27 parks, developments recognised for good design and management

A total of 27 parks and developments in Singapore have been recognised for good landscape design and management under an enhanced certification scheme by the National Parks Board (NParks).

The 2020 Landscape Excellence Assessment Framework certification scheme now puts more emphasis on ecology, the integration of greenery in design, and park management in line with the City in Nature vision, NParks said in a statement yesterday.

The annual scheme, which started in 2013 to recognise developments, was extended to include parks under a new category last year. Similar to developments, the 12 parks recognised were assessed on factors such as environmental sustainability, conservation and biodiversity, and maintenance strategies. Platinum is the top award under the scheme.

Under the developments category, Yale-NUS College was re-certified as a Gold recipient with special mention for promoting community well-being and engagement. The college, for instance, worked with students to convert a decorative rooftop planter area into a community garden, and built a habitat area for dragonflies at a campus pond.

The college aims to produce 10 per cent of its daily vegetable consumption within three years from its rooftop community garden, said Mr Dennis Aw, Yale-NUS College's director of infrastructure, safety and security. "The produce will be sold to our dining operator, and food waste will undergo composting and be used as fertiliser," he added.

Congratulating the 27 recipients, Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said high-quality urban landscapes infused with greenery would help mitigate the impact of urbanisation and climate change across the island.

He said: "Singaporeans will enjoy a high-quality living environment that will have cleaner air and water, cooler urban temperatures, and benefits to health and well-being."

Three of the wildlife parks run by Wildlife Reserves Singapore - Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and River Safari - were certified Platinum under the new Parks category.

Other Platinum certified parks included Jurong Lake Gardens and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, while developments certified Gold include EDEN, a residential development.

In 2019, the certification scheme by NParks was reviewed to include new criteria such as the creation of habitats to support native biodiversity, and the use of biodiversity-friendly design elements to manage glass facades and lighting in buildings.

NParks also announced yesterday that applications for the 2021 certification scheme are now open till 12pm on July 30 this year.