Forum: Allow gardening on rooftops of private homes

The National Parks Board recently launched the Gardening with Edibles initiative to encourage people to grow produce at home (More community plots sprouting up to cater to gardening enthusiasts, June 19).

It was also announced that the number of community and allotment gardens will be increased.

This Gardening with Edibles initiative is aligned with Singapore's national strategy to strengthen its food resilience. The "30 by 30" goal aims to produce 30 per cent of Singapore's nutritional needs locally by 2030.

If widely adopted, the initiative will partially mitigate Singapore's food security issues. It should therefore be actively encouraged.

But in land-scarce Singapore, with the existing building rules, creating enough space for meaningful vegetable gardening, especially in private residential properties, is a challenge.

For example, flat roof surfaces of private landed houses are ideal for such gardening, but cannot be utilised for gardening under existing rules.

Of course, safety and other building-related issues will need to be addressed when allowing such rooftop activities.

It is time that the Building and Construction Authority reviewed its rules to enable and encourage widespread gardening, especially on rooftops of private properties.

Georgie Lee Heng Fatt

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