- Veröffentlicht: 10. Februar 2021
Featuring a central air conditioning unit, automated trash pickup and car-free city centre.
Before the coronavirus pandemic came to be the equaliser around the world, it was the climate crisis that saw nations unite in an understanding that this was an issue demanding urgent attention. It goes without saying that the worsening crisis is the greatest threat posed to humanity, and while we’ve seen the strikes and ongoing debates continue over the years, all too often the news headlines jump to the next event, and the catastrophic bushfires that devastated whole communities are a distant memory. Australia’s response to the climate crisis leaves little to be admired. Amazingly, the country has done well to tackle the coronavirus by relying on scientific evidence to guide policy, and yet this same lesson hasn’t been applied to the area of climate change.
One city-state that is leading the charge in sustainability is Singapore, which has now unveiled a government commitment to urban design that could have significant implications, particularly for the over 80 per cent of residents that live in public housing.
According to reports from CNN, the southeast Asian city-state is working hard to achieve its goal of a 42,000 home “eco town” of Tengah. And if reports are to be believed, it’s going to be quite spectacular, with the settlement featuring a car-free city centre and homes with centralised cooling and automated trash pickup. Aside from just being a rather glorious place for the environmentally-conscious to kick back and relax, it will also help establish a blueprint for other urban centres looking to reduce carbon emissions in the decades to come.
Conservationists hope the eco-town will serve as a roadmap for slashing carbon emissions in Singapore. The development is being dubbed a “forest town” by officials, thanks to abundant greenery and public gardens. It’s a far cry from what it used to be: home to brickmaking factories and later used for military training. Now, the 700-hectare site has been reclaimed by an extensive secondary forest. As CNN reports, “A 328-foot ecological “corridor” will be maintained through its centre, providing safe passage to wildlife and connecting a water catchment area on one side to a nature reserve on the other.”
According to Chong Fook Loong, group director for research and planning at Singapore’s Housing and Development Board, the project is a big step for those who have long advocated for green design principles and “smart” technology. In an interview with CNN, he explained, “Tengah is a clean slate. We’re going for the ideal concept of segregation of traffic, (with) everything underground and then the ground level totally freed up for pedestrians – for people. So, it’s a very safe environment for all.”
He added, “We want a town that allows walking and cycling in a very user-friendly manner.”
Currently, Singapore’s emissions are higher than those of the UK, China and Malaysia per-capita. This is largely due to air conditioning with accounts for more than a third of typical household energy consumption. With global warming continuing to escalate, this problem will only be exacerbated. That’s why planners have sought to reimagine air conditioning on a bigger scale, deciding that they could in fact chill cold water using solar power and then pipe it through the district’s homes, all so residents don’t need to install inefficient outdoor AC condensers. The town’s energy provider, SP Group, predicts this will generate carbon dioxide savings equivalent to taking 4,500 cars off the roads each year.
As well as this, trash will be stored centrally, with monitors detecting when garbage needs collecting. Chong explained, “Instead of using a truck to collect garbage from every block, we will suck all the garbage through the pneumatic system to a chamber that serves several blocks. From time to time, the (garbage) truck just needs to collect from the chamber.”
Another implementation will be residents having access to an app that allows them to monitor their energy and water usage, empowering individual citizens to take greater control of their energy consumption and insights into where they can cut down. Digital displays in each block will inform occupants of their collective environmental impact, perhaps even encouraging others to try harder.
For more information on the proposed eco town, read more about the official plan here.
Quelle/Source: GQ Australia, 03.02.2021