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Submitted by Jan Gehling on

Hi Abhas, thanks for that great post. I wanted to add the beautiful work of "Architecture of Territory" department from ETH Zürich. It may help to contextualize the Singapure case.
Best, Jan

"After its independence in the early 1960s, it looked like Singapore had low chances of survival because of its lack of natural hinterland and material resources. But today, on the surface at least, the city appears to defy limitations. Owing to its open economy and function as an entrepôt, vital resources including labour, energy and food are being supplied from the outside. No doubt, Singapore’s greatly controlled and technologically oriented urban model represents a specific answer to its restricted context.

Looking further, across the city-state’s borders, it is apparent that Singapore’s economy uses land and labour far beyond its territorial limits. Its strategic hinterlands (agriculture zones, water sources, sand quarries, etc) are found anywhere from the neighbouring areas of Malaysia and Indonesia, to sites in Cambodia, China and the Middle East.

During the ETH autumn semester 2012, the hinterland was described through the thematic lens of resources. The origin, the flows, ‘the map’ and other territorial dimensions of the five key resources for Singapore – sand, water, food, energy and human labour – were the focus of the study. The investigations have shown the manner in which each resource is increasingly sought by the city-state in a geopolitical frame in the ASEAN countries and beyond."