At a conference held by the Institute of Policy Studies on 24 Jan 2022, Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said that Singapore faces foreseeable challenges such as climate change and the possible fragmentation of society, as well as unpredictable challenges like future pandemics in the years ahead. Therefore, there is a need to plan for greater flexibility in the city. This may mean safeguarding more land for future use instead of maximising all the available resources now, and would require balancing competing interests across time and space.
He said that city planning is not just a technical, professional or infrastructural process. He added, “it is a sociopolitical process – it’s about nurturing our society, and becoming the nation that we aspire to be”.
With land so scarce, it is critical to steward it with care in the way that Singapore’s forefathers had done for the current generation. It means thinking long term, because our city is not just for us, but for our children and their children to come.
To this end, Singapore has started to prepare for uncertainties that could arise from climate change, societal polarisation, population ageing, city maintenance and land-use pressures.
Sketching out a future Singapore that is close-knit, climate-ready, celebrates diversity, makes space for differences and brings people together in common spaces, Mr. Lee said trust, stewardship and collective action are necessary to achieve this vision.