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City of the Future: Singapore Full Episode | National Geographic

City of the Future: Singapore  Full Episode | National Geographic
the paradigm has shifted the world is accelerating the science fiction of yesterday is rapidly becoming the science fiction of right now do we withstand the tectonic shifts in the world around us how does a society thrive when the world economy is undergoing constant disruption how do we continue to learn when information is moving at the speed of light there are places that are ahead of the curve cities building the tools for tomorrow we want to create innovations that have a real world impact
city of the future singapore full episode national geographic
one day

singapore

can be self-sustained in food production we are looking at the development of

singapore

40 years ahead of time this

city

could be a model for what's to come this is the

city

of the

future

singapore

the

future

of the world lies in its urban environments more than half the world's population live in cities and that number is growing this rapid influx of people creates possibility but it also creates challenges how can the cities of today grow and thrive to become the
places we want to live in tomorrow creating sustainable manageable human spaces in the world's ever-expanding cities is a challenge facing governments across the globe and no one understands the complexity of this challenge better than the planners at

singapore

's housing and development board the agency in charge of creating living spaces for about eighty percent of the resident households in one of the most densely populated cities i'm an architect by training and i also have a
master's degree in planning so i'm an architect planner since 2010 dr chung's vision and guidance has helped usher in a new era of smart public housing for the hdb allowing the

city

she loves to grow and thrive despite significant challenges as an island

city

state we're only about half the size of metropolitan london we have to house 5.7 million people and we are of course very land and resource constrained so that is the big challenge but having said that over the years we
have managed to develop

singapore

in a pretty sustainable way and we are one of the most livable cities in asia when dr chong was a little girl

singapore

was a vastly different

city

it had a third of today's population less than one percent of the current gdp and little to no infrastructure in just over five decades though this tiny

city

-state has undergone a remarkable transformation

singapore

's hdb has built a million flats creating one of the most successful public housing programs in
the world hdb is now looking to high-tech innovative solutions to not only provide enough living spaces for

singapore

citizens but also improved quality of life for decades to come we have very sophisticated computer models that help the architect planner to improve the environmental quality in the town so for example

singapore

is in the tropics so we want to encourage the breezes to come through through computer simulation you can actually position the blocks and the public spaces in the parks
in such a way that help you to achieve this

singapore

does very long-term comprehensive planning and that is very important you are looking at the development of

singapore

40 years ahead of time and this is important because it ensures that we have sufficient land safeguarded to meet all our development needs

singapore

is planning decades ahead in such a land scarce nation the question is often not what to build but where to build

singapore

's urban redevelopment authority is in charge of
identifying the

future

needs of all

singapore

's land it's the kind of challenge that draws in the adventurous and the curious i'm very much an urban person the

city

is close to my heart and even more so having worked in detail on the plans over the last 20 over years for andrew and the ura sometimes that work means creating land from nothing a process known as land reclamation since independence in 1965

singapore

has used reclamation to increase its land mass by about 23 percent one
of the most striking examples of this and perhaps a vision that cities across the world may adopt is

singapore

's marina bay a vast engineering project that has been decades in the making when i first started work with ura marina bay was just a vacant tract of land it was only maybe 10-15 years ago that we actively started development of the area andrew was part of the team that drew up the plan for marina bay and translated it into reality its development dramatically increased the
footprint of

singapore

but it was designed with the needs of its citizens in mind the traditional central business district just comprises of office space then is only used nine to five five days a week so as we've planned marina bay we've also looked to bring in complementary uses so the idea is you create a mix use precinct that the activities carry on 24 7 and seven days a week to make the round-the-clock marina bay model work the ura needed infrastructure in landscape

singapore

that
meant going underground using precision designed layers of essential services including water and electrical tunnels pedestrian and commercial spaces transportation infrastructure like highways and subways and even telecommunications super highways these hidden underground systems have been designed to meet the needs of

singapore

for the next 50 years but some in

singapore

are looking beyond that already imagining the cities of the far

future

i actually think that the

future

of

singapore

is not
just about increasing the density around transportation nodes of activity i actually think it's about exploring air rights as well jason pomeroy has grand visions for his

city

the award-winning architect of

singapore

's first zero carbon house the bee house his designs are pushing the boundaries of how

singapore

might look more than 50 years from now think about creating structures over roads over motorways topping up above existing structures the rooftops today might be sky court sky
gardens of recreation if cities expand upwards into the skies conventional methods of road transportation may no longer be effective perhaps the

future

of urban transportation will play a major part in shaping the way we live and then all of a sudden you're going to need to think about how to get people up there you know if you were to fast forward 50 years from now we already see drone technology becoming so advanced why are we not sticking people into those drones again a bit like blade
runner all of a sudden your sky courts your sky gardens even your private terraces to your condo is actually a landing platform for your own personalized drone though the idea of us flying to work may be decades away drone technology is advancing rapidly and could become integral to the evolution of transportation in the cities of tomorrow in

singapore

the government has thrown its support behind an advanced program to test the limits of drone capabilities in the world's rapidly expanding
urban environments skyways is airbus's project that is exploring this urban air delivery domain or basically cargo delivery with drones project the drone that we're using is actually

full

y customized or

full

y designed by our team here in

singapore

to ensure maximum safety in the air the drones have multiple aerospace grade navigation systems so that if one system malfunctions it can rely on others to fly to its destination the packages that we can deliver by design today is up to four
kilograms what we understand is that four kilograms would cover perhaps about eighty eighty five percent of all the packages that are parcel deliveries that are done today once the package has been delivered to its slot the mailbox automatically sends a personalized code to the customer so they can pick up the package 24 7. and just like that also comes back in airbus one of our visions is what we call urban air mobility so flying taxis for example skyways is about enabling this technology
it's about looking and moving towards a

future

where we have than a flying transportation means in an unread setting

singapore

innovators are imagining and experimenting the what's next for urban travel drone technology may be the next revolution liberating commuters from their two-dimensional travel but the challenges facing all of our cities may be more elemental than where we will build and how to get around providing food and water for the millions of people that will pack into our
urban environments could be the biggest challenge yet as urban populations rise the world will face unprecedented challenges how to house transport and most importantly feed its people in the

future

as rural populations decrease ensuring food stability will be key in landscape

singapore

it's a challenge that is already being confronted right now 93 of produce is imported in to

singapore

and that's because there just simply isn't enough land to do farming practices benjamin swann
city of the future singapore full episode national geographic
came to

singapore

as an engineer on the marina bay sands project but having fallen in love with the

city

he recognized a challenge and an opportunity to help the nation towards its goal of food sustainability ben is developing a new way to grow food not just in

singapore

but in any urban environment sustanair is a controlled environment agriculture farm we effectively replicate what's happening outside in nature to grow impossible products in impossible places

singapore

is a trailblazer in
this technology having opened the world's first commercial vertical farm in 2012 now sustaineer through their patented processes are able to grow produce indoors without sunlight and without soil what we actually have done is we've come up with our own system here to introduce the seas directly into the foam cubes so what that does is ensures we have 100 germination success this room has been specially designed to take the plant from its initial germination through to a mature state
where we can introduce into the main grow rooms these large-scale growing rooms are astonishing feats of agricultural technology the precision calibration of the growing environment allows these new age farmers to optimize cultivation at every stage in the plant's growth we control the air temperature the humidity the light durations the light wavelength we control the dissolved oxygen in the water as well as the carbon dioxide saturation there in these closely monitored growing rooms
sustaineer is creating food history first ever

singapore

an grown strawberries we're actually growing three varieties in this room what we've learned through controlled environment agriculture we can actually emphasize certain characteristics of the plants so without using gmo we can make our kale softer we can actually make it sweet a lot of the

singapore

ans don't like their products to be bitter so we took it into our r d lab and what we found was by manipulating the air temperature
and humidity and also the wavelength of light and the growth cycles we were able to create this great product that we're growing today not only is this farm able to produce vegetables perfectly calibrated for

singapore

ans but the techniques could provide vital farming areas for the densely populated cities of the

future

traditional land farming grows produce outside on a flat linear area sustania's system grows food inside in any building expanding agriculture's footprint up into
the sky so what vertical farming means for places like

singapore

that has very little or has land scar

city

is that we can leverage buildings to grow products and with the efficiency that we have within our footprint we believe one day that we could actually produce enough produce indoors to stay in

singapore

's map fresh available food will be a necessity in our cities not only to feed citizens but also to keep them healthy as populations age and the incidence of diabetes continues to rise
across the developed world

singapore

like all cities needs to encourage its citizens to eat smart and well we wanted to deploy food and beverages okay as a tool to manage it could be health it could be wellness it could be performance and of course also for fitness as well believe it or not these colorful sculptures are edible they are the creations of dr lee man wai a scientist at

singapore

polytechnic's food innovation and resource center using the latest breakthroughs in technology she
is creating food tailored to the exact caloric and nutrition needs of

singapore

's senior citizens we wanted to look at personalized nutrition for a target growth people so what we started off is basically looking at people with different lifestyles or otherwise looking at people with different health conditions to realize her vision dr lee collaborated with bioengineer mark wong to build a piece of wearable tech that can monitor a person's nutritional requirements what we have developed
here at

singapore

polytechnic is what we call the intercept system it's in a form factor for watch the app it's pulling data from the from the wearable so this data can then be fed to algorithms to compute specialized individual nutrients that are customized for the individual so a 3d printer could then use this data and print out the appropriate nutrient values suitable for that individual dr lee's system is one of the first of its kind in

singapore

and perhaps the world to pair
wearable tech with 3d printing to create food with personalized nutritional values this particular printer actually has a beautiful way of allowing us to customize nutrition so there should be probably a chicken rice that is actually high in calcium some that is actually good for potassium and different types of vitamins and minerals that is accustomed while still an experimental prototype the potential is staggering this jelly packs a punch with the necessary nutrients for optimizing health and
even preventing diseases with greater sets of data from each individual we can now create a whole library or database and identify trends by using machine learning or using ai so that is extremely powerful in the near

future

to be able to predict potential health issues and mitigate those health issues in population centers before events occur through imaginative planning and technological innovation

singapore

is finding new ways to house and feed its growing population but perhaps one of the
biggest challenges facing any global

city

will be ensuring a constant safe supply of that most pressures of resources water

singapore

currently uses 2 billion liters of water a day the most efficient source of fresh water is rain and to capitalize on this resource the nation is crisscrossed with an extensive network of rivers and canals that channel every last precious drop of rain into 17 storage reservoirs about two-thirds of

singapore

is a water catchment area that's about 400 plus
square kilometers so water that falls on the catchment area it will find its way into our drains and canals which are linked to one of our reservoirs

singapore

's catchment system is extensive and efficient but to collect rainwater you need land and lots of it

singapore

is a small island so we are limited in terms of the catchment area that we have and also now with the changing weather patterns the water coming from rain it's a bit unpredictable so we've moved on to more weather
resilient water sources like desalination as the world warms every

city

will need to find fresh solutions to provide their citizens with clean water in

singapore

the public utilities board is already looking to the

future

experimenting with new techniques to push the water potential of the little red dot looking ahead our cities need to overcome a variety of challenges rapid urbanization will present problems of growth housing and food sustainability but none may be more crucial than the access
to fresh water

singapore

currently imports about half of its daily water requirement in the next three decades though the aim is to ensure water sustainability to do so planners are looking to a resource the island nation has in abundance seawater i always call this a new toy really it's kind of a toy for us but seriously it's a plant that's designed with robustness reliability it's

full

y automated hugh kitsan oversaw the construction of a brand new state-of-the-art water
facility the tuas desalination plant we've been working on this project for the last just over two years to get it from a green field and up to the state that you see right behind me a functional 30 million gallons per day desalination plant the twas desalination plant is a modern marvel of precision engineering in landscape

singapore

its footprint is a mere 100 meters by 300 meters that's roughly the size of three football fields this may seem large but it is a relatively small
footprint compared to plants of its kind around the world when we did the design in the construction it was quite a challenge that you got to make sure that they're all stacked and arranged in like a lego manner that it all fits nicely into a puzzle and it forms the plant what you see today despite its small footprint the twas desalination plant houses one of the world's most powerful technologies for producing fresh water from the seed reverse osmosis filters that's actually the
city of the future singapore full episode national geographic
heart of the plant where the salt in the sea water gets separated or removed from the water the white tubes in there is the reverse osmosis membrane where filtered water will be pushed through the membrane this high-tech process is a key part of preparing

singapore

for the

future

but conventional water desalination is energy intensive the electri

city

you would need to desalinate enough water for just one day of

singapore

's needs could power

singapore

an household for a thousand years to save
energy and reduce the cost of water desalination the pub is now investing in new research evoqua is a company working on the desalination process of tomorrow we are demonstrating our next ed technology for seawater desalination electrodialysis uses electri

city

to remove salt from seawater pairs of electrodes are placed in a stream of salt water with one positive electrode and one negative the positively charged sodium ions are attracted to the negative electrode and the negatively charged
chlorine ions are attracted to the positive electrode this concentrates the salt around the electrodes the process is repeated until the water is salt free now we are building a demonstration plan with a capa

city

of 3800 meter cube per day we have plans to further scale up this technology with a capa

city

of 100 000 meter cube per day

singapore

's innovations in housing food and water are giving us a glimpse of how a forward-thinking

city

might solve some of the challenges it faces but these
solutions will come at a price fast secure and thriving economies will be essential for facing an uncertain

future

and perhaps no nation understands this better than

singapore

the financial sector is a very very critical sector for

singapore

almost 12 percent of our gdp comes from the sector so you understand how critical for us to ensure that the sector is a vibrant sector it is competitive it attracts the best possible ideas as the chief fintech officer of the monetary authority of

singapore

swapnandu mahanti needs to ensure that the nation sets a world standard for the financial sector this boils down to one thing technology innovation most of the services and financial sector are going to be powered by technology in 2016

singapore

announced project ubin a new fintech experiment using blockchain technology traditionally banks keep a record of all transactions on their own centralized ledger which is susceptible to manipulation by hackers but project ubin keeps all records on a
blockchain this means that identical copies of the ledger are kept on a distributed network of computers around the world these computers check in with each other to ensure that their copy of the ledger is correct if one of the copies does not match the others it is rejected and replaced with a copy that the majority of ledgers agree is correct to tamper with the blockchain to steal money a hacker would need to hack a majority of the computers on the network simultaneously a virtual
impossibility the real killer use case is cross-border transfer today it takes two to three days to move money between two countries the whole os is transfer so if we can apply a technology like blockchain it may give us that opportunity to reduce the time to do cross-border transfer and may also reduce the expenses where we move money from a country to big country

singapore

has long been known as a financial hub home to major banks from around the world with project ubin

singapore

has ensured
that it will stay ahead of the pack when it comes to fintech in a country short on natural resources the motto is innovate or die and

singapore

has taken up that challenge with a startup culture catapulting the nation into the

future

ideas are one of the intangible resources that power cities

singapore

is capitalized on the nation's creative dna to support and usher in a new wave of innovative companies one of the biggest start-up hubs is st engineering's tech incubator inno sparks we
are focused on solving some of the urban challenges particularly solutions in smart cities as well as health tech medical technology is a 350 billion dollar global industry one that thrives on the latest ideas start alignment like alango's revolutionary automated needle targeting system with end system we are able to automate the entire needle alignment process making it very stress-free for the doctors they can align the needle to the target at a fraction of the time it is more accurate
more than just a surgical assistant alan's robot can actually help train the next generation of surgeons typically for surgeons to be expert in terms of puncture he has to puncture more than 150 times but with such a device which is smart automated junior surgeons probably just required about 40 to 50 puncture and they could be an expert in the field of puncture innosparx has also been key in developing life-saving technologies to solve global health problems my name is jerome i'm the
head of engineering at inno sparks and i'm also the lead engineer for air plasma mask so we actually started the project development in 2013 when

singapore

was hit with severe haze during the 2013 southeast asian haze crisis large-scale wildfires blanketed the region in impenetrable smog shattering all records and pollution indexes stores sold out of high quality air filtration masks worse yet parents were dismayed to learn that all masks on the market were built for adults we actually went
to do a 3d facial scanning of more than 850 children and adults and then using an algorithm that we developed in-house proprietary we came up with three sizes of masks that fits children adults to the elderly using thermal imaging the benefits of these masks leap into focus we can see that actually the mask itself stays pretty much purple this is a quick way to show that the ventilator is actually effective in venting heat from the mask while a vital part of

singapore

's economy the tech
scene is not just about software or hardware at its core it is about hardware providing for its citizens we want to create innovations that have a real-world impact so we take a very user-centered approach

singapore

's digital economy is providing real tangible benefits to people and some of its brightest inventors are focusing on the far

future

local startup transferfy has developed a technology that could change the way we think about electri

city

wireless power transfer is inherently being
able to transfer power wirelessly we're using radio frequency to be able to transfer power in terms of the construct behind it is electromagnetic waves essentially power within a waveform the custom-built transmitter converts electrical current into electromagnetic waves using a complex algorithm this wave is modulated and focused into a tight beam transmitted to an array of antennas using radio frequency the receiver harvests the radio frequency waves and converts them to direct current
which is able to power electrical devices the system is ready now so the signal is now generating i think now we are ready to switch on the power amplifier t5 logo there it's on now it switches on without any uh any wires threaded to it no batteries nothing it's all power through air this simple demonstration gives a hint of the enormous potential of the system as the technology is scaled up to further distances it could revolutionize every industry that relies on electri

city

creating
the world's first long-range safe and efficient wireless power networks there's a lot of uses i mean it's ubiquitous technology and you can use wireless power transfer distribution for almost anything from consumer electronics to medical devices to offshore renewables to sensors you know for automation

singapore

's digital startups are dreaming up ingenious new technology proving that perhaps the greatest resource will need in the

future

is imagination in tomorrow's super
connected smart cities every aspect of our lives could be affected by the constantly changing world of digital technology preparing the next generation for this

future

is top of mind for most educators of today in

singapore

that preparation starts early using tech tools to teach children the building blocks of a digital mindset including the most basic skill needed for coding sequential learning sequential learning it seems easy for us adults but it's actually not easy for them at all to
know who comes first and who comes next all right children we're going to go over there then we're going to find your dry leaves and then we're going to put them in your basket okay let's go i feel that there's a lot of skills that they can gain from having the tech toys as well yeah learning problem solving skills communication skills language skills as well and also they learn how to problem solve sequential as well one two three four we need to press four steps good job
the playmaker program there are three tech toys the b board is something that is very friendly and very easy to operate because there's only a few buttons for the children to use so for example we have the forward backward turn left and turn right button try to show us some people i would say it's a little bit high-end other thinking whereby children will have to sequence the block first put it in order and they have to scan the barcode so for kimbo it won't function if they
don't start with a begin block and end it with the end block so during that time children actually get to do a trial and error to see whether it works or not these tech toys introduce children to advanced learning concepts in doing so they are arming

future

generations of

singapore

ans with the skills necessary for computer programming and literacy without exposing them to too much screen time this dynamic new approach to education is of critical importance for parents helping to prepare
their children for the workplaces of the

future

i've got three boys they are 12 11 and youngest is four since i'm in the finance line the current way to go is the fintech the concern for how my kids are going to cope with the new change and their career force has always been there definitely i feel these tools will actually help children to prepare in the workforce in the

future

because we are actually building the foundation for example the foundation of language the foundation of
problem solving the foundation of communicating with people tech literacy is not just a challenge for newer generations as populations around the world age the need to become digitally literate cuts across all age brackets

singapore

is tackling this problem head on with proactive efforts to provide tech education to all of its citizens ensuring none are left offline journey to digital fluency came at a clinic held by

singapore

's info communications media development authority foreign

singapore

's focus on training all of its citizens for the

future

is nurturing a highly educated versatile and connected population connectivity and community will shape the world of tomorrow and in

singapore

that sense of community is already revealing itself in new and surprising ways we are racing towards a

future

that will be dominated by technology in the decades to come dedicated citizens will find ways to harness that technology to make a positive impact enhancing lives to creative
innovation in

singapore

technology is already being created that will care for the nation's most vulnerable we try to provide sleep wellness for newborn babies and also premature babies hi how are you hi hi frank yeah so what you do is that you actually put a baby on it and after you'll be sleeping for about a minute we can give you the breath calm and know how well your baby is sleeping when a baby sleeps they have a lot of periodic breathing that means they breathe and they stop they
breathe and they stop now this happened to two percent of the newborn baby but it happened to 60 percent of premature babies periodic breathing dramatically reduces oxygen flow which can have a detrimental effect on a baby's growth and even their cognitive development the breath optic system uses fiber optic technology to help monitor this for frank this project is personal i think one of the the driving force of us inventing this product was because 24 years ago i i had a premature sun at
that point in time i bought whatever that's available to try to monitor the baby and actually for for one month me and my wife did not sleep in the same room because we took 12 hour shift to stare at the baby so we took turns to to look after my son for for a while so when we were able to use the optic technology optic fiber technology to create such a sensor we really know what we want because i was in that position before and your son is okay now oh my side's perfect just life and
kicking and well the spirit of using technological ingenuity to improve lives has been built into the

city

itself with green corridors and protected parkland keeping

singapore

from becoming a concrete jungle in its efforts conserve and protect its status as a

city

in a garden and parks is employing the power of technology so one of the tools that we use is called the sg bioatlas app it's a free citizen science based app where everybody can download and you could record wildlife things that
you see in

singapore

it could be at your park it could be in the forest in

singapore

and using this data you can develop some conservation or management strategies where we could conserve certain habitats or protect certain green spaces the app is empowering

singapore

's citizens to play a meaningful role in the conservation and protection of the

city

's incredible biodiversity those birds over there they are the jungle

full

they're like chickens but they are technically not chickens
right i'm a working mom in the daytime i will usually be working and by the night time i'll be probably down on my couch and watching television i spend most of my time on the phone watching youtube playing games not only is the citizen science program helping n-parks maintain

singapore

's rich ecosystem but also helping people build connections with green spaces and each other

singapore

is a scarce of land so what we need is to preserve what we have now and using the technology we
are able to provide feedback to

national

park on the species that we still have in

singapore

as the modern world rapidly marches towards urbanization our

future

cities will face unprecedented pressures innovation and technological advancements will help bring profound change to how we live how we work and how we learn in

singapore

that change is already underway it feels like we are part of building and creating a

singapore

that is vibrant safe and also sustainable for the people now and also
for the

future

if we can do it here in

singapore

we can literally do it anywhere in the world and we are excited almost on a everyday basis we are motivated by the fact that we actually can make a difference i heard from one nobel prize winner only a prepared mind can see opportunity and we are using this opportunity by getting ourselves prepared you