Exploring Connections

Exploring Connections

Featured Writers: Mitchell L. Hewson, Miyazaki Yoshifumi, Yvonne Lynch and Dean Saitta

ISBN: 978-981-11-1202-7

Published: December 2016

Issue #13

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The magazine opens with a slew of refreshing and innovative works by landscape and floral designers at the recently concluded Singapore Garden Festival. As Asia’s premier tropical garden and flower show, the event showcased endless possibilities within the fields of garden and floral design— exemplifying Singapore’s vision of a City in a Garden.

But nature is not just merely pleasing to the eye; even as our eyes rove over an arrangement of greens, the sweep of a path through a garden, or even the curl of a petal—the psychological benefits are there. Research has shown that even a walk along a city street shielded by trees can offer positive physiological benefits for one’s health.

With greater and more informed engagement, these effects can then be maximised. Even simple acts of gardening can provide an outlet of physical activity, especially for the elderly; while therapy-based activities involving horticultural elements can serve as foundation for patient rehabilitation programmes. In Singapore, more spaces are springing up in Singapore serving this exact purpose. The Therapeutic Garden @ Hortpark, the first of its kind in Singapore, incorporates a blend of landscape and design features aimed towards encouraging social, emotional and psychological growth and healing; while the six-hectare Springleaf Nature Park makes up for its size with structured ambition: integrating ecological and social values into its design.

Architecture is also discussed in this issue: to infuse greater amount of sustainable features into their buildings in the quest to redefine our relationships with nature, the traits of a truly sustainable building now needs to be rethought. Technology also plays a part in providing an additional depth to our interactions, supplementing the relationships between a city and its green-filled spaces, as seen in the interaction between citizens of the city of Melbourne and its trees.

Our connection to the earth has endured since the ancient times of Mohenjo-daro, until today— even as the urban, concrete-swathed jungle is increasingly encroaching our living spaces, and greenery is tagged at a premium. Dean Saitta, the Director of the Urban Studies programme at the University of Denver, charts the progress of human interactions with ecosystems in the closing commentary— illustrating key lessons in urban planning we can learn from the past in order to build the smart, green city of tomorrow.


Singapore Garden Festival 2016: A Foray Into Firsts

Singapore Garden Festival 2016



Green Exposure: Gardening as a Healthy Physical Activity

Author: Park Sin-Ae

Green Exposure




Garden of Growth: Horticulture as a Therapy Tool

Author: Mitchell L. Hewson

Garden of Growth



We Share and We Grow Together: Application of Social and Therapeutic Horticulture By Occupational Therapy Students

Author: Tan Hwei Lan

We Share and We Grow Together



Melbourne's Digital Revolution: Talking Trees

Author: Yvonne Lynch

Melbourne's Digital Revolution



Nature Therapy: Physiological Effects of Relaxation Caused by Natural Stimuli

Authors: Song Chorong, Ikei Harumi, and Miyazaki Yoshifumi

Physiological Effects of Relaxation Caused by Natural Stimuli



Therapeutic Garden @ HortPark: Enhancing Nature for Mental Well-Being

Authors: Angelia Sia and Chelsea Sia

Therapeutic Garden @ HortPark



Springleaf Nature Park: A Green Corridor for Both Wildlife and People

Authors: Cybil Kho and Ryuta Teo

Springleaf Nature Park



A Walk Along the Shore: Conserving Marine Biodiversity in a Tropical City

Author: Lynn Wong

A Walk Along the Shore



View From the Peak: Recharting an Approach to Sustainable Architecture with Kjetil Trædal Thorsen

Author: Lim Xin Yu

View From the Peak



Planning Sustainability: The Evolution of Green Urbanism

Author: Dean Saitta

Planning Sustainability