Lee Kuan Yew once described the opportunity to remake Singapore as ‘a chance of a lifetime’. This book explores Lee’s pivotal role in Singapore’s urban development during his years as prime minister from 1959 to 1990. A Chance of a Lifetime recognizes Lee’s achievements from the standpoint of Singapore’s 50th anniversary of independence and looks forward to challenges that the city-state might encounter over the next 50 years. The book is broken up into the four main components of Singapore’s urban development: planning, housing, greening and water management. Each of these factors has been key in helping create modern Singapore. There is also a chapter that discusses the transformational challenges for Singapore, and the world, over the next 50 years. Singapore’s small land size and lack of hinterland meant that it had to strategize to solve issues that other countries are only starting to face now, making Singapore a leader in areas such as vertical greenery and water reclamation. Featuring the Centre for Liveable Cities 2012 interview with Lee and rarely seen archival images of Singapore’s transformation from mudflat to metropolis, A Chance of a Lifetime opens with an introduction by former president S R Nathan and closes with an epilogue by Ambassador Tommy Koh.
Each chapter of this book is authored by an expert in the fleld that it covers. Peter Ho writes on planning, Liu Thai Ker on public housing, Tan Wee Kiat on greening and Khoo Teng Chye on water management. Chua Beng Huat, Simon Tay and Burhan Gafoor provide commentary on these subjects. The fifth chapter, that looks at Singapore's challenges for the next 50 years was written by Ho Kwon Ping, Liew Mun Leong, Aline Wong and Aaron Maniam.
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