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Iced Bovril with soda, anyone? Dealing with city heat in colonial Singapore

Our history can offer creative solutions for today's heat woes

Living in Singapore means sweltering temperatures all year round. To escape the heat, we flock to air-conditioned shopping malls, restaurants and cinemas, emerging after the sun dips below the horizon.

Historians have wondered how people in colonial times managed before modern technology. Were the heat-related challenges the same as the ones now? Some heat is specific to the present: That emanating from cars stalled in traffic jams, or the daily temperature build-up in concretised streets and buildings. These factors have significantly changed the experience of city living.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 24, 2018, with the headline 'Iced Bovril with soda, anyone? Dealing with city heat in colonial Singapore'. Print Edition | Subscribe