Helping cities to be more resilient

During the workshop, participants also took part in lectures and round-table discussions on key topics

A group of International experts delved into issues of climate change, urban resilience as well as food and water security during a two-day Singapore Centre for Urban Resilience (SeCURE) International Preparatory workshop held in Singapore on 12 and 13 September. SeCURE, an initiative by NUS and Deltares, a Dutch applied research institute in the field of water and subsurface, aims to solve climate change-induced urban resilience challenges for Singapore and other Southeast Asian cities.

Supported by the Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF), the workshop explored the region’s opportunities and challenges in urban resilience and also sought an understanding of the knowledge gaps. Topics related to research and integration of resilient systems came under the spotlight, including the development of methods and tools, the delivery of services enabling quantitative optimisation of urban resilience measures and strategies to help cities become more resilient.

In his welcome remarks, NUS Deputy President (Research and Technology) Professor Chen Tsuhan said that Asia is highly vulnerable to natural disasters like earthquakes, volcanoes, flooding, storm surge and tsunamis. This could be exacerbated by Asia being the most populous continent in the world. While Singapore itself is largely unaffected by these natural hazards, climate change is still a grave threat to both Singapore and other countries in the region, he said, adding that this is where the SeCURE initiative can play a pivotal role.

“This initiative can enhance resilience not only within Singapore but also in the region. NUS’ vision is to be ‘a leading global university shaping the future’ and with the SeCURE initiative we hope to conduct state-of-the art research and develop methods and tools that can be used to enhance resilience in Singapore and in the region,” said Prof Chen.

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Prof Koh speaking at the event

Professor Tommy Koh, NUS Professor of Law and Ambassador-at-Large at Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs was Guest of Honour at the workshop. In his opening remarks, he spoke about the importance of applied problem-based research which enables us to solve real problems in the real world. He also expressed his hope that the workshop would be able to help policy makers think more deeply about the challenges which their city and country faces as a result of climate change, and how best to respond to them.

Findings from the preparatory workshop will be submitted to NRF for further discussion.

By the Office of the Deputy President (Research and Technology)