Urban Design and Economic Growth: An Analytical Tale of Two Tropical Cities
Keywords:urban design, economic growth, tropical cities, Singapore, Cairns
Federal and local governments around the world usually hail urbanisation as a sign of economic progress. However, the relationship is not that simple. The existence of agglomeration economies does not mean that urbanisation will directly result in positive economic outcomes. Also, there is significant diversity in urban growth patterns, with each pattern resulting in different economic and social outcomes. The diversity in patterns of urban growth and transformation implies that different economies can grow at different speeds in achieving socioeconomic goals. This study explores the urban development of two tropical cities – Cairns and Singapore – with a focus on their different urban growth patterns. Cairns is an expanding tropical Australian city located far from main urban centres, meaning it needs attention to foster positive change that will produce distinctive urban spaces which improve quality of life while providing economic growth opportunities. The city of Singapore is a tropical island-state situated near the equator with limited land and natural resources, and one of the largest urban populations in Southeast Asia. Its landscapes are constantly changing as urban planning plays a key role in formulating and guiding the physical terrains of modern Singapore, thereby shaping the quality of life of its population.
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