FOR ALL ITS COSMOPOLITAN TRAPPINGS, Singapore remains, at heart, a tropical island. The city planners determinedly preserved greenery amid the high groves of concrete and glass, and for a complete escape from urban bustle there still remain patches of the jungle and mangroves that covered the island when Sir Stamford Raffles first established a trading outpost here in 1819.
His outpost became the city we see today. Can nature truly survive in one of the most densely populated countries on Earth? It must. Singapore’s health and well-being depend on it. The country has acknowledged that truth for decades and has made efforts to preserve habitats. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, on the island’s northern coast, is one of the most important of these natural remnants. Protecting an area of 320 acres, it offers a vital stopover for migratory birds and a home for otters, snakes and even saltwater crocodiles.
The largest remaining patch of jungle lies in the center of the island, enfolding the city’s main reservoirs and for decades the location of Singapore Zoo and its Night Safari, now part of an ambitious project to create a unified natural attraction, Mandai Park. In 2019 a forested wildlife bridge was constructed to connect patches of rainforest previously separated by a highway. Other elements of the Mandai project will include a new bird park, a rainforest park and aerial walkways. After completion in 2023, this new eco-tourism hub is expected to attract 10 million visitors each year.
Occupying an island half the size of greater Los Angeles, Singapore has always known environmental issues can’t be sidelined, they must be faced. Sustainability remains at the fore of every planning decision, resulting in a city ranked as the most sustainable in Asia and the fourth most sustainable in the world.
Last year Singapore introduced a carbon tax with the aim of reducing carbon emissions and improving energy efficiency. All companies that produce more than 25,000 tons of greenhouse gases now pay a tax of $5 per ton, with the revenue invested in green projects. Initially the tax will raise electricity prices for all Singaporeans, though improved energy usage will offset the rise.
One seemingly unavoidable consequence of inhabiting a small island is Singapore must import more than 90 percent of its food. The carbon footprint of importing produce from neighboring Malaysia and beyond is significant. But in typical Singapore style, innovative solutions will tackle that issue.
Urban farming is one of the country’s fastest-growing sectors. Some of these farms utilize slivers of land or even rooftops, while others employ high-tech methods to grow produce indoors on an industrial scale. Sustenir Agriculture, one of the pioneers of this new industry, grows kale and strawberries in a climate-controlled, multifloor building.
Back in the 19th century, Sir Stamford Raffles identified Singapore as perfectly situated to be a major international trading hub, and so it has proved. But how to be a linchpin of international transport routes and also be sustainable? That’s a challenge Singapore currently addresses.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Plant Riverside District redefines Savannah’s riverfront.
THE BREAKERS PALM BEACH
ARRIVAL/CHECK-IN: We arrived at 1 p.m. and were greeted by the valet team, who introduced themselves and took our bags. The front desk team were enthusiastic, and in a short time we were in our beautiful room, where a cold bottle of Champagne and some delicious chocolates greeted us. The bellman supplied some information, and we were ready to sit on the deck and look out at the beach and ocean. The view was expansive and soothing.
Romance on the River
Take to the water and explore Budapest’s splendor at a leisurely pace.
RANCHO BERNARDO INN
ARRIVAL/CHECK-IN: I had been itching for a road trip or staycation for a while and decided to take a few days away from Los Angeles and head down to sunny San Diego and explore downtown and Coronado Island.
Umstead Spa channels the native terrain of North Carolina.
ARRIVAL/CHECK-IN: Talk about a grand entrance! After driving across the state of Pennsylvania and spending the last 40 minutes of our journey in a snowstorm, Nemacolin’s The Chateau coming into view was a welcome and gorgeous sight.
Golf in the Lowcountry
Place South Carolina’s Kiawah Island Golf Resort high on your must-play list.
Wildlife – Close Encounters
Share amazing moments with wildlife in destinations around the world.
Have Vaccine, Will Travel
COVID-19 immunization may play a major role as we strive to return to travel.
Crane's Beach House
Guest Quarters: A few hours before I checked in, I received a text message that Crane’s Beach House had an opening, and I was upgraded to its luxury villa. Needless to say, I was eager to see what awaited behind the doors of Villa No. 7; the door, by the way, was sealed with a “sanitized and sealed” sticker, and I later found the same sticker sealing the refrigerator door and toilet as well.
UNITY IN A WORLD OF DIVERSITY
BRIAN JONES explores unity in a world full of challenges and diversity. Through different analogies and his own personal experience with meditation, he finds effective ways to achieve unity through the silence of the heart.
Keep Singapore's Books Clean
The city-state wants to prove it’s safe not just for wealthy tycoons but for investors, too
José Jeuland 2020 BIG SURPRISES
It was the end of 2019, welcoming the year 2020 when I told myself that it would be a great year
Keeping Up With the Lees
SINGAPORE IS NOT A MODEL FOR AMERICA.
What You Don't Know About...Singapuras
Good Things Come In Small Packages
Pushing the BOUNDARIES of Creativity
The studio offers unlimited options and creativity.
Do You Really Want a Flying Car?
It's the year 2020. So where are all the flying cars? The vast majority of people still get to work and school in boring, ground-bound cars. Not to mention buses, trains, and bikes.
Felipe's Mexican Taqueria
Everyone has a handful of go-to restaurants they count on for consistently delicious dining experiences.
Photographer José Jeuland New Photography Project and Exclusive Interview
Haenyeo, Women Divers Of The Sea . Jeju Island, South Korea
Taking the fifth
The freedoms of the air are the bedrock of the aviation industry – and the fifth is perhaps the most important