From next year onwards, the CBD will look greener than ever, thanks to Guoco Midtown
From 2022 onwards, Guocoland will have the largest privately-developed garden collection in the Central Business District
For those of us with a vested interest in environmental issues, the recent announcement of the Singapore Green Plan is nothing short of exciting. It is an ambitious, nation-wide project targeted at achieving net-zero emissions in the second half of this century.
The plan sounds genuinely promising on paper alone. By 2030, the government aims to add 1,000 hectares – roughly four times the land area of Marina Reservoir – of green spaces and plant a million trees across Singapore. There will be 150km of park connectors and every household will be a 10-minute walk away from a park.
The good news is: we don’t have to wait nine years before we start seeing what a greener Singapore would look like, particularly in our Central Business District (CBD). In fact, Guoco Midtown, an upcoming development by Guocoland, will give us a rather accurate peek into what Singapore would look like.
The integrated mixed-use property – slated to be the second flagship after Guoco Tower – will be completed in phases from 2022, gradually changing the skyline and the landscape where it resides. It’s also then where Guocoland will have the most extensive privately developed collection of gardens in the CBD.
Guocoland has always had an excellent track record in creating green and sustainable developments, even picking several Green Mark awards along the way. And through Midtown, we get to catch a glimpse of Singapore’s green future through its collective of 30 thematic gardens and landscaped spaces.
Not only that, but the development could well be a showcase for city life in the future, encompassing efficiency of movement for a workforce that lives, works, and plays within the confines of an urban environment and built with biophilic sensibilities. The quintessential botanic garden in the city, perhaps?
Situated in the Beach Road-Bugis district and occupying 3.2 hectares of land, Guoco Midtown will be flush with greenery. The gardens are integrated into Midtown's built environment, much like a botanic tapestry that extends from the ground and makes its way to the rooftops of towers. In this way, the designers strike a delicate balance between the built-up and green spaces.
It bears mentioning that Midtown's gardens are not merely greenery for greenery's sake: they will also be home to over 350 species of flora. For the residents of Midtown Modern, it will be a way of life bordering on the surreal, living in the heart of the city whilst still surrounded by nature. They will also have access to a hectare of private gardens that hold almost 200 varieties of trees and flora. Designed to recreate the atmospheres of Spring, Summer and Autumn, the gardens are the perfect backdrop for condominium amenities. At its heart lies the Grand Lawn, where residents can delight in the simple pleasures of being greeted by a carpet of white blooms in the morning, thanks to the intriguing Snake Trees.
But you need not have to live or work in Midtown to experience nature in the city. The public can freely roam 10 of the 30 gardens (collectively known as Guoco Midtown Gardens) and landscaped spaces. There's something for everyone, regardless of whether you love nature or are more inclined towards urban pleasures.
The thematic gardens are easily accessible via Bugis MRT interchange. At Midtown Market, you can partake in some al fresco dining under a collection of hanging epiphytes, such as Curtain Ivy and Jade Vines. And just a few paces away, the serene Water Garden offers tranquillity in the form of freshwater waterside plants like Paku Wangi, Sakat Hitam and flowering plants such as the Giant Spider Lily and the Bamboo Orchids.
Head over to Midtown Square, and not only will you find a well-curated mix of F&B and retail spaces, but it is also where the Native Garden resides. The garden is home to indigenous plants and orchids, including the Tiger Orchid, which is one of the largest orchid species in the world.
If you fancy a stroll, Forest Giants Walk boasts a plethora of tall tropical forest trees, and it is here you will be surrounded by Dipterocarp, the world’s tallest family of tropical trees that stand 45m on average in its natural environment. Those looking to kick back and relax can head to Eucalyptus Plaza.
To become a truly green city, it is not only necessary to integrate the elements of urban structures and natural vegetation; it is imperative to propagate a lifestyle that embraces both elements. In that sense, Guoco Midtown may well be the perfect demonstration of what the private sector can contribute towards the national drive for an eco-friendlier future.