Tan Puay Yok

Tan Puay Yok
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
To be held virtually via Zoom
Design of Neighbourhood Landscapes with Urban Ecosystem Services
Dr. Tan Puay Yok

HKU Division of Landscape Architecture
Public Lecture

Zoom Link:
Meeting Code: 984 4905 9215
Password: 981852

Lecture Abstract

Neighbourhood landscapes are the quintessential forms of landscapes in most cities. These are the green spaces that buildings and infrastructures are embedded in—the myriad vegetated spaces between and on buildings in residential estates. Despite their small individual sizes, neighbourhood landscapes collectively constitute a rather large proportion of cities’ vegetative cover. As landscapes, they have the potential to influence the ecology and quality of the urban environment, improve the well-being urban dwellers, and forge identity, sense of place and care for the environment. This potential increases markedly for neighbourhood landscapes because of their large land uptake and proximity to the large majority of urban dwellers. But because of their mundaneness and small sizes, they are seldom the attention of designers compared to large gardens, parks or green infrastructure projects. There is scant literature on the conceptual framing, approaches and design guidelines for the planning and design of neighbourhood landscapes, especially in the context of high-density residential estates. In this presentation, Puay Yok will share the results of a project on the development of guidelines for the design of neighbourhood landscapes based on the concept of urban ecosystem services in the high-density, high-rise environment in Singapore. The project was a collaboration between the National University of Singapore and government agencies in Singapore with a stake in residential estate development in Singapore, namely the Housing and Development Board, National Parks Board and Urban Redevelopment Authority. While developing a practical set of guidelines was the end goal, the project also aimed to bridge current knowledge action gap between academic research and landscape planning, which necessitated the use of different methods in stakeholder engagement. This presentation gives an overview of this project, covering the interdisciplinary approach used, the conceptual framework developed, and validation of the guidelines involving multiple stakeholder groups.


Dr. Tan Puay Yok is an Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture in the School of Design and Environment of the National University of Singapore. He current serves as the Programme Director for the Master of Landscape Architecture programme and the leader of the Research Cluster for Landscape Studies. His research, teaching and professional activities focus on the science, policies, and practices of urban greening and ecology of the built environment. He combines his background in the sciences, experience in urban governance from the public sector, and interactions with practitioners to apply knowledge for urban greening to improve environmental quality and societal well-being. He serves as an Associate Editor for Landscape and Urban Planning and Journal of Urban Ecology. He is currently jointly appointed as the Director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens and Chief Science and Technology Officer of the National Parks Board from Oct 2019 onwards.