This post is a retrospectively more critical look at my previous topic of about Gardens by the Bay in Singapore that I visited earlier this March.
Recently, I came across an article that really questioned the BBC’s approach of representing Singapore’s environmental actions. This online article from eco-business highlights how Attenborough has portrayed the environmental efforts of Singapore. Hicks describes Attenborough as purring over the new park and its invitations for nature to find a home in the city as well, specifying that local conservationists would have issue with picture.
Obviously the Gardens and super trees have not solved Singapore’s environmental issues, they are an example only of urban greening within the city. But the episode was a conclusion; and it didn’t match the previous topics where true wilderness is being represented as irreplaceable. Hicks felt this especially because the natural wilderness and particularly forests in Singapore are struggling due to man-made threats, and this urban episode glorified the cities actions.
Hicks ends his article stating that ‘in Singapore, Planet Earth II shows a world where artificial nature parks are an acceptable substitute for forests. This is a worrying vision of the city of the future.’ There is a definite battle between natural wilderness conservationists, and those who are greening cities’ – and perhaps this is prevalent especially in Singapore due to is being seen as a city-state.
I agree that there is a much larger argument surrounding the nature and wildlife of Singapore, and recognize that the vision painted in Plant Earth II is utopian of what is currently more impactful in the country, whether that is the negatives for wilderness habitats or the positives for a city lifestyle.
Although, I think it is important for these green spaces to be credited when within cities. They’re beautiful and initiative within spaces of towering skyscrapers and long concrete avenues. And I strongly believe that the wilderness should remain wild. Although I think cities benefit from more green architecture, these creations should remain within cities. Wilderness creates it’s own architecture and should be protected and conserved in a way that city designers cannot create, or more importantly, pave over and re-create.
I am inviting you to read Hicks article by linking it below and to listen to the wider conversation surrounding green spaces in Singapore and the perhaps your own home countries. Urban green spaces are beautiful and appreciated by those living within cities but are only truly to benefit the people living in city spaces.
Hicks R. (2017) Planet Earth II ignores threats to Singapore’s last forests, Eco-Buisness Online
Here is the link to my Flickr album from Singapore that includes the Gardens by the Bay if you’d like to see more of the super trees and green urban spaces of the city.