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12 things you’ll only see in Singapore

Davey Meelker

Since Singapore was established by Sir Raffles, Singapore has been a haven of free trade. And that has definitely paid off. The most high-tech country of Southeast Asia, where the subway is full of people on their iPhone and the streets are full with people listening to their own personal playlist. There are more typical things you’ll see in Singapore, but nowhere else.

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How Singapore is revealing its soul – Marina Bay as a successful feat of urban planning

Sanne van Oosten

What makes a city a pleasant place to visit for tourists? What characteristics does a city need to give tourists positive memories of the city they visited? For many European tourists the answer to this is easy: a city centre needs an abundance of historical buildings so the city has an authentic cultural feel to it thus giving the city a soul. But what about Singapore? What if the main part of the city isn’t all that historical at all and is actually quite modern? Of course, Singapore has some beautifully preserved historical buildings, but for the most part, the city centre contains modern high rise buildings. Not the ambiance that makes most European tourists enjoy the city they are visiting. But Singapore has found a successful solution to this. Singapore has created one central area where people can meet and be proud to be in Singapore: Marina Bay.

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Singapore shows how cities and green can go together

Davey Meelker

When I was a local politician in Amsterdam, we often discussed the possibilities to make the dense city greener. It turned out that this was easier said than done. That is why the green city of Singapore made a great impression on me. Of course, it is hard to compare the modern city of Singapore with, for example,  the historical city of Amsterdam. Nevertheless, let Singapore’s green infrastructure be an inspiration to other cities.

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Maids plummeting to their death is their own uneducated fault?

Sanne van Oosten

Once again, Singapore manages to shock me with its complete lack of human decency and civilization. The Bangkok Post featured an article which revealed a shocking statistic: “Eight Indonesian maids have fallen to their deaths from high-rise apartments in Singapore this year.” But not only this, it is seen as their own uneducated fault.

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Is Singapore really so civilized? New policies on domestic workers make me wonder.

Sanne van Oosten

Singapore, the country of clean streets, drinking water out of the tap, efficient public transport, jaw-dropping architecture, all the technology you can think of and brilliantly thought-out museums. It almost seems as the height of civilization. Ah, civilization, how much I’ve missed you. But, right after we arrived in Singapore I was quickly reminded that this civilization comes with some pretty icky implications, which made me wonder, how civilized is Singapore anyway?

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