15 July 2013

Will the City in a Garden concept include our wild shores too?

Today, I attended the Centre for Liveable Cities Lecture series "From Garden City to City in a Garden".
Speakers at the lecture included Dr Shawn Lum (President, Nature Society Singapore) and Mr Poon Hong Yuen (Chief Executive Officer, National Parks Board).


Dr Chua Sian Eng (Former Commissioner of Parks and Recreation Department) began the session with a very interesting historical account of how the Garden City came to being. While Mr Poon spoke about NParks' new thrust of 'City in a Garden'. Dr Shawn spoke eloquently as usual of Singapore rich biodiversity and some of the challenges ahead to find a balance between development and protection. After which there was a lively discussion sparked by tough questions from Prof Neo Boon Siong (Former Dean of Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore).
At question time, I asked for their comments on how the 'City in a Garden' concept could be extended to include Singapore's awesome marine biodiversity, from reefs to seagrass meadows and mangroves? Dr Shawn agreed that it is possible for marine life to be found even in longkangs and that functional man-made structures such as these could double up by providing an environment for nature. Mr Poon assured that 'Green' included 'blue' and highlighted as an example, the coral nursery project that NParks used to run. Earlier in his talk, he also include intertidal research work as one of the community efforts run by NParks.

After the talk, I took the opportunity to share the 'blue' guidesheet to Singapore's Southern Shores with Prof Neo and Mr Khoo Teng Chye, Executive Director of the Centre for Liveable Cities.
Guide to the Southern Shores of Singapore (2012 edition)
Click on image for larger view
As well as show them on my phone the post I did about corals growing on the artificial seawall at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal in June 2013.
To hopefully show that beautiful marine life can resettle naturally on artificial structures.
Various sea fans
Marine life growing on pontoons at Marina at Keppel Bay.
And that perhaps some thought and effort can be made when building artificial structures to make these so as to encourage regeneration of marine life?

Related link
NParks mulls taking over private spaces to have more greenery Woo Sian Boon Today Online 16 Jul 13;

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