Green Spaces to Chill Out in the Urban Jungle

By: Gerald Goh

Stressed? Try ‘ART’, or Attention Restoration Theory, for a change. According to ART, any activity that demands focused attention, such as work activities, will inevitably result in a build-up of mental fatigue.

To reduce fatigue, environmental psychologists suggest we de-focus by spending time in or looking at ‘soft’ natural features - imagine taking time off during your lunch hour to admire the scudding of soft clouds through the skies or listening to the soft babbling of a fountain, and even maybe sniffing a proverbial rose or two along the way!

Because such activities require little focused attention, it’s a great way for the mind to recharge its mental capacities.

And while we certainly have no lack of outlets to relieve stress in Singapore – eating, shopping, or just plain chilling with friends – check out these five green spaces located in or near the city centre that you can visit any day, courtesy of the National Parks Board.

1) Gardens by the Bay (photo courtesy of Gardens by the Bay)
Spanning almost a million square metres, the Gardens by the Bay sits atop reclaimed land and features the iconic Supertree Grove vertical gardens creating the image of an idyllic green space right on Singapore’s southern waterfront.

2) Esplanade Park (photo courtesy of National Parks Board)
As a green frontage for the Padang, Supreme Court and City Hall, the Esplanade Park is one of the oldest in Singapore and perfect for a lazy afternoon stroll.

3) Fort Canning Park (photo courtesy of National Parks Board)

Steeped in history, Fort Canning Park is a ‘green lung’ for Singapore’s Central Business District and a popular venue for concerts and outdoor performances. In fact, performances of Shakespeare in the Park – Othello begin from 24 April 2013. The Park’s lush greenery and expansive meadows are also a perfection invitation to have a picnic with friends!

4) Istana Park (photo courtesy of National Parks Board)

Located opposite the Istana, the Istana Park’s seamless blend of brick and concrete artfully covered with foliage and tall trees is a good place for repose and reflective thought, especially beside the shallow reflecting pool in the centre, which boasts the 26-metre-high Festival Arch.

5) Raffles Place Park (photo courtesy of National Parks Board)

Arguably Singapore’s busiest park, the Raffles Place Park is a veritable oasis of greenery right in the heart of Singapore’s financial district, with the green lawns’ raised platforms serving as rest areas for one and all. In fact, the latter currently features the Playsets of Yesteryears project, where working adults can relive their childhood in the form of old-school playgrounds.

What other green spaces do you like to chill out in the urban jungle? Share with us in the comment box below!

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