Friday, 27 May 2022

We are the World Blogfest - #WATWB Hmb#2 - Singapore – a green oasis of calm …

 

This appealed as Singapore is Singapore (believe it or not!) … I've never been – but would love to visit sometime …


Outline of Singapore with its surrounding
islands and waterways



They only became independent in 1965 … and as they were in the 20th century realised protecting their resources were essential.





The article compares Hong Kong with Singapore … interesting variances as both countries developed … Hong Kong under British colonisation from 1840s …



while Singapore in the same era as a British Crown Colony, believed after WW2, in the 1960s, that its future lay with Malaysia; ...


1825 Survey Map - showing the free-trade
port on the Singapore River

but talks broke down, then Malaysia expelled Singapore, when it had no choice but to reluctantly become a newly independent country.



The charismatic prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, is known as the founding father of the nation. He was described as the philosopher king … he also had a nickname “ Chief Gardener” …


Lee Kuan Yew (1923 - 2015)


so the new government set out to transform the city into a tropical garden city … giving the citizens pride in their new freedom and ...




it was realised that tiny Singapore needed to be self-sufficient within its own compact footprint … Malaysia was known to consider threatening to turn off the water …




Lee, chose the month of November, as it is when saplings need the least amount of water, to hold the first annual Tree Planting Day to beautify Singapore … in 1974 they had over 150,000 trees, by now they've planted over 1.5 million.



With this in mind as development continued … water cleansing and capturing were essential elements to be integrated into the cityscape …


Lee's first choice of tree
'Cratoxylum Formosum'



water is captured in mini reservoirs, rooftops, parks, roadways and sidewalks … an elaborate system of channels, tunnels and pumps then moves the water to treatment plants …




Lee also realised that if citizens owned their own homes – they'd be more responsible with their properties. The Housing and Development Board built low-cost housing, which tenants could rent … ultimately purchasing with their pension funds. (Interesting idea, I thought).



The development continues … parks, rivers, ponds co-exist in the urban centres and high-rises … while authorities encourage developers to include plants with a higher leaf-area index.


Vernonia Elliptica - one of many
creepers promoted within the city
(curtain creeper)


There's more … I leave you to read … I found it fascinating … the city's newly planted trees and green walls will help cool buildings, provide shade, and reduce outdoor temperatures … encouraging more exercise – walk to work etc …



I loved the idea that floors and walkways were built with deep planting beds for drainage, absorbing water during times of tropical downpours. Encouraging growth of tropical plants to drape and over time cascade around the building/s …



The book, accompanying the article, 'Supertall: How the World's Tallest Buildings are Reshaping Our Cities and Our Lives' … sounds really interesting …



Stefan Al, one of the authors, is a TED Resident – this is an incubator group for breakthrough ideas … each resident has a talk … see more here … again I found this interesting, as I hadn't heard about this concept.



The article opened my mind to many aspects – about how architects, engineers, hydrologists, planners, designers, and data scientists are all influencing and working together to build more sustainable, resilient and equitable environments within our city scapes.


Panoramic view of the central business district -
the 'funny' skyscrapers - are linked 500 feet in
the air - available for joggers and walkers in a
green oases of calm


It's the sign of our times … as we need to remember planet earth … yes please to green oases within our urban landscapes …


Big Think - the present: SuperTall Singapore ... 




We are the World Blogfest
In Darkness, Be Light

Let's all encourage peace amongst

our human race ...



Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

19 comments:

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
There is indeed so much more that could be done - with appropriate vision and leadership messaging. Hmmmm... that last needs some working over in a few places. YAM xx

Liz A. said...

Very interesting.

John Holton said...

I've been to Singapore, on business where you basically see the client, the hotel, the taxi, the restaurant, and the airport. I thought it was very nice. Humid and rainy, but very clean and friendly. Don't chew gum there, though, or you could get sentenced to several lashes with a cane.

Hels said...

When I flew from Melbourne to London in the olden days, the flight used to stop in Singapore for a quick look around, bath and sleep. But I thought the island was too small (719 sq km) to spend a proper holiday there. Later I spent a week in Malta (316 sq), half Singapore's size and had a great holiday!

Now I am impressed with Singapore's commitment to absorbing water during times of tropical deluges, encouraging growth of tropical plants over buildings, and protecting/growing the parks and beaches. Singapore will never be Canada of course, but Canada is a different type of holiday :)

Elephant's Child said...

Definitely yes please to greener, more sustainable cities. A decided improvement.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Yam - Singapore isn't perfect in other ways, but it's an interesting city for these days. I agree re what's happening in the world ...

@ Liz - thanks ...

@ John - I'd imagine it's like that ... I'd still love to see it. I gather there are few 'do not do' things, which I'm sure we'd be made more aware of today before we travelled (if we could) ... thanks for this insight ...

@ Hels - I can see what you're saying ... but I'd love to visit and see the tropical gardens etc ... as well as all the new buildings and developments. Comparison with Malta is a little unfair - after all Singapore is on a sea route, and had developed as free-trade port ... I know many have loved Malta as a tourist destination ...

Singapore's necessity to be innovative regarding its resources is eye-opening ... and yes Singapore will never be Canada - I wonder how many Singapores go into Canada ... I have been to Canada!

@ EC - I know ... more sustainable cities - and more information about how things can improve ... a decided improvement, as you say ...

We live in challenging times ... all the best to you all - happy weekend - cheers Hilary

David M. Gascoigne, said...

If push came to shove and I had to pick my favourite city in the world it would be Singapore. It is spotless, well organized, filled with friendly, helpful people, with an enormous amount of green space. The Botanic Garden is nothing short of magnificent. The airport wins awards for efficiency year after year, and yes, the birding is phenomenal. They are innovating in so many ways, enhancing and adding to natural vegetation. I am a huge fan of Singapore.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Smart leader. At least they aren't part of China.

Keith's Ramblings said...

My only experience of Singapore was changing planes at the airport, but I remember looking from the plane's window, gazing down and thinking I really should return and spend some time there. Sadly I never have ... yet!

Kathy G said...

Thanks for the information. Singapore is on my bucket list.

Jacqui Murray said...

I didn't know any of that background on Singapore. It sounds like they had the right leader at a critical time.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ David - interesting to read ... I know of others who've said Singapore is an amazing city - particularly the Botanical Gardens ... I think there's one major one and two other major parks. Also good to know the airport wins for efficiency. The birding aspect with all the natural plantings and water points ... must be brilliant - you've inspired my wish again to visit at some stage ...

@ Alex - yes ... Lee was the right person at the right time and as you say they aren't part of China ...

@ Keith - I can imagine the dream being reignited about a visit ... I hope you get here at some stage ...

@ Kathy - thanks for visiting and I hope you get to travel to see it some day ...

@ Jacqui - great that I've given you an idea about Singapore ... I know now I definitely want to visit! - one day perhaps ...

Thanks for visiting and commenting ... I do hope the world can relax and we can value all people's cultures and needs and enjoy meeting and spending time in others' countries. All the best - Hilary

Sandra Cox said...

Wow. Talk about forward thinking!
Have a grand weekend, Hils.
Cheers,

Joanne said...

I plan to visit Singapore someday. I have a friend who said it was the cleanest place she's ever been. Sounds like they have really put thought into what's best for their country and that helps the world. Nice! Good post

Denise Covey said...

Hi Hilary! Loved this. I've read/seen docos about Singapore's history which I find fascinating. Some great ideas when they were developing. Love the concept of a garden city and what innovative ideas re water. Even though it's a short plane ride away, I've never been except to their airport Chiangi. I was too tired to take much in at the time. Maybe in the future ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sandra - thank you ... yes, it was forward thinking wasn't it - but they had an immediate need to ensure their resources. Thanks re the weekend - all well.

@ Joanne - I gather it's a pretty amazing place to visit ... and one day I too hope I'll get there. They've certainly opened up other countries' minds to what's available ... and let entrepreneurs present opportunities for new developments ...

@ Denise - oh great ... delighted I could open your eyes to Singapore, which will encourage you to spend time next time the opportunity arises. I've looked at Changi airport - and that's pretty amazing too ... well worth having a stop over to look at the airport, the botanical gardens and Singapore as a whole. Definitely a future visit by you is a-coming - I feel!

Thanks to the three of you for your comments and visits ... always good to see you - cheers Hilary

Debbie D. said...

Singapore sounds lovely, and they certainly are doing a lot to achieve a sustainable environment. Thanks for this interesting educational post, Hilary! ☺

mail4rosey said...

What a clever strategy to help them. That's a good example for others as well. One of the blogs I enjoy visiting is penned by a gal who lives in Singapore. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Debby - good to see you ... and yes I must say Singapore sounds an ideal place ... as well as letting me learn so much.

@ Rosey - it is a very clever strategy isn't it ... and yes a good example for other countries to learn from. It'd be great if we could get to meet blogging friends, wouldn't it?

Thanks so much for visiting - cheers Hilary