Artificial Supertrees sit alongside imported flora in Singapore's 'Gardens by the Bay,' a park that sits on land reclaimed from the ocean.

Artificial Supertrees sit alongside imported flora in Singapore's 'Gardens by the Bay,' a park that sits on land reclaimed from the ocean.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Singapore's artificial natural paradise

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    Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

    Singapore is one of the most densely-populated states on earth. It's also growing. Through reclamation its landmass has grown by an estimated 24 percent since 1960, with 5 percent (37 square kilometers or 14 square miles) added in the past 15 years alone. This artificial growth is fueled by materials from its own hills, the sea bed and imports from other countries. Along with creating new areas for residence, the reclamation has allowed Singapore to create large public spaces and entertainment complexes, including the Gardens by the Bay, a lush parkland created under the remit to turn Singapore from a "Garden City" into "A City in a Garden."

    Nothing about the 130-acre park is as it seems. As the land it was built on wasn't there in decades past, everything was created from scratch. This is landscaping on an epic scale, with every plant, every tree and each spec of dirt planned. It's punctuated by giant "Supertrees," vertical gardens that mimic real trees on a grand scale. The supertrees stand up to 50 meters (164 feet) tall, housing plants, solar panels, and collecting rainwater. Some also act as exhaust pipes for an underground biomass powerplant, which runs on natural waste from the park.

    The Big Picture is a recurring feature highlighting beautiful images that tell big stories. We explore topics as large as our planet, or as small as a single life, as affected by or seen through the lens of technology.

    In this article: culture, green, science, thenewbigpicture
    Aaron writes about design, technology, video games, and whatever 'culture' is supposed to be. After cutting his teeth at The Verge, he joined Engadget as a Senior Editor in 2014. In his spare time he enjoys scouring the world for beautiful furniture, taking long walks on the beach, training orphaned dolphins, and making up facts about himself.

    Ethics: Aaron's partner is an employee of Ysbryd Games. As such he has no input into articles about Ysbryd or its games. His partner has also had fiction published by Abaddon Books, which is in the same group of companies as the game developer Rebellion. As the two companies remain distinct, this does not compromise his ability to cover video games created by Rebellion.
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