5 Galleries that Get You Thinking About Sustainable Singapore
Singapore is a bustling, metropolis that is born out of years of meticulous urban planning and cutting-edge technology.
The city is a constant work in progress with new skyscrapers appearing every other month and older buildings given a new lick of paint. Sustainability has always been integral to the Singapore story. In the early years, the government provided for affordable housing, public infrastructure such as clean water, sewers and roads, education and jobs. This was done with ‘sustainable development’ first and foremost. Today, the Singapore Green Plan 2030 is a nationwide movement to advance Singapore’s national agenda on sustainable development. You may not be able to visit every inch of Singapore but there is a simpler way to keep up with Singapore’s development over the years.
Here are 5 places that will open your eyes to the city’s growth in the past 50+ years.
1) LIVINGSPACE – Singapore’s Public Housing Story
An estimated 80% of Singaporeans live in public housing called HDB flats, named after the Housing Development Board. With a hike in population in the last 20 years, the HDB have had to be creative in providing new housing options in previously unoccupied areas.
More than just developing new buildings, the HDB maps out entire estates including amenities such as transporation, parks and malls. The LIVINGSPACE is a gallery that brings to life these plans in the form of stunning light shows, large models and cool exhibitions.
Alongside these displays of the future are also exhibits displaying HDB’s past which charts the Singapore public housing journey from the 60s all the way up to today.
Admission is free and LIVINGSPACE is open from Mondays to Saturdays, 830am-5pm, at the HDB Hub, 480 Toa Payoh Lorong 6
2) NEWater Visitor Centre
Due to Singapore’s growing population and limited natural resources, access to clean drinking water was always a concern by the local government.
Rather than depending on buying fresh water from neighbouring countries, Singapore decided to purify and reprocess waste water into high quality drinking water. While it took a while for people to get used to the idea of ‘recycled water’ when NEWater was introduced to the public in 2003, it is in every drop of tap water in Singapore right now.
The Newater Visitor Centre (NVC) is an education hub that promotes water sustainability in Singapore and shares how NEWater is produced through its interactive tours of the purification plant. You can opt for a free and easy walk through the centre or join a tour to help you discover more information about the fascinating water treatment at the facility.
The Newater Visitor Centre is open to the public for free from Tuesdays to Sundays, 9am – 530pm at 20 Koh Sek Lim Road.
3) Baba House
Moving from future tech to a glimpse into the past, the Baba House is a three-storey shophouse used for architectural conservation, urban and social history research by the NUS Centre for the Arts.
The impeccably furnished Baba House is more than a hundred years old and is now a heritage house that displays Peranakan Chinese culture and design. The exhibits also tell a tale of migration and change in Singapore in the 20th century, something that can be seen in the antiques, furniture and design of the entire house.
If you’re keen on visiting the Baba House, you can book your visit via the website.
4) Singapore City Gallery
The Urban Redevelopment Authority is the driving force behind the modernization of Singapore and it is through the Singapore City Gallery that they showcase Singapore’s dramatic urban transformation over the last 50 years.
Located right in the central business district, this gallery treats you to 40 different exhibits that engages you on Singapore’s physical evolution from past to present. You can even peek into the hidden but intricate urban systems that powers the city’s water, power and transportation needs through a series of visual displays.
Admission to the Singapore City Gallery is free and it is located at 45 Maxwell Road, The URA Centre. Visitor hours are from Mondays to Saturdays, 9am-5pm.
5) Sustainable Singapore Gallery
A short walk away from the popular Gardens by the Bay, the Sustainable Singapore Gallery is a progressive look into the future of Singapore as a city that promotes sustainability.
Displayed in great detail are local initiatives to combat climate change, waste recycling and future-ready technologies that could be implemented in our every day lives.
Access to the Sustainable Singapore Gallery is limited to guided tours. To go on one of these tours, book a spot on this website..
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