Singapore – One of The Three Sovereign City States in the World.

I view the photos I took last year in Singapore, I made a trip to URA center in Tanjong Pagar. Rest assured that I made the right choice of all I needed to know in Singapore was in there. I am always amazed at the island, twice the size of Penang, Smaller than Johor Bahru from any aspects. Being a first world country, of course, it has an irrefutable reputation in almost anything, despite being one of the smallest nation in the world, same goes to its urban planning. On average, I have been to Singapore once a year, not that often but essential to catch up with their urban development.

I could really blog a lot of posts to what I have read this morning, the demographic and functional space of their island (country), the waste management system with Pulau Semakau for being the world’s first offshore landfill, their airports and airbases, the surrounding small islands of Singapore and their vital usages, or even their underground development. But here’s a simple post today what makes Singapore unique in a general node. Urban Planners have recognized that Singapore has been a City State all the while. They are the only island city-state in the world. Within this small island of 710 square km, they have to squeeze everything they need into that single piece of land.

Though there are a lot of state like cities in the world, there are only 3 similar sovereign city-states in the world. A city-state is an independent or autonomous entity whose territory consists of a city which is not administered as a part of another local government. A city-state can also be defined as a central city and its surrounding villages, which together follow the same law, have one form of government, and share languages, religious beliefs, and ways of life. The list of Country by Areas is HERE. A sovereign state (or simply state) is classically defined as a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states (More info HERE) Singapore is one of the 3 sovereign cities besides Monaco and Vatican City. However in terms of Industry Singapore dominates a lot in economic terms, Vatican is the holy place, while Monaco relates to gambling a lot, 3 of these places functions totally different.

A city-state means a lot of difference compared to other cities from other countries who has vast space to accommodate their function. For example, I will take Kuala Lumpur in comparison with Singapore. KL has a space of 272 so miles (704 km²), while Singapore has  243 km2 (94 sq mi). KL has a population of close to 2 million while Singapore has 5.18 million people, of whom 3.25 million (63%) are citizens while the rest (37%) are permanent residents or foreign workers.  Speaking about Commercial and Industrial, Singapore does its Industrial area by the Southern West of its island, the Jurong area, it deals with mostly assembling and packaging manufacturing I believe. While for Kuala Lumpur, it locates its industrial area outside of Kuala Lumpur, namely Shah Alam or SS13. Which is considerably far in comparison with Singapore’s CBD distance with Jurong area?

For Public amenities, the city-state definitely has to squeeze in these areas again to the island, notice that lands for military purpose, cemeteries, reservoirs, these lands must be planned intelligently to preserve property real estate values. Undeveloped lands must be well plotted for future development too in Singapore unlike Malaysia has a vast area to develop in its satellite cities such as Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya which accommodates the workforce residential area. The Reservoirs or Water Management of Kuala Lumpur has a lot of dependency with outside such as the Selangor Dam, same goes to the power grid.

And most of the land in KL has much to do with commercial but not housing, same goes to Singapore CBD area, however, KL has the option to locate its residential area out of KL, Selangor namely, Singapore has to do it all within its island. It’s interesting to see how a city-state like Singapore manages its community, sports and recreation and also green areas all into the same plot. Their urban planning sure has to do with a lot of double function plotting and vertical development management. It’s a sustainable city prototype to encourage vertical development with lesser distraction to the environment and hence making people and utilities centralized for easier management and lesser carbon footprints of traveling.

All in all, the city planning of a city-state of an island such as Singapore is reflected at the masterplan below. In general, the southern tip is the Central Business District, the Southern West Jurong Area is for industrial purpose land, Northern West is their water catchment area, Eastern side will be their airport and few islands for Military purpose and Pulau Ubin that preserves the “old Singapore”, while the rest in central and northern pretty much residential with a lot of commercial nodes respectively.

Stay Tune for more Singapore Urban management related Post.