Thoughts on teaching, technology, learning and life in an era of change.
30 second tour of a Singaporean new town
May 10th, 2008

In my previous post regarding clotheslines I referrred to the high rise residential buildings in Singapore. This reminded me of a little video I had created that captures these buildings.

I am specifically referring to the public housing that is built by the Housing Development Board of Singapore. They are referred to by Singaporeans as HDB flats. Several years back I sat at the front of a Light Rail Transit vehicle with my little video camera and captured the journey around half of the circuit. I used Apple’s iMovie to create a simple Quicktime movie of the project. I increased the speed of the movie. I reduced a 20 minute journey to about 30 seconds.

The movie provides a perspective of Singapore’s new towns. Shao Ping and I lived in Choa Chu Kang for a while. We lived within walking distance of both the Hai Inn Temple and the Uttamayanmuni Buddhist Temple.

Whenever visitors came up from Australia or elsewhere we always took them on the LRT. The vehicles are driverless. We never mentioned that to our visitors until they asked the inevitable question, “Where is the driver?” I remember taking a ride on the LRT the day it was opened.

The vehicles pass close to some of the buildings and in order to maintain the privacy of the residents the windows of the LRT vehicle frost over as you pass by the building. You will see in the video the imposing avenues of the HDB blocks and it almost feels like flying an aircraft down a man-made canyon.

The population density of Singapore is 6489 people per square kilometre. You never get the impression that it is crowded however. It feels different to other cities such as Hong Kong. Sure, some peak hour trains are packed, but not like a tin of sardines. Some shopping centres can get a little crowded on Sunday afternoon.

Singapore’s Rail Network
Mass Rapid Transit in Singapore
Light Rail Transport in Singapore
Flickr tag: hdb

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