SINGAPORE - The Housing Board (HDB) will introduce a new programme to ensure sustainable living is a key feature of HDB estates across Singapore, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Tuesday (Feb 18).
Called the HDB Green Towns Programme, it will focus on reducing energy consumption, recycling rainwater and cooling HDB towns.
In his speech on Tuesday, Mr Heng stressed that it was critical to mobilise a collective citizens' effort to address the threat of climate change.
An individual's choice of household appliances is one such instance, he added.
To encourage more families to purchase energy-efficient household appliances, lower-income households will be given incentives to help with these costs.
Said Mr Heng: "To deal with climate change, we have to foster a climate of change in our community, where everyone, whether as an individual, as a business leader, or as a community leader, makes conscious decisions to lower our carbon footprint."
The new HDB Green Towns Programme comes on top of the HDB's existing efforts to inject more integrated greenery in new housing estates to create a liveable and sustainable environment for residents.
New HDB developments will have around 45 per cent to 60 per cent green cover, including tree cover that provides canopy shade, under its previously introduced greenery provision guidelines.
Besides the measures implemented by the Government, Mr Heng noted that residents play a part in contributing to the growing community garden movement.
Today, there are more than 36,000 gardening enthusiasts nurturing over 1,500 community gardens across Singapore.
"These gardens keep our shared neighbourhood vibrant, and bring people closer together," said Mr Heng.
Sharing a quote from Robert Swan, the first person to have walked to the North and South Poles, he said: "The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it."