Half the size of metropolitan London, Singapore has become a pioneer of green architecture in an attempt to promote liveable density. Its skyscrapers covered in green and its tree-like buildings are easily recognisable, and ensure its status as an ecofriendly city. The benefits of this type of architecture range from energy and water conservation, self-cooling mechanisms, lower maintenance costs and overall health improvement.
Singaporean officials recognise sustainable architecture as a pillar of the island’s development plan. As a result, in 2008 Singapore became the first country in the world to enforce the inclusion of green buildings in its urban planning. A symbol of Singapore, the super-trees in the Gardens by the Bay are the most recognisable example of these sustainability efforts.
Green architecture is not only used to promote these public attractions. Housing has also been made increasingly eco-friendly, with self-cooling flats, community-centred designs, affordable renting, and rooftop gardens. Hotels, university campuses and corporate buildings all have green features as well, including solar panels, cooling roof gardens, and community parks.
This sustainability drive has proven successful for Singapore. Since its independence in 1965, Singapore has ensured its economic success was accompanied by innovation and sustainability, transforming it from a state of slums, into one of the richest countries in the world with some of the highest global living standards.
Cities account for 70% of CO2 emissions, and buildings alone are accountable for 30% of it. Although there has been an increase in the implementation of green urban planning and sustainability initiatives in many countries, Singapore remains the sole state able to build upon the concept of liveable density, which has in turn supported economic growth, sustainable development and community wellness.