Singapore, a city dedicated to saving the future of our planet by enforcing environmentally friendly policies. Not only is it about reducing carbon emissions, but also improving the wellbeing and happiness of its citizens and visitors alike.
The areas in which the local government wants to improve on are:
- The quality of air
- Clean and effective transport
- Sustainable resources
- Higher community workers (or otherwise known as green volunteers)
- Wastage kept to a minimum
- Preservation of Nature Reserves
- Building more parks and planting new trees
Singapore’s green plan 2015
First proposed in 1992 by the Ministry of Water and Environment Resources, this eventually came through in 2002; it was updated again in 2012, and more recently last year.
It has key measures, in order to be an environmentally friendly city, whilst ensuring sustainability is met both globally and locally.
The Singapore Green Policies are:
Preserving and Increasing Green Areas
Despite the city’s challenge of only having 700 square kilometres and a growing population boom in need of housing (4.6 million inhabitants so far…), the government still managed to commit 9% of their land space for nature reserves and parks.
Green preservation not only ensures that the population is more exposed to feel-good greenery, but the denser population of trees and plants will maintain cleaner air for the city - improving overall health for everyone.
If all the cities in the world did this, then this would dramatically reduce our carbon footprint – it is especially inspiring if Singapore managed to see through major challenges for to make this all possible.
Sky Rise Greenery
Skyrise greenery is very popular in Singapore, which does make you feel like you are walking around a gigantic garden. It offers a deeper relationship with nature, whilst again, providing cleaner air for all the inhabitants (with better accommodation for other wildlife).
Popular Singapore Skyrise Greenery Buildings:
The National Library Building
A great landmark of Singapore; it’s architecture uses Bioclimatic designs, which provides both visual and thermal comfort for visitors, whilst being powered only by environmentally friendly resources. These can range from:
Between these elements, they can produce air conditioning, heating, and lighting for the library.
Marina Bay Sands
This resort initially cost a whopping $8 billion, not only does it cater for over 8000 guests, it also provides many layers of gardens – including a tropical garden landscape which goes from the Bayfront to the Marina City Park.
Sticking with the city’s green way of life, this building provides a lot of stunning gardens and plant life, as well as the following forms of entertainment:
- A casino
- Shopping mall
- Convention center
Public housing estates
The HDB recently announced that a new public housing estate that would feature the country’s first car-free town centre.
Nicknamed ‘Forest Town’, a green nature corridor will be incorporated into this new estate, called Tengah, linking it to the nature reserve in central Singapore. Tengah will have dedicated spaces for community gardening and urban farming, as will as a 20ha central park.
Another challenge for this green city was providing food resources, especially with such restrictive land space (and not to mention the depletion of land and trees that goes with it). However, with Singapore being such an innovative community, vertical farming soon took off into the skies.
What is vertical farming?
Instead of the typical land-farming, vertical farming uses a state of the art system to enable crops to grow in skyscraper sized frames, which requires far less ground space.
The benefits include:
- No more use of large areas to yield an industrial turnover of crops, which in turn releases more space to the city for other uses.
- The system is green itself, as it collects rainwater and provides water through a state of the art pulley system.
- Each tower only uses the power of a 60-watt lightbulb.
- Organic waste is recycled and composted.
It is also a winner for the crops, as the sun doesn’t stress them out and they are regularly provided with water and nutrients through the irrigation system.
So Singapore has managed to increase their trees, parks, and nature reserves; what else are they doing to reduce carbon emissions?
A strong relationship with the industrial sector
The National Environment Agency (NEA) enforces green laws on new industrial planning, such as the monitoring of emissions, whilst they ensure being environmentally friendly is part of their core value.
There is big investment for operations being handled by the latest green technology available.
The government body regularly engage with industries through consultations which allows both sides to put their viewpoints forward – as to produce benefits for everyone’s best interest.
To practice any industrial activity in Singapore, you must first obtain a license, and adhere to their strict guidelines and emission policies.
Emissions from vehicles
The NEA has set very strict standards for car fumes, with all new diesel vehicles being strict to the Euro V standard (since January 1st, 2014).
Those who don’t obey the laws are faced with large fines, even for just leaving your engine running whilst at a standstill.
The local government is also enforcing a cycling scheme, in order to encourage everyone to stop using their cars for shorter distances.
This city has come very far over the last few decades, and is definitely way ahead than all the other standard smoky cities – if their green project does catch on, then there could be a much brighter future ahead of us.
-- Nick Pond, Guest Writer