Well here we are on another edition of ‘My Walkabout Plants’. In today’s story I will show you a few snap shots that we took during our bus tour and trip to the airport. As I have mentioned previously Singapore regards itself as a city within a garden and I think you will soon agree that it lives up to that expectation. When you look at this place from a novice perspective you could easily come to the conclusion that everything you are seeing takes care of itself but I can assure you that this is not the case. There is a constant army of green workers cleaning, tidying, pruning and revitalizing nearly every green space in this town (which are everywhere). The city pours huge resources into making their dream a reality (its a bit like how the Gold Coast City Council pours huge money and resources into fixing the same pot hole a thousand times except worthwhile).
The garden city concept was a vision of the, then, Prime Minister ‘Lee Kuan Yew’ back in 1967. This concept along with the cleaning up of litter (was believed and turned out to be correct) would make Singapore an excellent destination for tourists and investment. 55,000 trees were planted throughout the city and its boulevards by the end of 1970. From here there was an annual ‘Tree Planting Day’ that involved students, leaders and residents (this is an event that is gradually taking momentum in other parts of the world including here in Australia). By 1975 the Singapore government had set up agencies to monitor new and existing housing developments to ensure spaces being set aside for trees and greenery projects. Tree plantings increased from 158,600 in 1974 to 1.4 million in 2014. The number of parks and green spaces also increased in this time from 879 ha to 9707 ha. Since the 1990’s green corridors have been created connecting the city’s parks and gardens as well as programs like ‘Clean and Green Week’ and ‘Community in Bloom’. The city is now putting greenery directly into the built in environment. From our visit this green concept of living seems to permeate through the very blood of the Singaporean people and they wouldn’t want it any other way. Lee Kuan Yew died at the ripe old age of 91 on 23rd March 2015. He was very highly regarded and the Singaporean people had a week long mourning for him, where events were either toned down or cancelled altogether. What a brilliant legacy to leave your country with though, proof to me that we can all have this mindset, in every country, but it needs to be instilled in our DNA like the Singaporeans.
I hope you have enjoyed this edition of a ‘Green Mindset. I have left you with the view of a vegetable garden from our hotel and a shot taken from the window of our taxi on the way back to the airport. See you next week on ‘My Walkabout Plants’.
View from our hotel window.