Contents

Turning on the taps: Singapore's new branding as a global hydrohub

Joo, Yu-Min / Heng, Yee-Kuang

Abstract

In our globalised and urbanised world, environmental sustainability looms large. Water in particular is a valuable global and cosmopolitan resource that all megacities need. However, rather than cooperating to address these shared challenges, urban scholarship on branding thus far has focused on intercity competition to attract capital flows. This paper argues that an overlooked collaborative dimension of city branding in providing water solutions is important in international cooperation on environmental and climate challenges. It examines Singapore's global hydrohub strategy, and framing the case within branding literature, the paper adopts Anholt's three-pronged conceptual framework of substance, strategy and symbolism. The third 'S' - Symbolism - appears most relevant for the city-state leveraging global concerns over water to project its cooperative win-win approach. While Singapore's original intention was to address 'life and death' challenges securing water supplies from Malaysia, the hydrohub strategy also mirrors the changing geopolitics of regional water politics.

Issue Date
2017
Keywords(Author)
city branding; intercity collaboration; urban water; global city; Asia
DOI
10.3828/idpr.2016.29
Journal Title
INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANNING REVIEW
Start Page
209
End Page
227
ISSN
1474-6743
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