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  Today Online 20 Apr 06
Roads given the rub of the green
LTA projects planned to minimise felling of trees

Letter from Simon Longman
Director, Streetscape National Parks Board and
Lynn Ong
Deputy Manager, Media Relations Land Transport Authority

WE REFER to the letters "Chill out, do what comes naturally" (March 25-26) and "Apparently, size does matter" (March 30).

We agree with the writers that trees play an important role in providing a quality living environment. That is why the National Parks Board's (NParks) urban greenery planning provides for extensive tree shade in parks, gardens and along roads throughout Singapore. Today, NParks manages some one million trees along our roads.

In land-scarce Singapore, we do not always enjoy the luxury of space in urban greenery planning. We take a holistic approach to greening by intensifying and optimising planting space, while making a conscious effort to conserve mature trees.

NParks does not work alone in this endeavour. For instance, NParks works closely with the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in the planning and design of road development projects to minimise the felling of trees.

Where it is not possible to keep the existing trees, the LTA allocates space for replacement planting after the completion of road projects. In some instances, the LTA has also chosen to realign roads so that the least number of trees are affected.

A case in point is Loyang Ave, where careful planning and design on the LTA's part enabled the saving of some 200 trees which would otherwise have been felled in the process of widening the carriageway.

Mr Teo is concerned about tree planting in low-rise residential estates, where there is usually only a very narrow space available, such that only small-sized tree species can be planted.

However, we wish to assure Mr Teo that constant efforts are being made to find ways to create space for greenery.

For instance, during the Estate Upgrading Programme, more tree planting width is created where possible by re-siting roadside footpaths on top of roadside drains.

NParks appreciates the continual support of the Singapore public in our constant strive towards our vision of a City in the Garden. We thank the writers for their feedback.

Related articles on Heritage Trees of Singapore and Putting a price on nature in Singapore
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