Outdoor learning, app for green tips among ideas at dialogue

Participants in discussion at the Future of Us exhibition at Gardens By the Bay on Jan 10, 2016.
Participants in discussion at the Future of Us exhibition at Gardens By the Bay on Jan 10, 2016.ST PHOTO: ALICIA CHAN

An app to give daily tips on how to be environmentally friendly, theatre performances in water, and outdoor learning to instill the love of nature among children.

These were just some of the ideas that surfaced yesterday during an SGfuture dialogue on how Singapore's parks, park connectors and waterways should be used, and how to make these spaces better.

The dialogue, held at The Future Of Us exhibition at Gardens by the Bay, focused on four topics: City in a Garden, Vibrant Community Spaces, Eco-Smart Towns and Gracious Living, and A Green and Conserving Culture.

More than 50 participants from different backgrounds and interest groups shared their ideas.

In her opening address to the participants, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor said that Singapore's founding fathers had a vision of a Green Singapore, and that this has been preserved even as the city has become "highly urbanised".

"Making Singapore a clean and green city is not just the Government's responsibility. Our parks and waters belong to every Singaporean," she added. "We need to think about how we can continue to intensify our land use, and at the same time maintain the quality of our living environment, maintain the greenery around us."

One of the participants, Mr Pang Wei Han, 21, said that his group came up with the idea of an app because it is easily accessible.

The student from Yale-NUS College said that there should be a dollar-for-dollar match by the Government to help make such initiatives a reality.

Mr Desmond Lee, Senior Minister of State for National Development, in his closing remarks, said that the discussions were meant to discover things that can be done in partnership with the Government and with fellow Singaporeans.

"Participation and involvement connect people and communities to places and spaces, no difference whether it's green or blue," Mr Lee said.

The SGfuture discussions are a series of public dialogues that aim to gather ideas on how to create a more liveable and sustainable future.

Jalelah Abu Baker

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 17, 2016, with the headline 'Outdoor learning, app for green tips among ideas at dialogue'. Subscribe