World Cities Summit, Singapore International Water Week, CleanEnviro Summit

20,000 from 100 nations attending three sustainability events at MBS

From robotic swans to electronic "cockpits", technology is changing the way cities are managed in response to disruptors such as climate change and urbanisation.

The swans, for example, are used by national water agency PUB to monitor water quality and detect the presence of algae in reservoirs here.

A 3D model of Singapore is also being developed by the National Research Foundation as a "cockpit" to model the impact of various scenarios, such as flash floods. Experts have predicted that with climate change, more frequent bouts of intense rain are on the cards.

These innovations are just some of the tools Singapore has employed to fight against the changing environment.

Such technologies will be showcased next week during three sustainability events at the Marina Bay Sands - the World Cities Summit, Singapore International Water Week, and the CleanEnviro Summit Singapore.

Mr Michael Koh, joint spokesman for the three events, said that while the challenge of urbanisation is not new, the urgency is greater now due to the unprecedented rate of urbanisation, especially in Asean.

"This dramatically changes the landscape of cities, water consumption patterns and environmental challenges," he said.

Rapid urbanisation would have considerable impact on the environment, especially in the areas of waste management, cleaning, sustainable energy, pest management and pollution control, said Mr Dalson Chung, managing director of the CleanEnviro Summit Singapore.

Some of the innovations in these areas include autonomous robots for cleaning, and projects that recycle solar panel cells to recover valuable materials.

At the three events, global leaders and companies will discuss emerging challenges, strategies and solutions. Some 20,000 attendees from 100 countries, including former United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki Moon and the mayors of various cities, are expected to attend.

As this year is Singapore's Year of Climate Action, organisers are also promoting environmentally friendly practices to reduce their carbon footprint. This includes setting the temperature at the venue to at least 24 deg C, catering food for just between 70 and 80 per cent of the attendees to reduce food waste, and not distributing bottled water during the events.

Audrey Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 06, 2018, with the headline '20,000 from 100 nations attending three sustainability events at MBS'. Subscribe