2006 volume 38(1) pages 69 – 83

Cite as:
Wong K W, Bunnell T, 2006, "‘New economy’ discourse and spaces in Singapore: a case study of one-north" Environment and Planning A 38(1) 69 – 83

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‘New economy’ discourse and spaces in Singapore: a case study of one-north

Kai Wen Wong, Tim Bunnell

Received 20 October 2004; in revised form 21 December 2004

Abstract. In this paper we examine government-led attempts to transform Singapore into, or for, a so-called ‘new economy’. We show how ‘new economy’ may be understood as a powerful discourse rationalising a range of policy and planning interventions. We focus in particular on ‘one-north’, a would-be technopole for biomedical, information technology, and media industries in the southwest of Singapore. We show how the planning of one-north has included the selection and reworking of residential areas as ‘little bohemias’ considered conducive for fostering new-economy cultures. Though it has been gaining prominence, specifically following the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s, one-north is contextualised in terms of broader new-economy interventions by the state in Singapore, which, in turn, have resonances for similar initiatives elsewhere.

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