Sustainable Tourism Singapore Series #1
United Nations had declared 2017 as the International Year Of Sustainable Tourism for Development. Here is the first post of my 4-post Sustainable Tourism Series on Singapore.
It is not just about craning your neck. Discover the other cool reasons to look up to these structures.
Singapore Super Structures to Look up to
Across the globe, over the last few decades, the phrase ‘Concrete Jungle’ has managed to amass all negativity associated with dense and haphazard urbanisation. In 2012, Singapore created a unique concrete jungle sans the associated stigma – the Supertree Grove.
Supertree Grove is a cluster of 12 tree-like super structures out of the total 18 in the Gardens by the Bay. These ‘trees’ are between 25 and 50 metres in height. Grant Associates, the architects for the project, settled for this design to deliver scale and dimension of a mature garden in a relatively short time, and to deliver height to match up to future high-rise development in the reclaimed Marina Bay area.
Living Planet Report by the World Wide Fund for Nature ranked Singapore seventh highest in the world on Carbon Dioxide emission levels. These superstructures do their bit to rid the city-state of some of these emissions. Let us see how.
Supertree Grove is located in the 130-acre South Garden of the Gardens by the Bay. Made of concrete and steel, their exteriors support innovative planting panels. These vertical gardens provide habitat to 162,900 plants, turning this little area into a carbon sink absorbing large quantities of Carbon Dioxide.
Additionally, 11 of these ‘trees’ are fitted with photovoltaic cells for generation of environment-friendly power to meet the energy needs here. Some of these structures act as air venting ducts for the two conservatories located within the gardens – the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest.
The plants that clad these structures have been chosen based on their suitability for vertical planting, ease of maintenance, their ability to adapt to the local climate, ability to grow soil-less and the fact that these are not commonly found in Singapore.
Fitting snugly into the Singapore Government’s vision of turning this island nation into a ‘City in a Garden’, these iconic structures are hard to ignore. An added attraction that draws visitors here (20 millionth visitor was received here in November 2015) is the after-dark sound and light show – ‘Garden Rhapsody’ – a dazzling display of lights that brings these ‘trees’ alive.
Witness this unique concrete jungle during your next visit to Singapore to appreciate how our generation with right governance and intent can truly leave the planet in good shape for the future generations.