SINGAPORE - A total of 27 parks and developments in Singapore have been recognised for good landscape design and management under an enhanced certification scheme by the National Parks Board (NParks).
The 2020 Landscape Excellence Assessment Framework certification scheme now puts more emphasis on ecology, the integration of greenery in design and park management in line with the City in Nature vision, NParks said in a statement on Wednesday (May 5).
The award recipients include Yale-NUS College, three of the wildlife parks operated by Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) and Jurong Lake Gardens.
The annual scheme, which started in 2013 to recognise new and existing developments, was extended to include parks under a new category last year.
Similar to developments, the 12 parks that were recognised were assessed on several factors such as design and landscaping, accessibility, community well-being and engagement, environmental sustainability, conservation and biodiversity, and maintenance strategies. Platinum is the top award under the scheme.
Under the developments category, Yale-NUS College was recertified as a Gold recipient with special mention for promoting community well-being and engagement. The college, for instance, worked with students to convert a decorative rooftop planter area into a community garden, and built a habitat area for dragonflies at a pond on campus.
The college aims to produce 10 per cent of its daily vegetable consumption within three years from its rooftop community garden, said Mr Dennis Aw, Yale-NUS College's director of infrastructure, safety and security.
"The produce will be sold to our dining operator, and food waste will undergo composting and be used as fertiliser. Our long-term aim is to increase production through high-tech farming to ensure greater self-sufficiency in some essential items, which is aligned with increasing Singapore's food security," he added.
Congratulating the 27 recipients, Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said high-quality urban landscapes infused with greenery would help mitigate the impact of urbanisation and climate change across the island.
He said: "Singaporeans will be able to enjoy a high-quality living environment that will have cleaner air and water, cooler urban temperatures, and benefits to health and well-being."
Mr Lee pointed out that green design and the management of parks and developments were in line with the Singapore Green Plan 2030.
Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and River Safari were certified Platinum under the new Parks category.
The enhanced living space for the animals under their care also provide diverse habitats and connectivity for native wildlife, said NParks. WRS also developed a mobile app to better track horticulture waste generated across its three parks. The waste is recycled or reused as a substrate for animal bedding and mulching material.
Other Platinum certified parks included Jurong Lake Gardens, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, and The Learning Forest by NParks, while other developments certified Gold include EDEN, a residential development, and NUS University Town.
In 2019, the certification scheme by NParks was reviewed to include new criteria such as the creation of habitats to support native biodiversity, and the use of biodiversity-friendly design elements to manage glass facades and lighting in buildings.
NParks also announced on Wednesday that applications for the 2021 certification scheme are now open till 12pm on July 30 this year.
Private and public developers, and maintenance agents of existing and new developments may apply, and more information is available on this website.