What is the future of Singapore

Urban climate change: Singapore is planning a smart city with a green feel-good factor

02/17/2021 - With 42,000 new apartments in five residential areas, the Tengah district of Singapore's “Forest City” is to be built, reports the state housing association Housing and Development Board (HDB): A sustainable city in the city-state with a lot of intelligent technology for more energy efficiency, while being close to nature green, public space. Multi-storey apartment buildings are grouped around parks and water areas, which are supposed to ensure a good microclimate.

A whole range of available technologies for energy efficiency and CO2-Saving should be used for the Eco-City, promises Singapore's housing association HDB. Central and climate-optimized cooling systems, automated and efficient waste management and a car-free city center are planned.

Brick factories were once located on the approximately 700 hectare site, and later, according to the city planners, the area was used for military training. After the end of its use, the area was recaptured by an extensive secondary forest. Parts of it will be retained and will be integrated into the project - it should be “close to nature”, rave the planners. And car-free - cars, streets and parking lots will be relocated under the city center. Electric cars are supposed to drive in the basement, underground charging stations make this possible. They rely on autonomous, electric vehicles - powered by solar power. Above pedestrians and cyclists. The planners report that cycling has been particularly popular in Singapore in recent years.

City of short distances

A city center with offers for daily needs and services as well as medical facilities, a sports center and an integrated community center should be within walking distance for every resident. Buses and trains connect the residents with Singapore and the neighboring districts.

Conservation or Greenwashing?

Optimistic conservationists hope that Tengah will have a roadmap to reduce CO2Emissions in the Southeast Asian city-state. The environmental organization Nature Society Singapore (NSS) criticizes the master plan - only around 10 percent of the forest would be preserved. She calls for additional core forest areas to be preserved in order to protect biodiversity.

The metropolis of Singapore produces a lot of emissions - this is not least due to the constantly running air conditioning and servers: Similar to other metropolises in the south with warm temperatures that are now rising steadily due to global warming, the city dwellers are pleasantly cool temperatures in their own Houses and want to be online around the clock.

Singapore's per capita greenhouse gas emissions are higher than in China or neighboring Malaysia, according to the National Secretariat for Climate Change. Around a third of the typical energy consumption in households can be traced back to the use of air conditioning. Global warming will make matters worse. According to Meteorological Service Singapore, average daily temperatures in the city-state could climb to over 34 degrees Celsius per day for the eight warmest months of the year by the end of this century.

Digitization for climate protection

HDB wants to test a central cooling management system in Tengah in order to regulate the temperature in the individual apartments - a solar-powered water cooling system is to connect the buildings and apartments and thus replace the classic, environmentally harmful air conditioning systems. Using computer simulations, the planners calculated wind flow and heat gains with the aim of avoiding heat island effects in the neighborhood. Because these are the undoing of many large cities in the course of global warming. Lighting and garbage disposal are controlled digitally: light reacts to movement in public spaces and is automatically switched on or off.

With smart building technology, residents could in future control the energy and water consumption of their household using an app and make adjustments. Digital displays inform the apartment blocks about their collective environmental impact - this is intended to encourage residents to behave in an environmentally conscious manner, the planners speculate. Instead of collecting garbage from every apartment block with trucks, the garbage from the apartments is to be sucked into a central station via a pneumatic system and transported from there.

Blueprint for climate optimization in existing cities?

It remains questionable whether the urban planning ideas could also be implemented in the existing building. All of this can be nicely designed on the computer and maybe even implemented in a city that has sprung up from the ground. Retrofitting underground road networks and pneumatic rubbish chutes in existing cities would, however, hardly be feasible.

It will be another high-tech model city that may remain unique. Nevertheless, the planners and Singapore's government are convinced that this could have a positive influence on future models of living in cities. However, such concepts can hardly be transferred to the existing metropolis of Singapore. In the new city, however, the planners hope with their overall concept to improve the quality of life for the future residents. The first houses are to be completed in 2023 and, according to HDB, 70 percent of the apartments are expected to be rented. n / A