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Rewilding Singapore

In an effort to increase quality of life and restore native vegetation in the city, the Gardens by the Bay have transformed Singapore from a "Garden city" to a "City in a Garden."

18 "Supertrees" (pictured) are dispersed throughout the landscape along Marina Bay, some as high as 160 feet; while not living things themselves, the trees are home to over 158,000 plants and mimic the functions of regular trees by providing shade, filtering rainwater, and absorbing heat.

Built on former industrial land, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park is also an example of rewilding in Singapore, incorporating elements of water-sensitive urban design and reducing the urban heat island effect in the city. The park is built around the Bishan river, which now flows freely as a natural stream system, unimpeded by man-made barriers. Within the first two years after these rewilding efforts were implemented in the park, biodiversity increased by 30 percent, even though no wildlife was introduced. Additionally, visitors from the surrounding cities of Bishan Yushin, and Ang Mo Kio are provided a natural respite from city life, reports EcoWatch.

Beyond parks, Singapore maintains more than 90 miles of Nature Ways: canopied corridors that connect green spaces, facilitating the movement of animals and butterflies from one natural area to another throughout the city. These routes mimic the layers of the ecosystem with shrub, understory, canopy, and emergent layers, providing habitats for different species at their various heights.

Singapore has also developed a City Biodiversity Index to examine and track the progress of biodiversity and conservation projects. Thanks in part to these rewilding efforts, Singapore is now considered Asia's greenest city.


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