The new Tropical Montane Orchidetum at Singapore Botanic Gardens showcases the most diversity of orchids found in tropical montane forests, in a single location in Singapore. It comprises three display houses – The Sembcorp Cool House, Tan Hoon Siang Mist House, Yuen Peng McNeice Bromeliad Collection, as well as the surrounding outdoor display areas that showcase lowland forest and stream habitats, and a Secret Ravine that emulates habitats that can be found in deep, narrow valleys of tropical mountains. The Sembcorp Cool House in particular, features the largest collection of high elevation montane orchids in Asia.
Designed in a way that allows visitors to see the orchid species and varieties set amid naturalistic landscapes resembling the habitats where they are typically found, the Orchidetum also plays an important role in the ex-situ conservation of these increasingly endangered orchids, as researchers will now be able to study at close range, rare orchids that would otherwise only be found naturally at higher elevations in other countries.
Visitors will be able to enjoy a seamless experience akin to that of one ascending a tropical montane forest as they make their way through the Orchidetum. Each of the display houses within the Orchidetum has been expanded beyond their original size, increasing by almost threefold the combined display area.
The Istana has launched a lovely Inclusive Garden within its premise. The Istana Inclusive Garden is home to over 100 plant species and has paved paths to make it both wheelchair and elderly friendly. The Istana is normally not opened to the public unless there is official open house days on certain national holidays.
The large-scale, dual-mode Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant (KMEDP) is the first of its kind in Singapore, with an innovative design situating treatment equipment completely underground and featuring a lush green rooftop for community recreation.
Depending on the weather, the plant can treat both sea water and fresh water drawn from the Marina Reservoir, strengthening the resilience of Singapore's water supply in the face of climate change.
Seamlessly integrated with the surrounding greenery, KMEDP features nearly 20,000 square metres of open green rooftop space for community activity and recreation. The plant’s treatment facilities are situated underground, viewable via a private viewing gallery. For its outstanding design features and exceptional Active, Beautiful, Clean (ABC) standards, KMEDP became the first industrial plant in Singapore to be awarded the ABC Waters Certification (Gold) by PUB in October 2019.
KMEDP is one of the first infrastructure projects in Singapore to employ 3D, 4D and 6D Building Integrated Management (BIM) systems. This comprehensive integrated model enhances collaboration among the developer, designer, consultant, suppliers and sub-contractors by allowing them to visualise their plans via 3D modelling.
KMEDP is also the first desalination plant in Singapore to feature the energy-efficient direct coupling of the ultrafiltration (UF) and reverse osmosis (RO) systems, where water filtered from the upstream UF process is fed directly to the downstream RO process, eliminating intermediate break tanks and pumping stages, resulting in significant cost and space saving, and makes the process up to 15% more energy-efficient.
The 3.9-hectare Bendera Bay is nestled within St John’s Island, and comprises a lagoon with a variety of mangrove, coral, seagrass, sandy shore and rocky shore habitats. This variety of habitats thus provides unique opportunities for outreach and research. “Bendera Bay” was named as such by the Friends of the Marine Park (FMP), as the indigenous Malay name for St John’s Island is Pulau Sekijang Bendera.
Since securing Bendera Bay for outreach and education activities in late 2019, the Friends of the Marine Park (FMP) community, which includes kayakers, anglers, divers, boaters, and researchers, has been discussing ways to activate the area through education, outreach and research activities.
With the support of NParks, the FMP community will spearhead efforts to balance the different uses of the area, and scheduling the programmes that will take place there, to be planned around four domains – Research, Recreation, Heritage, and Education.
Currently, the area is not open for public access as it is closed for conservation and research. The FMP aims to carry out activities for the public from early 2021, subject to COVID-19 restrictions.
NParks have a new Therapeutic Garden at Punggol Waterway Park! Bask in the tranquillity of the garden while enjoying a scenic view of the waterway. You can also interact with therapeutic elements that can help improve one’s mental wellbeing, such as the fragrant and brightly-coloured native plants and flowers.
This is the sixth therapeutic garden in Singapore, and the first in the north east! By 2030, this sunny island will have 30 therapeutic gardens that will offer health and wellness benefits through greenery.
Together with therapeutic horticulture programmes involving plants and nature, visitors can experience a range of health benefits such as the relief of mental fatigue, reduced stress and an overall improvement to emotional well-being.
A new central green corridor connecting East Coast Park to Changi Beach Park is coming your way.
Earlier this year, NParks shared their plans to transform Singapore into a City in Nature, where they will redouble their efforts to integrate nature into our urban environment and intensify nature in the city.
Deputy Prime Minister, Heng Swee Keat announced plans to transform the eastern part of Singapore. A central green corridor will be created connecting East Coast Park to Changi Beach Park that will run along New Upper Changi Road and Loyang Way. It will be complemented by a network of community corridors to link the central green corridor to other parks and gardens.
The community corridors will have nature-based amenities like community gardens, therapeutic gardens, nature playgardens and inclusive playgrounds to cater to residents from all walks of life.
National Water Agency PUB and Sembcorp Floating Solar Singapore, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sembcorp Industries (Sembcorp), are pleased to announce the commencement of construction of the 60 megawatt-peak (MWp) floating solar photovoltaic (PV) system on Tengeh Reservoir. This marks a significant milestone in building one of the world’s largest inland floating solar PV systems, which not only helps to reduce dependency on fossil fuels and thus carbon emissions, but also builds national climate resilience for a more sustainable future.
Solar energy is Singapore’s most viable renewable energy source, but large-scale deployment of solar panels is challenging due to its dense urban landscape and limited land. Beyond rooftops and vertical spaces, PUB’s large expanse of water bodies and reservoirs can now serve the dual purpose of water catchment and electricity generation. This follows positive trial outcomes and extensive environmental studies which show that floating solar panels have minimal impact on the reservoir’s water quality and biodiversity.
This large-scale Floating Solar PV System at Tengeh – the first of its kind in the region – will enable Singapore to be one of the few countries in the world to integrate green technology with water treatment. When the project begins full commercial operations next year, the amount of clean energy generated will be sufficient to power PUB’s local water treatment plants, offsetting 7% of PUB’s annual energy needs.
Bringing farming closer to us; The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has launched nine sites at the rooftops of Housing & Development Board (HDB) multi-storey carparks (MSCP) for rental by public tender. The sites shall be used to farm vegetables and other food crops, as well as for other related purposes, such as the packing/storage of produce. Some of you may soon get to enjoy lush views of locally-grown veggies from your HDB flats!
Availing more spaces in land-constrained Singapore for commercial farming, including alternative spaces like HDB MSCP rooftops, is one of the strategies SFA hasbeen undertaking to achieve Singapore’s “30 by 30” goal, which is to produce 30% of our nutritional needs locally by 2030. The move is also in line with HDB’s Green Towns Programme to intensify greening in HDB estates.
“We are heartened by the growing interest from both the industry and the public towards urban farming in community spaces, following the launch of our pilot MSCP rooftop farm, Citiponics, in Ang Mo Kio last year,” said Mr Melvin Chow, Senior Directorof SFA’s Food Supply Resilience Division. “Residents in the area have been able toenjoy fresh produce from the farm at nearby supermarkets, and can witness first-hand the hard work involved in bringing our food from farm-to-fork. We hope that consumers will continue to show their appreciation for our local farms by buying their produce.”