Singapore's Greening Journey
Today, Singapore is one of the greenest cities in the world. The lush urban greenery that we have is a result of sustained and dedicated efforts to green up Singapore over the past few decades.
At the start of Singapore’s greening journey, the aim was to green up the island as quickly as possible for the purpose of providing shade and access to green spaces for all.
The greening strategy then evolved to provide colour through the planting of flowering trees and shrubs. Parks were linked up by the Park Connector Network and developments were encouraged to incorporate skyrise greenery to help improve the living environment.
In more recent years, NParks has adopted biophilic designs in restoring habitats and has been engaging the community to sustain our greening efforts.
As a result of our efforts, NParks has safeguarded more than 7,800 hectares of green spaces – nature reserves, gardens, and parks, linked by some 370km of park connectors – across Singapore.
With challenges like climate change which bring about more extreme weather patterns and increasing urbanisation, we need to build a Singapore where residents will be able to enjoy a liveable, sustainable and climate resilient Singapore.
To do so, Singapore will be transformed into City in Nature. We will build upon what has been achieved and further restore nature into the urban environment. NParks’ City in Nature vision is also a key pillar of the Singapore Green Plan 2030 – a national movement to chart our course for sustainable development.
Find out more about what a City in Nature entails in the video below:
Transforming Singapore into a City in Nature
To transform Singapore into a City in Nature, we are conserving and extending Singapore’s natural capital island-wide, and raising animal health and welfare standards in Singapore. We have five key strategies to achieve this vision:
1. Expand the Nature Park Network
2. Intensify nature in gardens and parks
3. Restore nature into the urban landscape
4. Strengthen connectivity between Singapore’s green spaces
5. Enhance veterinary care and animal management
This will be underpinned by the support and involvement of the community.
1. Expanding the Nature Park Network
Singapore’s four nature reserves safeguard the country’s most important representative and core ecosystems. As core components of Singapore’s natural capital, they are also primary providers of ecosystem services like clean air and water. In recent years, NParks has been establishing networks of nature parks around these reserves to protect them against the impact of urbanisation and extend our natural capital.
These nature parks serve as buffers and complementary habitats for Singapore’s native flora and fauna to thrive, while enabling visitors to enjoy nature-based activities with minimal disturbance to the nature reserves.
NParks will continue to grow the Nature Park Network and we aim to have an additional 200 hectares of nature parks by 2030.
Find out more about the different shades of green that can be found in Singapore:
2. Intensifying nature in gardens and parks
NParks is intensifying nature in its other gardens and parks. These efforts will dovetail with NParks’ plans to develop more green spaces and redevelop existing ones, thus expanding our natural capital and allowing Singaporeans to benefit from greater access to nature and its associated benefits on health and well-being.
Singaporeans can look forward to more than 300 hectares of such gardens and parks by 2026.
NParks is also incorporating more therapeutic landscapes in gardens and parks. We have developed therapeutic gardens specially designed and programmed for seniors. NParks is also developing more garden typologies to cater to diverse conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dementia, stroke, heart, and mood disorders.
There will be 30 therapeutic gardens across Singapore to meet different needs by 2030.
More nature playgardens will be built, so that children can play within a natural setting and connect closer with nature through play, exploration and learning.
NParks will also naturalise waterways and waterbodies in gardens and parks. Where possible, concrete canals will be transformed into naturalised rivers, while reservoirs will serve as naturalised lakes that catch and retain rainwater. Such nature-based solutions will enhance flood protection for nearby homes and properties, while supporting rich biodiversity.
This has been done successfully at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park and Lakeside Garden at Jurong Lake Gardens.
To enhance Singapore’s coastal protection measures, NParks is also restoring mangroves in parks along Singapore’s coasts, such as the Kranji Coastal Nature Park. These mangroves will function in tandem with hard engineering solutions to mitigate the effects of erosion brought about by storm surges and rising sea levels. NParks will continue to incorporate nature-based solutions in its coastal and riverine parks, to help protect Singapore against sea-level rise and inland flooding.
NParks will conserve more native plant and animal species as well. Singapore is home to a wide range of biodiversity despite being highly urbanised. Ongoing habitat restoration and species recovery efforts have enabled Singaporeans to encounter and enjoy once-rare species, such as the Singapore Kopsia and Tiger Orchid in the gardens, parks, and streetscapes. Birds and butterflies like the Oriental Pied Hornbill and Common Birdwing can now be seen around the city.
By 2030, NParks will implement species recovery plans for over 160 plant and animal species, restore and enhance 30 hectares of forest, marine, and coastal habitats, and restore ecological habitats in at least 50% of NParks’ gardens, parks, and streetscapes. Find out more about the wildlife that call Singapore home:
3. Restoring nature into the urban landscape
Nature will be restored into the built environment, and greenery will be brought closer to Singaporeans’ everyday lives.
To do so, NParks will increase the implementation of skyrise greenery in Singapore’s buildings and infrastructure. Skyrise greenery, such as vertical green walls, green roofs, and rooftop gardens will cool the buildings and make them more comfortable to live, work and play in, while further beautifying our city.
NParks aims to have 200 hectares of skyrise greenery by 2030.
NParks will also focus on greening Singapore’s industrial estates, which are currently among the hotter areas in Singapore. This intensified greenery will cool the industrial estates, help to improve air quality, and beautify their surroundings.
NParks will work with various stakeholders to plant at least 170,000 more trees in industrial estates by 2030.
Trees provide a range of benefits for our City in Nature such as helping to cool down our surroundings and regulate the climate. Find out more about the benefits of trees here:
4. Strengthening connectivity between Singapore’s green spaces
To sustain a healthy natural ecosystem, NParks will continue building its network of ecological corridors to connect the habitats in nature reserves and nature parks to that in gardens and parks. These corridors, or Nature Ways, will be planted with native trees and plants to mimic the multi-tiered structure of forests. This will help to keep Singapore’s streets cool and comfortable for pedestrians. Nature Ways can be further integrated with pedestrian and cycling paths to form lush and natural park connectors that connect green spaces.
In the medium term, NParks aims to have 300km of Nature Ways by 2030. Over the long term, NParks aspires to make every road a Nature Way.
Learn more from our arborists (aka Tree Doctors) about how they care for the millions of trees and plants that line our roads and expressways!
NParks will also create Nature Corridors, which are identified pathways that provide important ecological connections between areas rich in biodiversity, such as the Nature Reserves. This includes the Lornie Nature Corridor, Bukit Batok Nature Corridor and Clementi Nature Corridor.
In tandem, NParks will continue to expand the Park Connector Network to ensure that more communities can access nature easily.
Singapore will have 500km of park connectors by 2030. With this, all households will be within a 10-minute walk from a park.
Complementary to the Park Connector Network, NParks is also establishing several island-wide recreational routes, which comprise multiple park connectors and trails. These island-wide recreational routes, such as the Round-Island-Route, Rail Corridor and Coast-to-Coast Trails, will provide opportunities for Singaporeans to walk or cycle in natural spaces for longer distances. When fully completed, they will enable Singaporeans to explore our parks and nature areas along 360km of trails island-wide. In addition, they will help to enhance ecological connectivity between our natural habitats, strengthening Singapore’s ecological resilience.
5. Enhancing veterinary care and animal management
Community animals play a vital role as our companions, and wildlife enrich the biodiversity of our urban ecosystem. Therefore, our well-being and health are inter-connected with the health and welfare of animals in our community.
The Animal and Veterinary Service works closely with partners in the veterinary and animal sectors to strengthen capacities and enhance competencies in animal health, animal welfare and management. This will enable us to safeguard public health, animal health and welfare; and conserve our biodiversity.
Growing our City in Nature together
NParks will continue to work closely with the community through several key programmes to nurture stewards of nature.
One such community-driven effort is the OneMillionTrees movement. NParks is partnering the community to plant one million additional trees throughout the island, including our streetscapes, gardens, parks and park connectors, nature reserves, and nature parks.
Beyond tree planting, there are also many other opportunities for you to get involved. You can play your part to conserve our natural heritage through the Community in Nature initiative or support our greening efforts through the Community in Bloom programme. You can also be involved in the design, development and management of our parks through the Friends of the Parks initiative. If you’re a youth who would like to play a role as a volunteer or steward of our natural heritage, you can do so through the Youth@SGNature initiative.
Together, we can make Singapore our City in Nature.