chapter  6
City as Garden: Shared Space in the Urban Botanic Gardens of Singapore and Malaysia, 1786–2000
Pages 28

In the market-driven cities of contemporary Singapore and Malaysia, gardens are usually understood by urban geographers as semiotic voids. Gardens are seen as urban lungs where air can circulate, necessary to the survival of the city as a whole, but deficient in internal structure and divorced from the city’s fundamental economic functions-they are located within the physical space of the city, but outside its conceptual space.1 This view was born during the industrial revolution in Europe, where gardens were intended to be an antidote to the social and environmental pollution of industrialization.2 From this perspective, gardens package nature as a consumable, a visit to a garden serving as prophylaxis against the degradation of more “unnatural” forms of environmental shaping.3