City of the Future: Singapore – Full Episode | National Geographic
The paradigm has shifted the world is accelerating the science fiction of yesterday is rapidly becoming the science fiction’s of right now how do we withstand the tectonic shifts in the world around us how does a society thrive where the world economy is undergoing constant disruption when information is moving at the speed of light there are places that are ahead of the curve city is building the tools for tomorrow we want to create innovations that have a real way impact one day single pole can be self-sustained in food production you are looking at the development of Singapore 40 years ahead of time this city could be a model that wants to come this is the city of the future Singapore the future of the world lies in its urban environments more than half the world’s population live in cities and that number is growing this rapid influx of people creates possibility but it also creates challenges how can the cities of today grow and thrive to become the places we want to live in tomorrow creating sustainable manageable human spaces in the world’s ever-expanding cities is a challenge facing governments across the globe and no one understands the complexity of this challenge better than the planners at Singapore’s Housing and Development board the agency in charge of creating living spaces for about 80% of the resident households in one of the most densely populated cities I’m an architect by training and I also have a master’s degree in planning so I’m an architect planner since 2010 dr.
Chang’s vision and guidance has helped usher in a new era of smart public housing for the HDB allowing the city she loves to grow and thrive despite significant challenges as an island city state were only about half the size of metropolitan London we have to house million people and we have caused very land and resource constrained so that is the big challenge but having said that over the years we have managed to develop Singapore in a pretty sustainable way and we are one of the most livable cities in Asia dr.
Cheung was a little girl Singapore was a vastly different City it had 1/3 of today’s population less than 1% of the current GDP and little to no infrastructure in just over five decades though this tiny city-state has undergone a remarkable transformation Singapore’s HDB has built a million flats creating one of the most successful public housing programs in the world HDB is now looking to high-tech innovative solutions to not only provide enough living spaces for Singapore citizens but also improved quality of life for decades to come we have very sophisticated computer models that help the architect planner to improve the environmental quality in the town so for example the Singapore is in the tropics so we want to encourage the breezes to come true through computer simulation you can actually position the blocks and the public spaces in the parks in such a way to help you achieve this Cinco does very long-term comprehensive planning and that is very important you are looking at the development of Singapore 40 years ahead of time and this is important because it ensures that we have sufficient land safeguarded to meet all our development needs Singapore is planning decades ahead in such a land scarce nation the question is often not what to build but where to build Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority is in charge of identifying the future needs of all Singapore’s land it’s the kind of challenge that draws in the adventurous and the curious I’m very much an urban person the city is close to my heart and even more so having worked in detail on the plans over the last 2000 years for Andrew and the URA sometimes that work means creating land from nothing a process known as land reclamation since independence in 1965 Singapore has used reclamation to increase its land mass by about 23 percent one of the most striking examples of this and perhaps a vision that cities across the world may adopt is Singapore’s Marina Bay a vast engineering project that has been decades in the making when I first started work with you RA Marina Bay was just a vacant tract of land it was only maybe 10 to 15 years ago too we actively started development of the area Andrew was part of the team that drew up the plan from Marina Bay and translated it into reality it’s a betterment dramatically increased the footprint of Singapore but it was designed with the needs of its citizens in mind the traditional central business district just comprises as office space then is only used nine to five five days a week so as we planned Marina Bay we’ve always so looked to bring in complementary uses so the idea here is you create a mixed-use precinct there the activities carry off 24/7 seven days a week to make the round-the-clock Marina Bay model work the you are a needed infrastructure in land scarce Singapore that meant going underground using precision designed layers of essential services including water and electrical tunnels pedestrian and commercial spaces transportation infrastructure like highways and subways and even telecommunications super highways these hidden underground systems have been designed to meet the needs of Singapore for the next 50 years but some in Singapore are looking beyond that already imagining the cities of the far future I actually think that the future of Singapore is not just about increasing the density around transportation nodes of activity I actually think it’s about exploring air rights as well Jason Pomeroy has grand visions for his city the award-winning architect of Singapore’s first zero-carbon house the B house his designs are pushing the boundaries of how Singapore might look more than 50 years from now think about creating structures over roads over motorways topping up above existing structures the rooftops today might be sky court sky gardens of recreation if cities expand upwards into the skies conventional methods of Road transportation may no longer be effective perhaps the future of urban transportation will play a major part in shaping the way we live but then all of a sudden you’re going to need to think about how to get people up there you know if you were to fast-forward 50 years from now we already see drone technology becoming so advanced why are we not sticking people into those drones again a bit like Blade Runner all of a sudden your sky courts your sky guards even your private terraces to your condo is actually a landing platform for your own personalized drone though the idea of its flying to work may be decades away drone technology is advancing rapidly and could become integral to the evolution of transportation in the cities of tomorrow in Singapore the government has thrown its support behind an advanced program to test the limits of drone capabilities in the world’s rapidly expanding urban environments skyways is Airbus’s project that is exploring this urban air delivery domain or basically cargo delivery with drones project the drone that we’re using is actually fully customized were fully designed by our team here in Singapore to ensure maximum safety in the air the drones have multiple aerospace-grade navigation systems so that if one system malfunctions you can rely on others to fly to its destination the packages that we can deliver by design today is up to four kilograms what we understand is that four kilograms would cover perhaps about 80 85 percent of all the packages that are a parcel deliveries that are done today once the package has been delivered to its slot the mailbox automatically sends a personalized code to the customer so they can pick up the package 24/7 just like that also comes back in Airbus one of our visions is what we call urban air mobility so flying taxis for example the skyways is about enabling the technology it’s about looking and moving towards a future where we have then a flying transportation means in an urban setting Singapore innovators are imagining and experimenting the what’s next for urban travel drone technology may be the next revolution liberating commuters from their 2-dimensional travel but the challenges facing all of our cities may be more elemental than where we will build and how to get around providing food and water for the millions of people that will pack into our urban environments could be the biggest challenge yet as urban populations rise the world will face unprecedented challenges how to house transport and most importantly feed its people in the future as rural populations decrease ensuring food stability will be key and land scarce Singapore it’s a challenge that is already being confronted right now 93% of produce is imported in to Singapore and that’s because there just simply is enough land to do farming practices Benjamin Swan came to Singapore as an engineer on the Marina Bay Sands project but having fallen in love with the city he recognized a challenge and an opportunity to help the nation towards its goal of food sustainability Ben is developing a new way to grow food not just in Singapore but in any urban environment sussan air is a controlled environment agriculture farm we effectively replicate what’s happening outside in nature to grow impossible products in impossible places Singapore is a trailblazer in this technology having opened the world’s first commercial vertical farm in 2012 now sustained air through their patented processes are able to grow produce indoors without sunlight and without soil what we actually have done is we’ve come up with our own system here to introduce the Seas directly into the firm cues so what that does is ensures we have 100% germination success this broom has been specially designed to take the plant from its initial germination through to a mature state where we can introduce into the mangrove rooms these large-scale growing rooms are astonishing feats of agricultural technology the precision calibration of the growing environment allows these new-age farmers to optimize cultivation at every stage in the plant’s growth we control the air temperature the humidity the light durations the light wavelength we control the dissolved oxygen in the water as well as a carbon dioxide saturation there in these closely monitored growing rooms sustained air is creating food history first ever Singaporean grown strawberries actually growing three varieties in this room what we’ve learned through controlled environment agriculture we can actually emphasize certain characteristics to plants so without using GMO we can make our kale softer we can actually make it sweet a lot of the Singaporeans don’t like their products to be bitter so we took it into our R&D lab and what we found was by manipulating the air temperature and humidity in the rest of the wavelength of light and the growth cycles we were able to create a spray product of a growing scale not only is this farm able to produce vegetables perfectly calibrated for Singaporeans but techniques could provide vital farming areas for the densely populated cities of the future traditional land farming grows produce outside on a flat linear area sicinius system grows food inside in any building expanding Agriculture’s footprint up into the sky so what vertical farming means for places like Singapore that has very little or has land scarcity is that we can leverage buildings to grow products and with the efficiency that we have within our footprint we believe one day that we could actually produce enough produce indoors to stay in Singapore’s map fresh available food will be a necessity in our cities not only to feed citizens but also to keep them healthy as populations age and the incidence of diabetes continues to rise across the developed world Singapore like all cities needs to encourage its citizens to eat smart and well we wanted to deploy food and beverages okay as a tool to manage it could be health it could be wellness it could be performance and of course also for fitness as well believe it or not these colorful sculptures are edible they are the creations of dr.
Lehmann why a scientists at Singapore polytechnics food innovation and resource center using the latest breakthroughs in technology she is creating food tailored to the exact calorie and nutrition needs of Singapore’s senior citizens we wanted to look at personalized nutrition for a target group to pull so what we started off is basically looking at people with different lifestyles or otherwise looking at people with different health conditions to realize her vision dr. Lee collaborated with bioengineer mark Wang to build a piece of wearable tech that can monitor a person’s nutritional requirements Orion developed here at Sonoma Polytechnic is what we call the inter sent system is a no-fun factor for watch the app it’s pulling data from the from the wearable so this data can be fed to algorithms to compute specialized individual nutrients that are customized for the individual so a 3d printer could then use this data and print out the appropriate nutrient values suitable for the individual dr. Lee’s system is one of the first of its kind in Singapore perhaps the world 2 pair wearable tech with 3d printing to create food with personalized nutritional values this particular printer actually has a beautiful way of allowing us to customize nutrition so there should be probably a chicken rice that is actually high in calcium some de is actually good for potassium and different types of vitamins and minerals there is a custom while still an experimental prototype the potential is staggering this jelly packs a punch with the necessary nutrients for optimizing health and even preventing diseases with greater sets of data from each individual we can now create a whole library or database and identify trends by using machine learning or using AI so that is extremely powerful in the near future to be able to predict potential health issues and mitigate those health issues in population centers before events through imaginative planning and technological innovation Singapore is finding new ways to house and feed its growing population by perhaps one of the biggest challenges facing any global city will be ensuring a constant safe supply of that most precious of resources water Singapore currently uses 2 billion litres of water a day the most efficient source of fresh water is rain and to capitalize on this resource the nation is criss-crossed with an extensive network of rivers and canals the channel every last precious drop of rain into 17 storage reservoirs about two-thirds of Singapore is what the catchment area that’s about 400 plus square kilometers so water that falls on a catchment area we will find its way in to our drains and canals which linked to one of our reservoirs Singapore’s catchment system is extensive and efficient but to collect rainwater you need land and lots of it Singapore is a small island so we are limited in terms of the catchment area that we have and also now with the changing weather patterns the quarter coming from rain it’s a bit unpredictable so we’ve moved on to more weather is zilean water sources like this alienation as the world warms every city will need to find fresh solutions to provide their citizens with clean water in Singapore the Public Utilities Board is already looking to the future experimenting with new techniques to push the water potential of the little red dot looking ahead our cities need to overcome a variety of challenges rapid urbanization will present problems of growth housing and food sustainability but none may be more crucial than the access to fresh water Singapore currently imports about half of its daily water requirement in the next three decades though the aim is to ensure water sustainability to do so planners are looking to a resource the island nation has in abundance see what I was called this a new toy really it’s kind of a toy for us but seriously it’s a plan that’s designed with robustness reliability is fully automated you kid son oversaw the construction of a brand new state-of-the-art water facility the twice desalination plant we’ve been working on this project for the last just over two years to get it from a green field and up to the state that you see right behind me a functional 13 million gallons per day desalination plant the twice desalination plant is a modern marvel of precision engineering in land scarce Singapore its footprint is a mere 100 meters by 300 meters that’s roughly the size of three football fields this may seem large but it is a relatively small footprint compared to plants of its kind around the world when we did the design in the construction it was quite a challenge that you got to make sure that they are all stacked and arranged in a like a Lego manner that it all fits nicely into a puzzle and and if it forms the plant what you see today despite its small footprint the twice desalination plant houses one of the world’s most powerful technologies for producing fresh water from the sea reverse osmosis filters that’s actually the heart of the plan where the salt in the seawater gets separated or removed from the water the white tubes in there is the reverse osmosis membrane where Hilda water will be pushed through the membrane this high-tech process is a key part of preparing Singapore for the future a conventional water desalination is energy intensive the electricity you would need to disallow Nate enough water for just one day of Singapore’s needs could power a Singaporean household for a thousand years to save energy and reduce the cost of water desalination the pob is now investing in new research Evoque WA is a company working on the desalination process of tomorrow we are demonstrating our next IDI technology for seawater desalination electrodialysis uses electricity to remove salt from seawater pairs of electrodes are placed in a stream of salt water with one positive electrode and one negative the positively charged sodium ions are attracted to the negative electrode and the negatively charged chlorine ions are attracted to the positive electrode this concentrates the salt around the electrodes the process is repeated until the water is salt free now we are building a demonstration plan with a capacity of 3,800 meter cube per day we have plans to photosphere up this technology with a capacity of 100,000 meter cube per day Singapore’s innovations in housing food and water are giving us a glimpse of how a forward-thinking city might solve some of the challenges it faces but these solutions will come at a price fast secure and thriving economies will be essential for facing an uncertain future and perhaps no nation understands this better than Singapore the financial sector is a very very critical sector for Singapore almost 12% of our GDP comes from the sector so you understand how critical for us to ensure that this sector is a vibrant sector it is competitive it attracts the best possible ideas as a chief FinTech officer of the Monetary Authority of Singapore sup Nando mohanty needs to ensure that the nation sets a world standard for the financial sector this boils down to one thing technology innovation most of the services and financial sector are going to be powered by technology in 2016 Singapore announced project Ubben a new FinTech experiment using blockchain technology traditionally banks keep a record of all transactions on their own centralized ledger which is susceptible to manipulation by hackers but project kuben keeps all records on a blockchain this means that identical copies of the ledger are kept on a distributed network of computers around the world these computers check in with each other to ensure that their copy of the ledger is correct and if one of the copies does not match the others it is rejected and replaced with a copy that the majority of Ledger’s agree is correct it’s a tamper with the blockchain to steal money a hacker would need to hack a majority of the computers on the network simultaneously a virtual impossibility the real killer use case is cross border transfer today text two to three days to move money between two countries the whole overseas transfer so if we can apply a technology like blockchain it may give us that opportunity to reduce that time to do cross border transfer and may also reduce the expensive way we move money from a country to be contributing Singapore has long been known as a financial hub home to major banks from around the world the project urban Singapore has ensured that it will stay ahead of the pack when it comes to FinTech in a country short on natural resources the motto is innovate or die and Singapore has taken up that challenge with a startup culture catapulting the nation into the future you ideas are one of the intangible resources at power cities Singapore is capitalized on the nation’s creative DNA to support and usher in a new wave of innovative companies one of the biggest startup hubs is st engineering tech incubator in O sparks we are focused on solving salty urban challenges particularly solutions in spa cities as far as health tech medical technology is a three hundred and fifty billion dollar global industry one that thrives on the latest ideas like Allen goes revolutionary automated needle targeting system with end system we are able to automate the entire needle alignment process making it very stressful for the doctors we can align the needle to the target at a fraction of the time it is more accurate more than just a surgical assistant Allen’s robot can actually help train the next generation of surgeons difficult for surges to be expert in terms of puncture he has to function more than 150 times while such a device which is smart automated junior surgeons probably just required about 40 to 50 puncture and they could be an expert in a few of puncture I know Sparks has also been key in developing life-saving technologies to solve global health problems my name is Jerome I’m the head of engineering at Ennis parks and I’m also the lead engineer for a plasma mask so we actually started the project development into zero one three when Singapore was hit with severe haste during the 2013 Southeast Asian haze crisis large-scale wildfires blanketed the region in impenetrable smog shattering all records and pollution indexes stores sold out of high quality air filtration masks worse yet parents with this main to learn that all masks on the market were built for adults we actually went to do a 3d facial scanning of more than 850 children and adults and then using an algorithm that we developed in-house proprietary we came up with three sizes of master fits children adults to the elderly using thermal imaging the benefits of these masks leap into focus we can see that actually the mass itself stays pretty much purple this is a quick way to show that the ventilator is actually effective in venting heat from the mask while a vital part of Singapore’s economy the tech scene is not just about software or hardware at its core it is about hardware providing for its citizens we want to create innovations that have a real way impact so we take a very user centered approach Singapore’s digital economy is providing real tangible benefits to people and some of its brightest inventors are focusing on the far future local startup transfer Phi has developed a technology that could change the way we think about electricity – power transfer is inherently being able to transfer power wirelessly we using radiofrequency to be able to transfer power in terms of the construct behind it is electromagnetic waves essentially our within a wave form the custom-built transmitter converts electrical current into electromagnetic waves using a complex algorithm this wave is modulated and focused into a tight beam transmitted to an array of antennas using radio frequency the receiver harvests the radio frequency waves and converts them to direct current which is able to power electrical devices the system is ready now so the signal is now generating I think now we are ready to switch on the power amplifier ta da ba da is on now I switch is on without any any wires that it to it no battery is nothing it’s all power through air this simple demonstration gives a hint of the enormous potential of the system as the technology is scaled up to further distances it could revolutionize every industry that relies on electricity creating the world’s first long-range safe and efficient wireless power networks there’s a lot of uses I mean it’s ubiquitous technology I mean you can use wireless power transfer distribution for almost anything from consumer electronics to medical devices to offshore renewables to sensors you know for automation Singapore’s digital startups are dreaming up ingenious new technology proving that perhaps the greatest resource will need in the future is imagination in tomorrow’s super connected smart cities every aspect of our lives could be affected by the constantly changing world of digital technology preparing the next generation for this future is top of mind for most educators of today in Singapore that preparation starts early using tech tools to teach children the building blocks of a digital mindset including the most basic skill needed for coding sequential learning sequential learning it seems easy for us doubts but it’s actually not easy for them at all to know who comes first and who comes next all right children we’re going to move over there and then we’re gonna find your trial ease then are we gonna put them in your basket I feel that there’s a lot of skills that they can gain from having the tech toys as well Melanie problem solving skills communication skills language skills as well and also they learn how to problem-solve sequential as well the play maker program there are three tech toys the B board is something that is very friendly and very easy to operate because there’s only a few buttons for the children to use so for example we have the forward and backward 10 11 10 right button people I would say it’s a little bit high-end order thinking whereby children will have to sequence the blocks as pretty in order and they have to scan the barcode so for kibo it won’t function if they don’t start with a begin block and any with the end block so during that time children actually get to do a trial and error to see whether it works or not these tech toys introduce children to advanced learning concepts in doing so they are arming future generations of Singaporeans with the skills necessary for computer programming and literacy without exposing them to too much screen time this dynamic new approach to education is of critical importance for parents helping to prepare their children for the workplaces of the future I’ve got three boys they are 12 Levin and youngest Paul since I’m in the finance line the current way to go is the FinTech the concern for how my kids are going to cope with the new change India Korea Falls has always been there definitely I feel these tools will actually help children to prepare the workforce in the future because we actually building the foundation for example the foundation of language the foundation of problem-solving the foundation of communicating with people tech literacy is not just a challenge for newer generations as populations around the world image that need to become digitally literate cuts across all age brackets Singapore is tackling this problem head-on with proactive efforts to provide tech education to all of its citizens ensuring none are left offline was any cookie father as a woman loudly Bader Lana Lana is she nice actually so campus an Indian War Isaac awaiting at sinasu tea or tea person who you just a Diwali mr.
Towns journey to digital fluency came at a clinic held by Singapore’s info-communications Media Development Authority no boat on the reservation simply retract ow take a bow Iowa Jessica Whitman mission FH analytical vasectomy wait at a tea party for while companion Aryan using the network a McCoy t new continuity which decision today mama you same tag we wrestled signal I want to saw do we develop our chicken de Caen her much chairman missions I even as generosity even toe-to-toe colleano lesson you have learned her income continued since we can differ by her tenacity Tahoe Singapore’s focus on training all of its citizens for the future is nurturing a highly educated versatile and connected population connectivity and community will shape the world of tomorrow and in Singapore that sense of community is already revealing itself in new and surprising ways we are racing towards a future that will be dominated by technology in the decades to come dedicated citizens will find ways to harness that technology to make a positive impact enhancing lives through creative innovation in Singapore technology is already being created that will care for the nation’s most vulnerable we try to provide sleep wellness for newborn babies and also premature babies so what you do is that you actually put a baby on it and after you sleep for about minute we can give you the breath calm and know how well your baby is sleeping when a baby sleep they have a lot of periodic breathing that means they breathe and they be stopped debrief and stop now this happened to 2% of the newborn baby but it happened to 60% for premature babies periodic breathing dramatically reduces oxygen flow which can have a detrimental effect on a baby’s growth and even their cognitive development the breath optic system uses fiber-optic technology to help monitor this or Frank this project is personal I think one of the driving force of us inventing this product but we cost 24 years ago I had a premature son at a point in time I bought whatever is available to try to monitor a baby and I Chi for for one month me and my wife didn’t sleep in the same room because we took Chow our ship to stay at a baby so we took turns to do look after my son for fall for a while so when we were able to use the optic technology optic fiber technology to create such a sensor we really know what we want because I was in that position with you when your son is okay now oh my sighs perfecto hmm this life and kicking in well the spirit of using technological ingenuity to improve lives has been built into the city itself with green corridors and protected parkland keep in Singapore from becoming a concrete jungle in its efforts conserve and protected status as a city in a garden and Parks is employing the power of technology so one of the tools that we use is called the SU by OLS app it’s a free citizen science base at where everybody can download and you could make hot boy outside things that you see in Singapore it could be at your park it could be in a forest in Singapore and using this data you can develop some conservation or management strategies where we could consider them heavy threats are for Texas and green spaces the app is empowering Singapore citizens to play a meaningful role in the conservation and protection of the city’s incredible biodiversity those of us over there the other junk awful and they’re like chickens about yeah technically not chickens right walking home in the daytime whether you should be working by the nighttime I’ll be probably down on my couch and watching television I spend most of my time on the phone watching YouTube playing games not only is the citizen science program healthy and parks maintain Singapore’s rich ecosystem but also helping people build connections with green spaces and each other Singapore is our schedule and so what we need is to preserve what we have now and using the technology we are able to provide feedback to national paper on the species that we still have a cell phone as the modern world rapidly marches towards urbanization our future cities will face unprecedented pressures innovation and technological advancements will help bring pork down to how we move how we work and how we learn in Singapore that change is already underway it feels like we are part of building and creating a Singapore that is vibrant safe and also sustainable for the people now and also for the future if we can do it here in Singapore we can literally do it anywhere in the world and we are excited almost on a everyday basis we are motivated by the fact that we can make a difference I heard from one Nobel Prize winner only a prepared mind can see opportunity and we are using this opportunity by getting us who prepared you seem a ho guys look kikuchi vermin come father Logan is objective term has a tsunami it intended even funny
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