A shift in thinking is being introduced in Balik Pulau – let the urban and the rural merge. But how realistic is it to improve quality of life this way? But one should also ponder the opposite question: Does “realism” take us anywhere?
“The 21st century witnessed the beginning of the end of the age of industrialisation, driven by the forces of capitalism,” said Prof Tay Kheng Soon at the Muafakat@Balik Pulau, Great Lecture Series on August 27. The big idea behind the talk: establishing Balik Pulau as a platform to promote what he called a “modern Asian civilisation”.
Central to Tay’s lecture were the problems that have resulted from the rapid urbanisation of modern Asian cities, from land price inflation to high costs of living to the growth of slums. His solution: “rural urbanisation”, or simply “Rubanisation”. Cities need a “new life support system”, he argues, and a major rethink over how we plan cities is necessary.
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