Monthly Archives: April 2014

Let artists shape a resilient city

I published a short opinion piece in “The Straits Times” (Singapore) last Thursday (April 10th 2014). As Singapore newspapers are hard to find for many of us in the rest of the world, here’s the text of that piece (I had to keep it very short and fulfill the edit requests of the newspaper… I am also doing a longer article in a book to be published soon by the organizers of the i Light symposium).

Last month (March) I was invited to give a keynote address on art and sustainability at the i Light Symposium held at the URA Centre in Maxwell Rd. The aim of the conference was to bring together leading thinkers in the area of Light and Art, interrogating art’s power to improve society. I had diverse conversations with artists, architects, social scientists and others, on unsustainable development. I visited neighbourhoods ranging from Marina Bay to Bukit Brown.

These first impressions raised my awareness of the specific challenges of urban resilience for Singapore. In particular, impending climate change raises the question of Singapore’s “resilience” to serious future crises. Will it survive when the trusted approaches that granted wealth and stability to the island in the past will be severely tested?  Continue reading