Singapore: The Greenest City in Asia

The nightly light show from Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore. Photo by Zygmunt Spray.

It's probably no surprise to you that a place nicknamed "The Garden City" would end up being one of the world's greenest cities.

Singapore, the city-state on the Malay Peninsula, is the greenest city in Asia, according to the Green City Index. Since gaining independence in 1965, Singapore's government has built sustainability into its city planning. The city even has a Green Mark scheme, introduced in 2005, to identify and certify buildings that incorporate environmentally-friendly design and practices.  

In addition to sustainable buildings, Singapore is home to lush green spaces that put the jungle in "concrete jungle." These spaces include Gardens by the Bay and Singapore Botanic Gardens.

The Gardens by the Bay covers 250 acres in total, with gardens taking inspiration from all over the globe. Its two conservatories — the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest — stand out in the landscape. In total, the gardens are home to more than 500,000 species of plants and even the world's tallest indoor waterfall, at 35 meters. Not bad.

Within the gardens, you'll find a forest of supertrees. The supertrees are vertical gardens extending up to 160 feet into the sky, working as environmental structures, harvesting solar energy, collecting rainwater, and providing shade.

Singapore's Gardens by the Bay and view over the city. Photo by Zygmunt Spray.

The Singapore Botanic Gardens, established in 1859, is a source of pride for the country. It's the country's first UNESCO world heritage site for not only being a beautiful historic space for recreation, but for its evolution into an institution committed to education and conservation.

No visit to these gardens is complete without admiring the orchids. Orchids were always a part of the gardens, but things took off in 1928 when a breeding program started. Now it is home to over 60,000 orchids, made up of 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrids.

The orchid garden also includes a VIP section where hybrids have been dedicated and named for special guests that have visited. (The second orchid pictured above is named Dendrobium Margaret Thatcher for the British Prime Minister of the 1980s, and the third orchid is named Papilionanda William Catherine for the British Royal couple, "Will and Kate.")

Finally, a visit to Singapore must include the city's most iconic building, the Marina Bay Sands hotel. In addition to its gorgeous architecture and lavish options for dining and play, the hotel is the largest building in Singapore to have the city's Green Mark Platinum Award

The Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Gardens by the Bay, Singapore. Photo by Zygmunt Spray.

The Singapore River, flowing into the Bay. Photo by Zygmunt Spray.

Published: 12/9/2015

Zygmunt, or "Ziggy" to family and all of you friends, travels the world, breathing visual storytelling. He lives behind a camera lens capturing the inexpressible moments that, in summation, become our life's story and a larger narrative on the human experience. He started The Wayward Post with Christina to share amazing travel photography and to inspire other people to travel and do good in the world.

When he's not behind a camera, you'll find him moving to a spot... where he'll then use his camera. Indulge yourself in his beautiful work at  Zygmunt Spray Photography and 500px. Follow him on Twitter.