The Australian Institute of Horticulture in conjunction with the Interior Plantscape Association have recently completed a comprehensive four-day tour of Singapore.
Starting with a catch-up with AIH member, Christian Jenkins who had just won gold at the Singapore Garden Festival, the tour encompassed green walls, green rooves, biophilic design and urban edible gardens.
With a requirement that one-hundred percent of the building footprint needs to be replicated in greenery, Singapore has quickly become a world-leader in green roof and wall installations. Highlights of the tour included Oasia Hotel (achieving one-thousand percent coverage!) as well as the ParkRoyal Hotel and Marina One complex.
Singapore’s urban density has led to architects to emphasise biophilic design. The group visited one of the largest examples of biophilia in action at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital where patients look out upon a tropical rainforest that provides natural air conditioning.
Concerns around food security have led the Singaporean government to implement the “30/30 plan” – to grow thirty percent of Singapore’s food by 2030. Tour participants visited the highest edible garden in the world fifty-one storeys up on top of the CapitaSpring building as well as Edible Garden City – a permaculture farm on the site of a former prison and a thriving community garden surrounded by high-rise residential at Bukit Batok.
During the tour, guide and AIH President, Michael Casey presented a number of awards for horticultural excellence to groups including Nature Landscapes, NParks and Edible Garden City.
Although Singapore is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, efficient governance with an emphasis on urban greening has meant that the country certainly achieves its tourism hype as “a city in a garden.”