A Garden City’s Vision
The vision of Garden City was first mooted by Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew back in 1967. The sole purpose was to elevate Singapore to a city-state with an abundance of greenery and generate a cleaner environment for better livability. It can also help to enhance the representation of a well-managed city and litter-free image that will appeal to foreign investments and tourism.
The aggressive tree-planting program quickly ensued to reshape the skyline of Singapore. Over 55,000 new trees were planted by the end of 1970 and have ballooned to 1.4 million by June 2014. The exponential increment was largely contributed by policies to ensure developers in both public and private sectors to allocate spaces just for greenery within the precinct.
Riding on the greenery momentum into the 1970s, the development of parks had become a focal point to provide additional recreational spaces and inject fresh air into the growing congested urban areas. With the increase of green spaces from 879 ha in 1975 to 9,707 ha by March 2014, it has reshaped the well-being of residents in the light of high-rise structures seen in Singapore.
To improve the overall experience, park connectors and green corridors were then developed to connect spaces including parks and nature reserves in the city-state. Soon, this 2nd wave of the vision known as the “city in a garden” was established with a new concept aimed to integrate greenery into the built environment. By marrying both elements, the concoction has blended beautifully into the daily lives of Singaporeans.