Planting a mempat tree at Farrer Circus on 16 June 1963 to launch the tree-planting campaign (top), and continuing the unbroken annual tradition on 16 June 2013 at Holland Village Park (bottom).
Singapore Chief Gardener
Singapore’s distinctive appearance as a “City in a Garden” is due to Mr Lee’s bold vision of greening Singapore.
He saw this as a means of distinguishing Singapore from other cities, especially in the region. A well-tended city would help convince potential investors that the place was well run, he thought.
But above all, Mr Lee wanted high-quality living conditions for all Singaporeans. Equal access to a clean and beautiful environment would help strengthen unity and national pride, he felt.
He had a keen eye for detail, and took a personal interest in everything connected to the greening of Singapore – including drainage systems and plant types.
Today, close to 10% of Singapore is set aside for parks. Lush greenery covers the island. Every road is lined with trees, shrubs or plants.