The Kent Ridge area where NUS’ main campus is located, comprises a mix of various habits ranging from secondary forests to managed parkland areas dominated by rain trees. Owing to its contiguity with the larger Southern Ridges forest spine and the close proximity of various habitat types, the NUS Kent Ridge campus is home to a remarkable diversity of flora and fauna. These lush natural spaces are a hallmark feature of the university, enjoyed by generations of students, faculty and staff – past and present.
NUS aims to further enhance natural spaces on campus via two approaches: green spaces in buildings and community gardens.
NUS aims to increase the area of green spaces in buildings to 30,000 m2 by 2020. Green spaces in buildings is defined as any green roof, roof garden or vertical greening within the built-up perimeter of the building or complex. The greening medium includes trees, shrubs, climbers, ground cover or turf which are planted in (ground or supported/planted on man-made structures).
Having green spaces in buildings is aligned with NUS’ vision of creating an environmentally friendly and sustainable campus. For example, plants of roofs offer insulation, reduce the heat drawn into the rooms below and decreases the amount of energy needed to cool the buildings. In some instances, the plants also help to cleanse the rainwater as it filters through the plants and soil.
Community gardens are also another approach to enhancing natural spaces in NUS. They can be designed to attract certain animals such as birds and butterflies, or to function as a miniature urban farm in which food crops and herbs can be grown and harvested. Community gardens actively involve NUS staff and students in their set up and maintenance. It is hoped that by volunteering together on community gardens, not only will a sense of camaraderie develop among the NUS community, the awareness of local biodiversity will also increase.