Inspiring Solutions: Growing Green, Can Sustainable Urban Development Nurture Continued Economic Growth in Singapore?

Inspiring Solutions: Growing Green, Can Sustainable Urban Development Nurture Continued Economic Growth in Singapore?

Dr David Dodman

24 - 25 October 2019

8:30 - 7:00 PM

Singapore Management University

Singapore

Challenges and adaptation in the age of rapid and disruptive climate change are set to dominate the discourse of governments and academics. This underpinned the keynote speech by at the inaugural SMU City Dialogues series on Sustainability by Dr David Dodman, Director of Human Settlements at the International Institute for Environment and Development. Dr Dodman offered an insightful view on how to manage risks arising from climate change, and his speech was aptly entitled "Inspiring Solutions: Growing Green, Can sustainable urban development nurture continued economic growth in Singapore?"

The SMU City Dialogues on Sustainability were launched on 24 October 2019 and provided opportunities for stakeholders from the private sector, government and academia, to share ideas and best practices in the management of climate and environmental risks, to benefit the community and improve social and ecological sustainability in Singapore. Over 50 influential experts gathered at the symposium to work together in drawing up practical, cross-industry solutions for the present and future.

  • Rapid urban and economic growth has transformed lives and widened inequality; climate change presents another set of disruptive challenges.
  • Safe, inclusive and resilient cities are central to sustainable global development. Broader goals like environmental needs must also be met.
  • Singapore can support the region with its innovation and research capabilities, aiding solution-finding and decision-making in various fields

Speaker

Speaker
Dr David Dodman

Director, Human Settlements
International Institute for Environment and Development

  • On the factors that shape risk and vulnerability

    There are so many things that we can do and are doing now, which shape the extent of risk of human vulnerabilities and the effectiveness of adaptations to coastal regions, infrastructural sectors and informal settlements.

    There are so many things that we can do and are doing now, which shape the extent of risk of human vulnerabilities and the effectiveness of adaptations to coastal regions, infrastructural sectors and informal settlements.

    Dr David Dodman
    Director, Human Settlements
    International Institute for Environment and Development

We need to be thinking about new forms of urban life, new forms of cities that put people and sustainability at the centre and re-think our perspectives of what progress and success might look like.

We need to be thinking about new forms of urban life, new forms of cities that put people and sustainability at the centre and re-think our perspectives of what progress and success might look like.
Dr David Dodman
Director, Human Settlements
International Institute for Environment and Development

Singapore's climate action: It is time to be more ambitious

In a commentary with The Business Times, SMU Associate Professor Winston Chow highlighted key points from the inaugural SMU City Dialogues on urban sustainability in the age of climate change. He noted that firms recognise the importance of sustainability and that Singapore can excel in climate mitigation with the government leading the effort.

Read this paper to find out more 

Agenda

Agenda
  • 1.15pm – 6.00pm

    Site Visits

    #1: Marina Barrage

    #2: Singapore City Gallery

    #3: Singapore Management University

  • 6.30pm

    Dinner

  • 8.30am

    Registration

  • 9.00am

    Welcome Addresss

    Professor Lily Kong

    President

    Singapore Management University

  • 9.10am

    Address by Guest-of-Honour

    Mr Robin Hu

    Head, Sustainability & Stewardship Group

    Temasek International

  • 9.30am

    Keynote Speech

    Responding to the climate crisis through transforming Southeast Asian cities

    Dr David Dodman
    Director, Human Settlements
    International Institute for Environment and Development

    Southeast Asia has been identified as a region that will be hit hard by climate change. Just last year, the Philippines was ripped through by one of the strongest typhoons it has witnessed till date. Vietnam wasn’t spared as well – flash floods and landslides submerged villages, and businesses were forced to cease operations. Floods from extreme rainfall also affected parts of Malaysia, and this year’s drought in Thailand was record-breaking. These natural forces have undoubtedly wreaked havoc on the region’s economic structure. Rapid, chaotic urbanisation and a fast growing population further fuels this problem. It is therefore imperative for countries to act and build climate resilience through the adoption of good practices.

    Back home, while Singapore does not bear the immediate brunt of climate change as compared to its neighbours, temperatures are rising steadily, rainfall patterns are becoming more extreme, and sea levels are projected to rise by at least 1 metre by 2100. Given that we are nothing but a small red dot on the world map, scarcity of land proves to be a challenge when it comes to sustainable urban planning.

    Dr David Dodman, who is a Coordinating Lead Author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and who has worked on multiple large urban poverty and resilience programmes in Asia, will discuss what the current good practices in responding to climate risks are and explore the relevance of urban climate crisis.

  • 10.00am

    Coffee Break

  • 10.15am

    Panel Discussion and Q&A

    How and why would your company (or your industry) manage environmental disruption and climate change?
    Can private sector interests be sustainably aligned with larger governmental and intergovernmental concerns on environmental and climate disruption?

    Panellists

    1. Ms Esther An, Chief Sustainability Officer, City Developments Limited

    2. Ms Pamela Lee, Director (Policy and Planning), National Climate Change Secretariat, Strategy Group, Prime Minister's Office

    3. Dr Steve Newman, Group Sustainability Director, Banyan Tree Hotel and Resorts, and Coordinating Director, Banyan Tree Global Foundation

    4. Mr Bernard Tan, Country President (Singapore), Sinar Mas Group

    Moderator

    1. Professor Shantanu Bhattacharya, Professor of Operations Management, Associate Dean (Postgraduate Programmes), Lee Kong Chian Fellow, Singapore Management University

  • 11.45am

    Lunch

  • 1.00pm

    Panel Discussion and Q&A

    Are there lessons from the region or overseas that can offer a path forward for Singapore (and other global cities) for businesses under the age of climate disruption? How would new technologies and practices be integrated to enhance sustainability practices?

    Panellists

    1. Professor Shauna Brail, Director, Urban Studies Program, University of Toronto

    2. Mr Gavin Chua, Head of Infra Engagement, Facebook

    3. Ms Heng Li Lang, Senior Director, Temasek Foundation

    Moderator

    1. Associate Professor Winston Chow, Associate Professor of Humanities, Singapore Management University

  • 2.30pm

    Coffee Break

  • 3.00pm

    Parallel Dialogue Sessions

    Among the areas that could be explored:
    Parallel Session 1: Business
    What is the value of sustainability to businesses?

    Does it pay to consider the environment? Beyond just numbers, there needs to be a greater push for businesses to pursue sustainability.

    In this day and age where transparency is the currency of trust, there is heightened green consciousness amongst consumers and stakeholders who are growing less tolerant of companies that do not demonstrate good environmental practices.

    Like a manifestation of a balanced score card, the triple bottom line shows that corporate entities owe a duty of care to the community and environment within which it operates in, and the preservation, and even enhancement, of its surroundings must be considered even as it strives to deliver positive returns to its shareholders. This is especially poignant in Singapore, where 720 square kilometers is all we’ve got. If this small parcel of land is contaminated, where else will we conduct our business?

    Join this session to discuss how corporations can better adopt green practices as part of their business blueprint to create positive, measurable impacts on the dimensions of profits, people and the planet.

    Parallel Session 2: Waste Management
    Where does our trash go to die?

    Singapore generated 7.70 million tonnes of solid waste in 2018; some of which were recycled, some of which were incinerated, and some of it were sent to a certain “graveyard” at the Semakau Landfill.
    But Semakau is projected to reach capacity by 2035; where else can our trash go to rest for eternity?

    Nobody has a clear answer to Semakau’s impending demise, but not all is lost. Measures have been taken to stem the flow of trash to Semakau, through public education, in an endeavour to shift perceptions. More importantly, organisations today are adopting a more conscientious approach to reduce the volume of trash they generate.

    Share your company’s best practices and what you hope to achieve in the coming years at this session. This session will also seek to stimulate discussion on how we can leverage on each other’s expertise to win the war on waste, because if we cannot find a way to manage our trash, surely it will be us who will run out of space to rest in peace.

  • 6.00pm

    Summary

  • 6.30pm

    Closing Remarks

  • 7.00pm

    Dinner

Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery