SINGAPORE - Can Singapore's international airport be located somewhere else besides Changi? What happens if the MRT did not exist in Singapore?
These are some of the questions the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) aims to answer with its revamped Singapore City Gallery, which reopens on March 20 with interactive and immersive exhibitions.
Located at The URA Centre at 45 Maxwell Road, the refreshed 2,400 sq m space houses 11 thematic areas with 40 exhibits.
Visitors can trace Singapore's physical evolution over 100 years at Mapping Singapore, a permanent gallery showcasing 40 maps and plans that tells the story of Singapore's urbanisation. Original models by renowned architects Kenzo Tange and I.M. Pei, who contributed ideas to shape the Marina Bay skyline, are also on display.
Members of the public can also try their hand at redesigning the Marina Bay skyline and participate in an interactive group game to discover which neighbourhood in Singapore best suits their needs.
"For people to want to get more involved in shaping our city, it's important that they first understand what city and urban planning are about and the challenges that planners have to overcome," said Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for National Development, who launched the revamped gallery on March 20.
When it first opened in 1999, it received around 20,000 visitors each year. It now gets close to 150,000 a year.
Other key highlights include an immersive show that allows visitors to journey through hidden infrastructure networks to understand how such urban systems power the city.
In addition, local architecture firms are given a space to showcase their work on the ground floor atrium in The URA Centre.
The 140 sq m AUDE (Architecture & Urban Design Excellence) Space seeks to promote good architecture and urban design.
The debut exhibition there highlights works from eight boutique architectural firms, including roof gardens and residential projects. Exhibits will be refreshed regularly.
Free guided tours, led by URA volunteers, are held at 11am and 12.30pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and on the first and third Saturday of each month. Admission to Singapore City Gallery is free.