The Science behind a Tropical City in a Garden

Presented by ANU College of Health & Medicine

Located one degree north of the Equator, Singapore seeks to become a City in a Garden. More than 50 years of greening has given rise to a cityscape that comprises a network of nature reserves and nature ways nestled within a landscape matrix of verdant streetscapes, gardens, parks and park connectors, skyrise gardens and community gardens. This is complemented by a network of marine and inter-tidal habitats.The challenge of sustaining such an ecosystem requires an understanding of the anthropogenic and climatic factors within the urban landscape.

The National Parks Board (NParks) is Singapore's authority on greenery and biodiversity conservation. It has in place an adaptive management framework that treats day-to-day operations as experiments that could yield data for the refinement of management regimes. 

Using its urban forestry management programme and biodiversity conservation programme as case examples, this talk will highlight how understanding the science behind some of the ecological and environmental processes in the urban landscape, coupled with the application of advanced modelling tools and smart technology, is helping to contribute towards achieving its vision of a City in a Garden.

About the speaker

Kenneth Er is the Chief Executive Officer, National Parks Board, Singapore. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Forestry), First Class Honours, from ANU in 1995 and was awarded a University Medal and the Schlich Medal. He also graduated with a Master of Science from the University of British Columbia in 2002. Kenneth began his career as a Parks Manager in NParks in 1997. He was subsequently seconded to the Ministry of National Development as Assistant Director, and then Deputy Director. He returned to NParks as General Manager of the Gardens by the Bay (GB) and was subsequently appointed concurrently as the Assistant Chief Executive Officer to oversee the agency's corporate functions. He went on to assume the position of Chief Operating Officer of GB in 2012, where he was instrumental in establishing it as an iconic achievement, winning many international accolades and awards. Kenneth was appointed Chief Executive Officer of NParks in 2014. A forest ecologist by discipline, Kenneth has deep interests in conservation biology, with emphasis on the conservation of forest remnants within an urban landscape.

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