Increasingly, the Singapore government is building more park connectors and green spaces to encourage Singaporeans to be more active. In partnership with the Health Promotion Board (HPB), a programme called National Steps Challenge was introduced to spur Singaporeans to improve their fitness and energy levels and step away from their sedentary lifestyles. Why is living near nature a must or rather a better alternative? For starters we can take advantage of the aplenty green spaces such as parks and reservoirs. Many home seekers in Singapore are increasingly choosing homes near green spaces for their kids to cycle or play. Some even use the serene parks to exercise and break a sweat. There is proven research to show that living near nature can be beneficial to an individual’s mental wellbeing and prolong life.
Safeguarding mental and physical wellbeing
As Singaporeans, we are indeed a stressful bunch, having stereotyped as running a rat race and having no work life balance as compared to our western counterparts. Sustaining our day jobs and families can be pretty stressful to take on all at one go, where many end up forgoing their personal needs as a result. The Health Promotion Board has constantly emphasized on a healthy lifestyle and the importance of a sound mental and physical well being. Living near nature increases an individual's exposure to greenery which in turn increases longevity. Being outdoors and exposed to nature, it is indeed proven to increase feelings of well-being. In fact, some research highlights that even images of nature can lead to increased positive mood.
To break a sweat and exercise
Having a park at a stone’s throwaway has a positive effect on an individual as he/she is more likely to get out and break out a sweat. Be it indulging in a morning run or enjoying a quiet nightly stroll, the allure of green pastures encourages people to be spontaneous and squeeze in a workout or two in a week. This in turn improves their mental and physical well-being. Numerous studies have supported this claim whereby living near nature can indeed encourage an individual to be active and stay healthy.
For your pet dogs to frolick
Having a furry friend in Singapore, many struggle to give them their share of daily exercise as we don’t have our own backyards and our only option is the outdoor spaces available in our neighbourhoods. There are plenty of dog-friendly parks which dog-owners can take advantage of. Find out more about dog-friendly parks by reading 'Amazing dog parks in Singapore for your furry friends'.
Homes near nature fetch higher prices
Singapore buyers are willing to pay more for homes located near green spaces. This is due to the overall improvement in living conditions and living environment as a result of nature. The presence of more greenery in and around buildings can help lower surface and air temperatures as nature provides more shade and therefore reducing the need for air-conditioning. On the other end, homes near green spaces also increase in value overtime.
Recent green project by Housing and Development Board (HDB)
Tengah is the first fully ''smart'' HDB town and the first batch of flats was launched last year, 2018. Smart technologies piloted elsewhere - from utilities monitoring to environmental sensors - are harnessed on a town wide scale. National Development Minister Lawrence Wong mentioned that residents of Tengah will have the feeling of being at home with nature. Originally the Tengah area was largely forested and mostly a scrubland before it transformed into a futuristic town area.
Features of Tengah:
- Located between Jurong East to the south, Choa Chu Kang to the north and Bukit Batok to the east
- 'Car-free' & pedestrian-friendly town centre
- 100m-wide, 5km-long Forest Corridor running through town with hiking trails
- 20ha Central park in the heart of Tengah with a 'forest stream'
- Wide green stretches called ''community farm ways'' link housing districts with play areas, community gardens and farms
- All roads in Tengah have dedicated walking and cycling paths
- First fully 'smart' HDB town
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