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Have no idea about Finland / Singapore? Here are the basics

Singapore_blog

Have no idea about Finland / Singapore? Here are the basics

Maija Kovari

In general, both Finland and Singapore are highly developed, well maintained, law abiding and safe countries, with relatively small populations and high standards of living. The first time I came here, I instantly felt like home. Everything is just so practical and clear. But without getting further into cultural analysis, since there might be some who know close to nothing about the other country, here are some facts to put you on the map.

 

Population

The total population of Singapore is about 5,6 million people. Of this, 1,7 million are living in the country on short time permits while only 3,9 million are Singapore residents. [1] 

The population of Finland is 5,5 million people [2]. Of this, only 0,2 million are not Finnish, [3] making the percentage of foreign population the lowest in Western Europe with 4 percent (8 in the capital, Helsinki). [4]

Land area and population density 

Land area of Singapore is 719.2 km2  [5], including the surrounding smaller islands. The city state is extremely densely populated.

The land area of Finland is about 338 145 km². 75% of this is forests, and 10 % of it is water from approx. 190 000 lakes scattered around the country.

Geographically, Singapore is approximately the size of Hollola (see map of Finland on left), a town of 23 954 people in southern Finland  [6]. Singapore's population density is about 8000 people/km2  [7]. Hollola's population density is about 37 people/km2. [8]

Relationship with sunshine

Tropical rainforest in the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Singapore, by Kat555 / Creative Commons / Wikimedia Commons

Tropical rainforest in the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Singapore, by Kat555 / Creative Commons / Wikimedia Commons

Only one degree north from the equator, the amount of daylight in Singapore varies between 12 hours 3 minutes to 12 hours 11 minutes per day, in the course of one year. Sun rises around seven, and sets around seven, year round. Singapore is sunny during days and dark during nights.

Finland is sunny during summers and dark during winters. Once the sun has risen over Lapland on the 27th of May, it will stay up in the sky until Mid-July. Southern parts of the country share this phenomena in a slightly less extreme version, the abundance of light being an integral part of the Finnish summer allover the country. As if to compensate, in Mid-December, in the capital on south coast, the average time for the sun to be above the horizon is about six hours, this being the day of the year with the less light. In the northern part the sun sets in the beginning of December and stays below the horizon for all of December until mid January. 

Weather

Aurora borealis at Inarijärvi Finland, by Manfred Werner - Tsui / Creative Commons / Wikimedia Commons

Aurora borealis at Inarijärvi Finland, by Manfred Werner - Tsui / Creative Commons / Wikimedia Commons

Singapore’s tropical rainforest climate has no distinctive seasons, but is none the less characterized by two monsoon seasons separated by inter-monsoonal periods. These slightly alter the average temperature, as well as the amount of rain, wind and thunderstorms, which are relatively common on the island. On average, rainfall is between 150 to 290 mm per month. [9] Average temperature in Singapore varies between +23 to +31 degrees Celcius year round, with extremes felt sometimes at + 36 and +20 degrees.

Finland has four distinct seasons that vary greatly in terms of weather. Average temperature in Finland varies between +21 to -10 degrees Celcius depending on time of year, with the peaks often felt at +25 to +30 during summer and between -25 to to -30 during winter. It rains from 30 to 90 mm per month in Finland, coming often as snow during winter. Spring and autumn are transitory seasons, as the nature prepares for winter / summer.

In terms of Public Art?

There is a growing interest in public art in both countries, as part of, what I see a global trend.

Singapore established its Public Art Trust in 2014, with an aim to promote and facilitate the use of art as part of creating public surroundings. I'll be meeting with some people from this very interesting new organization next week, so more on that to come. Walking in Singapore, you'll however already see an abundance of public art, old and new, thanks to different policies geared towards acquiring it over the years.

"Do you want artworks in your everyday surroundings?" Finland says: Yes: 75%, No: 14%, I Don't know: 12%. Source:Survey Research by The  Artists' Association of Finland, TNS Gallup 2016. Translated by the author. Click on image for more info.

"Do you want artworks in your everyday surroundings?"

Finland says: Yes: 75%, No: 14%, I Don't know: 12%. Source:Survey Research by The  Artists' Association of Finland, TNS Gallup 2016. Translated by the author. Click on image for more info.

In recent four years, promoting the inclusion of art in urban areas has been one of the official goals of the Finnish government. I've had the privilege of being part of some of these studies, and it really is a growing field in Finnish cities big and small. Unlike Singapore, Finland has several centers, which all have their own policies around public art, but studies released only a couple of weeks ago show, that the cities that have had programs of public art, have also seen a clear increase in the appreciation for it.  [10]

It will be very interesting to see, where these new developments will take both these countries, combined with the globally accepted aims to promote walking and cycling in urban areas.


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[1] http://www.singstat.gov.sg/statistics/latest-data#16

[2] http://www.stat.fi/til/vrm.html

[3]http://www.vaestoliitto.fi/tieto_ja_tutkimus/vaestontutkimuslaitos/tilastoja/maahanmuuttajat/maahanmuuttajien-maara/

[4]http://www.vaestoliitto.fi/tieto_ja_tutkimus/vaestontutkimuslaitos/tilastoja/maahanmuuttajat/maahanmuuttajien-maara/

[5] http://www.singstat.gov.sg/statistics/latest-data#16

[6] https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollola

[7] http://www.indexmundi.com/g/r.aspx?v=21000

[8] https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollola  

[9] http://www.holiday-weather.com/singapore/averages/

[10] http://prosenttiperiaate.fi/tutkimus2016/