Channel NewsAsia

SGfuture dialogue on keeping Singapore green begins

"We need to think about how we can continue to intensify our land uses, and at the same time ... maintain the greenery around us and ensure Singapore remains a city of gardens and waters": Senior Minister of State for Environment and Water Resources & Health Dr Amy Khor.

SINGAPORE: More than 50 participants from all walks of life took part in a dialogue to share their views on how Singapore's green and blue spaces can and should be used at The Future of Us exhibition on Saturday (Jan 16) afternoon.

Saturday's talks invited Singaporeans to suggest ways to make parks, waterways and reservoir spaces better, and how the community can play a greater role in shaping Singapore's green and blue spaces. The talks focused on four themes - City in a Garden, Vibrant Community Spaces, Eco-Smart Towns and Gracious Living, and A Green and Conserving Culture.

Giving the opening remarks was Senior Minister of State for Environment and Water Resources & Health Dr Amy Khor, who described how these spaces have changed over the years as Singapore grew and developed - from standalone parks to park connector networks stretching across the island, and from reservoirs and canals into streams, rivers and lakes.

She also shared how these spaces have a social element - that despite the scarcity of land in Singapore, are spaces shared by all and not "the exclusive privilege of a small minority". Residents have also been encouraged to take part in lifestyle activities and water sports.

"As we grow and develop, there's going to be a lot of pressure due to competing needs for our spaces. And in fact, pressure to build on more and more spaces including of course the green ones," said Dr Khor.

"So we need to think about how we can continue to intensify our land use, and at the same time maintain the quality of our living environment, maintain the greenery around us and ensure Singapore remains a city of gardens and waters," added Dr Khor.

Saturday's dialogue forms part of the SGfuture dialogues - a series of engagement sessions to get Singaporeans to talk about their ideas for the future.