How do you live a long life? "Take a two-mile walk every morning before breakfast" - Harry Truman, 1884 to 1972
Self-discipline and healthy habits are the fundamental key factors to healthy aging and longevity. For those who do not have the habit to take a 20-minute walk after or before their meals, self-discipline will have to lead the way to a change in daily routine. In urbanized landscapes, the presence of a green and sustainable environment should hence be considered a luxury. A luxury to a healthy ageing life.
Code Green is a harmonized colour for growth and harmony and, the darker it is, it brings tranquility to the mind. There are, however, instances where shades of green are perceived as insecurity which then results to adverse emotions. Mother Nature has done a wonderful work to mix red, brown, yellow, and green in an environment which is known as forest, and the mix of different colours, not surprisingly, gives a balance to the emotions. An emotional stable mind brings better work productivity and multi-tasks, and able to meet more realistic decisions and goals.
Developed countries and cities have already placed some emphases to building a green urbanized landscape with an important intention to reduce air and noise pollution, to reduce the loss of biodiversity, as well as to create a better work and living environment.
Green as the Flyover
In Singapore, the Eco-Link at Bukit Timah Expressway (Eco-Link@BKE) is a prime example of conservation efforts to reduce the loss of biodiversity and to re-populate endangered animals, Figure 1. Eco-Link@BKE is the first ecological bridge in Southeast Asia, it is 62meters long and construction was completed in 2013. The purpose of building an eco-bridge is more than a visual-pleasing work in urban landscape. Eco-Link@BKE aims to restore the ecological connection between two nature reserves; Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Central Catchment Nature Reserve. By allowing for the effective exchange of native plant and animal genetic materials, it increases their long -term survival chances. It is important to conserve the habitats in the nature reserves because they are home to many of Singapore’s native plant species and more than 1,000 animal species.
The National Parks Board (NParks) will also be organizing public guided walks of the Eco-Link@BKE for the first time on 21st Nov 2015, 5th Dec 2015, 19th Dec 2015 and 9th Jan 2016. The walk tours are organized by NParks and Clean & Green SG50; registration is required and at no fees.
Regular monthly guided walks of Eco-Link@BKE will be organized from March 2016 onwards. This was announced by Mr Desmond Lee, Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development, during a media tour of Eco-Link@BKE on 4th Nov 2015. “As a City in a Garden, we must always strive to enhance and protect the diverse biodiversity that co-exists in our living environment. The Eco-Link@BKE effectively expands the habitat, mating and foraging ranges of animals, boosting their survival chances. Soon enough, many more species of animals, even those rare and critically endangered ones may start using the bridge.”
"However, like all other ecological linkages we have island-wide such as nature ways, streetscape gardens or the creation of habitats in our parks, it is the community who inject soul and meaning into these green spaces. The public guided walks at the Eco-Link@BKE would allow the community to appreciate the rich variety of life within our midst. I hope that through such nature expeditions, more Singaporeans will fall in love with our environment and be inspired to do their part to conserve our precious natural heritage,” he added.
Vertical climb for Vegetables and Plants
What goes around comes around. The poop of your pet fish can now be returned to the soil, and the soil feeds the nutrients to your plants or herbs; e.g. basil, parsley, peppermint and cherry tomatoes. The soil also acts as a natural filter, returning the water back to the tank. The best bit is it can all be achieved indoors with your preferred dimensions. This concept, Aquaponix is by Greenology, a company led by a team of urban green specialists in Singapore, Figure 6.
Plants are growing outdoors, but on the walls of malls. An example would be The Hereen, a 6-storey building situated along Singapore’s busiest shopping street, Figure 7. The fire escape of this shopping mall is furnished with 435m2 of Greenology’s PSB (Singapore Productivity and Standards Board) certified Greenology Vertical GreeneryTM (GVG), the first fire-rated green walls in Singapore.
The walls comprised of four layers: fire-proof aluminium, nylon fiber, fire-proof fabric and the growth medium. Plants will take about six to eight weeks to grow in the mini-pockets of the walls, and upon installation of the walls on site, plants will reach around 60 to 70% of wall-coverage.
Learn more about indoor and outdoor vertical agriculture from Greenology, Singapore.
National Parks Board
Source: Arranged by APBN Yuhui Lin, GreenUrbanScape Asia 2015