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FY 2017 YSEALI Urban Planning and Smart Growth Workshop

Urban Planning
Smart Growth

  • Background on Planning

    Planning helps address the challenges of growth.
    • Southeast Asia is growing.
    • People are moving to the city in increasing numbers.
    • Where and how we live, work, and use land is changing.
    • New infrastructure is needed. New buildings, new parks. New policies.
    The decisions we make to address the above have implications for our health, our environment, and our economy. Those dedicated to growing our understanding of the city and applying the lessons learned are planners. They work in a range of artistic, scientific, economic, political, and administrative domains.
  • The Singapore Experience

    Singapore is a very modern, liveable, and wealthy city in Southeast Asia. The pace of its development has been one of the fastest in the history of the world. Its success is widely acknowledged to be the result of good planning. The city’s identity and history arose from the intersection of many different cultures and ideas – Chinese, Indian, the Malay Archipelago and Western. It has taken ideas from all over the world, adapted them to local context, and implemented them through local political and administrative means. For these reasons, it is one of the best places to study the topic. The lessons learned here can be applied to the rest of the region and the world.

    This workshop will provide attendees with exposure to the city’s planning history, as well as some of its current innovations. It will use a combination of interactive discussions, field trips, and group work meant to promote an exchange of perspectives among those who attend, as well as those who live and work here.

    At the end, the goal is for attendees to gain knowledge of planning solutions that they can apply to challenges in their home countries. Perhaps even more important, they will have a broader, regional network that they can call upon when they are looking to discuss problems or exchange ideas.

  • About the Workshop

    The five-day YSEALI urban planning workshop, to take place in Singapore, will bring together 60 young leaders aged 20-35 from all ten member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN): Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

    Through panel discussions, speakers, site visits, and group projects, the workshop will engage participants on the range of issues surrounding urbanization and how planning can help address them. This includes opportunities and challenges not only in terms of configuring the physical environment (natural and man-made), but also policy, governance, and economic considerations when dealing with issues of culture and heritage, industry and tourism, infrastructure, and social development. The workshop will expose participants to solutions used in Singapore and elsewhere, and inspire them to find ways to adapt and apply these in their home countries, using governance and policy, social innovation, cross-sector partnerships and technology.

    Upon their return home, workshop participants should be able to begin the process of implementing projects and sharing lessons learned with their colleagues in government, business, and other civic/institutional groups, such as community organizations, non-profits, and schools.

    All expenses will be paid for selected participants.

Challenges of Today's Cities

Visit Successful Case Studies

Urban Redevelopment Authority & City Gallery

Singapore River

Marina Bay

Marina Barrage & Gardens by the Bay

Jurong Industrial Park

Housing Development Board Hub & Gallery

Toa Payoh New Town

Bishan Park

Chinatown, Little India, Kampong Glam, Geylang Heritage Areas

Orchard Road

Lead Facilitators

Do you have what it takes to participate
in this enriching workshop?

Apply Now

Participants will be registered YSEALI members aged 20-35 who have demonstrable interest and relevant experience in urban planning, whether through paid employment, volunteer work, or coursework, and who show promise in becoming socially active in effecting change in their home communities. Participants could be urban planners, policymakers, NGO leaders or other professionals involved in issues such as smart growth, housing, and economic development. Undergraduate students pursuing fields related to urban planning and policymaking would also be considered.

Participants must be a resident of one of the 10 ASEAN member countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, or Vietnam).



Candidates are required to outline a project that would help improve their communities. These projects could include one-off events that have a direct positive impact on the built environment, or activities that seek to improve urban policy or increase public discourse about urbanization, which may require a sustained period of time.

The workshop will be conducted in English.