Biodiversity built into urban setting

The site in Tengah, which was previously used for military training, was zoned for residential use, for the purposes of developing a new HDB town.
The site in Tengah, which was previously used for military training, was zoned for residential use, for the purposes of developing a new HDB town. PHOTO: COPERNICUS SENTINEL DATA 2019, EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY

We refer to the letter (Irony of building 'forest town' after clearing forests; Jan 16).

The Government has taken, and will continue to take, into consideration Singapore's natural assets and biodiversity in planning for future land use.

This is why a significant part of our land area has been set aside as nature reserves, nature areas and parks, with measures in place to protect the identified nature reserves and nature areas.

As we develop, we will strive to enhance our green canopy cover, and maintain ecological connectivity as far as possible.

But given our land constraints, we also have to balance the competing demands for limited land, such as providing affordable public housing for Singaporeans.

One of our key planning strategies is to grow employment centres outside the Central Business District, and take jobs closer to homes.

As part of this, we are developing Tuas Mega Port, Jurong Lake District and Jurong Innovation District.

With more jobs created in these areas, we will also need more new housing in the west.

Hence the site in Tengah, which was previously used for military training, was zoned for residential use, for the purposes of developing a new HDB town.

This will allow more people to live closer to where they work, and reduce travel times between homes and workplaces.

Steps have been taken to mitigate the potential impact of the housing development works at Tengah.

We will continue to integrate greenery and biodiversity into our urban environment, while ensuring Singapore's land-use needs are met.

Adele Tan (Ms)

Group Director (Strategic Planning)

Urban Redevelopment Authority

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 25, 2019, with the headline 'Biodiversity built into urban setting'. Print Edition | Subscribe