Roadmap for UHI reduction

Work on a formal document of a roadmap for UHI reduction has not yet started. However, the outline is starting to become apparent thanks to the now available results of the first round of modelling work carried out in work package 2, inputs from work package 1, and feedback gathered during the workshops.

The ongoing modelling work is expected to help in identifying the measures that are most effective in Singapore. These, together with input from the roadmap workshop, shall form the basis of the roadmap structure.

It has become clear that a second phase of Cooling Singapore will be necessary if we want to be comprehensive in prioritising measures. This second phase will need to include the following two considerations that are currently out of scope: (1) economic considerations e.g. the impact on the economy if UHI is ignored, cost-benefit analysis of single or multiple measures (2) health, heat stress and productivity impacts. These two additional areas, combined with the current technical assessment of measures, will provide the foundation for a solid and more detailed roadmap.

 Fig 1. The road to heat resilient Singapore  / Source: Lina Meisen Photography 2018

Fig 1. The road to heat resilient Singapore  / Source: Lina Meisen Photography 2018

Position Paper

  Fig 2. Outdoor Thermal Comfort position paper, Source: Constant Van Aerschot amd Juan Angel


Fig 2. Outdoor Thermal Comfort position paper, Source: Constant Van Aerschot amd Juan Angel

With the outdoor thermal comfort (OTC) position paper, we recommend definitions, metrics and measures to be used for OTC assessment in Singapore. The OTC position paper provides the regulator with the opportunity to set science-based guidelines on climate responsive urban design at the microscale-level.

With the urban heat island (UHI) position paper, we propose consensus-based definitions and metrics which can be used for UHI mitigation in Singapore. The UHI position paper provides the regulator with the opportunity to set science-based targets to reduce the UHI intensity that would benefit many stakeholders within and throughout Singapore.

UHI Task force

A network of local UHI experts (and potentially also some selected international key players) from the public and private sector.

A list of local UHI experts were identified in research & academic institutions (NUS, NTU, SUTD), government related organisations (CLC, DSO), and the private sector. In addition, we have set up a “task force”, which consists of government representatives from 11 agencies: HDB, URA, BCA, JTC, NParks, NEA (MSS), PUB, LTA, SLA, A*Star and NCCS. Several Cooling Singapore workshops brought those experts together, in order to start forming a community in Singapore.

This network fits the needs of the current scope of Cooling Singapore, as we focus mainly on the physical aspects of the city through modelling i.e. on design and infrastructure.

 Fig 3. Cooling Singapore Task Force engaging with our researchers during Workshop #1, July 3 2018 

Fig 3. Cooling Singapore Task Force engaging with our researchers during Workshop #1, July 3 2018 

However, we plan to reach out to additional decision makers at the Ministerial level e.g. Permanent Secretaries, since we wish to have an impact on policy formulation and this level of involvement will be necessary for driving inter-agency collaboration.

In a future phase of Cooling Singapore, we propose to also include in this network those who have a stake if urban temperatures rise to unacceptable levels. For example, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Manpower and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.

More information can be found here: https://www.coolingsingapore.sg/partners-1/

Cooling Agents: UHI/OTC research landscape overview

 Fig 4. Cooling Agents: A view into Singapore government agencies for Cooling Singapore

Fig 4. Cooling Agents: A view into Singapore government agencies for Cooling Singapore

This report will provide a systematic overview of all research projects, organisations, and key personnel in Singapore that work on UHI analysis and mitigation aspects.

We identified a series of ongoing research and locally developed tools and reached out to the research community and government agencies who directly work on UHI and OTC in Singapore. A document was produced that summarises the current legislative structure and areas of responsibility of relevant government agencies.

Here, we also reviewed the relevant Masterplans, technology roadmaps, and other forward-looking documents/plans, and highlighted the key elements that contribute to heat generation today and in the future.

The report will be available soon.

Workshop 1: Urban Heat Island and Outdoor Thermal Comfort (3 July 2017)

Approach

Conducted on July 3, 2017, the workshop’s purpose was to bring government agency representatives (task force members) together to raise awareness, align knowledge and promote the message that solutions need to be developed collaboratively. With about 40 people present, we gathered representatives of 13 agencies and partner organisations, including Singapore research institutions. The workshop started with presentations by the Lead PI of the project, Peter Edwards, and the Project Leader, Heiko Aydt, followed by three members of the CS team. The presentations were then followed by a discussion format known as World Café.

  Fig 5. Workshop #1 - Dr Juan Angel in discussion with a UHI task force member regarding UHI/OTC related feasibilities and KPIs of the agencies


Fig 5. Workshop #1 - Dr Juan Angel in discussion with a UHI task force member regarding UHI/OTC related feasibilities and KPIs of the agencies

Findings

During six discussion sessions, ideas from the agencies were collected regarding seven main topics included the 86 mitigation strategies summarized in the Strategies for Cooling Singapore report. The agencies and invited guests gave valuable feedback regarding the progress of the project.

Outputs

The team received feedback on the need to provide a clear definition of “urban heat island”, especially within the Singaporean context. The Task Force members suggested that from such a working definition, the team could identify a list of tangible targets and outcomes, which can help to improve understanding of the urban heat island effect, in line with the agencies’ focuses. They also remarked that the use of “outdoor thermal comfort” as an indicator might be problematic due to its highly subjective nature. As targets and outcomes are being set, there was also feedback that the Cooling Singapore team should think about ways to appropriately measure the effectiveness of proposed strategies, because impacts may differ from one location to another. Outcome reports have been produced and distributed to all participants.

Links to other tasks

Reflected the work of CS from January - June 2017: Mitigation Strategy Catalogue, Heat Maps, Assessment of OTC strategies at local scale.

Summary

A well attended one day workshop with the CS UHI task force where outputs about the first six months of CS where shared and feedback was received.

Workshop 2: Policy and regulations: risks, opportunities and challenges (7 December 2017)

 Fig 6. Workshop #2 - UHI task force and Cooling Singapore researcher discussion during the 3rd workshop

Fig 6. Workshop #2 - UHI task force and Cooling Singapore researcher discussion during the 3rd workshop

On December 7th 2017, Cooling Singapore held a workshop together with local agencies of relevance to Urban Heat Island (UHI) and Outdoor Thermal Comfort (OTC). The purpose was to to better understand the concerns of local agencies in order to inform an effective roadmap for tackling UHI and OTC.

The workshop was split up into 5 parts. During the first part there was a brief background of UHI, OTC and their implications on Singapore. Then participants were asked to assess the risks UHI would pose for Singapore in 2050 if we were to carry on Business as Usual (BAU). During the third part participants were asked to imagine specific opportunities for implementing policies to tackle UHI and OTC, and the challenges these opportunities may face. During the fourth part participants were then asked to set specific goals and KPIs about the opportunities they brought up. Lastly, participants were asked to write out individual commitments that they would make to help tackle UHI and OTC. Outcome reports have been produced and distributed to all participants.

Workshop 3: UHI and OTC: Singaporean and International research (19 January 2018)

Approach

The first purpose of this workshop was to share insights from other cities working on UHI and OTC. We gathered international experts from Hong Kong, Melbourne, USA and Singapore who provided keynotes. A panel discussion engaged the participants for more in-depth conversations. The second purpose of this workshop (afternoon session) was to update the Singapore community on the projects’ preliminary results and to get feedback for the next phase of research taking place in 2018. For example, technical input for new modelling iterations was gathered.

Findings

Feedback for the research regarding the WRF simulations, social campaigns and mitigation strategy assessment was received. Gaps were defined and a outlook for further activities provided.

Outputs

It was heartening that many of the questions raised at the beginning of the project could now be explained. Additional work is required on:

  • Closing the gaps; developing further nuance on the parameters used in models
  • Linking closely with health indicators to make the work more relevant to a larger proportion of the population
  • Strengthening relationships with Singapore government agencies
  • Identifying economic impact
  • Gaining more/new partners in the next phase
  • Establishing the ‘one key thing’ we want to communicate through this work

Links to other tasks

Reflected the work of CS from January - December 2017: Mitigation Strategy Catalogue, Heat Maps, Assessment of OTC strategies at local scale, WRF Modelling, Tool Report, Population Survey, Engagement campaign and OTC Campaign.

Summary

A well attended one day workshop with the CS UHI task force and the CS Scientific Advisory Panel where outputs about the first years of CS where shared and feedback was received.

 Fig 7. Workshop #3 – Panel Discussion with Prof Winston Chow, Prof Matthias Roth, Prof Gerhard Schmitt, Prof NG Wong, Prof Leslie Norford, Prof Chao Ren and Prof Nigel Tapper  / Source: Lina Meisen Photography 2018

Fig 7. Workshop #3 – Panel Discussion with Prof Winston Chow, Prof Matthias Roth, Prof Gerhard Schmitt, Prof NG Wong, Prof Leslie Norford, Prof Chao Ren and Prof Nigel Tapper  / Source: Lina Meisen Photography 2018

 Fig 8. Workshop #3 – Presentation by Professor Nigel Tapper (Monash University Melbourne) / Source: Lina Meisen Photography 2018

Fig 8. Workshop #3 – Presentation by Professor Nigel Tapper (Monash University Melbourne) / Source: Lina Meisen Photography 2018