Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia
Productive Territories
At first glance, Singapore is a wealthy metropolis with a sparkling urban organization, impeccable social order and a world-class skyline. But this image is anything but complete. For decades, the city-state’s expanding economy has required more space and labour beyond its 680 square kilometers territorial limits. Mirroring the growth of Singapore, fast growing ‘support cities’ within the Malaysian and Indonesian borders are characterised by young populations of migrant workers, vast sites of global manufacturing industries, by dynamism and by uncertain futures.

During the ETH spring semester 2012, the investigation of Singapore’s hinterland was conducted under the theme of Productive Territories. These are the territories and corresponding organisational forms of economy that function in the fragmented tri-national situation, thriving on the wealth gap and other socio-economic and political differences among the neighbouring countries.

The investigations describe and contest the forms and the rules of urbanism in Singapore’s productive hinterlands on three different territories: The Riau Islands Province (Indonesia), the Strait of Singapore (Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia) and Johor State (Malaysia).


Teaching team: Milica Topalovic, Martin Knüsel, Marcel Jäggi
ETH students: Livio de Maria, Martin Garcia, Giulia Luraschi, Magnus Nickl, Stephanie Schenk, Karl Wruck

Special thanks to experts, collaborators and guests: Joshua Bolchover, Goda Budvytyte, Paolo Cucchi, Cuthbert Choo, ChemGallery Jurong Island, Stephane Grandgirard, Andy Hauw, Lee Chee Hock and Lee Chee Wee of the Hock Wee Nurseries, Poison Ivy, Sree Kumar, Marie Laverre, Charles Lim, Patricia Lim Pui Huen, Gordon Mathews, Mary Ann O’Donnell, Till Paasche, Myriam Perret, Bas Princen, Colin See, Sharon Siddique, Edgar Tang, Hendrik Tieben, Marc Westhof, Jolovan Wham.

Special thanks to BAPPEDA BATAM (Municipal Planning Authority of Batam): Wan Darussalam, Rahmat Kurniawan, Agung Aidil Sahalo, Azril Apriansyah; UNRIKA BATAM (University of the Riau Archipelago): Hanung Nugroho, Disha Nuralmer, Rino Purna Irawan, Tri Sutrisno, Purwono Budi Santoso, Sigit Wardoyo, Yuga She Uchul, Rozaini Zai, Andri Aan Sofian, Agus, Hadi, Rino Gade; UTM (University of Technology Malaysia) FACULTY OF BUILT ENVIRONMENT: Ho Siong, Chau Loon Wai, Abdul Rahim Bin Ramli, Ibrahim Ngah; INSTITUTE OF SOUTH EAST ASIAN STUDIES: Ooi Kee Beng, Francis Hutchinson; PORT OF SINGAPORE AUTHORITY: Ng Geok Kwee, Alvin Chow, Tan Liang Hui; MARITIME AND PORT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE: Yi Young Lam, Tiancheng Song, Wee Kiat Lim, Kwong Heng Goh, Ah Cheong Toh, Daniel Tan; MINDEF, NRF: Lui Pao Chuen; NUS ASIA RESEARCH INSTITUTE: Johan Lindquist; NUS DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURE: Eric G. L’Hereux, Im Sik Cho, Jörg Rekittke; NUS DEPARTMENT OF GEOGRAPHY: James Sidaway, Tim Bunnell; SINGAPORE MARITIME INSTITUTE: Jason Lin, Daniel Zhang, Ace Leong; URBAN REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE: Charlene Chua, Heather Chi.

Special thanks to ETH ZURICH and FUTURE CITIES LABORATORY: Iris Belle, Remo Burkhard, Stephen Cairns, Kees Christiaanse, Alexander Erath, Anna Gasco, Lisa Giordano, Mathias Gunz, Uta Hassler, Dirk Hebel, Max Hirsh, Susanne Hofer, Rolf Jenni, Vesna Jovanovic, Ozan Karaman, Rudolf Krieg, Benjamin Leclair, Alex Lehnerer, Kevin Lim, Charlotte Malterre, Christian Müller Inderbitzin, Lwin Maung Chan Myae, Edda Ostertag, Faizah Binte Othman, Christian Schmid, Gerhard Schmitt, Sin Soo Meng Daniel, Cheryl Song, Lorenzo Stieger, Amanda Tan, Tao Wang, Denise Weber, Ying Zhou.