New underground spaces, more liveable towns among research areas for innovation challenge

How can Singapore create new underground spaces and achieve high standards of liveability even in high-density towns?

These are some of the initial research and development focus areas identified, as part of the Land and Liveability National Innovation Challenge (L2 NIC).

Senior Minister of State for National Development Lee Yi-Shyan said: “We might ask for instance if we could move goods underground, therefore minimising the need to transport them above ground, and relieving road congestions. In “Optimising Space”, we would also like to see innovative designs that could improve thermal comfort, natural ventilation and noise reduction.

“Creating a ‘future-ready City’ challenges us to stretch our planning and design parameters to accommodate both the knowns and unknowns. It challenges us to anticipate the many changing needs of the city dwellers and perhaps even changing demographics. We may not always anticipate right but we can make enough provisions and room for growth, for taking in innovations and solutions we have yet known today.”

Mr Lee was speaking at this year’s Urban Sustainability Research and Development Congress on Thursday.

He said the first competitive call for R&D proposals under the challenge will be made at the end of the year.

It will allow researchers to begin tapping on the S$135 million fund, approved for the first six years of the programme.

The two-day Congress saw more than 600 participants from government agencies, research institutes and private sector companies attending.

Mr Lee also announced that the Ministry of National Development is awarding S$12 million in R&D grants for projects.

Some of these project proposals will look at new underground construction methods, while others will explore improving building materials, such as heat and glare reducing “smart” windows and “cool” paint. The ministry has also earmarked another S$25 million for new R&D programmes.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 27 June 2013

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