Two new horticultural research programmes to be launched

SINGAPORE - The National Parks Board (NParks) announced on Thursday that it would be embarking on two new research programmes with the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH).

In a blog entry "Green Therapy", Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan explained that the two studies are part of NPark's efforts to better understand and quantify the benefits of greenery.

The Park Prescription study aims to understand the positive effects of physical activity in parks with clinical research, while the Horticultural Therapy study will look into the effects of parks and gardening on the mental health of the elderly.

Mr Khaw also added that NParks has set out to ensure that 80 per cent of homes in Singapore are within a 10-minute walk from a park, as "green spaces promote physical and mental well-being". This will be raised to 90 per cent by 2030.

"Mr Lee Kuan Yew greened up Singapore as he felt strongly that 'a blighted urban landscape, a concrete jungle destroys the human spirit. We need the greenery of nature to lift our spirits'," said Mr Khaw.

"Who does not want to live in or near a garden?"