Guidelines on Enhancing People’s Connection with Nature Being Drafted

Guidelines on Enhancing People’s Connection with Nature Being Drafted
Should the future Jurong Lake Gardens be chockful of features that enable people to connect with nature on many levels, chances are that this did not happen by accident.

Guidelines on how developments in Singapore can nurture such attachment could be out early next year, said the National Parks Board (NParks) today (Oct 14). The importance of nature and its elements have been shown in what experts call a thin but growing body of research. Studies have found that contact with nature reduces stress, shortens post-surgical hospital stays after gall bladder surgery and even results in higher productivity and employee motivation.

Biophilic design provides users with direct experience of nature in the form of natural light, for instance. It can also provide indirect experience with nature through the use of natural materials, colours and natural geometries, said Prof Kellert.
The guidelines will be developed by NParks and the Centre for Liveable Cities, together with three international experts — Yale University professor emeritus Stephen Kellert, the University of Virginia’s Professor Timothy Beatley and Curtin University professor of sustainability Peter Newman.

The three experts and local thought leaders spoke at Singapore’s first-ever symposium on biophilia today. Biophilia describes humans’ innate attachment to nature, and the symposium was followed by a two-day workshop exploring how the guidelines can be applied in Singapore.

NParks chief executive Kenneth Er said the guidelines will help various agencies to “refine and develop facilities that support the principles of biophilia, thereby bringing us even…
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