Embedding nature into cities – a case study of economic lessons from Singapore

el-Baghdadi, Omniya, Desha, Cheryl, Hargroves, Charlie, & Hargreaves, Doug (2013) Embedding nature into cities – a case study of economic lessons from Singapore. In SEng 2013 Conference, 18-20 September 2013, National Convention Centre, Canberra, Australia.

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Built environment design around the world faces a number of 21st Century challenges such as rising urban heat island effect and rising pollution, which are further worsened by consequences of climate change and increasing urban populations. Such challenges have caused cities around the globe to investigate options that can help to significantly reduce the environmental pressures from current and future development, requiring new areas of innovation. One such area is ‘Biophilic Urbanism’, which refers to the use of natural elements as design features in urban centres to assist efforts to address climate change issues in rapidly growing economies. Singapore is an illustration of a thriving economy that exemplifies the value of embedding nature into its built environment. The significance of urban green space has been recognised in Singapore as early as the 1960s when Lee Kuan Yew embarked on the ‘Garden City’ concept. 50 years later, Singapore has achieved its Garden City goal and is now entering a new era of sustainability, to create a ‘City in a Garden’. Although the economics of such efforts is not entirely understood, the city of Singapore has continued to pursue visions of becoming a biophilic city. Indeed, there appears to be important lessons to be learned from a city that has challenged the preconceived notion that protecting vegetation in a city is not economically viable. Hence, this paper will discuss the case study of Singapore to highlight the drivers, along with the economic considerations identified along the way. The conclusions have implications for expanding the notion of biophilic urbanism, particularly in the Australian context by discussing the lessons learned from this city. The research is part of Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre, and has been developed in collaboration with the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute.

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ID Code: 70189
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Sustainable development, Built environment, Singapore, Biophilic urbanism, Economics
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Please consult the authors
Deposited On: 15 Apr 2014 22:43
Last Modified: 20 May 2014 19:30

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