The Future Is Now

6 Jul 2011                    

“The future? A direct relationship with water bodies in the city,” said Dr Herbert Dreiseitl, a landscape architect who spoke at the 2nd Water Sensitive Urban Landscape Seminar at the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

And based on what I saw at the event, which included the ABC Waters Certification presentation and launch of the 2nd edition of the ABC Waters design guidelines, Singapore is the future.

The Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters (ABC Waters) Programme is a strategic initiative by PUB, Singapore national water agency. Launched in 2006, it aims to integrate water bodies such as drains, reservoirs and canals with the surrounding environment to create clean streams, rivers and lakes for communities to enjoy.

This year, 17 developments that bring people closer to water were awarded certificates. Among the recipients were the Singapore Zoo and various condominiums and parks. Some features of the certified projects are green roofs, educational signs, significant water recycling and the introduction of plant and animal species.

The guest of honour was Senior Minister of State for the Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts and the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources Ms Grace Fu.
Dr Dreiseitl, who spoke about the deep impact of waterscapes on future cities, also lauded the country for its sustained water efforts that is, “admired all over the world”.

Personally, I’m impressed by quality of thought that has been put into moulding Singapore into a clean and sustainable city – it’s something even my former supervisors at Greenpeace would be proud of! I didn’t quite realise just how much was going on behind the scenes, and I’m glad that the Singapore International Water Week has jolted me out of my ignorance.

By Sujith Kumar

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