NParks rolls out new model of greenery management for parks and streetscape that leverages suite of digital tools developed with landscape industry
29 Apr 2023
- New model of greenery management will facilitate landscape industry’s next bound of transformation by enhancing productivity and attracting local talent
- Launch of new $7.5 million Landscape and Animal Sector Productivity Grant (LAPG) to boost innovation and digitalisation capabilities within industry
The National Parks Board (NParks) announced the implementation of a new model of greenery management for parks and streetscape, leveraging the suite of digital tools that is a result of NParks’ R&D efforts and partnership with the industry since the 1990s. This new model of greenery management will feature revised seamless work processes that will facilitate the adoption of digitalisation by the industry, and will be rolled out first at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio district through a new landscape maintenance and management tender.
The digitalisation push for the industry will be facilitated with the launch of a $7.5 million grant to boost productivity in the landscape and animal sectors and facilitate its next bound of transformation through adoption of technology and digitalisation. Part of the Landscape Sector Transformation Plan (LSTP), the fund will help landscape companies and nurseries defray the cost of purchasing and creating new digital solutions. The $7.5 million grant will be disbursed via two schemes – the Standard Scheme with a pool of about $3 million and the Innovation Scheme with $4.5 million.
The announcement was made by Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for National Development, at Green Thumbs 2023, held at Changi Civil Service Club. Speaking at the event, Mr Lee acknowledged the importance of support from the landscape industry in our 60 years of greening Singapore. The launch of new initiatives to facilitate the landscape industry’s move to the next bound of transformation and equip them with the necessary skills and tools needed to support our efforts to further intensify greenery in Singapore is therefore, timely.
Implementation of new greenery management model at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio district
The implementation of the new greenery management model for parks and streetscape, that will leverage digital tools at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio district, is the result of extensive research and development, to facilitate the transformation of the landscape industry. It aims to enhance productivity of landscape operations, attract local talent and equip them with the relevant skills for the industry. This follows the successful completion of the digitalisation pilot which was announced in 2021.
Under this model, NParks will appoint a contractor via an open tender for greenery management at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio district. The appointed contractor will, in partnership with NParks, adopt this new model of greenery management and utilise new programmes such as the Maven 2 system to implement new work processes.
Maven 2 is a centralised platform for greenery management where information from various digital tools such as Remote Tree Management System (RTMS) used in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio district, and Internet-of-Things (IoT) sensors deployed in Jurong Lake Gardens, can be interfaced onto a dashboard. This new model of greenery management using digital and tech tools, will allow the industry toadopt digitalisation in their operations.
As part of this new model, NParks will enhance our tree inspection regime with technology and allow landscape contractors to conduct more regular Visual Tree Assessment (basic) and virtual tree inspection works and refer those that require further checks to NParks staff. This expands the pool of professionals who can perform tree inspections, and will therefore, allow NParks to step up the tree inspection regime for mature trees using advance diagnostic tools.
This model will also enhance park management as officers are able to monitor remotely the statuses of various park amenities and direct resources to ensure toilet cleanliness and timely clearance of bins.
As part of NParks’ continuous innovation and iteration of technology, NParks is exploring expanding the utility of surveillance cameras and video analytics to derive park visitorship numbers with greater accuracy and analyse park user behaviours, which is then used to improve park management and enhance visitors’ experience.
In addition, NParks has piloted robotic technology in Jurong Lake Gardens in the form of the Park Patrol Robot. The robot is equipped with chatbot and telepresence functions, and able to navigate independently around the gardens to provide concierge services and aid in enforcement.
This adoption of technology is part of NParks’ digitalisation roadmap to enhance productivity with the use of technology, collect information for better decision making, and consolidate this information with systems to enable predictive management, and in turn, elevate capabilities and the role of our staff. Digitalisation will not only enhance operational precision and efficiency, it will also improve effectiveness of tree risk management as we intensify our greening efforts in our push to transform into a City in Nature.
Landscape and Animal Sector Productivity Grant
The new Landscape and Animal Sector Productivity Grant (LAPG) is a co-funding scheme that helps companies defray the cost of purchasing equipment and adopting innovative solutions, so as to increase productivity. This replaces the Landscape Productivity Grant (LPG) and Agriculture Productivity Fund (Non-Food), which since 2013, has had more than $24 million committed to support nearly 160 companies. Companies have seen significant productivity improvements through the use of machinery, with up to 90% savings in man-hours as a result of using spider lifts, 80% savings in man-hours after switching to the use of autonomous robotic lawn mowers, and 85% savings in man-hours using LiDAR scanner to conduct tree survey works, which include its location, height, girth, crown spread, health and form. With the successful mechanisation of the landscape industry, companies may further advance their operations with the adoption of digital solutions such as LiDAR scanners, drones, sensors, and fleet management systems.
Under the Standard Scheme, eligible companies can receive up to $100,000 in funding per year, capped at $200,000 per company for purchasing digital solutions readily available on the market for swift implementation.
The LAPG also features an Innovation Scheme component to provide more support for businesses to develop and adopt innovative solutions, especially with the use of new technology and digital tools. Under the Innovation Scheme, eligible companies can receive funding of up to 50% of total project costs, capped at $600,000 per company.
The landscape industry is growing, and it is important that it is supported with a skilled workforce. To this end, NParks has been working with Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) to train our future landscape workforce and equip them with relevant skills and capabilities for the industry. This is achieved through strengthening curricula and forging partnerships for internships and work-study placements for students to gain industry experience.
Green Thumbs 2023
Green Thumbs 2023 is co-organised by LIAS and NParks to celebrate the development journey of Singapore’s landscape industry. It is also a platform for the industry to network, share best practices, and showcase their skills and technology. More than 300 guests comprising industry partners, students and landscape workers were present for the festivities.
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