Sustainability of a city

After 10 days in Singapore, I become appreciate about the beauty of the city planning of Singapore. Singapore is definitely a “garden city”. From the airport to University town, the trees planted on three sides of the road that created a natural bridge surprised me. The Ficus Microcarpas along the road help to block the sun and the heat for the cars. Ficus Microcarpas are not usually planted along the highways, although it really reduce the heat for the ground, so when I saw this on the road of highway I feel Singapore is absolutely a garden city.

When we arrived at the NUS (National University of Singapore) resident’s hall, there is big grassland in the center of the university town cover soft grass. This indicated that Singapore is emphasizing the importance of public green spaces. There was one day Karly and I discussed about how western societies like the United States and eastern societies like Singapore valued their public spaces differently. She said that because the United States emphasizes private property, therefore, there are less public green spaces for people in general. On the other side, in Singapore, people valued public spaces more importantly. Personally, I think this is because, there is much more population in Singapore, and many other eastern countries and cities, so public spaces are much more important to the development of the city. Beside, well-managed green public spaces provided people to gather along, spending more time with each other, knowing each other, creating a harmony atmosphere along different ethnics in Singapore.
One of the interesting things I learned in this trip is the planning of Singapore’s public housing. Their techniques and considerations make me think a lot of many other cities around the world on how to develop their public housing. The HDB program is definitely an advanced program around the world. Just like what the article “High-rise Living in Singapore Public Housing” by Belinda Yuen, Anthony Yeh, Stephen John Appold, etc, stated that high-rise building is an unavoidable trend in urbanization. The development of high-rise building in Singapore did not just provide citizens a place to live but also provide them a harmony atmosphere. According to the HDB Gallery, there is welcome party for the new residents in each program. On top of that, when I visited the model of the HDB housing, the details for people are all considered. Compare to Hong Kong, the public housing is presumably well managed, but when it stand in front of Singapore’s development is still way behind of Singapore. In the western societies, like Pittsburgh, I did not see a lot of public housing developing like this. I think the different of public housing in eastern and western societies is that the base recognition of public housing. To me, in America and many western countries, they did not value public housing as a positive thing, but in Singapore in the display room even the detail of the balcony is displayed.
The other things I was impressed about is the technologies and designs Singapore applies to show their development and city planning to scholars and visitors. We visited the Singapore City Gallery, HDB Gallery, and National Museum of Singapore. In each of the gallery, Singaporean used advanced and creative technologies to let visitors understand their development and history. Besides, this advanced and creative art works within these galleries make me feel interesting, and feeling I am actually in an art gallery than learning history or development of the city-state.

Although in these 10 days I did not go to Singapore Flyer or Sentosa, I already admire the development of Singapore. Their roads are so clean even though there were limited garbage canes on the streets and even there are ice-cream vendor on the street, there are still no garbage or smokers on the street. Also, the conveniences of the public transportation provide people a comfortable and timely transit. After all, the image of efficient and sustainable of the city-state keeps deeply in my mind.


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