With its lush tropical greenery, parks and nature reserves, Singapore has earned its reputation as the “Garden City” – but it’s now looking to go even further.
On June 29, the city’s most ambitious green project to date – Gardens by the Bay – will open to the public.
The focal point will be 18 artificial pylon-like ‘trees’ rising up to 50 metres high and two giant conservatories bursting with imported, exotic plants.
These structures are symbolic of the government’s vision to be a ‘city in a garden’ and to provide a softer edge to its commercialised image.
The eco-park, which was built on reclaimed land in downtown Singapore, aims to be a showcase for biodiversity and sustainability, and brings together nature and technology on a vast scale.
Sustainable features include a cluster of solar-powered ‘supertrees’ with concrete trunks and metal rods (branches) on which tropical ferns, orchids and flowering climbers have been planted. The basin in the centre will collect rainwater as well as generate solar power.
Elevated walkways that link the ‘treetops’ are expected to be a popular tourist attraction and will offer visitors views of the neighbouring Marina Bay Sands hotel and casino complex.
The other main attractions include two giant conservatories– ‘the Cloud Forest’ and ‘Flower Dome’ that will simulate Mediterranean and tropical climates and feature more than 200,000 species of plants from around the world.
Despite their size, the biomes take up a fraction of the 101-hectare site, which also features themed gardens and plants native to Asia, and a big lake.
The outdoor gardens are free to access, but tourists wanting to visit the two conservatories will have to part with SG$28 (£14) and $5 (£2.50) for an aerial perspective of the gardens from the treetop walkway.
Travellers planning to visit Singapore will have no shortage of things to do. Check out our complete guide here.