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NParks announces plans to enhance the greenery and liveability for residents in the west

NParks announces plans to enhance the greenery and liveability for residents in the west

- Plans include nature-based amenities, lush green plantings along streetscapes and greening of upcoming infrastructure developments

First section of Pasir Panjang Park opened; a result of community stewardship and involvement

The National Parks Board (NParks) announced plans to enhance greenery in West Coast by 2030, today. Under these enhancement plans, NParks will involve residents in the west to curate more nature-based amenities for the area, including community and allotment gardens, and corridor gardening opportunities to meet the strong gardening interest of local residents, as well as a network of therapeutic gardens to increase accessibility for beneficiaries. There will also be nature playgardens and inclusive playgrounds for children of varying developmental needs to experience nature-based learning, and to connect with and develop an appreciation for nature from a young age. In addition, NParks will also be greening up the area with more than 10 new Nature Ways within the West Coast. Other plans to enhance the greenery and liveability for residents in the west include the progressive development of new recreational routes, the greening of the upcoming Jurong Region Line, one of the major upcoming infrastructure developments in the area and the industrial estates such as in Jurong and Tuas.

NParks also opened the first section of Pasir Panjang Park, from Pasir Panjang MRT station to the Jalan Pelepah residential estate, today. This park is the first under the Friends of the Parks Engagement Programme, where we worked with the community to co-design, implement, and manage the park.

Nature-based amenities encourage community bonding and foster social cohesion

Currently, there are more than 120 community and allotment gardens across housing estates, schools and organisation in the West Coast area. In our parklands, there are three allotment gardens in HortPark, Clementi Woods Park and West Coast Park in addition to two therapeutic gardens HortPark and Telok Blangah Hill Park. There are plans for more allotment gardens in parklands and we will also be introducing two new therapeutic gardens in Jurong Central Park and West Coast Park. These therapeutic gardens, coupled with therapeutic horticulture programmes, will enable visitors to experience a range of health benefits, such as relief from mental fatigue, reduced stress, and an overall improvement to well-being. NParks has also identified 24 community care facilities to potentially introduce new therapeutic horticulture nodes, creating a network of therapeutic horticulture features in the area which can be easily accessed by beneficiaries. There are also plans for nature playgardens that include components designed for children with special needs, allowing them to experience nature-based therapy. Concurrently, NParks will be also partnering People’s Association and Grassroot Leaders to facilitate up to 30 new gardening spaces in the form of community and allotment gardens primarily in heartland areas. We will be also working with grassroots to encourage more of our residents to grow their own edibles right at their doorstep through the corridor gardening initiative. All these efforts will help build more bonds among next-door neighbours and strengthen social resilience among our West Coast communities and contribute towards strengthening community ownership and stewardship for nature. In total, almost 40 new nature-based amenities will be added to the area by 2030, to meet the needs of the residents there.

Naturalistic landscape planting of the West Coast green corridor will strengthen ecological connectivity between the west and the rest of the island

NParks has identified more than 10 Nature Ways, to be implemented, with six of them to be planted up over the next two years. Featuring a planting palette of native coastal species, this creates a beachfront to coastal forest landscape, characteristic of the West Coast area. The series of new Nature Ways further strengthens ecological connectivity as it forms a green corridor that connects north towards Sungei Buloh as well as east wards to Labrador, via the West Coast.

To further support island-wide ecological connectivity, NParks has also identified rewilding sites in the west that are near nature areas, which will be enhanced with native trees and plants. We have identified 14 such sites, which are situated away from residential areas and close to nature and rustic areas such as Southern Ridges and the Rail Corridor, will be enhanced with infilled native trees and plants that support our local biodiversity with minimal maintenance.

In addition to enhancing ecological connectivity between the west and the rest of Singapore, NParks will also be progressively developing new recreational routes, such as the previously announced C2C Southern Trail and Round-Island-Route in the area. Taken together with existing trails such as the Rail Corridor and the C2C Central Trail, West Coast will be well connected to the rest of Singapore.

Infrastructure greening and the greening of industrial estates will enhance liveability in the area

The construction of the Jurong Region Line (JRL) is one of the upcoming major infrastructure developments in the area. NParks will enhance the greenery of the upcoming JRL stations in three different stages over the next ten years. Currently, MRT stations such as Buona Vista, Dover and Boon Lay along the East-West Line have undergone greenery enhancement.

One of the key strategies of our City in Nature vision is to intensify greenery within industrial estates. The aim is to cool these areas, one of the hotter areas in Singapore, and improve air quality. At the same time, this will create a more attractive and conducive work environment by bringing the therapeutic effects of greenery closer to people’s workplaces. This will strengthen Singapore’s distinctiveness as an attractive place to live and work. Plans to green major industrial estates such as Jurong Industrial Estate, Tuas Industrial Estate, Jurong Island and Jurong Innovation District were previously announced. NParks will plant 150,000 additional trees in Jurong Industrial Estates by 2030. A network of pedestrian-level sensors will also be deployed at Jurong Estate and Jurong Island to measure thermal comfort. This helps NParks to assess and review the effectiveness of greenery in mitigating urban heat island effect and improving thermal comfort, which supports research projects on this topic.

Community stewardship is a key pillar in the management of greenery

Residents will be involved in the conceptualisation and development of these new green spaces. Community tree-planting activities will also be organised as part of the OneMillionTrees movement. By extending and enhancing Singapore’s natural capital in this manner, Singaporeans will enjoy a higher quality living environment, and reap the benefits of nature on our health and well-being. City in Nature is a key pillar of the Singapore Green Plan 2030, a whole-of-nation movement to advance Singapore’s national agenda on sustainable development. The Green Plan will strengthen our resilience to the global challenge of climate change and charts out Singapore’s actions to build a sustainable future.

Today, NParks also opened part of the Pasir Panjang Park, from Pasir Panjang MRT station to the Jalan Pelepah residential estate. We had engaged 170 stakeholders under the Friends of the Parks Engagement Programme to co-design, implement, and manage the park with citizens. As the first project under the Friends of the Park Citizen Engagement Park programme, the park design incorporates ideas and feedback from the community including a nature playgarden, accessibility features and wayfinding signs. The entire park is expected to be completed by 2026. PSA Corporation Limited (PSA) was deeply involved in the project and contributed $3.5 million to the project through the Garden City Fund, NParks registered charity and IPC, to give back to the community where it has operated in for over 20 years. The park will feature some of PSA’s history through the display of unique marine artefacts items it has donated.

“As a responsible corporate citizen, PSA is glad to contribute to the development of sustainable green spaces alongside our port and through this green oasis, create a closer affinity with nature and our neighbouring community,” said Mr Ong Kim Pong, Regional CEO, Southeast Asia, PSA International.

“We are thankful that during this challenging period, organisations like PSA have continued to support our City in Nature vision for Singapore by working with NParks to create unique green spaces like the Pasir Panjang Park to benefit the community it is in,” said Prof Leo Tan, Chairman, Garden City Fund.