Give green spaces some variety: MM Lee

LIVING in an urban jungle of HDB flats, residents would find green open spaces a natural tonic. So, it may seem counter-intuitive to suggest that Singapore’s green planners take a leaf from their housing counterparts.

But Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, who said on Friday that the evolution of green spaces here was “not bad”, believes the lessons learnt from building HDB flats could in a way be instructive for the Republic’s greening efforts.

In a word, variety. “We need some variations because in many of the open spaces now, you see the same pattern of vegetation. So we need to involve different shapes, sizes – give it some variety,” he said.

“Just like HDB houses ˜ they used to be all uniform, but as we progressed, we got them to design it differently. So we’re learning all the time and improving.”

Mr Lee spoke of the need to keep improving parks and outdoor recreation following a tour of the Eastern Coastal Park Connector Network.

In fact, it would require nothing less than ingenious green spaces across the island if Singapore is to be a unique city, he told reporters.

The Active, Beautiful and Clean Waters Programme and park connectors are some examples of “maximising our limited land space to give the most to everybody who wants to get out of the urban jungle”.

“Now we’re trying to give (Singapore) some flourish,” he said.

On Friday, the National Parks Board (NParks) announced that it will be accelerating the construction of its park connectors in light of the economic downturn.

It will build 42km of park connectors this year – double its target of 20km per year – more than 80 per cent of which will be for the western and northern loop of the island. With the acceleration, the western loop is targeted to be completed by the end of the year, and the northern loop in mid-2010.

Source : Today – 24 Jan 2009

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