Step away from Singapore’s urban hustle and bustle into an oasis of beautiful gardens to enjoy and explore the Gardens by the Bay. Singapore’s newest open greenspace is owned by the National Parks Board of Singapore and was steered by CEO Tan Wee Kia. He helped create the vision from the beginning stages to completion. It represents the greening projects that have been taking place across the city since 1963. The project epitomizes the city’s links between environmental advances, history, heritage, recreation and tourism. In the early 2000s the Singapore government allocated 101 hectares of reclaimed land down by the waterfront. In January 2006 an international design competition was launched to find a world class designer for Gardens by the Bay. This was followed by an 11 member jury comprising of local and international experts. Two winners were shortlisted and put on display at the Singapore Botanic Gardens as an interactive exhibition which allowed 10,000 people to visit and give valuable feedback. It opened to the eager public in 2011 showcasing high standards of horticulture, technology and innovation. It cost S$1 billion to construct with an annual operation cost of S$50 million. The expanse of greenery is free to explore. Within this area are biospheres which replicate a dry, mild climate in one and a tropical cloud forest in the other. These help to produce and display plant habitats and environments that do not climatically occur in Singapore. The inspiring flower dome showcases the largest glasshouse in the world with spectacular changing floral displays. Inside this flower dome stands the African Baobab tree which weighs more than 32 tonnes and is the largest on display. This unique tree is pollinated by fruit bats with the dispersal of seeds by terrestrial animals such as elephants and baboons by digestive tract which is needed for germination to occur. Inside another biosphere named the cloud forest is a 35 metre tall mountain covered in vegetation that showcases the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. Here plant species from 2,000 metres above sea level are displayed to convey the unique biodiversity, geology and ecological aspects of cloud forests. It also highlights the global threats that face the nine zones of the conservatory. This is a people’s garden and acts as an education tool as well as a recreational green oasis in a vibrant city.

 

 

 

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