Each decade brings something new and, right now, the future is looking green – in a good way. National Park Board shared its vision to take Singapore from being a City in the Garden to a City in Nature on 4 March 2020 at the Committee of Supply debate. It is a plan which aims to tackle issues such as climate change by providing Singaporeans with a living environment filled with nature and green spaces.
Singapore, City in Nature
Here are some of the highlights of what the next decade will bring as Singapore transforms into a City in Nature.
More Nature Parks
Nature Parks act as a buffer zone for Bukit Timah and Central Catchment Nature Reserves. Parks such as Thomson Nature Park, Windsor Nature Park and Chestnut Nature Park provide options for nature-based recreation such as hiking and mountain biking. By 2030, there will minimally be another 200 hectares of nature parks in Singapore. (A hectare is slightly smaller than the size of a football field.)
More Naturalised-looking Parks
The manicured look is out and the natural look is in – at least amongst the parks. NParks intends to incorporate more natural designs and plantings into new and redeveloped parks and gardens. In recent years, there has already been a shift towards more naturalised play environments and naturalised spots, such as at Jurong Lake Gardens’ Neram Streams, Singapore Botanic Gardens’ Keppel Wetlands and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio’s segment of the Kallang River. Therefore, this continues the trend and we do look forward to more spaces with the feel of Singapore’s natural forests.
NParks aims to have 30 therapeutic gardens across Singapore by 2030. These can be programmed for seniors and for those with conditions such as ADHD and dementia. It is one way which more Singaporeans can enjoy the benefits of nature.
There will be an effort to green the streets by using of multi-tiered plantings to create a forest-like structure along our roads. These will be known as Nature Ways (a clever play on the word highways) and there are plans for 300 km of Nature Ways to be ready by 2030.
Beyond the roads, there will also be a focus on introducing greenery to industrial estates to mitigate the urban heat island effect and move Singapore towards being a City in Nature.
More Park Connectors
Currently, there are 340 km of park connectors in Singapore. By 2030, the plan is for Singapore to have 500 km of connectors. With this in place, every household will be within a 10-minute walk of a park by 2030.
One Million Trees Planted
NParks will be launching a movement to plan one million trees across Singapore over the next 10 years. These will be planted across streetscapes, gardens, parks and park connectors, nature reserves and nature parks in Singapore. To do so, NParks will be engaging community groups, individuals and organisations to support this movement. More details will be shared in the next few weeks.