Urban Biodiversity: Singapore

In 1960, Singapore planned to rehouse one quarter of its population within the next five years – and achieved it. 400,000 people moved into 51,000 new HDB flats (Housing Development Board).

Use Google maps (satellite view) and Streetview to compare the following addresses and their neighbourhood (look at the surrounding areas on Google Earth view, and move around the street a bit in Streetview):
29 Portchester Ave Singapore
Kampung Lorong Buangkok
12 Adam Park
313 Serangoon Ave 2

What do they tell you about housing (and living) in Singapore?
What does it tell you about income equality?
What other questions do you have? Can you find the answers?

Use the World Bank information on the development of Singapore:

Why did Singapore decide to embark on large scale urban renewal? [Context & Scoping]
What were its objectives? [Planning]
What were some of the things that Singapore implemented?
Summarise the key lessons suggested from Singapore’s development?

Gather photos of the ‘Golden Shoe’ (CBD), Singapore River and Marina Bay precincts before and after redevelopment and put onto an annotated map of Singapore.

Tedx Singapore Talk on designing 21st century ‘smart’ neighbourhoods

[15 min, interesting scope of what is thought about in designing buildings]

Developing a smart town


Urban Biodiversity

What is it?

See Unit 1.2 in Pearson Geography 10 (Immanuel textbook) – especially Fig 1.11 (p75)

in Adelaide?
in Singapore?


  1. What is an example of biodiversity in Singapore (near Lena’s office)?
  2. What ‘indicators’ did you think were important? Did any surprise you?

Aerial Views of Singapore: what can you see? What aspects of urban biodiversity can you see?

Singapore - aerial view

Aerial view of residential Singapore

Singapore ECP - aerial view

East Coast Park is that strip of green between housing and sea. (Note the ships!)

Singapore - Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay (and Marina Barrage at the outlet)

Singapore - BishanPark

Bishan Park underwent a major development:

Bishan Park (before)

Bishan Park (before)

Bishan Park (after)

Bishan Park (after)

More info on Bishan Park development

Singapore - Macritchie

Macritchie Reservoir – primary rainforest … and golf course in foreground. A great place for a Saturday morning run. Just don’t leave your water bottle where the monkeys can find it!)

Most of these photos from Singapore Heli Services

Think back to the worldviews that we talked about earlier in the semester (Human-centred, Earth-centred, or Stewardship).
Explain the link between these worldviews and actions taken in cities (Adelaide, Singapore, or others) in how they go about urban renewal.



Brief history: Singapore 1819 Raffles…
1965: Demographic data, aerial photo, photo of kampungs

In 1965, Singapore gained its independence from Malaysia.

Was Singapore a fishing village in 1965?

Singapore Master Plans: https://www.ura.gov.sg/uol/master-plan.aspx?p1=View-Master-Plan

Expansion of Singapore (satellite images):

Photo of Post Office (now Fullerton Hotel) in 1950.

Aerial view of Fullerton Hotel and Singapore waterfront, 1960 (National Archives of Singapore, nas.gov.sg)