Known around the world for being a model of modern urban planning, Singapore was effectively a blank canvas to create a modern country since independence in 1965. The government has continued to plan a country model focused on both growth and sustainability.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is Singapore’s land use authority, and is effectively responsible for the long-term urban planning of Singapore. The URA is also home of the new Singapore City Gallery which showcases how Singapore has undergone tremendous physical transformation in the last 40 years to become one of the most livable cities in Asia.

The first three stories of the URA headquarters hold an exhibition on the history and future urban planning of Singapore. The ground floor of the 2,400-square meter sized City Gallery is a rotating exhibit on urban planning across the Republic.

Ground floor of the exhibition:

When I visited the Singapore City Gallery last week, the temporary exhibits shown included award winning conservation/restoration projects, school architecture models of various Singapore landmarks and future plans for the Singapore Rail Corridor (a bit similar to the vision of The High Line in NYC).

The main exhibit of the Singapore City Gallery covers the 2nd and 3rd stories of the URA headquarters. Different sections include Periods of Progress, Planning Sustainability, Urban Design and most impressive are the different architectural models of Singapore. These architectural models are of different scales, and some are models of the entire city-state while others give a bird’s eye view of Singapore’s central district. Moreover, just outside the Singapore City Gallery entrance are observation windows where visitors can see the model makers at their craft.

Marina Bay area – All the white buildings are new or being developed as we speak:

The massive model of Singapore’s central area:

Model maker restoring and creating new models:

If you’re planning to visit, be sure to check out their opening hours here. The City Gallery is currently undergoing a revamp until the fourth quarter of 2018. The ongoing temporary exhibitions and Island-wide model at Level 1 Atrium will still be available for viewing. You can stay updated on the Gallery opening and other URA initiatives by subscribing to “URA This Month” at this link.