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Enhanced LUSH to take urban greenery to new heights

  Published: 09 November 2017

Some people may find it hard to reconcile an image of a city that becomes greener as it gets more built up, but the LUSH (Landscaping for Urban Spaces and High-Rises) programme sets out exactly to do just that. 

Building on the principles and achievements of the earlier phases of LUSH, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has enhanced the programme to inject more greenery into our spaces, literally at new levels and heights.

Putting more green into the grey

Implemented in close collaboration with private sector partners, the LUSH programme was introduced in 2009 as a consolidated urban and skyrise greening scheme comprising incentives and requirements. It capitalises on development as a means to inject more greenery into the city and the premise is simple – replace the greenery which has been taken away as a building is developed or redeveloped. 2014 saw an expansion of the geographical coverage and development types in the schemes under 
LUSH 2.0.

The latest instalment of LUSH (termed LUSH 3.0) will feature enhancements that include:

  • Encouraging landscaping on walls and roofs of buildings. These features beautify the buildings, provide visual relief and cool the ambient temperature.
  • Making greenery more relevant to current needs by incorporating sustainability-related uses such as urban farms and communal rooftop gardens. In response to feedback from the industry on making better use of rooftops, rooftop urban farms can now contribute towards the landscape replacement requirements in developments. Developers and building owners are also encouraged to use rooftop spaces for urban farming, solar panels, communal roof gardens and greenery in lieu of mechanical and electrical equipment. The relocated equipment space can be exempted from gross floor area computation.
  • Guiding developers and building owners on the amount of greenery in their buildings by introducing a Green Plot ratio (GnPR) standard. GnPR is a measure of the density of greenery within a site. The standard will apply for developments providing replacement landscape areas. It will provide transparency for the industry and safeguard the quality of greenery provided by developments.

Please refer to Annex A [PDF, 600kb] for more details of the LUSH programme.

Lush outcomes

Greenery has increasingly become a norm in our built environment and has been actively injected in sites which have undergone development over these years.

The industry has been very supportive of the LUSH programme. Today, two out of three new residential developments have applied for at least one LUSH incentive. Shopping centres, offices and hotels have also done well, with more than half taking up these incentives.

To date, the programme has contributed more than 130 hectares of greenery, equivalent to about 210 football fields. The total amount of LUSH greenery islandwide has been increasing at an annual average of 15 per cent.

LUSH has also contributed significantly to high density clusters like the Central Area, and other new growth nodes and regional centres. In fact, the largest amounts of greenery contribution from LUSH were in the key growth areas of Jurong East (more than 50,000sqm) and Downtown Core in the Central Area (close to 35,000sqm).

We also see the injection of greenery in new developments rejuvenating the well-established and mature estates - with Bukit Merah, Queenstown and Bedok to round out the top five areas with highest greenery contributions from the LUSH schemes.

“Development as part of city growth, is inevitable. However, buildings need not remain as concrete blocks. Greenery can be purposefully integrated into our built environment and become an exciting part of our urban experience. This is why we have LUSH which was the first of its kind when we introduced it in 2009. Since then, it has done well both quantitatively and qualitatively. With LUSH, we hope our living environment will become even more green and sustainable.” said URA’s Chief Executive Officer Lim Eng Hwee.