Supertrees, Singapore and inviting nature into cities

 Gardens By The Bay features in Planet Earth 2's episode on cities. Photo: BBC

Gardens By The Bay features in Planet Earth 2′s episode on cities. Photo: BBC

The Supertress of Gardens by the Bay was featured in a documentary, whose debut episode was the most-watched natural history documentary in the United Kingdom in over 15 years.

In the finale episode of BBC Earth’s Planet Earth II which focuses on cities and how the natural world interacts with urban environments, Singapore gets screen time as an example of how cities can work to be conducive to nature.


An article about the episode in states; “When the decision was made to make a Cities film, I really petitioned hard to work on that one, because I think that it’s new ground,” Devas explained over the telephone from the UK. “In landmark wildlife film-making, we haven’t really covered the urban environment as a new habitat for animals, so it felt like an important area of research to cover. And now that over half of us live in the urban environment, I think it’s a very important issue to look at globally.”

As to why Singapore was chosen to be featured, Devas, who has 13 years of wildlife film-making experience under his belt, said: “There are some cities that are making a real effort to invite wildlife back into their city. And Singapore has the highest biodiversity of any city in the world. What really attracted me to Singapore was the ethos of building a city within a garden — the idea that Gardens By The Bay, for example, has been built before the skyscrapers that are going to be built around it … I think we’re really championing city greening in a futuristic way.”

Plus, he added, “It’s visually amazing — when people see the images of the Supertrees, they think, ‘Wow, what are those? They’re extraordinary.” And the fact that there are 300 different species of epiphytes, those creepers that are planted on those Supertrees, that are going to spread over the outermost branches — that’s going to be an amazing thing to see over the next few years as they grow. Yes, that can feel like it’s very much designed by humans rather than designed by nature, but the whole urban environment is designed by humans, so this is embracing that, recognising that, and championing the fact that it’s a different building material.”

You can read the whole article here