“Ideas for Tanjong Pagar” is a study that aims to facilitate citizen engagement through new approaches.

We at Future Cities Laboratory are interested in understanding how people use online design tools to participate in urban design and the insights that they can offer as future users of the space. We also want our research to be directly relevant to citizens. Currently, master planning for the Greater Southern Waterfront has started, thus offering an ideal showcase of how citizens can be included in the city planning process from the very beginning.

The most recent Master Plan proposal for the Central Area, from 2014, can be found on the URA website.

We thank Participate in Design, who has helped us spread awareness about this study.

What is the idea behind the new online design tools?

The Future Cities Laboratory believes in the idea of a Responsive City. A Responsive City integrates citizens input with the technologies used in a smart city. New forms of participation are therefore a central interest of our research. We have developed the idea of Citizen Design Science, a discipline that fuses citizen science, citizen design and design science, to enable participatory planning through online design tools. We believe that directly engaging citizens to contribute design ideas is more interesting for citizens and allows designers to get useful insights for urban planners.

How are the design proposals used to inform urban planners and decision makers?

The data from your proposal will be geo-referenced. This allows us to perform geo-statistical analyses such as vicinity analysis, object distribution, and frequency analysis.

Beyond collecting this data, we also want to better understand how the design tool is being used, in order to improve its user-friendliness.

What is the Future Cities Laboratory?

The Future Cities Laboratory (FCL) was established by ETH-Zurich and Singapore’s National Research Foundation (NRF), and operates under the auspices of the Singapore-ETH Centre.

The Singapore-ETH Centre was established in Singapore in 2010 as a joint initiative between ETH Zurich and Singapore’s NRF, as part of the NRF’s CREATE campus. The centre frames two research programmes: the Future Cities Laboratory (FCL) and the Future Resilient Systems (FRS). The centre aims to strengthen the capacity of Singapore and Switzerland to research, understand and actively respond to the challenges of global environmental sustainability.

FCL’s academic partners include Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), the National University of Singapore (NUS), and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).



What is Participate in Design?

Participate in Design (P!D) is a registered non-profit design, planning and educational organisation that helps neighbourhoods and public institutions in Singapore design community-owned spaces and solutions.

P!D is dedicated to engaging and enabling people in shaping their everyday environments and local communities. Founded on the firm belief that everyone has the right to participate in and influence the design and planning processes that affect them, P!D provides services in designing and facilitating the public participation and engagement process concerning the built environment.



Research team

Prof. Dr Gerhard Schmitt

Gerhard Schmitt

Prof. Dr Bige Tunçer

Bige Tuncer

Dr Johannes Mueller

Johannes Mueller

Dr Pieter Herthogs

Pieter Herthogs

Ludovica Tomarchio

Ludovica Tomarchio

Stéphanie Hasler

Stephanie Hasler

Hangxin Lu

Hangxin Lu

Artem Chirkin

Artem Chirkin

Ozgun Balaban


For further information, suggestions and questions, please contact Dr Johannes Mueller.

Webdesign: Ludovica Tomarchio, Johannes Mueller
Qua-kit development: Artem Chirkin (github)
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