Built for tomorrow
Buildings and construction account for 39 percent of the world’s carbon emissions, and Asia’s towering structures emit a higher percentage of greenhouse gases than the global average. Driven by a combination of regulatory tightening, public mindset shifts, environmental and social pressures, steps are being taken to rethink construction methods from the ground up and reduce operational emissions coming from buildings. Various old buildings in Hong Kong, Seoul and Sydney have been retrofitted to reduce energy consumption.
Cities across Asia Pacific are also reimagining the environment in which urban developments are constructed in a bid to lower ecological impact and improve resilience. For example, China has become a test bed for “sponge city” pilots, which reintroduce natural structures including open green space, vegetation on rooftops, porous road and pavement materials, and the use of urban wetlands.
Sustainable mobility for all
The rising urban population in various Asian countries highlights the need for more sustainable mobility solutions, which will also decrease carbon emissions. To meet this demand, some Asia Pacific cities now feature redesigned neighborhoods with hyper-local accessibility using data.
Home to some of the world’s most sophisticated public transport systems, these highly urbanised hubs also promote active mobility modes, such as cycling in Manila and Taipei. Plus, we see more walkable suburbs being built in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Singapore, which are supported by multi-modal commuting measures to facilitate greener modes of mobility.
Technology continues to play a central role in tackling sustainability and livability challenges. In the Asia Pacific region, we see many uses of AI, cloud computing and data analytics in enabling circular economy supply chains, optimising traffic flow, and enhancing disaster tracking and response actions. Many cities also carried out their pledge to electrify their transport systems. Shenzhen’s fleet of more than 16,000 electric buses has reduced fuel consumption by more than 95 percent. Autonomous vehicles also took the spotlight at the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics, where driverless shuttles ferried athletes and staff around different venues.