For a city known the world over as a commercial and commercial hub, one of the most striking things about Singapore is how green it is.

Though open spaces are in short supply, nature is a vital part of the island nation's psyche, with citizens flocking to parks, beaches and gardens in their spare time, and in a city where the future is constantly reinventing itself, what a better way to ensure that your vegetation persists than through smart technology?

TechRadar Pro has already looked at how IoT technology maintains city lawns, but it seems the natural reach extends to the trees themselves as well.

be green

Despite its crowded streets and office buildings, Singapore is proud to call itself a garden city, and nowhere is this clearer than in its botanical gardens.

Established in 1859, the gardens are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are a popular destination for citizens and tourists alike to relax, exercise, or simply sit and gaze at the thousands of plant species on display.

The gardens are managed by the government's National Parks Board (NParks), which manages and oversees a number of different tasks as it seeks to transition from a garden city to what Tan Chong Lee, deputy chief executive, told TechRadar. city ​​in a garden.

NParks has fully embraced Singapore's affinity for technology, and Lee noted that it currently has around 150 research and digitization projects underway as it looks to take a science-based approach to its future work.

(Image credit: Govtech/Singapore National Parks Council)

One of its largest projects involves the maintenance and management of approximately two million urban trees across the island. With a total of around seven million trees in Singapore, they provide a welcome respite from the concrete jungle of the city's commercial districts, helping to clean up pollution and lower temperatures.

But to ensure this vital resource remains protected, NParks, in partnership with Govtech, the technology arm of the Singapore government, has now brought the two million trees it cares for online. Using Lidar and machine learning technology, each tree is scanned to create a digital twin of itself that is uploaded to a virtual map showing the city.

In addition to providing a tree location, this digital twin offers information such as height and girth, which can be compared to the average rates for its species to identify how it will grow and when it may need pruning.

Singapore Tree Clock

(Image credit: Govtech/Singapore National Parks Council)

As any gardener knows, pruning is vital to encourage new growth, but for urban trees it can also be an important safety protocol, as overgrown branches could block traffic signs or speed warnings. . The data produced by the digital twin can be modeled to detect the urgent work that is needed, reducing the waste of resources and labor while maintaining a high level of security.

However, the information can also be used to benefit the trees themselves. Satellite imagery can be used to detect trees with less chlorophyll, which appear yellow or brown, alerting them that they need immediate attention. The board also attached wireless tilt sensors to trees at potential fall risk, offering data on their degree of lean.

All of these technologies have so far helped reduce the annual number of what Lee calls "tree incidents" from 3000 in the year 2000 to less than 500 so far in 2022.

TreesSG Singapore website

(Image credit: TreesSG)

To create further connection, the two million trees are also listed online in TreesSG's online database (opens in a new tab). Users can access the database to find trees near them, report any problems they've detected, and even send trees an email thanking them for the natural benefits they provide.

So it seems that when it comes to staying on top of your health, it could be the trees that do it, that's certainly the case in Singapore.

Share This