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Integrating the youth in city planning

  Published: 12 April 2018

Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for National Development Mr Desmond Lee officially launched today, two exhibitions1 that were put together by students as a culmination of their urban planning learning journey. 2,000 students from secondary schools, junior colleges and polytechnics would have participated in the Urban Planning Festival organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) by the end of the festival.

Now in its third year, the Urban Planning Festival seeks to raise awareness among youths on the importance of urban planning. It extends URA’s outreach efforts in developing youth interest in our built environment, and nurturing our younger generation to be active participants in the development of Singapore.

Over the course of three weeks, student participants from more than 35 schools will be contributing their ideas through a variety of experiential learning journeys such as workshops, talks and tours. Besides exposing the youths to pertinent issues that city planners face today, the events also offer a platform to hear their unique insights and creative solutions on how to make the city better.

A new addition to this year’s festival, the City Ambassador Programme will see a pilot batch of more than 60 student volunteers trained to lead community tours at URA’s Singapore City Gallery. These student leaders will share the story of Singapore’s physical transformation as seen through their youthful eyes.

Complementary to URA’s youth engagement efforts, the existing Conservation Student Volunteer Guide Training Programme initiated last year, will also welcome a second batch of more than 20 student volunteers from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College West trained to lead heritage tours around the Tiong Bahru estate.

One exciting programme to look out for this year will be the Mass Live Art Jamming with veteran sculptor, Mr Sun Yu Li. Mr Sun is a local artist whose commissioned works are displayed at various public spaces in Singapore, including ‘Celestial Earth’, located at URA Centre’s main entrance. His works, which have helped bring life to the streets, make him an ideal role model to engage the student community for this mass art jamming activity and to promote the importance of public art in enhancing public spaces.  The full programme for the Urban Planning Festival is listed in Annex A [PDF, 198kb].

Students also get to experience what it is like to be an urban planner through existing programmes such as the annual Challenge for the Urban and Built Environment (CUBE) workshop and competition. Last year’s workshop and competition saw 16 teams from local pre-university institutions develop concepts to create a more vibrant identity for the Mei Chin estate. Their proposals are on display at the CUBE exhibition at The URA Centre Atrium. See Annex B [PDF, 695kb] for more information on the CUBE programme and the winners of last year’s competition.

The Festival is ongoing and will run till 27 April 2018.


1 These two exhibitions are the Urban Planning Exhibition: Challenge for the Urban Built Environment Workshop 2017 – Building a Community Hub at Mei Chin Estate and My Urban Backyard. They will run from 22 March to 27 April 2018. 

Speech by Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for National Development, at the Urban Planning Festival and CUBE Award Ceremony 2018

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