Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/223156
Title: A CULTURE OF SUSTAINABILITY FOR CITIES AND SECURITY: PROSPECTS, PARADOXES AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS
Authors: TANG YIH BENEL
Keywords: Environmental Management
MEM
Master (Environmental Management)
2019/2020 EnvM
Maribeth Erb
Issue Date: 27-Aug-2020
Citation: TANG YIH BENEL (2020-08-27). A CULTURE OF SUSTAINABILITY FOR CITIES AND SECURITY: PROSPECTS, PARADOXES AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Given sustainability’s fluid usage, this study hopes to understand its far-reaching influence into the lives of people globally through the sustainable cities discourse. Cities range from being places of commerce to settlements and hence globally many normative titles have been attached to them ranging from Garden to Smart city. As urban ecosystems they mirror fundamental aspirations and values of humankind. Thus, we hope to understand how humans within an urban system seeks to relate to the natural world through sustainable cities. Despite huge efforts at attaining modern notions of sustainability by finding an equilibrium for social, economic and environmental interest; persistent inequalities and ecological degradation exist. The term Sustainable development gained international momentum in the 20th Century with burgeoning global environmental issues. While in today’s world, humankind uses the term sustainability hoping for collective solutions, various notions of sustainability has existed since the dawn of civilization through religion and traditional indigenous knowledge. Without global communications, pre-industrial societies worldwide with inter-relations to the divine, community and nature arrived at similar basic conclusion for sustainability in values and application. Thus this study hopes to understand the lacuna existing between pre-industrial sustainability and modern day sustainability in terms of beliefs and lived experiences as seen through the lens of urbanization and sustainable cities. We hope to examine the urban, war, capitalism, development, industrialization , globalization nexus in comparison to the nexus of religion, indigenous knowledge, nature and culture to elucidate how humankind in seeking to exert influence over nature might unwittingly be forfeiting his authority by engaging with systems which are easy to enter through economic development, technology and urbanization but yet hard to be extricated from. In this study firstly, we trace the rise of normative concepts from Garden to Smart cities at an international level, by examining embedded global aspirations and definitions of what makes a city sustainable. Secondly translating theoretical ideas for successful implementation, micro and macro urban forms are used as guidelines for the local context. Singapore is presented as a case study of how global city concepts have been mapped out onto the city-state’s physical landscapes. Despite the prospects, academics have noticed paradoxes in acclaimed sustainable cityscapes globally. As sustainable cities are ultimately still cities, changes from historic hegemonic periods from mercantilisms to globalization would invariably impact the city and its global networks. Underlying the conceptual dilemmas to which such normative concepts have been employed to solve is an underlying paradox relating to human security. Cities acting as sites of physical and economic security while simultaneously facilitating capitalistic competition and war is explored in the fourth section. Finally, the role of religion and indigenous knowledge in pre-industrial sustainability is examined for solutions. Their definitions clearly prioritize divine, community, and environmental connection over economic motives for equitable wealth distribution and environmental stewardship. Ancient hostiles often prove a huge hurdle to social sustainability requiring genuine reconciliation before concepts of more sustainable urban forms can be implemented.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/223156
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Restricted)

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