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The Value of Natural Infrastructure in Urban Planning: Experience from Singapore/Asia

The Value of Natural Infrastructure in Urban Planning: Experience from Singapore/Asia

June 22, 2021 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm (PT)/ June 23, 2021 - 9:00am to 10:00am (Singapore/China time)
Registration closes two hours before the event.

Cities in Asia-Pacific are experiencing rapid growth. While the share of urban population is still lower than the global average, high urbanization rates bring well-known challenges of infrastructure development, inequalities, and vulnerability to climate risks. The prevalence of informal settlements adds some complexity to urban challenges, making good urban planning paramount for the health and wellbeing of current and future city-dwellers. Drawing from diverse perspectives, this panel will explore the following questions:

  1. What are the main trends in urban planning in Asia Pacific, and how are they applied on the ground?
  2. How is the concept of nature-based solutions applied in urban planning projects?
  3. Is there scope for nature-based solutions in rapidly-growing informal settlements in Asian cities?



Perrine Hamel

Moderator: Perrine Hamel, Assistant Professor, NTU Asian School of the Environment

Perrine (she/her) is an Assistant Professor at NTU’s Asian School of the Environment. Her research group examines how green infrastructure can contribute to creating resilient and inclusive cities in Southeast Asia. Prior to joining NTU, Perrine was a senior scientist at Stanford University with the Natural Capital Project, a global partnership aiming to integrate the benefits provided by nature into major societal decisions. There, she led the Livable Cities program, an initiative aiming to understand and elevate the role of nature in urban environments.

Rita Padawangi

Panelist: Rita Padawangi, Associate Professor of Sociology at Centre for University Core, Singapore University of Social Sciences

Rita Padawangi (she/her) is an Associate Professor at Centre for University Core, Singapore University of Social Sciences. She received her Ph.D. from Loyola University Chicago, a Master of Arts in Urban Design from the National University of Singapore, and a Bachelor of Architecture from Parahyangan Catholic University in Bandung. Her research includes the sociology of architecture, social movements, and participatory urban development. Rita’s works focus on the humanistic aspects of city-making, particularly place-making in neighborhoods, through collaborative approaches in research, teaching, and community engagement.

Leonard Ng Keok Poh

Panelist: Leonard Ng Keok Poh, Country Director – Singapore Hub, Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl Singapore

Leonard joined Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl (formerly known as Atelier Dreiseitl) in 2008, where he is the studio director of Singapore and Beijing. His academic background and design interest lay at the juncture between man and his environment with the aim of finding a long-term sustainable balance between them. Leonard’s approach involves extensive collaboration with diverse professions to foment holistic landscape-based solutions that engage and educate users while respecting the environment. His recent works feature a design that integrates the water found on-site with the surrounding urban development in a sensitive manner.

Erich Wolff

Panelist: Erich Wolff, Ph.D. student at Monash University in Australia

Erich Wolff (he/him) is a civil and geotechnical engineer and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at Monash University in Australia. His work delves into the challenges of nature-based infrastructure provision and flood risk management in the context of informal settlements in the Asia Pacific. His most recent publications examine participatory methods for addressing disasters and interrogate how communities can contribute to more nuanced and democratic decision-making in the realm of natural infrastructure design and planning.