Dezeen and MINI World Tour: Colin Seah of Ministry of Design shows us examples of how Singapore is responding to the challenge of housing a growing population without sacrificing its green spaces in our second movie from the city.
"It has been a perennial issue," says Seah. "How do you house five to seven million people on an island that would fit into Lake Geneva?"
"The government could have just said: 'let's not control it, let's have sprawl and have more people living in houses'. But the strategy instead was to protect public spaces and green areas."
Seah takes us to three of his favourite architectural projects around the city, which each tackle the challenge in different ways.
"It's amazing because on the same piece of land that housed 150 houses [they have built] up to six or seven times the number of family units," says Seah.
"The top level is open to the public, because it is public housing after all. You have a 360 degree panorama of Singapore."
"Instead of having these tall vertical towers, they broke them down to horizontal towers," says Seah of the complex, which comprises 31 six-storey blocks stacked diagonally on top of each other.
The blocks are arranged around large hexagonal communal courtyards, while the roofs of the lower blocks provide smaller gardens for the blocks stacked on top of them.
"Everybody has a chance to use them and look down into them," says Seah. "But you're much closer to the ground than if you were in a vertical tower."
Finally, Seah takes us to Marina Barrage, a dam designed to control the water coming in and out of Marina Bay and prevent flooding in low lying areas of the city. The machinery that operates the dam is housed in a large building alongside, which features a public park on its gradually sloping roof.
"Instead of being a utilitarian building, there was a really fantastic agenda to infuse it with a public, park-like quality," says Seah.
"On the weekends and evenings it's incredibly popular with families. So for a building that just houses machines, it becomes this living space."
Seah concludes: "The government has been very clever to balance the need for density with more ample public space that people can share collectively."