Singapore's focus on greening has resulted in a beautiful lush city in a garden.
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In his interview with Straits Times, Japanese architect, Mr Toyo Ito described his own design, CapitaGreen, as a "big tree in the city". If we are to believe the words of the famed Pritzker Architect winner, the future of Singapore’s Central Business District (CBD) might just be one big garden.
From afar, Singapore’s CBD is a mixture of skyscrapers of glass, steel and lights, lining up to form a shining urban constellation. Up close, Singapore’s financial and business belt tells a different story. Singapore’s focus on greening has resulted in a beautiful, lush City in a Garden. This isn't just by luck. Singapore's Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has certainly planned it to be so.
“Nature and greenery are key in our planning for quality of life. As we plan the whole island, we continue to set aside land for nature reserves, parks and nature areas. Even within the city centre, land is set aside for use as parks and planned together with other developments. To further integrate greenery into the city, we promote sky-rise and vertical greenery though various incentive schemes and guidelines.”
-Ms Chou Mei, Group Director of Conservation and Urban Design at URA
If one were to look at Singapore’s Marina Bay, where land was reclaimed some 40 years ago for the expansion of Singapore’s existing CBD, the government had then set aside 100 hectares of land – that’s 100 times of London’s Trafalgar Square! - to build three distinctive waterfront gardens to provide green lungs in the city. This focus boosts the aesthetic and economic value of the surrounding development.
“At the same time, as Singapore’s urban landscape grows denser, well-designed public spaces are essential to make Singapore more attractive and liveable for its residents. Well-designed and programmed public spaces can promote city life and strengthen community bonding,” adds Ms Chou.
Indeed, taking a stroll through Raffles Place it is common to spot the business community indulging in these green public spaces - gathering at the green lawns to take a respite from the busy work day, see fitness enthusiasts doing acro-yoga in the evenings or even the occasional community event and exhibition.
To add vibrancy and expand such people-friendly green zones in the heart of the CBD, the cityscape in and around Raffles Place will be enhanced with better programming and more facilities. The public can look forward to a new park, more public spaces and even wider paths for walking and cycling. You’ll want to leave your office for lunch.
Paved a parking lot, put up a paradise
The new CapitaSpring situated along Market Street will seamlessly integrate commercial and community spaces. With part of Market Street being converted into a new pocket park to add more greenery and delightful public spaces, the new 12,500 sq ft park will blend into the 19-metre high City Room of CapitaSpring at the ground floor of the integrated development. With more venues for placemaking, the working community can look forward to more community events.
The footpaths along Market Street and the nearby Malacca Street and Phillip Street also will be widened with enhanced roadside greenery to create a highly walkable and pleasant environment.
With Raffles Place connected to the nationwide cycling network, those who choose to cycle can look forward to a safe and comfortable journey to and from work or as they commute between public transportation nodes and amenities nearby. Great way to hit your cardio quota even before you start your day!
Can’t cycle? No worries. CapitaSpring will also feature excellent connectivity island-wide, with sheltered access to three train lines via Raffles Place MRT interchange and Telok Ayer MRT station. With a series of sheltered linkways along Malacca Street will also provide all-weather pedestrian connectivity between Raffles Place MRT station and nearby developments – going car-lite will be much easier!
Mr Ronald Tay, Chief Executive Officer of CapitaLand Singapore, Malaysia & Indonesia, said, “Our best-in-class design, engineering and smart technologies will be complemented by active placemaking initiatives to define a strong sense of place and enrich the lives of the people and communities at CapitaSpring”
Come 2021, we’ll provide the space, you turn up and let’s have a ball of a time. See you at Market Street.
"Our best-in-class design, engineering and smart technologies will be complemented by active placemaking initiatives to define a strong sense of place and enrich the lives of the people and communities at CapitaSpring."
- Mr Ronald Tay, Chief Executive Officer of CapitaLand Singapore, Malaysia & Indonesia