The Singapore Botanic Gardens is situated at the heart of the city of Singapore and demonstrates the evolution of a British tropical colonial botanic garden from a ‘Pleasure Garden’ in the English Landscape Style, to a colonial Economic Garden with facilities for horticultural and botanical research, to a modern and world-class botanic garden, scientific institution and place of conservation, recreation and education.
The Botanic Gardens is a well-defined cultural landscape which includes a rich variety of historic landscape features, plantings and buildings that clearly demonstrate the evolution of the Botanic Gardens since its establishment in 1859. Through its well-preserved landscape design and continuity of purpose, the Singapore Botanic Gardens is an outstanding example of a British tropical botanic garden which has also played a key role in advances in scientific knowledge, particularly in the fields of tropical botany and horticulture, including the development of plantation rubber.
It has been a centre for plant research in Southeast Asia since the 19th century, contributing significantly to the expansion of plantation rubber in the 20th century, and continues to play a leading role in the exchange of ideas, knowledge and expertise in tropical botany and horticultural sciences. While the Kew Botanic Gardens (United Kingdom) provided the initial seedlings, the Singapore Botanic Gardens provided the conditions for their planting, development and distribution throughout much of Southeast Asia and elsewhere.
The Singapore Botanic Gardens is an outstanding example of a British tropical colonial botanic garden, and is notable for its preserved landscape design and continuity of purpose since its inception. All the attributes necessary to express the original lay-out of the Botanic Gardens. A number of specific attributes including historic trees and plantings, garden design, and historic buildings/structures combine to illustrate the significant purposes of the Singapore Botanic Gardens over its history. The integrity of the garden could be further strengthened by developing additional policies directed at the replacement and retention of significant plants.
The garden demonstrated by the continued use as a botanic garden and as a place of scientific research. The material remains in the land is illustrated by the well-researched historic trees and other plantings (including historic plant specimens), historic elements of the designed spatial lay-out, and the historic buildings/structures which are being used for their original purposes or adapted to new uses that are compatible with their values.