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Title: A garden nation? The spectacle of Gardens by the Bay and contesting identity and sustainability visions
Authors: Priscilla Tong Rui Qi
Keywords: megaprojects, city identity, nationhood, urban sustainability, Singapore, city in a garden
Issue Date: 2015
Citation: Priscilla Tong Rui Qi (2015). A garden nation? The spectacle of Gardens by the Bay and contesting identity and sustainability visions. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Urban development accounts have been focused on neoliberal and entrepreneurial policies, typified by the construction of icons to attract investment. Yet, few studies have involved the development of spectacular landscapes in constructing national and city identities while pursuing urban sustainability goals. In this paper, I examine the perceptions, and relevance of city branding strategies for Singapore, a city-state, as a garden nation in the urban megaproject Gardens by the Bay. Drawing on public perceptions through the lenses of landscape iconography, I explore the meanings projected by this dominant landscape. In illustrating how such strategies are not internalised by the populace in the manner intended, I argue that the symbolism and meaning of these new urban landscapes are imposed in such a way as to make them legitimate. At the same time, I question the notions of greening as purported by this iconic garden. The paper concludes by suggesting that such an urban landscape of nature serve a more symbolic role conducive to the interests of planners instead of consolidating identity formation for its citizens and furthering sustainability goals.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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