Neko no Niwa Cafe in Singapore
If you are a self-proclaimed cat lover, you can now count Singapore as one of your must-visit destinations. As of July, the city-state currently houses two cat cafés: Neko no Niwa, which opened in December 2013, and The Cat Cafe, which opened its doors just a month ago. Cat cafés are abundant in countries such as South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, but the phenomenon has just recently gained a foothold in Singapore, in New York City, and Europe.
The High Line in New York City is one of the most well-known elevated parks, but around the world there are many similar urban reclamation projects underway. The success of the High Line inspired many other cities around the world to reuse and rethink space around old rail lines. Here are 10 plans from Europe, Canada, Australia, Asia, the United States and Mexico.
Earlier, we wrote about the rise of cafe culture in Singapore, with new cafes opening regularly in Singapore’s new hotspots. This is happening at a rate so rapid that the pattern is more than academic; it is palpable, striking to anyone traversing the outskirts and venturing out of the city’s traditional consumer and business hubs.
But what does the term ‘cafe culture’ mean in Singapore? It’s not entirely synonymous with expensive drinks, a privileged clientele, and latte art. Arguably, cafe culture was not imported into Singapore when Starbucks first arrived here almost 20 years ago; it has existed long before that and remains an indispensable part of local culture, although it tends to be less glitzy and less documented by those in social media.
What do you want to change about your city? In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a group of citizens started the #betterKL movement, an initiative to crowd-source constructive ways to improve the city they live in. The grassroots movement sought to move the focus from quotidian gripes about urban life to ideas about how to make the city better. “Don’t just live in the city, live for the city,” the BetterCities manifesto urges.
Singapore is not a city known for street art. In fact, art in public spaces is strictly monitored in light of tough state laws against vandalism. Some argue these laws are a manifestation of the state’s desire to maintain control over public spaces and curb dissident access to platforms where their message can spread. The government, on the other hand, posits that such laws are required to protect property funded and used by the public.
Singapore is well known for its nature-based attractions including the Singapore Botanic Gardens, Night Safari and the recently opened River Safari.
Gardens by the Bay is the newest addition to these green space innovations, making this architecturally brilliant metropolis truly a “City in a Garden.” The location of this new attraction, which lies on reclaimed land along the marina, was originally intended as space to extend the financial sector.