The Making of State — Business Driven Public Spaces in Singapore
Journal of Asian Architecture and Building Engineering
Public policy can significantly affect the design and quality of public spaces. This may be truer in Singapore than elsewhere. The making of new public spaces after Singapore's independence has been attributed to the extensive authority and perhaps draconian powers of the building authorities. Enacted in 1966, The Land Acquisition Act empowered the Singapore government to compulsorily acquire land for public development, facilitating the acquisition and combination of fragmented lots. Such land
... is sold by public tender to private developers through the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme. The ensuing large footprint buildings with a strong public agenda have changed the landscape of Singapore. The resulting public spaces have been named State -Business Driven Public Spaces, or SBDPS, to reflect the close proximity and integration of state policies and business concerns. Through the examination of planning/ design policies, plans, circulars, and land sale packages, this study examines how the GLS programme evolves and responds to Singapore's economic and social conditions. It also explores the design review and evaluation process to reveal the hidden dynamics behind the development of public spaces, providing a clearer model to understand Singapore's urban policy and to compare it against the regulatory structures of other countries.