URA's green ideas get experts' approval

URA's green ideas get experts' approval
An eco-corridor, similar to the Eco-Link@BKE (above), will be built through the future Tengah town as part of the URA’s plans.

Plans to expand green spaces in Singapore and link them up have won the support of nature activists and experts here. They called for more such links but said the execution will have to be carefully managed.

More green spaces and corridors can lower the island's temperature, foster greater appreciation of nature and help to retain rainwater and reduce flash floods, they said.

But if mismanaged, the links can boost the population of unwanted animals such as wild boars, lead them to more habitats and increase the risk of human-animal conflicts.

The experts were interviewed by The Straits Times on the new Urban Redevelopment Authority blueprint that includes plans to expand green spaces such as nature areas and parks, and new, natural pathways to link them.

This Draft Master Plan 2013 guides land use in the next 10 to 15 years with revisions every five years.

Under the master plan, the National Parks Board will introduce more than 60km of "nature ways" by 2015.

These are routes planted with specific trees and shrubs to help the movement of birds, butterflies and small animals between two green spaces.

In the longer term, a larger eco-corridor will be built through the future Tengah town to let wildlife pass between the Western Water Catchment and the Bukit Timah and Central Catchment Nature Reserves.

The chairman of Seletar Country Club Nature Group, Mr Foo Jit Leang, said linking green spaces creates a larger foraging area for animals such as monkeys, and they may be less likely to venture into residential areas in search of food.

Other experts said the expanded habitats keep the fauna healthy.

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