The World Architecture Festival has been taking place in Singapore this week and it has been eye-opener in terms how a country with limited space deals with housing and the desire for greenery. At half the size of London and two-thirds of the population, Singapore sounds as if it should be denser - but not that dense. The difference though is that there is no hinterland - no wider country to which to escape.
So Singapore has to provide all its greenery and open space within its boundaries. And it has done this remarkably successfully.Between 1986 and 2007 the population grew by 70 per cent yet across the same period the proportion of green space actually increased from 35.7 per cent to 46.6 per cent.
Designing for a tropical climate, where you usually want shade and designing to increase wind flow is crucial, is evidently very different to more temperate environments. But Singapore evidently feels that it has no choice but to build upwards. The approach it takes to it is surprising, stimulating and admirable.