Singapore Grows Forest Of Solar-Powered Supertrees

Usually words like “artificial” and “man-made” bring to mind our poor attempts to replace something natural that’s been destroyed by human development. But in the case of Singapore’s new artificial forest, the effect is spectacular and suprisingly good for the planet, too.

In just a few weeks, the country will officially open the doors to a 250-acre landscaping project called Gardens by the Bay. In addition to tropical flowers, climbing ferns, and a spectacular view, this massive waterfront garden will feature a man-made mechanical forest of solar-powered trees up to 50 meters high.

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Image via Gardens By The Bay

According to CNN, the garden’s 18 supertrees will do more than just give the public something to look at. Each will act as a vertical garden, generating solar power, acting as air venting ducts for nearby conservatories, and collecting rainwater. To generate electricity, 11 of the supertrees are fitted with solar photovoltaic panels that convert sunlight into energy, which provides lighting and aids water technology within the adjacent climate-controlled conservatories. The trees will also mimic their natural counterparts by absorbing and dispersing heat, and providing visitors with some much-needed shade.

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Image via chensiyuan/Wikimedia Commons

An initiative from Singapore’s National Parks Board, the gardens part of a redevelopment scheme to create a new downtown district in the Marina Bay area, on Singapore’s south side. By developing the park as an eco-tourism destination, rather than just another shopping area or business park, the country hopes to demonstrate its own commitment to sustainability, as well as stunning flora and fauna from around the world.

The park will officially open to the public on June 29. Until then, view more stunning pictures here.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog