S'pore to have 300ha of parks by end-2026, 50% more land set aside for nature parks

Efforts to strengthen Singapore's ecological connectivity will continue.

Zhangxin Zheng | March 04, 2021, 12:49 PM

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As part of the ministry's commitment to Singapore's Green Plan, Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said that the Ministry of National Development (MND) will be making a big push on three fronts, which include continuing its efforts to turn Singapore into a City in Nature.

300ha of new and enhanced parks by 2026

The ministry will add 130 hectares of new parks and enhance about 170 hectares of existing parks over the next six years, as part of its move to green urban areas.

In total, Singaporeans can look forward to 300 hectares of such parks by end-2026. This is almost four times the size of the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Part of the efforts to green urban areas also includes expanding the nature park network by setting aside 50 per cent more land for nature parks.

By 2030, Singapore will have 200 hectares of new nature parks.

On top of that, the Park Connector Network will be expanded and will hit 500km of Park Connectors by 2030. The ministry will also develop new recreational routes across the island.

Enhancing ecological connectivity

Besides serving as spaces for Singaporeans to enjoy recreational activities, these nature parks are also buffers to protect nature reserves, and provide more habitats for native flora and fauna to thrive.

In response to Member of Parliament Nadia Samdin and Nominated Member of Parliament Koh Lian Pin, Lee said that the ministry recognises the importance of improving ecological connectivity between natural spaces.

Efforts to strengthen Singapore's ecological connectivity are ongoing, which led to retaining forests at the future Bukit Batok Hillside Nature Park and Bukit Batok Central Nature Park, as well as designating Sisters' Island as a Marine Park.

A more comprehensive picture of the island-wide ecosystem and connectivity of green and blue spaces will be developed so that it can better guide future land-use planning.

Given Singapore's land constraints, the national development minister said that Singapore will not be able to keep every vacant vegetated land undeveloped, as the government will have to meet different needs, ranging from industry and food production to more public housing for Singapore families.

However, Lee assured that members of the public and the nature community will be engaged in the planning process at suitable platforms.

Besides the roadmap towards a City in Nature, Singapore will also ramp up efforts to make buildings, towns and districts more sustainable through an Energy Reset and drive research and development in urban sustainability.

"Sustainability is a marathon which we cannot run alone, and we must be in it for the long haul," Lee said.

Top image via NParks/FB