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Singapore Top 10 Cities

Singapore a city to live for

US think-tank Ethisphere Institute picks the Republic as among top 10 cities of the future. -myp

Thu, Sep 25, 2008
my paper

By Victoria Barker

SINGAPORE has been named one of the top 10 cities of the future, lauded for building strong and principled foundations as well as for its long-term planning, by Ethisphere Institute.

According to the New York-based think-tank, Singapore would have defined itself as a role model in the area of sustainability by the year 2020.

The country is highlighted in the 2020 Global Sustainability Centers list, which is compiled by the company dedicated to research and sharing of best practices in ethics and corporate governance.

The nine other cities on the list are - in random order - Toronto, Cape Town, Hyderabad, Abu Dhabi, New York City, London, Melbourne, Curitiba and Frankfurt.

Besides having populations of over 600,000, the cities were considered based on factors such as environmental practices, arts and culture, law enforcement and transparency, and transportation and housing.

Mr Alex Brigham, executive director of the Ethisphere Institute, said the list was a way of "recognising these 'cities of tomorrow' today".

"In a world of increasing population pressures and depleting natural resources, some cities are proactively adjusting their practices," he said.

Other cities that did not make the list due to their smaller populations, but which are advanced nonetheless, include Copenhagen and Wellington.

It was Singapore's healthy economy that set the nation apart from the rest, said an article in the third-quarter issue of Ethisphere Magazine, the institute's quarterly publication.

"A world leader in anti-corruption, the city has a free-market economy, one of the strongest economies in Asia, based heavily on exports," it said.

And the Singapore Green Plan 2012, a 10-year blueprint on environmental sustainability, is a good example of its efforts to stay ahead. The plan was started in 2002, much sooner than many other cities.

But the Republic is not free from challenges. Mr Stefan Linssen, the managing editor of Ethisphere Magazine, told my paper that Singapore's small size may present a challenge.

"Right now, Singapore is getting pretty full and becoming more difficult to expand in several regards," he said in an e-mail interview, adding that this is "forcing an increasing amount of territorial disputes".

Remaining sustainable also requires a sound financial plan, and this is another area which Singapore excels in.

"The most important factor is having a real plan defined for how the municipality is going to pay for any planned changes.

And, like Singapore demonstrates, it doesn't always have to cost more," said Mr Linssen.