Singapore joining global network to build resilience

The Singapore skyline as seen from Swissotel the Stamford. Singapore has been named one of the cities that will join a global network to better respond to challenges like climate change and rapid urbanisation. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
The Singapore skyline as seen from Swissotel the Stamford. Singapore has been named one of the cities that will join a global network to better respond to challenges like climate change and rapid urbanisation. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

Singapore has been named one of the cities that will join a global network to better respond to challenges like climate change and rapid urbanisation.

The city state is among 35 cities to join the US$100 million (S$131 million) initiative this year. The effort, which is called 100 Resilient Cities, was started by US philanthropic organisation The Rockefeller Foundation last year as part of its centennial.

By being part of the network, cities will receive direct funding to hire a chief resilience officer who will lead the city's efforts against shocks and stresses.

These range from disasters like earthquakes and floods to recurring issues such as water shortages or an overtaxed transportation system.

The network - which has 67 cities on board - will also be a platform for members to share knowledge and best practices. A total of 100 cities will be selected by next year.

Centre for Liveable Cities executive director Khoo Teng Chye said he is still in discussions with The Rockefeller Foundation on who to appoint as chief resilience officer. Discussions are also ongoing as to the amount of funds Singapore will receive.

Already, Singapore has plans to tackle issues such as climate change. In 2011, the Government mandated all newly-reclaimed land to be at least 2.25m above the highest recorded tide level.

On joining the network, Mr Khoo said: "Singapore has its own approach to building its resilience...What we appreciate about being part of this (network) is the opportunity to look at what other cities are doing so that we can share best practices."

Other challenges that Singapore will grapple with include falling birth rates and an ageing population, he added.

Said The Rockefeller Foundation president Judith Rodin: "Cities are learning that by building resilience, not only will they be better prepared for the bad times, but also life becomes better in the good times."

kcarolyn@sph.com.sg