Vertical Greening: Yvonne presents Singapore’s Nature-Based Solutions at Urban GreenUP Webinar


Innovative nature-based solutions can mitigate the effects of climate change, improve air quality and water management; and when incorporated into urban plans, have the potential to increase the sustainability of our cities. This is the belief and objective of URBAN GreenUP, a project funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme.

In line with this, it launched the Urban GreenUP External Webinar Series. The series aims to share successful case studies and learning points on the implementation of different typologies of Nature-based Solutions in cities around the world. Among the two city case studies featured in the first webinar of the series, Vertical Greening, is Singapore—a case study of vertical greening in a high-density city environment. The city-state is renowned for her high percentage of urban greenery (ranked highest in a study by MIT in 2016) despite its small land area, with most found in the successful implementation of skyrise greenery.

Representing Singapore was Ms Yvonne Tan, our director at DP Green and the Urban Greenery Technical Committee Chair for the Singapore Green Building Council. Yvonne opened her presentation with an overview of how Singapore promotes vertical greening and sharing of the nation’s journey from a “Garden City” in 1963 to “City in a Garden” prior to its third phase, “City in Nature” as of 2020. To illustrate how vertical greenery and other nature-based solutions comply with government regulations and are applied across typologies, she cited some of DP Green’s local projects.

For example, in Our Tampines Hub—Singapore’s largest integrated community and lifestyle centre, green walls are integrated into the façade and planting areas are introduced throughout the various levels of the development. Another project, SBF Center — a mixed-use development with offices and medical suites, made use of green walls and vertical greenery to achieve the requirement of a 100% landscape replacement. Here, Yvonne highlights that designing for safety is a priority in Singapore. With Vertical Greening often involving working from high elevations, landscape architects must design with strict compliance to regulations by the Ministry of Manpower to ensure worker safety when upkeeping the greenery.

SBF Center made use of green walls and vertical greenery to achieve 100% landscape replacement.

The success that Singapore’s green initiatives have seen across its built environment is, as Yvonne points out, largely facilitated by the Government’s active encouragement in the form of effective regulations and incentives. These policies are in line with the UN Sustainability Development Goals while also aspiring for liveability through a biophilic design approach, integrating nature within developments.

The webinar also featured the case study of Valladolid, Spain. It is among three runner cities that testbed and demonstrated the effectiveness of the URBAN GreenUP methodology. Ms Alicia Villazan Cabero, the innovation senior technical specialist at Valladolid City Council in the management of the URBAN GreenUP project was invited to share about the nature-based solutions being implemented in her city.

The Vertical Greening webinar was held on 26th November. Click here.