Registration for The Airport & the Territory is now open! 

When? 16 November 2015, 2pm

Where? Research Division Seminar Room (AS7 06-42), NUS Kent Ridge Campus

How? Open to all. RSVP with the title “GASCO” to by 12 November 2015.

Gasco Poster



Since Changi Airport opened in 1981, Singapore’s air traffic has grown at an astounding rate: passenger numbers have quintupled and airfreight tonnage has risen by a factor of ten. The increased airflows have been central not only to Singapore’s development, but also—as this research reveals—to the growth of the greater Singapore-Johor-Riau (SIJORI) tri-national region. By focusing on Changi, this paper exposes how Singapore’s geographical conditions coupled with strong ‘extra-territorial’ and ‘centralised’ planning legislations contribute to Changi’s built effects within and outside Singapore’s border. Through fieldwork conducted in Singapore, Johor, and the islands of Batam and Bintan, the research documents how Changi is a one of the key forces in regional integration, unifying SIJORI’s territorial components. Specifically the research traces the regional cross-border flows of Changi and uncovers how this airport has significant urbanisation effects and economic roles in Singapore’s hinterland development. The research also reveals how, as these peripheral regions develop, the small airports they contain expand in support of correlated urban growth. While Changi will continue to overshadow in capacity and connections the smaller airports on the fringe, the work argues that coming changes in Singapore’s airspace control, coupled with the rapid development of aviation in the region, calls for an integrated airport system. In doing so, the paper posits that Changi’s specific regional urbanisation patterns are a critical lens for broadening the cross-border perspective of Singapore and discusses how the Airport’s extended footprint makes


Anna Gasco is a postdoc researcher at the ETH Future Cities Laboratory (FCL) in Singapore. Chartered Part III architect in the UK, she holds a PhD degree in Architecture and Urbanism from the ETH Zurich, a Master degree in Urban Design from the Bartlett UCL London and a Diploma in Architecture from St Luc Brussels. Prior to joining FCL, she worked in practice for over seven years on visionary urban projects at multiple scales such as the Legacy Masterplan of the London Olympics (for KCAP); a strategic regional planning study in Paris and various redevelopment sites in central London, Dublin as well as Saint Petersburg (for SOM); and various architectural projects in Brussels (for BuroII&Archi+I). A native Italian born in Congo, her international career is juxtaposed with research that began in 2011, when she joined the FCL. In this multidisciplinary research platform, she focuses on the urbanizing effects of airports, particularly that of Singapore’s Changi Airport. Through teaching design research studios she also investigates urban socio-spatial fragmentation, housing, densification and urban mega projects. Anna’s research has been published with the Singapore Architect, The Straits Times, Routledge, and the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. Her work has been exhibited at the Singapore Urban Redevelopment Authority, the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture in Hong Kong/Shenzhen, the Boston Society of Architects, and Aedes Berlin.