Singapore’s greening journey began in 1963, when our founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew planted a Mempat tree (Cratoxylum formosum) to launch the first nationwide tree planting campaign.
Since 1963, through the dedication and commitment of our pioneers and the community, the city’s landscape has transformed to one where greenery features throughout the island. Today, our roads, neighbourhoods and parks have become more vibrant spaces where biodiversity abounds.
An extensive island-wide green network of nature reserves, parks and gardens, park connectors, tree-lined roads and other green areas provides us with a quality living environment.As Singapore continues to evolve into a biophilic City in a Garden, we have identified seven key areas to guide our efforts towards fulfilling this vision.
1) Establishing world-class gardens
With 160 years of history, the Singapore Botanic Gardens is an institution for botanical research, and a place which holds special memories for many people. The Singapore Botanic Gardens was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2015.
Opened in mid-2012, Gardens by the Bay has captured the imagination of Singaporeans, and the rest of the world, by showcasing the best in horticulture and garden artistry. By developing a wide range of exciting events and programmes, Gardens by the Bay has become a place for Singaporeans from all walks of life to enjoy.
In 2019, Lakeside Garden, the first section of Jurong Lake Gardens opened. The first National Gardens in the Heartlands, Jurong Lake Gardens is a green recreational node that leverages on its distinctive lakeside setting. It provides more spaces for recreation amidst lush greenery, restored wetlands and habitats for biodiversity, and with vibrant programming for the community.
2) Rejuvenating urban parks and enliven streetscape
Our parks are havens where Singaporeans can all come together to play, celebrate, reflect and connect. We want to rejuvenate key parks and develop them into leisure destinations that attract visitors from all over the island.
Our roadside greenery is being transformed into urban forests with planting schemes that are similar to rainforests for greater sustainability. Furthermore, by adding plants that attract birds and butterflies, we are also bringing nature closer to our neighbourhoods.
3) Optimising urban spaces for greenery and recreation
Our urban landscape offers tremendous opportunities for us to introduce more greenery. We are developing more park connectors to link Singaporeans to major parks, nature sites and housing estates.
With the upcoming Round Island Route, and by curating trails such as the Coast to Coast and the Nature Park Network, Singaporeans have more opportunities to connect with nature, as well as, explore historical, cultural and recreational sites. We are also planning to bring more greenery skywards and extend our urban forest further.
4) Enriching biodiversity in our urban environment
Singapore, by virtue of its geographical location, has rich biodiversity. To conserve our natural heritage, we will continue to focus on ensuring the health of key species and ecosystems, restoring our natural areas and enhancing our nature reserves.
We have been successful in increasing the numbers of some native species, including dragonflies, butterflies, hornbills and otters. We are committed to continue to reintroduce selected native species into our environment, and extend biodiversity further into the urban landscape to enrich our living environment.
5) Strengthening capacities in animal and plant health, animal welfare and management
Through the Animal and Veterinary Service, NParks works closely with partners in the veterinary and animal sectors to strengthen capacities and enhance competencies in animal and plant health, animal welfare and management.
6) Enhancing competencies of our landscape and horticulture, veterinary and animal industries
We have been working closely with industry partners to initiate a range of programmes to raise skills standards of industry workers. In 2007, we set up the Centre for Urban Greenery and Ecology (CUGE), a national training institution for the landscape industry. CUGE has since trained many batches of local workers. We will do more to help restructure industry operations, raise industry productivity and seek new solutions in urban greening and conservation through applied research.
We will also engage and work with stakeholders to develop holistic and science-based strategies, and effective responses to animal health, welfare and management, as well as plant health.
7) Engaging and inspiring communities to co-create a greener Singapore
By creating a self-help network among residents, schools and organisations, there are now over 1,400 community gardens. A similar network of individuals and groups are also joining us in conserving Singapore's natural heritage. Indeed, it is only with the community's support can we make the biophilic City in a Garden vision a reality.