Seeking Co-existence of Roadside Planting and Bio-retention Systems

Background / Description

Bio-retention systems make use of natural materials such as soil media and plants to cleanse rainwater runoff. Besides its cleansing function, these features also serve to enhance the aesthetic of the surrounding landscape. These features can be located along the roadside verges to treat the rainwater runoff from roads. At the same time, Singapore’s efforts in urban greening through the planting of trees and shrubs at the roadside over the decades have led to Singapore possessing the highest Green View Index (GVI) of any urban city, according to MIT’s Senseable City Lab. As such, recognising the benefits brought about by bio-retention systems coupled with lush street planting, the idea of co-locating bio-retention systems together with roadside planting have been mooted - further optimising Singapore’s limited land resource.

So far, no studies have been conducted on the bioswales types, tree/plant species, and planting schemes that can be co-located within the various road verge typologies.

Technical Specifications


The desired outcomes of the research include, but are not limited to feasibility reports, data analytics, numerical modelling analysis/forecasting tools, and guidelines to answer the following research questions:

  • Can fully-operational bio-retention systems be installed and maintained along new roadside verges without impact to the eventual health, stability, and choice of planting schemes, to achieve a lush, tree-lined streetscape?
  • Can such systems be retrofitted and maintained along roadside verges with existing mature trees without compromising the health and stability of these trees, future planting choice, as well as the function of these retrofitted systems?
  • Are there viable solutions to facilitate such co-existence, and if so, what are the trade-offs, if any? If there are no viable solutions to co-exist on the narrow roadside green verge, what other out-of-box or beyond-road-corridor solutions could achieve the same benefit of cleaning the rainwater run-off from carriageway?


  • Principal Investigators (PIs) from all Singapore-based institutions of higher learning (IHLs), public sector agencies and not-for-profit research laboratories as well as companies and company-affiliated research laboratories/institutions, are eligible to apply.
  • The Lead PI who leads the Research must be based in Singapore. Collaboration with foreign organisations and experts in the capacity of Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI), or as Collaborator is allowed.
  • Research work should be done in Singapore, and should not be carried out overseas unless expressly approved by the grantor.
  • The proposals must not have obtained similar funding from other government agencies. Proposals with similar scope, which are currently under evaluation by other funding initiatives, would not be considered until the results from the other funding initiatives are finalized.
  • Grant applicants are strongly encouraged to collaborate with industry and development agencies to develop innovative solutions that can address the call objectives and demonstrate strong potential for real-world application within Singapore.

Submission Instructions

Details of the CFP are attached herewith. Please download all files and read all instructions and guidelines for the Grant Call by clicking on the <<Proceed to Details>> button below.

All proposals must be submitted to both and by 19 Jul 2018, 2359 hrs. (Update: The deadline for submission has been extended 2 weeks from 19 July to 2 Aug 2018, 2359 hrs). Late submissions or submissions from individual applicants without endorsement from the Host Institution will not be entertained.

In case of conflicting information, the Grant Call website shall be taken as most updated source.

Preferred Business Model

  • R&D Collaboration

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