The making of an Eco-City : an examination of the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City as a new model of transnational new town development
Author(s)Ong, Charlotte Xin Yun.
Examination of the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City as a new model of transnational new town development
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
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New town development remains a significant phenomenon shaping urbanization in the Global South, even as architects, planners engineers and consultants from the Global North continue to play an outsized role in designing these urban developments. However, contemporary practice and references to circulating planning models, ideas and practices are no longer restricted to a unidirectional flow originating in the West as aspirational cities from the formerly colonized world have emerged. In recognition of these emergent centers, I focus on the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City (SSTEC), a government-to-government flagship project between Singapore and China, situated in Tianjin, China, as a case study of a new model of transnational new town development. Situating the SSTEC in its broader global intellectual heritage and national socio-political contexts, I sought to examine the overall structures and planning processes of the SSTEC.Through interviews with Chinese and Singapore planners and actors, I found that it was not a purely state-driven effort, with state and private sector actors taking on different roles and responsibilities at each stage from planning and design, construction and development to operation and management. The SSTEC represents a model of collaboration that is atypical in the supervisory and operational structures set up, length of commitment and its collaborative nature of the planning process. Furthermore, unlike typical transnational eco-city developments, foreign involvement went beyond the mere production of a set of plans and designs or even a design-build model but rather a design-build-operate model where the Singaporean partners were involved at every stage of the project development.Gaining a deeper and more nuanced theoretical and empirical understanding of policy and planning models, ideas and practices emerging from and mutating in the cities of the Global South will prove to be more urgent as the center of urban thought leadership shifts away from the Global North.
This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Thesis: M.C.P., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, 2019Cataloged from student-submitted PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 100-109).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.