Singapore- A City in a Garden
Mention Singapore and several images come to mind – small and modern city state, clean, efficient, multi-racial and a Garden City. Visitors, just arrived from the airport, are first greeted by lush greenery along the East Coast Parkway. Everywhere in this city are green streetscapes, urban parks and pockets of green lungs. Why is Singapore so big on greening the island? : Singapore is the world’s second most densely populated country, yet SINGAPORE is HOME to more than 2,800ha of parks and open spaces, and 3,300ha of nature reserves, making up more than 8% of our total land area. In a city without a rural hinterland and spacious countryside, these parks and nature reserves help us strike a balance between natures and built up urban developments. They offer respite from the hectic lifestyle and the dense urban environment, while providing space for recreation.
Garden city was a concept of sustainable development: In the 1960s, then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew mooted the creation of a clean and green environment to mitigate the harsh concrete urban environment and improve the quality of life in the city. This was the beginning of Singapore’s development into a Garden City.
As a result, Singapore’s clean and green environment has allowed to meet the lifestyle and recreational needs of an increasingly affluent population, and enhanced Singapore’s attractiveness as a destination for foreign businesses and talents. The green policies have contributed to the transformation of Singapore into a distinctive and vibrant global city.
Going forward, the plan is to evolve Singapore into a City in a Garden—a bustling metropolis nestled in a lush mantle of tropical greenery, adding more sophistication to the greenery plan, conserving their natural heritage, and involving the community.
An emphasis on greenery and nature takes many forms here. NParks has taken the lead in connecting residents to parks and abundant nature, for instance, through an impressive system of trails and walking paths, known as the Park Connector Network. The length of this system is now almost 200kilometers, along the so-called Southern Ridges, a series of parks, tied together by largely elevated walkways and bridges that provide spectacular vistas of the city and incredible access to nature..
The place really does live up to its reputation as the Garden City of Asia, or indeed the world. They are the global leaders in integrating planting into urban spaces and in making almost seamless connections between wild spaces/nature reserves and conventional urban parks.
The country aims to go from being “a garden city” to “a city in a garden.” “The difference might sound very small,” says Poon Hong Yuen, the chief executive of the country’s National Parks Board, “but it’s a bit like saying my house has a garden and my house is in the middle of a garden. What it means is having pervasive greenery, as well as biodiversity, including wildlife, all around you.”