Back from the future – A recent trip to Singapore

After a recent trip to Singapore, my passion and belief in 'vertical villages' and sustainable living was proven. I could not help but want to share all of these wonderful insights.

The urban planning of this incredible city plunged me into the thinking – however densely populated our earth gets it is possible to combine: smart, tech-savvy, green and connected communities into our cities of the future.

As stated recently by the United Nations, 68% of the world population is projected to live in cities by 2050. That is an increase of 13% from 2018.

Singapore or the 'garden city' as it likes to call itself, is a scarce land with rapid population growth that demands high-rise buildings to live, work and play.  This lifestyle requires “Gotong Royong meaning coming together which is at the centre of the country's ideology – combining old and new.

At the heart of this vision to make Singapore both liveable and sustainable is Cheong Koon Hean (credited for the Marina Bay and Jurong Lake District) the first woman to lead the urban development agency of her country and is now the CEO of the housing development board.

As such, it is common for one to stumble on one of many landmark projects with sky gardens, sky terraces and community living such as living rooms in residential building complexes. The idea of greenery is essential as well as multi-generational families close's for senior-care and childcare. An example, is the Dawson estate regeneration which is one of 2 of the oldest public housing projects to have been completed. Chong Fook Long, the group director of housing and development board plans to complete another five sky villages!

I was lucky enough to have seen the first Raffles City development, built around the idea of creating a 'city within a city' just steps away from where I was staying. I of course found myself exploring and taking full advantage of every aspect and angle of this development to the point of having to end the exploration alone and joining my companions later in the evening.

This modern and efficient living enables connection between different industries and hubs enabling populations to grow both socially and economically. Raffles City integrates all services and facilities ranging from residential homes to shopping malls, these were developed in Singapore about thirty years ago. The company 'CapitaLand' is now working on eight more projects in China each one located in a centre with high transport connections.

Yet my favourite building thus far was the private residential estate, condominium that made the World Guinness Records of 2014 through its largest vertical garden worldwide. It is projected to save about S$500,000 worth of energy and water supplies. 

Impressively yet not surprisingly the ' Tree House' received honours at the MIPIM Asia Awards 2013, which honours best innovative green building's in Real Estate Projects (Asia Pacific). This is one of their many Greenery Awards. In addition of course to having entered the Guinness World record.

Needless to say, that this left me athirst leading me further my knowledge about property technology on the entire Asian continent (including parts of the Middle East and Australia).

This piece was written by Carole Dwek for FUTURE:PropTech

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