The urban heat island effect - in which buildings, roads and vehicles release heat into the environment, especially at night - causes temperature differences of up to 7 deg C between urban and less built-up areas. As it is, temperatures naturally are lower in rainy and windy areas that have greater cloud cover, which reduces the heating effect of sunshine. Also, coastal areas enjoy cooling sea breezes during the day, while the urban heat island effect in built-up areas causes temperatures to rise. So, while some parts of Singapore are spared the worst of the heat, those living in other areas have to contend with one of the most trying experiences of life in this tropical city. Hence the attractiveness of the Cooling Singapore project, which has identified no fewer than 86 possible measures across seven key areas to help make the outdoor environment cooler and bring relief to Singaporeans.
The seven areas are greenery, urban geometry, water features, material and surfaces, shading, transport and energy. Project researchers should further their work on how to create greater synergy across these areas, focusing in particular on how better design and the use of innovative material can benefit urban planning.