Singapore is a small island country in Asia that is known not only for its amazing architecture but also its dedication to being as environmentally friendly as possible. The Singapore Green Plan is how the Island nation’s government displays its commitment to keeping the country green. Singapore’s efforts to clean up their environment actually go back further than 1992, when the first Green Plan was released, all the way to the late 60s. In an age of increasing environmental consciousness, they appear to be leading the pack.
The Singapore Green Plan outlines the targets that Singapore aspired to reach by 2012 set in 2002 in six focus areas:
- Air and Climate Change
- Waste management
- Conserving nature
- Public health
- International environmental relations
The purpose for the greening policy is to create a model for sustainable growth which does not compromise Singapore’s ecosystem. Due to its small size, high density development is employed; which would leave little room for gardens and natural plant life… or so one would think. Greenery lost to development is quickly replaced in high-rise gardens like those on the 26th and 50th floors of the Pinnacle@Duxton, which is Singapore’s (and the world’s) tallest public housing development. The Marina Bay in Singapore houses one of the largest freshwater city resevoirs in the world with 250 acres set aside for the gardens by the bay; which serve as a “green lung” for the city according to Cheon Koon Hean, the first woman to lead Singapore’s urban development agency, in an interview with National Geographic.
Public health is maintained through the provision of affordable housing, which costs around 20 to 25 percent of income, and the option of public rental. This has resulted in over 80 percent of the population being housed. Instances of food-bourne and vector-bourne diseases have remained low, with an average of 2.8 cases out of 1000 food outlets between 2006 and 2008. Over 30 percent of Singapore’s water demand is met from non-conventional sources like NEWater since 2010.
Singapore is undoubtedly a leader in terms of eco-friendly living, especially since further goals have been set like the greening of 80 percent of its buildings by 2030. Their Green Plans are effective and the government has no plans of slowing down.