A big thank you to all who participated in yesterday’s Singapore Futures Sustainability Symposium! We hope that you were able to gain some meaningful perspectives from the topics and discussion points brought forward by our speakers. As the organising committee, it was truly inspiring to see that members of the public from all walks of life were interested and engaged in the dialogue regarding the sustainability of Singapore, in the context of food security and transport.
Do stay tuned on our Facebook and WordPress pages, as we will be will be releasing photos and videos of the talks at a later date. Until then, this is a summary of the day’s proceedings:
Singapore Futures Sustainability Symposium (SFSS) 2016 was held from 1.30 to 6.30 pm on February 20th (Saturday) 2016 at Auditorium 3, University Town, NUS. Building up on the inaugural SFSS in 2013, this second instalment of SFSS focuses on food security and urban transport issues around the theme “A Smart and Sustainable City”. Senior Minister of State for Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of National Development Mr. Desmond Lee delivered a keynote speech as Guest-of-Honour.
In his keynote speech, Mr. Desmond Lee emphasized the importance of environmental sustainability in ensuring Singapore’s future prosperity and highlighted some of Singapore’s innovative solutions to improve food security and transport sustainability despite numerous constraints and challenges.
During the first session, Dr. Anuradha Ramanujan from National University of Singapore (NUS) introduced ecological and social impact of food production; Mr. Melvin Chow from Agri-Veterinary Authority (AVA) presented Singapore’s changing food security challenges and AVA’s strategy to address them; Ms. Nichol Ng from Food Bank Singapore introduced the organisation’s on-going efforts to battle hunger; and Ms. Evelyn Eng from Green Circle Eco-Farm showed how farming can be possible in a highly urbanised environment like Singapore. During the following panel discussion, the speakers highlighted issues of raising consumer awareness of food origins, the meat industry’s environmental impacts, various strategies to reduce food waste and the role of technological advances in improving food security.
The second session on sustainable transport began with Dr. Andreas Rau’s presentation on the public transport planning research conducted at TUM-CREATE, a joint research programme between Technische Universität München (TUM) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Dr. George Sun from Land Transport Authority (LTA) then shared LTA’s strategies to meet growing future demand for transport while facing significant challenges in land availability. Lastly, Mr. Lewis Chen from Carsharing Association demonstrated how carsharing plays a major role in building a sustainable transport system. During panel discussions, the speakers agreed that the reliance should be shifted away from private car ownership and towards public transport and carsharing. Among the other issues related to sustainable transport that were brought up are the feasibility of using electric cars in Singapore as well as the usefulness of pedestrianisation and cycling. It was also agreed that while better public transport standards should continue to be aspired towards, carsharing, walking and cycling can contribute to improved outcomes for commuters in the future.
This event was organised by a group of students from Bachelor of Environmental Studies (BES) Programme at National University of Singapore, with generous and indispensable support from Associate Professor Edward Webb (Director of the BES programme) and Ms. Cheryl Sim of BES office.
SFSS 2016 Organising Committee