(CNN) — The residents of Singapore have long been taking to the skies instead of the land because of the limited space available on the small island state. But today, Singapore's vast skyline is transforming how people live and setting a precedent for populations worldwide -- by swapping glass and concrete for blossoms and branches.
"Integrating the community and bringing the community to this development is a very big part of our planning and program," says Cheng Hsing Yao, Managing Director or Guocoland Singapore who are developing the Tanjong Pagar Center -- due to open in 2017.
The center comes with offices, condos and a luxury hotel designed as a vertical integrated city. It will also take urban living to new heights with one of the city's tallest highrises, Guoco Tower.
The Tanjong Pagar Centre is due to open in 2017 and will contain the tallest building in Singapore and a 2-storey urban park.
One way the developers are improving the community feel of an otherwise commercial complex is through the inclusion of a double-story urban park.
"[This] brings benefits to the district and when the district does better, we will reap the benefits," says Cheng. With more than 4600 high-rise buildings, and almost 200 skyscrapers, the skies of Singapore are where the population spend the majority of their time.
By converting this airspace into an oasis of calm architects hope to give city-life a community feel through more creatively designed spaces -- mainly through greenery.
Keeping it green
Singapore's green reputation -- the island nation is rated No. 1 in the Green City Index for Asia -- has been further maintained by WOHA architects through their design for the Park Royal on Pickering Hotel in the city's commercial business district.
The hotel is thought to be a hotel within a garden.
"What we wanted to do was raise it just above the trees ... so you are just above the tree canopies and you don't actually see traffic," says Wong Mun Summ, the lead architect on the project.
"Guests actually say they enjoy the fresh air," he says.
The Park Royal on Pickering is considered by the building's architects to be a hotel within a garden.
Courtesy Patrick Bingham-Hall/WOHA
Growing population -- and ambition
The government of Singapore is renowned for its commitment to forward-planning as this has ensured the city-state is prepared for its growing number of residents. As the population grows, so does their ambition.
Next on the cards is the relocation of Singapore's main port -- one of the busiest in the world -- currently close to the upcoming Tanjong Pagar centre.
More than 60,000 containers are handled here every day and the shipping lines link to more than 120 countries, according to Singapore's Maritime and Port Authority. But this massive maritime hub will bear the trouble of relocating to pave the way for a new waterfront city.
"Tanjong Pagar will be one of the three centers within the CBD," says Cheng.
The move toward increasing the number of commercial hubs within Singapore -- and resulting decentralization -- has long been prioritized by the country's urban designers as this ensures reduced commute times and higher liveability for the population.
Whilst such detailed planning and purposive greenery may not seem natural to some, with increasing urbanization and a population's lifestyle to consider, this appears to be the future of urban design.
"We are actually building for the future and we'd like to show the path for how to build the future as well," says Cheng.