Playgrounds in Singapore are designed as part of dense living spaces, and they reflect the social conscience of a society. Playgrounds reveals the intricacies of urban planning, a common everyday feature that is often taken for granted in Singapore. In the 1950s, Singapore was still a city consisted largely of slums and kampongs.The push for public housing started in 1959, where high rise buildings were built to house a growing population in more hygienic and safer environments. Today, more than 80% of the population lives in HDB flats, a trend which is unlike the rest of the world. The early urban planners were concerned with how the people would live, and have dedicated efforts and thought to building recreational spaces alongside living spaces. Anyone who have grown up in Singapore since the 1960s or 70s would have experienced playing and interacting in a playground. As populations become denser, playgrounds became important focal points for interaction and community living.
Based on our calculations using Google mapping and various NPark sources, the total figure of playgrounds in Singapore is estimated to range between 700 - 1500, which would make Singapore the country with the most number of playgrounds per square kilometre in the world. (Still to be verified).
The proposal to photograph these playgrounds from the sky comes down to a few reasons. One, the design of a playground is not a singular entity, as it also serves to interact with other aspects of a communal space - kindergartens, carparks, residential spaces, walking spaces, and even make shift events such as a void deck wedding or a celebration. Two, while there is commonality among playgrounds, no one design is exactly the same. The typological and clinical approach creates an observable distinction and appreciation of the similarities and differences. Three, this is based on our own childhoods. My parents would often leave us playing in the playgrounds, and they would observe us from the convenience of their own flats, where they could look down and observe what we were doing. It is a common sight for playgrounds to be seen from above, and this connection brings the human interaction and connection closer to heart and soul.