‘The urgency has gone up’: Singapore government agencies react to findings of third


URA’s Chiu Wen Tung, the group director of research and development, said that the study provides data on how heat impacts Singaporeans, informing the cooling solutions the agency pursues. 

The agency is integrating “climate-sensitive design” into its planning, for example arranging buildings in a way that increases wind speed and shade in new districts. Cool paint is another way to lower the temperatures of buildings, he said. 

Trials for “cool paint”, conducted by the Housing & Development Board, showed that temperatures of the blocks with such paint could be lowered by about 2 degrees Celsius, Mr Chiu told the media after the panel discussion. 

According to the study, more very hot days are expected as Singapore nears the end of the century even if the world takes a path of sustainable growth. The study also predicts more warm nights and more days with high heat stress.

Singapore is expected to become warmer under all scenarios, with annual mean temperatures rising between 0.6 degrees Celsius and 5 degrees Celsius by end-century.

“Singapore has always had to deal with heat because we are in a tropical country,” said Mr Chiu. “And then we have heat due to urbanisation from the urban heat island effect as well as now another maybe … up to five degrees depending on which scenario shown from climate change based on version three, so heat is something that we always had to live with. But I think the urgency has perhaps gone up with the version three findings.”

On how it would work with the private sector, Mr Chiu said URA invests in research for cooling measures but will require the private sector’s buy-in for implementation. 

“It requires the builders, the developers, the building owners, the architects, the landscape designers to all participate to help to build buildings that incorporate all these climate-sensitive design, where you can have higher wind flow, shade provision, more expansive greenery and implement the strategies that will help us lower the temperatures.”

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