.

 

Not to mention an invasion of tourists, with arrivals surpassing the one million mark in a single month for the first time in July, thanks to two new massive casino resorts that opened a few months ago.

 

Singapore, one of the world's richest cities, has a land area of just 710 square kilometres (274 square miles) but until recent years, it had avoided the congested feeling of places like Hong Kong and Tokyo.

 

"It's crowded, very crowded," commuter Anthony Chua, a 47-year-old accountant, said after getting off a train near the banking district.

 

Despite increased train frequency during peak demand periods, Chua felt trains were more cramped than before.

 

"There's a certain level of frustration but I suppose we learn to accept it," he added.

 

The government was left red-faced in June and July after an unprecedented three flash floods inundated houses, drowned cars and damaged shops, with insurers estimating 23 million Singapore dollars (17 million US) in claims.

 

The Public Utilities Board attributed the freak floods to regional squalls and clogged drainage, but questions remained over whether Singapore was equipped to handle the side effects of rapid urbanization.

 

The city-state's founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, shocked many when he said occasional floods were inevitable in constantly rain-drenched Singapore because it could not afford to convert roads into canals.

 

Insurance companies subsequently said premiums might be raised in flood-prone areas including the shopping belt around Orchard Road.

 

But the floods formed just part of Singaporeans' urban gripes.

 

Traffic has slowed amid an explosion in car ownership even though Singapore is one of the costliest places in the world to own a vehicle due to high taxes and quotas.

 

As of July, there were 936,311 vehicles plying the roads of Singapore, with cars accounting for 61.5 percent of the total, compared to 755,000 vehicles just five years ago.

 

The Land Transport Authority said daily journeys on private vehicles and public transport were expected to increase by 60 percent from the current 8.9 million to 14.3 million by 2020.

 

Demand for homes in Singapore's public housing blocks, where 80 percent of the population reside, is also straining supply.

 

National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan said there was an "imbalance" in supply and demand in July, with many first-time flat-buyers such as newlywed couples unable to find affordable homes.

 

Resale prices of four- and five-room flats, the most popular among Singaporeans, ranged from 331,500 to 682,500 Singapore dollars (243,190 to 500,773 US) in the second quarter.

 

Foreigners who enjoy permanent residency and are eligible to purchase public housing totalled 533,000 in 2009, a 37.8 percent increase from 2005.

 

Singapore's total population numbered 4.99 million last year, a 17 percent increase from 2005, according to the latest government data.

 

Urban expert Seetharam Kallidaikurichi said Singaporeans should be prepared to pay more for public services if they expect the government to meet their expectations.

 

"It's like you live in a five-star hotel. What happens? You just check in, you get your bed ready, new linen given to you, you come down, breakfast is served for you... (but) you pay for it," said the professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

 

The Urban Redevelopment Authority, the agency in charge of city planning, said it was devising new methods of maximising Singapore's land space.

 

They include utilising underground space, building new commercial hubs away from the city centre and doubling the train network.

 

"As Singapore is a small city-state with limited land resources, the scarcity of land has been and will continue to be a challenge we face," it said in reply to queries from AFP.

 

"The challenge of balancing growth with liveability is not an easy one, but we are confident that this can be done for Singapore." it said.

 

Kallidaikurichi said Singapore was still leagues ahead of many other cities in terms of living conditions, and particularly praised the emphasis on greening the dense landscape.

 

"Many other cities including the big cities in the US and others, they have ended up as concrete jungles because they put so much roads and buildings and so on that they forgot about real life in terms of living," he said.

 

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Our country is like a rubber band..U can stretch it but there is a limit before it snaps .

 

When it snaps rubber band is useless and the person stretching it will get a nasty pain on the fingers.

 

I agree on the MRT by the commuter..the trains come at every 2 mins and I appreciate it but its impossible to get in.

 

I do not need the rubber band to stretch to the max but got 80% can oredi..

 

Public housing that costs nearly half a million for a small 4 room flat..U may profit for now.

 

What about the next generation ? It will be a punishment for those who are reborn to be a human and making things worse..becoming a Sporean.

 

 

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so the so call "intangible value" issit still good?

 

like i said,the cycle might not be as look as it looks..

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"Seetharam Kallidaikurichi"

 

does the immigration form have enough fill-in-the-blank square boxes for this kinda FT?

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What laws do you think are needed for a gracious society? I can think of a few:

 

1. Peasants must be courteous towards elites and address them as Sir/Mdm or Mr/Ms.

2. Whenever peasants seen an elite car cutting into their lane, they must slow down and allow them to cut in.

3. Stiff penalties for all peasants who mistreat elites in anyway (fines, jail, cane etc).

 

I believe our society will become very gracious and you will see cars giving way rather than fighting for space.

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What laws do you think are needed for a gracious society? I can think of a few:

 

1. Peasants must be courteous towards elites and address them as Sir/Mdm or Mr/Ms.

2. Whenever peasants seen an elite car cutting into their lane, they must slow down and allow them to cut in.

3. Stiff penalties for all peasants who mistreat elites in anyway (fines, jail, cane etc).

 

I believe our society will become very gracious and you will see cars giving way rather than fighting for space.

 

 

Why need laws?

 

Tat will be like forcing ppl.........

 

[shakehead][shakehead]

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People are not gracious because they are all rushing somewhere, all because our life here is too fast paced and stressful. implementing laws won't change anything.

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Going by your theory, you are implying that human beings are incapable of thinking and making decisions for themselves, and need to be told what to do.

 

Is that what you are? Are you incapable of thinking for yourself and need to be told what to do?

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Here r the laws i would prefer to have...

 

1. Peasants must be courteous towards elites and address them as Sir/Mdm or Mr/Ms. => Elites shld be courteous towards the peasants & if they show or flaunt their stucked up attitude, they will be fined & jailed.

2. Whenever peasants seen an elite car cutting into their lane, they must slow down and allow them to cut in. => Elite muz stay the hell outta 1st lane & cruise & hog all they wan on 3rd lane wif the lorries. They r too elite to speed.

3. Stiff penalties for all peasants who mistreat elites in anyway (fines, jail, cane etc). => Elites who mistreat & do not respect peasants to be sent to the gallow & eat bullets.

 

I believe our society will become very gracious and you will see cars giving way rather than fighting for space. => I believe there will be less disgruntled drivers in sg.

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What laws do you think are needed for a gracious society? I can think of a few:

 

1. Peasants must be courteous towards elites and address them as Sir/Mdm or Mr/Ms.

2. Whenever peasants seen an elite car cutting into their lane, they must slow down and allow them to cut in.

3. Stiff penalties for all peasants who mistreat elites in anyway (fines, jail, cane etc).

 

I believe our society will become very gracious and you will see cars giving way rather than fighting for space.

 

 

you piece of s--t [rifle]

 

you sound like you are from india where they use the Cast system, promoting social stratification and social restrictions.

 

Mini-itx is from india?

 

Sorry, we don't practice it in spore,

[laugh] [laugh]

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What laws do you think are needed for a gracious society? I can think of a few:

 

1. Peasants must be courteous towards elites and address them as Sir/Mdm or Mr/Ms.

2. Whenever peasants seen an elite car cutting into their lane, they must slow down and allow them to cut in.

3. Stiff penalties for all peasants who mistreat elites in anyway (fines, jail, cane etc).

 

I believe our society will become very gracious and you will see cars giving way rather than fighting for space.

 

pls consider suicide. you're wasting our oxygen. really, I mean it. I know you're stupid but it's quite hard to screw up a suicide. Pls kill yourself.

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What laws do you think are needed for a gracious society? I can think of a few:

 

1. Peasants must be courteous towards elites and address them as Sir/Mdm or Mr/Ms.

2. Whenever peasants seen an elite car cutting into their lane, they must slow down and allow them to cut in.

3. Stiff penalties for all peasants who mistreat elites in anyway (fines, jail, cane etc).

 

I believe our society will become very gracious and you will see cars giving way rather than fighting for space.

 

I detect high levels of sarcasm for your posting and very very high levels of incomprehension among the mess, I mean mass of respondents here...

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pls consider suicide. you're wasting our oxygen. really, I mean it. I know you're stupid but it's quite hard to screw up a suicide. Pls kill yourself.

 

 

yups, agree. he should really kill himself.

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he has gone bonkers. IMH waiting for u bro.

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My oh my... and it goes on... goodness me, what has become of the populi? Is it true that all that microwave floating freely in the air is really cooking the cells away? I find it so amusing...it really is...!!!

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Reminders rather than laws

 

recently mrt got songs like ask pple

move in so pple can board if not let seats to pple

 

we need to b reminded? Y we were not reminded when our pay come, or to eat?

 

Too first class? LOL

 

most of the time i seen Blangla workers are

most gracious in mrt i swear!

Edited by Freestylers09
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What laws do you think are needed for a gracious society? I can think of a few:

 

1. Peasants must be courteous towards elites and address them as Sir/Mdm or Mr/Ms.

2. Whenever peasants seen an elite car cutting into their lane, they must slow down and allow them to cut in.

3. Stiff penalties for all peasants who mistreat elites in anyway (fines, jail, cane etc).

 

I believe our society will become very gracious and you will see cars giving way rather than fighting for space.

 

 

ISD come arrest you then you know. For stirring unrest and dissatifaction amongst the less priviledge. :o

 

There are alot of ball carriers here and hidden elites that got nothing else better to do, surfing internet while getting high pay. They will Pao toh you and hope to get some awards

Edited by Pentium
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