Ministry of National Development
MND Cluster | MND

Planning for a Greener Tomorrow

At the forefront of Singapore’s urban planning and housing policies, the Ministry of National Development (MND) plays a key part in shaping Singapore as the future-ready and high-quality home for all Singaporeans. MND EDGE Scholar Lim Yi is part of the driving force behind our city-state’s transformation towards green and sustainable urban living.
MND - Lim Yi

Lim Yi is a recipient of the MND EDGE Scholarship and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Land Economy from the University of Cambridge and a Master's degree in Sustainability Management from Columbia University. Currently, she is a Manager with the Infrastructure Division of the Ministry of National Development.

As the global spotlight intensifies on sustainability amid the challenges of climate change, Singapore remains at the global forefront of sustainable urban development, and remains committed to preparing our city against emerging challenges. In this collective whole-of-society effort, the Ministry of National Development (MND) plays an important role of guiding Singapore’s land use planning and urban redevelopment to create a vibrant, resilient, and sustainable home for generations of Singaporeans.

MND EDGE Scholar, Lim Yi, shares in MND’s vision. As a Manager with MND’s Infrastructure Division, she works closely with NParks to oversee greenery and animal welfare policies and partners with other public agencies such as the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment to coordinate MND Family’s efforts for the Singapore Green Plan 2030.

Unearthing Beauty Within Spaces

While some can be too busy with life to notice details about their surroundings, Lim Yi has always had an eye for the unseen potential within spaces.

Her fascination with spaces and their utility began in secondary school when she watched a video showcasing an open-concept kindergarten in Tokyo designed by Tezuka Architects. The kindergarten’s distinct design worked effectively in synergy with an educational programme that emphasised freedom, self-directed learning, and hands-on play for young children.

“The architectural design of the kindergarten was coupled with an educational programme following the Montessori Method where children are given the freedom to roam and learn via self-directed, hands-on play,” she recounted. “It was awesome to see how the entire space could facilitate unfettered play, and understand how play areas, in turn, enabled fun learning. It made me start thinking about how space can be used to enhance lived experiences.”

Lim Yi’s fascination with how spaces can complement and enhance experiences, social interactions, inclusivity, and sustainability led her to MND. Given her keen interest in urban planning and design, MND is the perfect place for her to help shape Singapore’s landscape to enrich residents’ lived experience.

“Since I had always thought about doing urban design or planning, I knew that there wouldn’t be a better place to start than within the MND Family, where I can help shape the future of Singapore’s land use and built environment,” she explained.

With the support of the MND EDGE Scholarship, Lim Yi pursued her academic passions, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Land Economy from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom and a Masters in Sustainability Management degree from Columbia University in the United States. She elaborated: “Both programmes were very inter-disciplinary and allowed very good exposure to different kinds of learning!”

Despite going through her master’s degree programme remotely during the pandemic, Lim Yi fondly recalls her university experiences and highlights how her learnings have been applicable to her daily work: “I apply the principles I learnt at work every day, even if the content at hand is very different,” said Lim Yi.

“I think work in the sustainability field is critical. Even if the work only gradually gets translated into real-world impact over some time, knowing that I’ve played my part in helping to shape the course of sustainable development for Singapore is very meaningful.” Lim Yi

Lim Yi

Lim Yi

Championing Sustainability

While her education equipped her with in-depth knowledge of how physical infrastructure can support sustainability goals, her role at MND allowed her to make real-life improvements to people’s lives, fulfilling her long-standing aspirations.

“As I primarily look at the City in Nature pillar within the Green Plan, I see how a lot of our greening efforts are aligned with sustainability principles,” she said. “This is especially in terms of how we’re constantly looking to enhance the accessibility of our green spaces, naturalising our parks and gardens, and ensuring that the native biodiversity and ecosystems are sensitively managed when green spaces are developed.”

Her work at MND includes reviewing policies to raise standards within the pet sector and enhancing greenery policies to bring the benefits of nature closer to people. She also coordinates efforts on various fronts for the Singapore Green Plan 2030 within the MND Family.

For Lim Yi, the most rewarding aspect of her work is witnessing how her dedication bears fruit in tangible outcomes.

“I think work in the sustainability field is critical. Even if the work only gradually gets translated into real-world impact over some time, knowing that I’ve played my part in helping to shape the course of sustainable development for Singapore is very meaningful,” she shared.

A key highlight in her career so far was the pivotal role she played in advancing the establishment of the Veterinary Council in Singapore, which will help to raise professional standards and practices in the veterinary sector and provide better support for veterinary professionals. When set up, the Veterinary Council will be responsible for governing the registration of veterinary professionals, accrediting veterinary training programmes, developing and reviewing sectoral standards, as well as investigating and enforcing disciplinary cases.

“More often than not, policy work tends to take a longer time to take shape and get pushed through. Hence, it’s always very fulfilling to watch good policies become a reality!”

For individuals and aspiring scholars considering a career at MND, Lim Yi offers these words of advice: “The MND Family is very big and diverse, and there are many opportunities to be exposed to a wide variety of work, from land use planning to greening, housing policies, engagement, productivity, regulations and much more,” she explained. “There’s something for everyone, and so many things to learn from colleagues and peers involved in different workstreams! As the work MND does is tangible, it’s also very rewarding to be able to see the fruits of your labour when you walk around,” she said.