Singapore, located on the southern tip of peninsular Malaysia, was recently named one of the principal cities leading the way in urban innovation. This is due to Singapore’s distinctiveness as a region that’s able to blossom and endure, despite limited resources. Some of the other metropolitan included on this list are Medellín, Colombia; Houston, Texas; and Vancouver, British Columbia.
Singapore managed to find it’s way to the top of this list due to their ability to manage extremely limited resources. Despite setbacks, Singapore has been able to effectively promote education, maintain a government that’s reasonably free of corruption, and supports business. With very few resources to their name, Singapore has managed to be a financial, transport, and global commerce hub. The technology-ready island city-state frequently depends on the neighboring country Malaysia for its water, and imports nearly all of their food. Also, approximately 30 percent of their population consist of non-permanent residents to stimulate the economy.
Singapore looks to the sea and sky to meet its water needs. Rainwater is treated to produce drinking water and water for flushing the toilet. Also, the two desalination plants can churn out 100 million gallons of water each day, using rainwater. There’s an ambitious wastewater reuse system in Singapore, which uses ultraviolet light as a disinfectant and advanced membrane filters. Though public water is sanitized to the point of it being safe for public consumption, it’s reserved for industry and air conditioning.
The bustling city is roughly the same size of New York City, and it’s considered to be “a city innovating under constraint.” More than other cities, Singapore was able to make significant use of limited space, and they’ve initiated “congestion pricing,” where drivers are charged when commuting into the business district during the bustling rush hour. Local government cap the number of vehicles that can be registered, and satellite devices track driving distances and adjusts tolls based on traffic. Motorists tend to pay quite a bit for commuting, but many have learned how to alleviate the financial burden of owning a car by doing their maintenance, utilizing carpooling services, and enrolling in gas station memberships.
Singapore’s ability to innovate has made the state attractive to tourists and real estate experts.