Right to the city (at night)
DOI link for Right to the city (at night)
Right to the city (at night) book
The chapter explores public space at night from two paradoxical perspectives where, on the one hand, ‘spectacle’ is promoted as a boost to the economy while, on the other hand, ‘surveillance’ is exerted as a form of security and control. By examining the case study of urban nightlife in Little India, Singapore, the chapter illuminates tensions between state-driven and collectively enacted actions that shape the use of public space after dark and define the degree of in/exclusions within it. As the case study further demonstrates, Little India is more than a touristic nightspot—it is the locus of everyday (night)life for the many unskilled and transient South Asian migrant workers in Singapore. The congregation in and appropriation of public space by these migrant workers are perceived as deviations from prevalent norms of public space use at night, resulting in calls for greater surveillance and, thus, raising the question: Who has the right to the city at night? Toward this end, the chapter identifies three policy considerations for planning and designing urban nightscapes that are inclusive and convivial for all: (1) understand the varied uses of public space beyond the daytime; (2) expand public receptivity for varied possibilities of public space use after dark through fair media representation of places and people existing at the fringe; and (3) innovate planning/design solutions that help address security through a people-centric approach.