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155ha of skyrise greenery up as Singapore closes in on Green Plan target of 200ha

Currently, private residential property developers account for less than 3 per cent of total applications for the SGIS, said Ms Araib.

It is because there is “already strong support and buy-in to incorporate lush and verdant greenery by private residential property developers”, she added.

Other projects that have been supported under the scheme include The Giving Garden @ Kim Tian West, which saw the conversion of a concrete carpark roof deck in a public estate into a lush edible garden, and Keppel Infrastructure @ Changi, which installed greenery along with solar panels on the building facade.

SINGAPORE – Efforts by the National Parks Board (NParks) to restore nature in the urban landscape have reached a milestone with the achievement to date of about 155ha of skyrise greenery, an area larger than 155 football fields.

The target is to have 200ha of skyrise greenery under the Singapore Green Plan 2030.

To meet this goal, NParks’ Skyrise Greenery Incentive Scheme (SGIS), which provides funding of up to 50 per cent of installation costs for rooftop greenery and vertical greenery projects on existing buildings, has been extended from March 2023 for another three years, to the end of March 2026.

SGIS is part of the Skyrise Greenery Programme, which comprises a wide range of initiatives – from incentive schemes and research to recognition programmes and education – to build Singapore’s capacity and capabilities in skyrise greenery.

Since it was launched in 2009, SGIS has disbursed over $10.2 million, said NParks, the lead agency for greenery and biodiversity conservation. There is a cap of $200 per sq m for rooftop greenery and $500 per sq m for vertical greenery.

NParks has received around 300 SGIS applications to retrofit existing buildings with extensive green roofs, edible gardens, recreational rooftop gardens, and lush, verdant green walls, NParks’ group director of horticulture and community gardening Sophianne Araib told The Straits Times.

Applications are assessed based on the project’s merits and ability to contribute towards climate, ecological and social resilience goals.

Beneficiaries of the SGIS are wide-ranging and include educational institutions, healthcare facilities, industrial developments, community and commercial buildings, and private residential developments, said Ms Araib.

Among them is One Shenton, a luxurious residential development in the heart of the city’s downtown core planning region.

“For One Shenton, vertical greenery columns have been added at the pedestrian level and adjacent to busy streets. Aside from visual relief for the building’s occupants and members of the public, the green walls help to reduce one’s exposure to air pollution and positively contribute to the therapeutic needs of people living and working in urban areas,” said Ms Araib.

The overall costs, including installations on the building facade, came up to about $750,000, with $330,000 subsidised by NParks, said Mr Alexandre Collin, chairman of One Shenton’s management council.

Since 2019, One Shenton has been gradually upgrading its facilities and infrastructure, including the installation of skyrise vertical greenery.

“Our residents have become more cognisant of their mental health and well-being. They want to spend more time outdoors, and our newly enhanced green spaces, outdoor pavilions, pool decks with cabanas, and communal spaces are now necessary comforts that will enhance their quality of life,” said Mr Collin.

“Besides enhancing the quality of life for residents, adding sustainable features has long-term savings benefits because of a cumulative reduction in electricity usage of approximately 30 per cent throughout the building’s common-area facilities. These savings, in combination with One Shenton’s green building features such as climate-friendly reflective facades and energy-efficient light fittings, have helped its managing body absorb inflation without increasing management fees over the last 10 years,” he added.