Singapore model sets global standard

By most measurements, Singapore is among the cleanest, greenest cities, not only in Asia but in the world.

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The city-state has earned this reputation through careful government planning and investment over decades with a population keen to embrace the concept of living in a sustainable environment.

Being a small city-state, Singapore has been in an ideal position to implement its policies.

“Because of its size, it is easy for Singapore to make top-down (decisions for) urban development,” says Steffen Lehmann, professor of sustainable design and behavior with the University of South Australia.

“It makes things a lot easier, while larger countries are in a very different situation,” says Lehmann, who was a consultant with the Singaporean government for 10 years.

He says although the transformation of the city-state into a sustainable green environment was not easy, it is “still a work in progress”.

“Policies are one thing but the big job is changing people’s behavior.”

Today Singapore is a regional and global leader when it comes to sustainability.

The Asian Green City Index published by the Economist Intelligence Unit consistently puts Singapore at the head of the region.

In all eight categories featured in the index — energy conservation, land use and buildings, transport, waste management, water, sanitation, air quality and environmental governance — Singapore is above average.

With a GDP per person of over $36,000, Singapore is well placed to afford cutting-edge water recycling plants, waste-to-energy facilities and major investments in its transport system.

Earlier this month, Singapore set a new Guinness World Record for having the world’s largest vertical garden, at 24 stories high.

 

Source: The China Daily Asia by Karl Wilson
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