Monday, 27 January 2014

Welcome to Singapore!

Welcome to Singapore!                                                                 

Friday - After arriving in Singapore off a 7 hour flight, we were excited to have a look around the vibrant neighbourhood we were staying in.

Even though we arrived at night, it was immediately apparent we were in a very interesting place. The tree lined freeway from the airport, abundance of parks and gardens along with buildings with green walls showed that this technologically advanced city has strong ties with nature and is striving to be a leader in the green city and lifestyle movement. 

One of the first things you want to do when entering a new culture is try the food so that is what we did. The menus can often be misleading; as some students ordered vegetables and noodles in oyster sauce – they received steamed bok choy.

Saturday - Some were organized to get up early enough to find somewhere for breakfast while the majority just ate whatever they could find, even if it was a curry that turned out to be too hot to handle. (Shops don’t open until around 11am so breakfast was difficult to find)

The architecture was incredibly interesting as the mix of older housing with contemporary housing didn’t clash but seemed to compliment each other.

Our first stop was the Singapore Urban Development Authority. This was a great introduction to an even greater city as it allowed us to get our bearings in this fast paced Asian metropolis. Interestingly 85% of Singaporeans reside in high density residences which explains why the urban area is small in comparison to cities like Melbourne.

The higher densities have allowed for an extremely efficient public transport system. If you miss a train you only have to wait about 3 minutes for the next one, refreshing for anyone from Melbourne!

Interactive screens, games and miniature cityscapes allowed us to learn much of the cities urban form and how Singaporeans live and interact with their environment at the Singapore Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Saturday night provided some fun for some students who went to the Chinese New Year celebrations. Markets lined the streets with thousands of people out enjoying the festivities. 

Stay tuned for the next blog from our adventures as there may or not be footage of a lecturer falling off his bike. It shouldn’t be hard to figure out who it is ;)

- Leon Tremain, Bachelor of Urban, Rural and Environmental Planning
Fourth Year 

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