Singapore has managed to achieve what very few counties have – joining the so-called First World from the developing world.
In a matter of just a few decades, Singapore has transformed itself from a British colonial outpost into the nation with the third highest average income in the world.
Singapore ranked fifth in the latest Global Power City Index, the fifth straight year it has placed fifth place among the cities of the world.
It is now an international financial center which attracts expatriates from all over the globe. Foreign workers make up 40 percent of the city-state’s labor market, according to a BBC report.
The influx of foreigners has created social tensions recently, and the rapid growth of the economy some worries about the future.
But what is clear is that Singapore has gotten to where it is today by being on the cutting edge of know-how, giving not just the rich, but most people in the nation, a high quality of life.
The Global Power City Index is a ranking of the world’s cities by the Tokyo-based think tank. It evaluates and ranks major cities of the world based on their ability to attract creative people and businesses from around the world.
The Institute for Urban Strategies ata The Mori Memorial Foundation announced the index for the sixth time this year. London came in first in this year’s rankings, followed by New York, Paris, and Tokyo.
A total of 40 cities were assessed in this year’s survey, based on components such as the economy, research and development, liveability, cultural interaction, the environment, and accessibility.
The survey considered the viewpoints of various groups such as managers, artists, residents, researchers, and visitors.
Singapore got its highest ratings from managers, and its lowest from artists.
It performed highest in the cultural interaction component, and lowest in liveability.
Heizo Takenaka, chairman of the Institute for Urban Strategies at The Mori Memorial Foundation, noted: “Singapore is consolidating their power at the base of education. Singapore is the education hub in the Asia Pacific, I think, that is one factor.”
He added, “Also, Singapore is very innovative in many fields. The government — you have a very smart government actually, and they have a very positive mind towards reform.”
At a Singapore conference on urban living attended by some 120 delegates from around the world, experts were asked how urban living should be managed to ensure cities are liveable and sustainable.
One point frequently raised by the experts was that urban living is more than just the infrastructure of a city, but also includes its people.
New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu said: “More importantly, is the people, especially to take care of newborn babies and ageing people. People is the key of the society, people is the key of the city.”