Singapore is now known for being one of the greenest cities in the world
What makes Singapore so eco friendly? And how is it different from other large cities in the world?
Singapore was not always known to be as clean and eco friendly as it is today; when it first became its own country after separation from Malaysia, and was as developed as it is today, it was quite a dirty city with loads of pollution, an uncontrolled supply of wastewater. At that time, the general consensus was that it was unknown if it would be able to make it as an independent country. This was also because it had no system in place for proper sanitation. In addition, it had no natural resources of its own which did not help to keep costs down.
During this time, the rate of unemployment was also on the rise, and Singapore wanted to implement a change before things worsened.
At this point, the Singapore’s leadership team worked on their vision to transform Singapore into a garden city (which it is now known as). Their main goal was to pursue economic development in a way that supports the environment and has an end result of a clean, sustainable and eco friendly city.
Fast forward to today where Singapore is the most sustainable city in Asia, and one of the most sustainable cities worldwide. This is due to their consistent efforts since the 1960s, where it became their mission to put sustainability first. Singapore today is well on their way to becoming the most eco friendly city, where the following stats are as follows:
- 50% green space (over 700 sq km)
- 72 hectares of rooftop gardens
- in the to p20 most carbon efficient countries
Singapore also has key principles that they follow to ensure they remain and continue to become as eco friendly as possible. For one, biodiversity is mandatory, where they don’t only consider it if they have capacity but rather it is a main focus.
Singapore also established the national parks board, which is dedicated to transforming & keeping Singapore a city within nature.
The Singapore green plan of 2030 was also established, as a means to reach large goals by 2030, which included some key points:
- Achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050
- Plant 1 million more trees
- Quadruple solar energy outputs
- Reduce landfill waste by 30%
Supertree grove is just one example of the many ways Singapore has designed their city in a way that also doubles to serve eco friendly purposes. This is one aspect of the city that demonstrates how they find ways to incorporate sustainability into functionality. Singapore is also a very small country, which makes it even more important and difficult for them to condense everything in a way that is both functional and sustainable.
Supertree grove is composed of 18 Supertrees, all which are on average 50 feet tall. They are one of the biggest tourist attractions in the country, where visitors are drawn in to their uniqueness, and are able to go up as well. They provide sustainability as:
- Over 150,000 plants/ 700 species varieties of plants including orchids, bromeliads, ferns, and other tropical plants that climb up the sides of the Supertrees
- They collect rainwater that is used in fountains across the city
- They are solar powered, and use their save power for their nightly shows
- They cool the cloud forest & flower dome (other tourist attractions) with their exhaust vessels
As singapore has spent so much effort of developing a clean city, they have put in place several laws that help to enforce this. In fact, Singapore has so many laws in general with really intense consequences, that make the citizens act in a way that singapore deems as perfect as they can be. They claim to have been created with the purpose to keep peace and harmony. If you’re ever in Singapore, just assume that absolutely anything which could potentially jeopardize the cleanliness of the city is likely illegal (including but not limited to not flushing toilets, chewing gum, littering, feeding the pigeons, etc.). You can read up on the laws in Singapore with more details and see their consequences in my other post here.