chapter  6
Housing the arts in a developmental state: Renaissance City Singapore
Pages 16

Introduction Singapore’s Renaissance City Plan is an overarching twelve-year policy statement aimed at developing a ‘Global City for the Arts’. Spanning three phases of 20002004, 2005-2007, and 2008-2012, the plans were formulated by what was then known as the Ministry of Information and the Arts (today the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY)) ‘to position Singapore as a key city in the Asian renaissance of the 21st century and a cultural centre in the globalised world’ (MITA 2000: 4). Socio-political and economic agendas undergird the Renaissance City policies, and Singapore offers a compelling case of arts and cultural planning under a developmental state. Sometimes also referred to as a ‘corporatist state’, ‘interventionist state’, ‘paternalistic state’ or simply a ‘strong state’ (Chong 2005: 554), the Singapore government plays a central role in cultural policy formulation aimed at maximising economic growth, securing nation-building, and ultimately steering a path towards global city-making.