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Changing Landscapes of Singapore


Sat Apr 25 2015, 2:00pm–4:00pm

Where: National Library, 100 Victoria Street, Rochor, Singapore

Restrictions: All ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Listed by: keith

Speaker: Associate Professor Victor R. Savage, Director of the Alumni Relations Office, National University of Singapore

Associate Professor Victor R Savage teaches in the Department of Geography, the Environmental Studies Programme and the Southeast Asian Studies Programme in NUS. A/P Savage holds a joint position in Geography and the NUS Environmental Studies Programme (BES). A/P Savage’s research interest is mainly on Singapore and the Southeast Asian region – historical and cultural landscapes, sustainable environments, environmental education, sustainable urban development and cross-cultural issues. Among his books are: Western Impressions of Nature and Landscape in Southeast Asia (1984); Toponymics: A Study of Singapore Street Names (co-authored with Brenda Yeoh, 2004), The Naga Challenged: Southeast Asia in the Winds of Change (jointly edited with May Tan-Mullins, 2005). A/P Savage is the Editor of the Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography and an International Editorial Board member of the Sustainability Science (Japan) and Geografiska Annaler (Sweden).

Over the last 190 years of Singapore’s history, the city-state landscapes have undergone tremendous change and transformation. These changes can be ascribed to three historical developments: i) the persistence of historical developments and ethnic place attachments (1823 Raffles Plan; ethnic enclaves; CBD; sacred places); ii) slow evolutionary changes (changing urban morphology – shophouse; colonial city; city vs rural dichotomy till 1960); and iii) revolutionary landscape changes (satellite towns, transportation networks, tourism, flatted dwellings, reclamation, high-rise buildings) have been especially significant in the last 50 years of independence. Singapore’s rapid landscape changes leave its senior citizens directionless and placeless. Its young population wants to experience things anew – restaurants and entertainment places rarely last two years of economic profitability. Singapore’s limited space makes all things expensive because of rent and property costs. This slide show cum talk provides a glimpse of the Singapore landscapes of yesterday and today, and its implications in the imageability and legibility of Singapore to residents and tourists alike.

Admission is free but registration is required via