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  Straits Times 9 Oct 07
China to build world's first eco-city off Shanghai coast
By Jessica Cheam

Channel News Asia 8 Oct 07
Singapore urged to be more ambitious in developing into sustainable city

SINGAPORE: One way for Singapore to develop into a sustainable city is by growing its own food and vegetables in areas such as the basements of buildings.

This is according to an expert who spoke on Monday at the inaugural lecture series by the Ministry of National Development (MND), entitled "Sustainable Development and Competitiveness of Cities".

The new eco-city of Dongtan in Shanghai will have food production factories built within the city.

Experts said Singapore, too, should look into such initiatives if it wants to be sustainable in the long run.

Peter Head, project director of ARUP's Dongtan Eco-city Project, said: "I think there are opportunities to start looking at these food factory ideas for green leafy vegetable production and maybe some kinds of fruit, where we can use recycled water, nutrients from the waste drain and forms of renewable energy because you've got so much sun energy in Singapore."

That is one way Singapore can retrofit sustainable features into its developed landscape and make use of existing facilities to improve efficiency and energy consumption.

Mr Head said: "It's clear that the city planning and the approach to it (in Singapore) has all the elements. The big challenge for Singapore is resource management and the fact that it is so dependent at the moment on water although that is diminishing and food, materials and energy supplies...

"I think the great challenge for Singapore is to look at those issues to see if it's possible to move the dependency to some extent."

Singapore has managed to achieve some degree of success in developing a sustainable environment in future.

Within the construction sector for example, it has achieved resource efficiency, with the use of recycled materials for selected infrastructure.

The MND said other elements incorporated to ensure sustainability include providing sufficient land to meet economic needs as well as developing a comprehensive food safety programme to ensure that imported food is safe for consumption.

Straits Times 9 Oct 07
China to build world's first eco-city off Shanghai coast
By Jessica Cheam

ALL energy will be renewable, and there will be no petrol-fuelled cars or landfills as everything will be recycled.

Welcome to Dongtan in China, the world's first eco-city project and the subject of an inaugural lecture series held by the National Development Ministry yesterday.

The lecture by Mr Peter Head, director of British engineering firm Arup Associates, which is behind the project, outlined the high environmental standards envisioned for the city off the coast of Shanghai, which expects to host some 400,000 inhabitants eventually.

Besides its recycling and clean energy features, organic food will be produced in compact spaces with nutrients extracted from waste, and roads are planned for walking or cycling, not driving, said Mr Head.

Construction of the 8,600ha eco-city is being driven by the Shanghai Industrial Investment Corporation and is expected to start next year.

Mr Head also spoke of the challenges that existing cities face over sustainability, particularly in relation to Singapore.

It prompted some lively debate among the 400-strong audience, which included industry players, academics and civil servants.

Among the issues were questions about how Singapore, as a First World country, could also aspire to become an eco-city.

Mr Head said Singapore's vision as a sustainable city is in the right direction.

'But perhaps a more integrated approach, such as getting public, private and non-government organisations to work more together on issues like waste management, is needed,' he added.

The National Development Ministry's permanent secretary, Mr Tan Tee How, ended the session by acknowledging that there were no immediate solutions, but some inspiration can be gleaned from the Dongtan eco-city project.

The lecture was the first in the series, entitled Sustainable Development And Competitiveness Of Cities. A ministry spokesman said the event will now be held at least once a year.

Related articles on Singapore: general environmental issues
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