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nt e r ns hi pswi t hs pe c i f i cc ompa ni e st o ome whe r ei nt hewor l dr i ghtnow, i S i n e x pe r i e nc e a nd c r e de nc e i n s t a t er e pr e s e nt a t i v e s ,pol i c yma ke r s , ga pr i v a t ec ons ul t a nt s , a nda c a de mi c sa r e huddl e dt oge t he r ,l os i ng s l e e p ov e r how t o mov et he i rc i t yf or wa r d. St ude nt ss i ta r oundat a bl ei nac a f é , di s c us s i ng e a r ne s t l y how t o gi v e t he ms e l v e st hebe s tc ha nc ea tf i ndi ng pr ope r wor k a f t e r gr a dua t i on. Cr a mpe d i n s e l f s t y l e d t e mpor a r y hous i ng, i nf or ma l wor ke r sl ookoutt he ba r soft he i rwi ndow.Somes e et he gr ounda wa s hwi t hs e wa ge ,ot he r ss e e t hes t a r si nt hes ky .I ne a c hoft he s e a ne c dot e s , ur ba n i nha bi t a nt s a r e a s pi r i ng t o s ome t hi ng gr e a t e r– ma r ke t i ng t he c i t y f or e c onomi c gr owt h, a good c a r e e r i n a n i nc r e a s i ngl y c ompe t i t i v e gl oba l e c onomy ,a ndt ha tbr e a kt hr oughf r om t he v i c e gr i p ofe c onomi cpr e c a r i t y . The s eda y s ,t ounde r s t a ndt heur ba n a nd i t si nha bi t a nt s ,one mus tt a ke ur ba n a s pi r a t i ons s e r i ous l y . Wha t e x a c t l ya r eur ba na s pi r a t i onsa ndhow do t he ya f f or d us a mor ec r i t i c a l unde r s t a ndi ngofur ba ni s s ue s ? Toa s pi r ei st obr e a t he ;oura s pi r a t i ons a r ei nna t et oourbe i ng.Oure v e r y da y a c t i ons ,i n onewa yora not he r ,a r e a s pi r a t i ona l . Tha ti s , wha twedot oda y i sba s e d on i t spe r c e i v e d ut i l i t yf or t omor r ow.Tobor r ow f r om ahi ghl y r e s pe c t e dur ba ns c hol a r ,Ana ny aRoy , ur ba n pol i c y ma ke r s a nd t he i r ha bi t a nt ss e e kt o“ f ut ur e pr oof ”t he i r c i t i e sa nd l i v e sr e s pe c t i v e l y . Thi s me a nst ha tme a s ur e sa r epur pos e f ul l y t a ke n t o e ns ur e t he mos ti de a l out c omei nf ut ur e .Toc i t ea ne x a mpl e t ha twoul dr e s ona t e we l lwi t ht he r e a de r s hi poft hi sma ga z i ne :weknow t ha tgoodgr a de sdonota ut oma t i c a l l y t r a ns l a t ei nt opr oduc t i v i t ya twor k,s o whydot hes t ude nt si nNUS( mos tof t he ma tl e a s t )wor ks oha r dt odowe l l i ns c hool ?I ti sbe c a us eoft hebe l i e f t ha tgoodgr a de sope nmor edoor si n f ut ur e .St ude nt st he s eda y sa r emor e a s pi r a t i ona la nd c a l c ul a t e di nt he i r a c t i onst ha nbe f or e– ma nys e e kout

pa r t i c ul a ri ndus t r i e s .I ts e e mst he s e da y st ha tt oge ta he a d, weha v et opl a n ma nys t e psi na dv a nc e . I nt hi sa r t i c l e ,Iof f e rt hr e ewa y si n whi c ht hec onc e ptofur ba na s pi r a t i ons c a nhe l pusc r i t i c a l l ya ppr e c i a t eur ba n i s s ue s . Fi r s t ,t he a s pi r a t i ons of pol i c y ma ke r sf or t he i rc i t i e sa r e ma r ke d by une v e n powe rr e l a t i ons a nd pr oduc e une v e n out c ome s .For i ns t a nc e ,t a keSi nga por e ’ sgl oba lc i t y a s pi r a t i ons :Who ha st he powe rt o c ont r i but et oa nd c r a f tt he c i t y ’ s a s pi r a t i ons ? Suc h pl a c e ma r ke t i ng i ni t i a t i v e st a ke pl a c e be hi nd c l os e d door sa nd us ua l l yr e s ul ti nc onc e pt pl a ns t ha ta r e uni nt e l l i gi bl et ot he ma s s e s .Al la l t e r na t i v ea s pi r a t i onsf or Si nga por ea r ee i t he rs ubs ume dunde r t hegl oba l c i t ya ge ndaordi s c r i mi na t e d a ga i ns ti ft he ya r ede e me dha r mf ult o t hee x i s t i ngor de r .Fore x a mpl e ,t he a s pi r a t i on t o us eSi nga por e ’ spubl i c s pa c e sa saba c kdr opf ore x t r e mes por t i sc a r e f ul l yi nc or por a t e d i nt ot he ma i ns t r e a m a ge nda . The * Sc a pe ur ba n pa r ki ss e e na t onc ea sa r e pos i t or yf orde v i a ntbe ha v i oura nda ma r ke roft hec i t y ’ sc r e a t i v ec ha r a c t e r . Ot he ra l t e r na t i v e s ,l i ke gr a f f i t i ,a r e c r i mi na l i s e dbutonene e donl yt ol ook a tot he rc i t i e st oknow t ha ts ome t i me i nt hef ut ur e ,gr a f f i t ii sl i ke l yt o be i nc or por a t e d wi t hi n t he Si nga por e s t a t e ’ sa s pi r a t i onsi nor de rt os he dt he s t a i da ndut i l i t a r i a ni ma get hec i t yha s a c c umul a t e dov e rt i me .I ns hor t ,onl y a pr i v i l e ge df e w ha v et he powe rt o s ha pe t he c i t yi n whi c ht he yl i v e a c c or di ngt ot he i ra s pi r a t i ons .Mos tof usha v et of i ndourownpl a c ewi t hi n t he ma i ns t r e a m a ge nda , or be pr e pa r e dt of a c ec e ns ur e . Se c ond, t he a s pi r a t i ons of ur ba n i nha bi t a nt sa r e a pr oduc tofur ba n gov e r nme nt . I n s pi t e of t he mul t i pl i c i t y of l a ws l e gi s l a t e d t o e ns ur et heor de rofac i t y ,i ti sr e a l l y

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T h e N g ’ s C l a nH o u s e a n di t s R e l a t e dS e n s e s o f P l a c e Wor dsa ndPhot osbyZha ngJi e Ye a r2|NUSGe ogr a phy r a ne e z ha ngj i e @gma i l . c om

f or c e f ul l y oc c upi e d a nd s e v e r e l y da ma ge dbyr ur a lf a r me r s .Dur i ngt ha t t i me , mygr a ndmot he ra ndhe rs i bl i ngs f l e dt heHous et oa v oi d pr os e c ut i on. The yt he nf or me dt he i rownf a mi l i e si n ot he rc i t i e ss uc ha sSha nt ou,Hui z hou, a nd e v e n Hong Kong.I nf a c t ,t he f a mi l yha sbe c omes o popul ousa nd di s pe r s e dt ha tma nyme mbe r st oda y donote v e nknowe a c hot he r . I t wa s onl y a f t e r t he Cul t ur a l Re v ol ut i on t ha t t he Hous e wa s r e t ur ne dt omygr a ndmot he r ’ sf a mi l y , a l be i ti n av e r ydi l a pi da t e ds t a t e .Be t ha ta si tma y ,i nr e c e nty e a r s ,t hev i l l a wa s r e nov a t e d t o i t s or i gi na l s pe c t a c ul a ra r c hi t e c t ur a ls t y l ewi t hi t s e x qui s i t e de c or a t i ons .I t ha s now be c omet heNg’ sCl a nHous e , c ompl e t e wi t h26r oomsa nda na nc e s t r a lha l li n t hemi ddl eoft hebui l di ng.Whi l eno l onge rahomet of a mi l yme mbe r s ,t he Cl a n Hous es t i l ls e r v e sa sal i nka ge poi ntt obi ndf a mi l yme mbe r st oge t he r f ori ns t a nc et hr ougha nc e s t orwor s hi p. Dur i nga nc e s t orwor s hi p,pe opl er e l i v e a nc i e nt pr a c t i c e sa nd l i f e s t y l e s by

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