The biggest disadvantage of living in an urban area is, in most cities of the world, the lack of green spaces. It is true that cities have parks, but let’s face it, they don’t bring too many benefits, except for those that actually live next to the parks. In Singapore, things enjoy a different approach for years, as greenery was part of the city’s living areas and this part is only going to get better in the future. According to the Housing and Development Board, the future towns of Singapore will be even greener, providing an enhanced quality of life and the chance for a better health for its inhabitants.
How is HDB looking to achieve this? Well, the concept of “Biophilic town” is not new to the authorities, which implemented such a town in 2015, in the Punggol Northshore District. This way the pilot project that went through a study that lasted for 3 and half years, which was achieved in collaboration with the National University of Singapore, the National Parks Board, and the Urban Redevelopment Authority. The team of specialists wanted to see if this project can be applied in other districts as well and what could be done to improve the framework and make it viable for years to come. As you can tell, the project was refined during these years and it is now finally ready to be applied in the future development projects of HDB.
Still, what does a “Biophilic Town Framework” means? It means that urban spaces in such a town will be designed and created in such a way that the town will be a green and sustainable structure. In other words, nature will be closer to people, allowing them to live healthier and more comfortable, while the community will contribute to protecting the environment. As HDB mentioned, there are 5 different elements that are part of this framework: flora and fauna, soil, water, outdoor comfort, and people. All of these will be integrated into a system meant to help the elements coexist, with the purpose of creating a healthier, safer, and self-sufficient living space.
It is well-known that green spaces don’t just provide fresh oxygen, but they also protect from heat and create a comfortable living environment. The flora and fauna will contribute to the creation of a balanced ecosystem, where even the population of mosquitoes will be in control due to the predator-prey relationship, so without the use of chemical substances. Also, the soil will provide much more than a place for new homes, but also the chance to create a community garden, where people can work together in growing fresh produces that will be available to everyone. The produces will be a healthy source of food while people will have the chance to do something together, bond and create a strong community, and enjoy time in the outdoors in a pleasant manner.
The Biophilic Town Framework is a complex project, but the result is a clear and simple one. The inhabitants of Singapore will soon have the chance to live in a green and healthy environment, where everything is in balance, and where everybody and every creature will learn to coexist with the others for the benefits of the entire ecosystem. This for sure how future cities should look like if we want to continue living on a green planet.
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