The other day, a friend and I engaged in that well-worn topic of property in Singapore – or, more specifically, our ideal dwellings.
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I prefer to live close to the ground, enveloped by trees, where the alarm clock is birds chattering at dawn and the salad greens are harvested from the garden. For him, nothing lower than the 20th floor in the CBD. Think of the view! The thrill of sipping champagne with the city twinkling below you like stardust, of feeling the pulse of the metropolis in the heat of global markets.
Fortunately, as residential developments in this city-state increasingly show, ground and sky abodes are no longer mutually exclusive. Green urban design has come to the fore in the past decade, with vegetation increasingly incorporated to act as natural coolants, air circulators and noise absorbers. There’s more to come as, by 2030, the greenery in high-rise buildings is set to increase to 50ha, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority figures.
That’s a relief, given the trend of soaring temperatures in the past few years. Global warming aside, we examine how this Garden City and its denizens are using greenery to enhance well-being in The Green Leap Forward (Page 48). Further on this topic, we speak to Colin Okashimo (Page 42), this month’s cover personality, on how he transforms an environment into a soulful, meditative space. Indeed, one family discovered the therapeutic benefits of living amid nature, when an elderly member suffering from dementia began to respond to stimuli. Their story is on Page 52.
Sanctuary, oasis – it’s no coincidence that any idea of serenity involves some connection with nature. Is the effect the same 25 storeys above the ground? Maybe – if you don’t look down.
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