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NUS and Yale University collaborate on Urban Metabolism Study for sustainable development

06 September 2010



SIGNING CEREMONY: Representing the two schools were Dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University Sir Peter Crane (left) and Dean of School of Design and Environment at NUS Prof Heng Chye Kiang
NUS' School of Design and Environment (SDE) signed an agreement on 25 August 2010 with Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies to collaborate on an Urban Metabolism Study. Representing the two schools at the signing ceremony were Dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University Sir Peter Crane and Dean of SDE Prof Heng Chye Kiang.

The Urban Metabolism Study will estimate and map out the flows of materials and energy in the built environment and explore how land-use planning can incorporate resource conservation strategies to minimise, conserve and recover scarce resources. It will recommend strategies to create a "closed loop" and optimise the use of raw materials and energy to achieve a more sustainable urban environment.

The study is part of a series of seven research projects to study issues on sustainable urban development initiated in September 2009. Coordinated by NUS' Centre for Sustainable Asian Cities (CSAC) under SDE, these research studies aim to discover innovative urban planning strategies and make design recommendations for the sustainable development of Singapore.

The three-year Urban Metabolism Study will also be conducted in collaboration with Singapore's Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and Housing Development Board (HDB). It is supported by a grant of about S$400,000 from Singapore's Ministry of National Development (MND) Research Fund, and is expected to be completed by mid 2012.

Prof Heng said: "The Centre for Sustainable Asian Cities at NUS is a platform to develop cutting-edge urban planning and design solutions, as well as building technological innovations for high density environments. We envisage that these solutions will be applicable to many cities in Asia and other developing countries. This research study, conducted in collaboration with the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University, URA and HDB, will provide information on means to recycle resources such as water, electricity and construction waste generated in buildings so as to achieve a more sustainable built environment for Singapore."

Dean Sir Peter Crane said: "This new research collaboration takes the next step toward combining our strengths to create new knowledge for environmental management. Joining Yale's well-known expertise in industrial ecology with the leadership at NUS in architecture and buildings creates a powerful team to help drive forward the global movement toward greener cities."

The study will be led by Assistant Prof Kua Harn Wei from the Department of Building of SDE, NUS, and Assoc Prof Marian Chertow from Yale University.



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