Programme (SFSS 2013)

1230-1300 Registration
1300-1310 Opening Address by Mr Ezra Ho, Project Director, Singapore Futures Sustainability Symposium 2013 Organising Committee
1310-1325 Keynote Address by Ms Faizah Jamal, Nominated Member of Parliament (Civic and People Sector)
1325-1425 Our Living Environment
1425-1525 Panel Discussion + QnA
1525-1600 Tea break
1600-1700 Our Urban Space
1700-1800 Panel Discussion + QnA
1800-1810 Closing Remarks

The SFSS 2013 Programme Booklet: SFSS 2013 Prog Booklet_final


Speakers’ Abstracts

Our Living Environment

Dr Lena Chan, Director, National Biodiversity Centre, National Parks Board (NParks)
“Biodiversity Conservation Initiatives in Singapore”
In recognition of the biodiversity still found in Singapore, the National Parks Board has initiated several biodiversity conservation efforts to conserve and enhance the biodiversity, in particular in urban landscapes.  Some of these efforts include biodiversity surveys and monitoring, enhancement of habitats, and species recovery programmes. Community engagement is crucial to the success of biodiversity conservation in Singapore.

Dr Shawn Lum, President, Nature Society (Singapore)
“More people, greater impacts? Trying to predict the implications of a growing Singapore population on Nature”
Green areas in Singapore are more popular than ever before, and for a widening range of activities. While Singapore’s Nature Reserves have always been earmarked for recreational activities in addition to the protection of flora and fauna, managing the growing number of visitors to nature areas will prove challenging in the years ahead. A related but often overlooked issue is nature-oriented recreation overseas by Singapore residents. Minimising our collective impact on nature areas – local and beyond – would be desirable, but how might this be achieved? Can we set even more ambitious targets for ourselves beyond mitigating our impacts on Nature??

Mr Louis Ng, Chief Executive, Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES)
“Coexisting with our Native Macaques”
The presentation will cover the current issues relating to the human-macaque conflict in Singapore. While the number of feedback received by the government with regard to macaque issues is increasing, the measures taken over the past few years fail to adequately resolve the problem. The presentation will focus on addressing the root of the problem and suggest long-term humane solutions towards addressing this issue. It will focus on how we can coexist with the macaques and end the culling of these animals.

Dr Paul Ananth Tambyah, Professor of Medicine and Senior Consultant Infectious Disease Physician
“The Perils of Population Proliferation”
Emerging infectious diseases are increasingly recognized as a threat to global health and security. Singapore is uniquely vulnerable to these novel infections because of our location at the center of international trade and migration routes. Many of these diseases such as dengue and chikungunya are spread by cold blooded insect vectors and the impact of climate change on their incidence is only beginning to be appreciated. Other diseases such as multi-drug resistant tuberculosis or highly antibiotic resistant bacteria or “superbugs” have been disseminated globally and in Singapore through medical tourism. Many of the gains in elimination of childhood vaccine-preventable infections are also threatened by the importation of large numbers of non-immune migrants from developing countries. There are also many diseases which spread more rapidly through dense urban populations and which may not be detected early by stressed over-burdened healthcare infrastructures. It will be critical to examine the public health impact of population changes while there is still time to reverse some of these potentially dangerous policies.


Our Urban Space

Mr Devadas Krishnadas, Founder and Director, Future-Moves
“Sustainability: Being Real”
Sustainability is a critical challenge for humanity and the planet. It is about how well we manage the implicit contracts between present and future generations and between humanity and its host – the planet earth. While sustainability is a passionate cause, it is best engaged with a calm and rational mind which identifies and accepts certain fundamental realities of the problem. The presentation on ‘Being Real’ is about those realities, scoping the challenge of sustainability and recommending some guiding principles for action.

Mr Christopher Gee, Research Fellow, Institute of Policy Studies (IPS)
“Singapore’s Demographic Trajectory to 2050 and the Urban Space Implications”
The presentation will cover the Institute of Policy Studies’ demographic projections through to 2050 and identify important themes and issues such as the ageing and shrinking of the resident population and go on to identify the key challenges arising from Singapore’s projected demographic trajectory over the next 4 decades.

Dr Chong Keng Hua, Assistant Professor of Architecture and Sustainable Design, Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)
“Social Sustainability for the Next 20 Years”
In the last five decades, Singapore has witnessed a rapid and immense physical
urban transformation. Our physical environment has changed tremendously, which together with education, globalization and technology, have also changed the way we think, behave, travel and communicate. Yet many things remain unchanged, such as human nature. We are thus often faced with this struggle between fast-evolving urban culture and our instinctive rooted interest in family, children, society and personal life. As we have started to experience the strain of urban development in the past few years, besides economic-environmental sustainability and physical transformation, the greatest challenge ahead is in fact social sustainability, at global
level as well as in Singapore.
The Population White Paper published early this year anchored its proposals on the trend of Singapore’s rapidly ageing society. While the proposals addressed the issue towards a more economically sustainable model for the city, the emphasis is less on addressing the actual life experiences of individual as one raises a family or ages. Moving forward, a strong state intervention has to be balanced by equal involvement of citizen in home building. Therefore, there is a need to discuss social sustainability in the current ageing world amidst the emerging creative economy, to include both the physical (accessibility to public space, friendlier transport system, etc.) and the social-psychological (health and wellbeing, everyday heritage, etc.) aspects. It is under this light that we are looking at various civic participations in Singapore especially in the design and making of community spaces, in the hope of transforming Singapore from a Knowledge-based society to a more Emotional society in the next 20 years.

Mr Tay Kheng Soon, Principal Architect, Akitek Tenggara
“From a Liveable to a Smart City”
As Singapore shifts towards an even denser city-state with a target population growth of 6.9 million, a critical design relook iat urban planning is needed to keep it from bursting at the seams. Present day planning approaches need to be informed by intelligent participatory design and smart policy. We need to shift from the mechanistic model of development to an organic model of living. This entails the insertion of central nervous systems into our Housing Estates. Presently, our estates are a cluster of cells that are liveable and functional. However, to be a high functioning organism that can thrive in uncertain times, they will need to have a nervous system that can process high density and diversity of inputs. This will provide accessible facilities that expose people to neighbours and new ideas while reinforcing local identities as they go about their routines of everyday life. Together with appropriate policy initiatives, Singapore will become the intelligent city it is made out to be. This is the socio-economic-environmental challenge of our times.