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SEA REGION
Singapore, Johor, Riau
Studio Report
In maritime cultures, the sea is sometimes seen and imagined as the land: the source of livelihood, the space of everyday life and connections among people, their activities and settlements, which all gravitate toward it as the centre. Archipelagic life and structures, such as the Malay world along the Straits of Malacca and the Straits of Singapore, have evolved around the sea and relied on collaborative exchange over the water.
Once part of a sea region that was unified through maritime culture and trade, disparities and differences today characterize the tri-national space of Singapore, Johor and Riau Archipelago. Singapore represents the densely populated core and the economical focal point of the larger territory: Since the 1970s, its economy began to expand and incorporate productive hinterlands over the national boundary. As a result, Johor Bahru and Batam, two fast-growing industrial cities of over one million people each, have emerged at Singapore’s borders. They now create a de-facto metropolitan region of around eight million inhabitants.
Despite the shared maritime culture and history and high degree of economic synchronization, the three sides still need to develop a common metropolitan vision with policies and instruments for cross-border regional steering.
During the autumn of 2014, the “Sea Region” design and research studio with students of ETH Zurich, proposed territorial design strategies leading to stronger metropolitan connections in the currently divided territory. The Singapore Strait, one of the world’s most intensely urbanized seas, has always been the lifeline of the region. The project aims to return the extraordinary sea of the Strait to the centre of public discourse and possible imagined futures
for the region.
Colophon:
Authors: Milica Topalovic, Hans Hortig, Stefanie Krautzig,
Sarah Barras, Luca Bazelli, Benjamin Blocher, Panos a Coucopoulos, Manuel Crepaz, Alessio De Gottardi, Martino Iorno, Simone Michel, Matthias Müller, Anna-Katharina Zahler
Edited by: Milica Topalovic, Hans Hortig, Stefanie Krautzig
Publisher: Architecture of Territory, 2015
Language: English
Hardcover, 21 x 27 cm
ISBN 978-3-906031-96-5