To understand the visual transformation of Singapore from a colonial entrepôt to a global financial center and a tourist destination, compare these photos taken from the top of Circular Road. The first is from the late 1970s while the image at the bottom is current via Google Maps. What had been a busy commercial street of shop-houses that were part of Singapore's import-export trade close to the godowns along Boat Quay, has given way to a tree-lined walk where tourists stroll past cafes and boutiques. Back in the 1970s, the only skyscraper downtown was the OCBC bank building. Now there many office towers competing for space throughout the downtown financial district.
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