Singapore Tourism Board in partnership with The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE) organised a ‘Smart Cities and Urban Solutions’ summit in the capital city. Attended by key corporate opinion leaders and entrepreneurs, ‘The Singapore Dialogue’ focused on learning from best urban planning practices pioneered by the city state. The panel comprising Anandan Karunakaran, SVP – Surbana Jurong Planning Group, Stanley Samuel, Founder and CEO – ECOSOFTT and Mukundan Venkatachari, Hyflux discussed key learnings from smart cities like Singapore against the current Indian context. Furthermore, urban solutions such as waste water management, efficient urban mobility and public transport, affordable housing, robust IT connectivity and digitalisation, as well as good governance were hot topics amongst the attendees. Anandan Karunakan, Senior Vice President, Surbana Jurong, who addressed the audience on Singapore’s transformation, rapid and efficient urbanisation shared his thoughts about how Singapore’s model of efficiency has inspired several other countries. He said, “Given the challenges of limited size and resources, Singapore’s success stories of integrated and innovative urban solutions are very encouraging.
The key pillars that define Singapore’s urban planning system are: quality and affordable housing for Singaporeans, the amount of green space which makes it one of the most liveable cities in the world and added to this is an integrated and efficient transport system.” Another key success is Singapore’s sustainable water solutions. Mukundan Venkatachari, Managing Director at Hyflux Engineering (India), who highlighted the ways which Singapore has managed to overcome its lack of natural water resources, said, “Singapore treasures four key sources of water, which are – local catchment areas where Rain Water Harvesting has been implemented that ensures water is distributed to 17 man-made water reservoirs; imported water from Malaysia; waste water management is efficiently operated with the presence of three waste water plants and underground pipelines in Singapore; and the fourth source is desalination that accounts for 25 per cent of national water requirement.”