More incentives and regulations on the way to encourage skyrise greenery

SINGAPORE - New incentives and regulations are in store to encourage private building owners and developers to include skyrise greenery in their projects, Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan said in a blog post on Thursday.

"Our aim is to make Singapore a great garden, and a great home," he said, adding that the Urban Redevelopment Authority will announce details shortly. The MND is taking this step in view of the success of the URA's existing Landscaping for Urban Spaces and High Rises (Lush) programme.

Lush encourages the provision of well-planted communal green spaces at both ground and higher levels, including sky terraces and roof gardens. For instance, bonus gross floor area is granted to Orchard and Downtown Core developments, which can be used for outdoor refreshment areas on the rooftop if building owners provide landscaping.

In areas like Marina Bay and Jurong Gateway, the URA also requires developers to replace the greenery displaced with green communal spaces at least equivalent to the land area of the development - a "100 per cent replacement", said Mr Khaw.

In the last two years, more than half of the eligible residential developments have applied for Lush incentives. More than one-third of shopping malls, offices and hotels have also taken up the incentives. This includes the new Westgate mall at Jurong Gateway, which Mr Khaw highlighted as "a good example of a Lush recipient" with its vertical greenery, sky terraces and roof gardens.

To date, the Lush programme has supported the development of 40ha of new high-rise and urban greenery, equivalent to approximately 130 primary school fields.

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