Today there are about 1m HDB apartments, largely clustered in two dozen new towns that extend in a semicircle around the city’s coastal core. Each year the government sells a fresh batch of as-yet-unbuilt flats, predominantly to first-time buyers. They all come with 99-year leases and are sold at lower-than-market prices, though successful applicants must wait three or four years for their blocks to be completed. Alternatively Singaporeans can choose to buy existing HDB apartments directly from their owners, at whatever price buyer and seller can agree. First- and second-time buyers get money through government grants, regardless of whether they buy new or old flats. Quotas ensure that the mix of Chinese, Indians and Malays in each HDB block reflects the ethnic make-up of the country as a whole, a measure designed to preclude the formation of racial enclaves.
Launched in 2014, Paris implements a successful method of citizen participation. Ideas are developed and submitted on an Internet platform by residents or groups of residents. In 2015, Parisians submitted over 5,000 projects. In 2014, the first year of its operation, over 40,000 Parisians chose 9 winning projects at a cost of 17,7 million €.
To learn more about Participatory Budgeting in the USA click here, and in the UK click here.
If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.
Peter Drucker, management consultant
Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
We live in a time when billions of people are moving into cities. Many of these cities, especially the new mega cities, are very dangerous and disorganised. Many of them are getting worse, and many of them are are looking for role models of cities which have transformed themselves, and no city has done as great a job as Medellín has.
For more about the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize, click here.
Mobility in developing world cities is a very peculiar challenge, because different from health or education or housing, it tends to get worse as societies become richer. Clearly, a unsustainable model. Mobility, as most other developing country problems, is more than a matter of money or technology, is a matter of equality – equity. The great inequality in developing countries makes it difficult to see, for example, that in terms of transport, an advanced city is not one where even the poor use cars, but rather one where even the rich use public transport, or bicycles.