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Keywords: Architecture
Design Track
Erik Gerard L'Heureux
2010/2011 DT
Agrarian urbanism
City planning
Plant guild
Issue Date: 27-May-2011
Citation: TAN BING HUI (2011-05-27). SITOPIA. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: “Those who control food, control us ….. not just over our wallets, but over our bodies too” Carolyn Steel, Hungry City Sitopia – is a made-up word, coined by Carolyn Steel in her book “Hungry City”. From the Greek sitos which means food, and topos for place, so it means ‘food-place’. As opposed to utopia (‘good place’, or ‘no place’) a term used since Plato to describe an ideal and therefore unattainable community, utopia is the nearest thing to a cross-disciplinary tradition of thought about the problem of dwelling, city planning and architecture. However, utopia is usually an unrealistic approach because of its aim and intention to attain perfection. Contrary to that, Sitopia is a practical alternative, and since the world is already shaped by food, Singaporeans may as well start using food to shape the nation positively. Food is what connects us all to each other and to the land, which makes it an incredibly powerful medium for thinking and acting collaboratively. To quote Carolyn Steel, “Food encompasses all of life, not just what is necessary, but also what makes live worth living.”1 1 Carolyn Steel, Hungry City, However, Singaporeans and the planners have forgotten this important relationship with the food and land, authorities of Singapore has allocated immense amount of space for Building Setbacks and Green Buffers to maintain an image of an aesthetically “green” Singapore. Quote from NParks: “Singapore's development into a Garden City started four decades ago with the establishment of the greening programme. The driving force behind this was the former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew who identified a green Singapore as a key competitive factor in attracting foreign investments to the country. It was the then Prime Minister Lee who launched the Tree Planting Campaign in 1963. Some 40 years on, the Government is just as committed to the programme.” Then, how can architecture refurbish the landscape of setbacks and green buffers with functions that can operate more than aesthetical purposes? How can architecture redesign this landscape in conjunction with the advent of electric cars, where roadsides are no longer toxic and noisy? How can architecture facilitate the function of agriculture, aspire to construct an efficient and productive landscape, to provide food, to build up and enrich the theme of “City in a garden”?
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Restricted)

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