I’ve never really wanted to visit Singapore, as big cities are not really my thing. But, recently I had to go there to solve some Visa issue and I have to admit that the city was a pleasant surprise.
It is green🌳🌿🍃🍀
Every time I’ve pictured Singapore in my mind, it would come the images of the ultra high and modern skyscrapers and a busy city. Indeed the futuristic architecture is there, but a lot of green stands out amongst the concrete and glasses all over the city. In fact, it is difficult to spot a sight without trees and gardens around.
No wonder, the city calls itself Garden City. Every new building in the city must include roof or terraces gardens to make up for the green space it takes from the land.
Great, isn’t it? And a woman is one of the minds leading this green evolution, Cheong Koon Hean. The architect was the first woman to the be the CEO of Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore.Check her out! She has won several prizes for the work she has performed in Singapore.
All this green landscape around makes walking much more pleasant and gives a sensation of freshness, given that the weather is mostly hot all year round. And this brings me to the next good surprise.
It is very pedestrian friendly 🏃🏼♀️🚶🏻🚶🏼♀️🏃🏻
The city is very pedestrian friendly. While wandering around, I was under the impression that everything was thought to give space for pedestrians or to people to enjoy the city’s spaces. There are spacious sidewalks, pedestrian crossings every few meters and the trees produce shadows that minimize the heat from the sun. The public transport also makes it easy for one to avoid using cars, the buses pass every few minutes and there is also a good train network service. I also observed many people using bicycles to get around. And if you want to rest, there are a number of parks scattered throughout the city. With a population of more than 5,7 million distributed over 700km2, Singapore makes a serious effort to make its scarce land more livable to the citizens and they are making the most of it.
People exercising everywhere 🏃🏻👟🤸🏼♂️🏋🏽♀️🚴🏽
Well, Singaporeans seem to take advantage of all this space. During the day, you can spot some people jogging or cycling around, but when the sun goes down you see quite a dramatic change in the scene.
The citizens change their suits into shorts and t-shirts and join groups (small or huge) to practice all sorts of physical activities. I saw some running, a lot of aerobics and functional training, and some dancing. All performed in the spaces just below the major business buildings. And I found it amazing and very practical, as we always complain about the lack of time to do exercise!
Not exactly a surprise, but stunning anyway..
Of course I am talking about the world famous Gardens by the Bay. I wasn’t really excited to visit it, because I avoid the most touristic places, but the place is wonderful. And it is also related to the efforts of greening the city, as the professionals behind it involved in the other green projects around the city too. It is a showpiece of technology and gardening. I only saw the super trees, but there is much more going on there. Each super tree can be between 25 and 50 meters high and they are covered by almost 170.000 plants.
Every evening (19:45-20:45) they hold a music and lights show on the super trees and is it is something amazing to see. So in order to enjoy it more, it is better to come in end of the afternoon and stay until the show.
I think the big cities have a lot to learn from Singapore. I loved to visit it, and hope to come back to discover more about the beauties of this city-state.