Singapore

Singapore, the Lion City was jungle once. Just a few hundred fishermen and traders lived on this island off the Malay peninsula when Sir Stamford Raffles arrived. By World War II, it was a dilapidated concrete jungle of apartment blocks and factories. 1959 brought independence and new energy. Now, among clustering towers, domed plazas and expressways, there is green on every corner again. Trees march the central reservations, blooms populate marble embankments, flying foxes make their homes in stands of tangled trees. It is perhaps because this garden city state is so young that it looks so firmly to the future.