Singapore, 2 Aug (ACN) Singapore is also known as the city in the garden. Planting trees has been closely linked to the history of the Asian island-state. The locals say that the nation's founder, Lee Kuan Yew, made a priority of promoting parks and gardens, especially on the avenue leading from the airport to the government headquarters, as a display of discipline, industriousness and cleanliness.
History has proved him right. When Lucas Film, the maker of the special effects behind the Star Wars saga, decided to open its first branch outside of Hollywood here, among the main reasons for his choice was the green environment created amidst the tall skyscrapers.
Yeo Meng Tong, deputy director of the Office of National Parks and with more than 40 years of experience in this field, explained that the government has promoted several programs with the intention of increasing the green areas.
The goal has been to increase the footprint of oxygen on the planet (the usual in this global discourse has been to reduce carbon emissions) for which they have increased the number of urban parks, moving parking and infrastructure underground, encouraged the planting of forests on land reclaimed from the sea, create gardens in roads and water channels and connect all these places with green roads called connector park, whose second generation includes walkways above the treetops. In addition, in the skyscrapers, both in the walls and on the roofs and balconies they have created gardens called skirise greenery.
Most of the trees are tropical species planted and protected by volunteers, without the use of irrigation systems or pesticides that would make the project unsustainable for a country that for a while bought drinking water and now extracts much of it through desalination plants.
A sign of the novelty in the approach to sustainable development in Singapore is that the entity responsible for the development of forests and green spaces called National Park is subordinate to the Ministry of National Development and not to the Ministry of Environment.