Youngest participant, four-year-old Ayra's depiction of a Singapore where every building is a multi-purpose hub incorporating homes, malls, offices, schools, and playgrounds
Youngest participant, four-year-old Ayra’s depiction of a Singapore where every building is a multi-purpose hub incorporating homes, malls, offices, schools, and playgrounds

What will Singapore homes, offices, malls, neighbourhoods, and community spaces be like in 50 years? CapitaLand posed this question in its SG50 initiative called Building Communities – Setting the stage for Singapore2065 (#BuildSG2065)between 23 February and 24 May 2015.

Over 2,200 people of all ages from Singapore and 22 other countries responded. Not only were the ideas bold and inspiring, some were immensely innovative as well. Through pictures, videos and words, participants painted a gloriously futuristic Singapore - proof that this little red dot is big on possibilities.

Almost half of the submissions offer smart ideas about conserving the environment. Next came ideas relating to technology (13%), integrated and interconnected spaces (9%) and transport (9%)

Said youngest participant, four-year-old Ayra,“Singapore will be made of colourful buildings of interesting and fun shapes. Every building will have everything under one roof, like home, shopping malls, offices, schools, playground, so we will not need to go out of the building too often. There will also be giant robots that help do anything we want.”

The oldest entrant was 80-year-old Jessie Mok.

“I have never seen snow. I hope that in 50 years’ time, the shopping centres can have a garden dome that can control the temperature and my grandson can then build a snowman and sing 'Let It Go',” she said.

High(rise) Expectations

573 ideas about building up, building down or building out were submitted. Out of these, 60% participants aspired to high-rise living, where smart, multipurpose designs will help us get the most out of our living spaces.

Kevin Foo, 25, provided a high-rise solution to limited land, a growing population, and urban heat.

“‘The Layered City’ consists of preserved low-rise traditional kampong-style buildings which can serve as meeting places and mixed-use green living towers covered with vertical vegetation and sky parks that meet all our daily needs. All towers are well interconnected with pedestrian bridges and sky trains elevated at different levels to build a cohesive community. Street trees covering the region will improve the walking experience and encourage a walkable, car-free city,” he said.

Some, like Lim Ping Zhi, 22, dreams of living in an underground world in 2065, one which is alive with greenery and landscaping so people do not lose touch with Nature.

“Residential and office spaces should be built underground to conserve the natural landscape and to maximise the use of our limited land space,” he said.

“As living and working underground can potentially be a claustrophobic experience, underground buildings will feature open spaces surrounded by green walls to provide residents with fresh air and greenery. The conserved landscape above the buildings can be transformed into parks, bringing nature closer to people.”

Home Smart Home

Some participants dream of flexible homes in 2065; homes which come in the form of mobile capsules that can be attached, detached, adapted and transported anywhere. For others, flexibility means being able to enjoy outdoor activities indoors or vice versa. Avid gardeners will be able to tend to their greens from the comfort of their personal sky gardens.

I’ve Got the Power

Alternative sources of power captured nearly a quarter of the entrants’ imagination with solar energy (57% of entries) being the hot topic.

Harnessing Singapore’s all-year-round sunny weather is the basis of 50 year-old Steven Tan’s idea. Steven imagined that all glass windows in buildings will also function as solar panels in 2065. “The solar energy collected can be used to run all the electrical needs of the building. Any excess will be collected in a central depository and sold in the electrical grid to other countries. Roads and pathways will also be covered with solar panels to provide power to the central depository.”

One participant proposed solar-powered phone charging stations in outdoor spaces like the Street Charge stations in New York City. Another wanted to tap on sound energy – the roar of football fans at sports stadium – to power Singapore.

I Like to Move It, Move It

How we move in the future also fired up many an imagination. Flying cars and aerial transport, long the dream of sci-fi aficionados, naturally dominated.

“By the year 2065, Singapore will have public transport in the form of air transport –helium-filled airship propelled by fuel-efficient turbines,” said Ong Poh Yean, 37.

“Our transportation system will be built in the air. We may have smart rail system to bring us to our individual destinations. Perhaps, we will have a UFO port to cater for outer space holidays,” said See Jia Yi, 10.

Magnetic levitation or maglev – the Science behind Japan’s bullet trains which employs high-powered magnets – inspired one person to suggest a personal maglev capsule as the way to go in 2065 Singapore.

A Future So Tech

Naturally, technology features heavily in shaping the way we will live, work, and play in 50 years’ time. Some #BuildSG2065 participants pictured a Singapore where shoppers could customise new clothes and furniture with personal 3D printers. Perhaps these are ideas that can be realised in the not-too-distant future, given the advancements in 3D printing technology.

Just as many looked to a future Singapore powered by robotics, with robot maids and butlers like Butlr, the autonomous robot butler now serving guests at a hotel in Cupertino, California. With such potential, a robotic sidekick may well be your BFF in 2065!

To see more of the wildly inspiring ideas generated by #BuildSG2065, drop by The Straits Times 170 th Anniversary Jubilee Exhibition, “Singapore STories: Then, Now and Tomorrow” at the ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands from 17 July to 4 October 2015, where the top 50 ideas will be displayed. CapitaLand is the Presenting Sponsor. Participants who submitted the top 50 ideas stand to win prizes at a lucky draw that include CapitaVouchers as well as stays at CapitaLand’s serviced residences in Paris, London and the Asia Pacific.

With 88% of the #BuildSG2065 participants aged below 50, it is likely that beyond dreaming of a futuristic Singapore in 2065, they will actually get to live out their dreams!