From Mudflats to Metropolis exhibition chronicles Singapore’s urban transformation journey throughout the decades

The roving exhibition in the URA centre will subsequently move to various locations across Singapore in October and November.

Farhana Subuhan

A punctuation enthusiast who thinks misplaced apostrophes are a crime.

Published: 5 September 2023, 2:52 PM

Visitors can now learn about Singapore’s urban transformation journey at an exhibition in the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) Centre.

Launched on Sep 4, From Mudflats to Metropolis chronicles the challenges encountered and overcame by Singapore from its early years of self-government in the 1950s and the progress achieved in the subsequent decades till the present day.

The exhibition also coincides with the 100th birth anniversary of founding Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Mr Lee, together with other founding leaders, was instrumental in guiding Singapore’s early development.


The exhibition’s name originates from a speech made by Mr. Lee Kuan Yew at the Sree Narayana Mission in 1965. PHOTO CREDIT: NATIONAL PARKS BOARD


The free exhibition focuses on four core themes in Singapore’s urban development: Housing a nation, Growing a garden city, Clean and sustainable water supply for all, and Making Singapore a great place to live, work and play.

It is divided into three immersive zones – Urban Pocket Garden, Time Tunnel and Growing Aspirations Tree Grove – where visitors can gain insights into pivotal milestones in Singapore’s urban transformation process.

Visitors can also learn about the values exemplified by the founding leaders, which continue to shape and enhance Singapore’s living environment today.

At the Urban Pocket Garden zone, one will be greeted by lush landscaping, garden swings and planted arches. There is also a layered urbanscape scene that captures Singapore’s urban transformation through the decades.


The façade along the outside of the URA Centre also features a graphical timeline that chronicles Singapore’s urban transformation. PHOTO CREDIT: NATIONAL PARKS BOARD


Within the Time Tunnel, visitors can embark on a journey spanning from Singapore’s early pre-independence era to the present day. They can also explore the significant urban transformation milestones that have occurred over the decades.

At the Growing Aspirations Tree Grove, one can engage with a digital tree that comes to life through its multiple screens, illustrating various time periods in Singapore’s urban transformation.


There is also an orchid display at the exhibition, where visitors can pen down their future aspirations for Singapore. PHOTO CREDIT: NATIONAL PARKS BOARD


The From Mudflats to Metropolis exhibition is held at the URA Centre for the whole of September and will subsequently move to various locations across Singapore in October and November.

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