Singapore has been touted as a Garden City for the longest time. It is indisputable that we live in harmony with nature – look at our tree-lined roads, hundreds of parks (the National Parks Board manages 350 parks) and even a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is the lush Singapore Botanic Gardens.
Some newer residential and commercial buildings even sport a rooftop garden or green terraces that cool their surroundings and beautify concrete structures.
For starters, there’s the SG Green Plan which aims to transform Singapore into a more sustainable and greener city by 2030. Some of the goals include setting aside 50% more land (that’s about 200ha) for nature parks, becoming more energy efficient through solar power, reducing energy consumption, reducing urban heat, etc.
In addition, HDB has existing urban greenery solutions that include innovative greening solutions on rooftops and vertical facades that are both functional (reduces heat emissions from building surfaces) and aesthetic. In fact, it was announced a few years ago that HDB is ramping up greening efforts to include more trees and plants at HDB estates.
You’ve probably also heard of the upcoming Tengah estate, where plots will be designated for community gardens. Well, Tengah is not alone, as there are plenty of other community gardens in other HDB estates in Singapore. Who knows, there might be one right in your neighbourhood!
HDB BTO Projects with Green Features, Part of SG Green Plan
There are tons of BTO projects which are really pretty, including Oasis Terraces, Alkaff Vista, and St George’s Towers. But here’s a table summarising the outstanding HDB BTO projects with ‘chio’ gardens and eco-friendly features we’ve featured.
Standout green features
One of the longest roof gardens in Punggol
UrbanVille @ Woodlands
Sky bridge, rooftop garden and green terraces
Tengah BTO flats
Living in a ‘forest town’
Vertical gardens and an eco-corridor
28 Dover Crescent
Herb garden atop a multi-storey car park
A “green spine” and environmental decks
Landscaped communal spaces
1. Punggol Breeze: One of the Longest Roof Gardens in Punggol
Measuring an impressive 270m from end to end, the linear roof garden atop Punggol Breeze’s multi-storey carpark is one of Punggol’s longest roof gardens. The garden reduces heat and glare for residents and provides a shared recreational space with a children’s playground, fitness corners and resting shelters. The verdant area also functions as a gateway that leads residents from the nearby LRT station to the premium HDB BTO Project and other amenities, facilities, and precincts.
Since Punggol Breeze’s completion in December 2012, the HDB project has clinched a number of accolades. These include the FIABCI Singapore Property Award 2013 in the Master Plan Category, the BCA Universal Design Award (Gold) 2013, the HDB Design Award 2013 and the HDB Construction Award 2013 – Certificate of Merit.
Take your drone with you the next time you visit Punggol or ask a friend who stays on a high floor in the development for the best vantage point.
Browse all available HDB flats for sale in Punggol on PropertyGuru.
2. UrbanVille @ Woodlands: Sky Bridge, Rooftop Garden and Green Terraces
All eyes are on Woodlands thanks to the up-and-coming UrbanVille @ Woodlands BTO project, slated for completion in Q2 2026. Those lucky enough to have snagged a unit here will be able to head to the sky bridge on the 24th floor for panoramic views of the HDB town. The sky bridge serves as a link between two of the highest blocks.
There will also be roof gardens atop all eight residential blocks of the development and sky terraces for residents to chill and soak up nature. And of course, as with all new HDB developments, there will be playgrounds, fitness stations, and other nearby amenities. Restaurants, shops, supermarkets, childcare centres and a shopping mall with transport links are just 5 minutes away.
Will this be the new “Pinnacle @ Woodlands”?
Browse all available HDB flats for sale in Woodlands on PropertyGuru.
3. BTO Flats in Tengah: Live in a “Forest Town”
We’re excited for the first BTO flats to be completed in Tengah, which is planned to be Singapore’s first “Forest Town”. Those who have yet to ballot for an HDB unit there can still do so, as Tengah BTO flats seem to be up for grabs in every HDB launch, with the latest being Parc Clover @ Tengah and Parc Glen @ Tengah from the November 2021 BTO launch. When the neighbourhood is completed, there will be 42,000 new homes across five residential districts in Tengah.
Residents can experience being “At Home with Nature”, with lush spaces right at their doorstep. The five planned residential districts in Tengah will be: Plantation District (focus on community farming), Garden District (framed by Tengah Pond and Central Park), Park District (the hub of Tengah with a ‘car-free’ town centre and bordered by the Forest Corridor), Brickland District and Forest Hill District.
In addition to being a nature-centric neighbourhood where residents can walk and cycle everywhere, Tengah will also be a smart and sustainable town. It will be Electric Vehicle-ready with ample charging stations, have a centralised cooling system, smart-enabled homes whose household energy consumption can be easily tracked via an app, automated waste collection, smart lighting and so on.
Thinking of living in Tengah? Try your hand at snagging one of the new BTO flats during the Sale of Balance Flat exercise in May or November. Meanwhile, browse all Tengah BTO projects launched in 2021 and the upcoming one in 2022:
4. SkyTerrace@Dawson: Vertical Gardens and Eco-corridor
Dawson is an area well-known for its rich biodiversity. During the development of the BTO flats there, HDB put much care into conserving 80 mature trees and planting over 4,300 new trees from over 70 species in the estate. The move will provide residents with shade and achieve a Green Plot Ratio (density of greenery of a site) of more than 4.5 and an average of more than 50% green cover for the town.
Read more here.
Out of the various projects in the Dawson precinct that bring HDB’s “Housing-in-a-Park” vision to life, SkyTerrace@Dawson stands out. Features include lush vertical greenery stacks, a roof garden, overhanging plants on its multi-storey carpark, nature in the many common areas of the development, and an expansive green lawn.
Residents can also access the Park Connector easily as it’s a stone’s throw away. If they’re heading to another Dawson development, they can do so via the 200m-long Dawson Eco-Corridor. The corridor is a shaded pedestrianised street within SkyParc@Dawson that connects to the precinct garden at SkyVille@Dawson.
Browse all available HDB flats for sale at Dawson Road on PropertyGuru.
5. 28 Dover Crescent: A Herb Garden atop a Multi-storey Carpark
On the 10th storey of a multi-storey carpark at 28 Dover Crescent is a vibrant, community-owned herb garden with its own Facebook page. Tended with care by a residential committee, visitors are invited to pick herbs and spices for free – but are encouraged to take only what they need.
Immerse yourself in edible nature and identify herb species such as rosemary, Mexican tarragon, spearmint, Thai basil, holy basil, red watercress and more. Pre-pandemic, the herb garden has seen visits from delegates, and the residential committee has also set up booths at public events.
Browse all available HDB flats for sale at Dover Crescent on PropertyGuru.
6. Tampines GreenRidges: A “Green Spine” and Environmental Decks
Designed by LAUD Architects in collaboration with G8A, HDB BTO Tampines GreenRidges emerged as a winner of the Design Award for the Completed Projects category in the 2019 HDB Design Awards.
Within this development, you’ll find over 100 plant species and a shaded “green spine” for residents to take a stroll to the nearby Boulevard park. The “green spine” also has small green pockets for residents to find some quiet respite, and there’s a myriad of play and communal facilities as well.
Another feature of Tampines GreenRidges is the elevated communal green area atop the two-storey carparks, known as Environmental Decks (E-decks). These lush spaces serve to beautify the estate and cater to residents with green fingers who want to do some communal gardening.
Browse all available HDB flats for sale in Tampines on PropertyGuru.
7. Woodleigh Village: Landscaped Communal Spaces
Woodleigh Village has got to be the ‘chioest’ integrated transport and residential hub we’ve seen to date, the perfect marriage of convenience and nature.
Comprising three residential blocks of 3- and 4-room flats, Woodleigh Village will also be linked to a bus interchange, hawker centre and the Woodleigh MRT station. This development will be linked to Upper Aljunied Road via a Heritage Walk that preserves the canopy of mature trees (rain trees and other greenery) and showcases the history of Bidadari.
Eco-friendly features that encourage green living at Woodleigh Village include:
- Separate chutes for recyclable waste
- Motion sensor-controlled energy-efficient lighting at stairwells
- Eco-pedestals in bathrooms
- Regenerative lifts
- Bicycle stands to encourage cycling
- Car-sharing parking spaces
- Pneumatic waste conveyance system for cleaner waste disposal, and
- Sustainable and recycled products in the development
Browse all available HDB flats for sale near Woodleigh MRT on PropertyGuru.
Growing Plants in Singapore
Why all this emphasis on living near nature and green spaces? It’s not just to help upkeep Singapore’s reputation as a clean and green Garden City. Apart from helping to lower urban heat on building surfaces (a must-have in Singapore’s hot weather), being surrounded by nature can lower stress levels, motivate you to keep fit, and more.
Deep down, we know this. With more of us staying and working from home due to the pandemic, it’s no surprise how more of us are becoming (or have become) plant parents. Beyond aesthetics, research has shown that there are benefits to growing indoor plants, like having cleaner indoor air. Perhaps, it’s time to consider giving your beau a useful house plant instead of flowers?
That being said, you’ll need to start somewhere. Check out our guide on starting your first herb garden, or look for a home with the perfect balcony to begin your foray into keeping house plants. Or how about this starter guide on urban farming in Singapore?
Want to make sure that your next property is sustainable and eco-friendly? Check out these top 12 greenest HDB projects, as rated by our PropertyGuru Green Score. Or look out for properties near parks and live close to a nature park to reap the health benefits of “forest bathing” and more.
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This article was written by Mary Wu, who hopes to share what she’s learnt from her home-buying and renovation journey with PropertyGuru readers. When she’s not writing, she’s usually baking up a storm or checking out a new cafe in town.