Coastal Engineering

Building resilience against climate change for coastal cities

COP27 Singapore Pavilion

(Above) The presentation by Surbana Jurong’s Managing Director for Coastal Engineering James Lam, at the COP27 Singapore Pavilion. (Below) James with fellow panellists at the event.

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How can cities stay liveable and sustainable given the pressing impacts of climate change?
This was the question that James Lam, Surbana Jurong’s Managing Director for Coastal Engineering, addressed as a panellist at the Panel – Enhancing Cities’ Liveability and Sustainability in the Face of Climate Change just this week (7 Nov). Held at the Singapore Pavilion at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 27) in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt this month, it was organised by the Centre for Liveable Cities.
Coastal cities like Singapore are hard-pressed to boost resilience against increasingly extreme floods caused by rising sea levels. He observed how coastal communities living near the water edge are facing the threats of rising seawater and extreme storm surges. The drainage system of many cities has also been strained by more frequent storm events and higher rainfall. When this coincides with high tides and storm surges in coastal regions, extreme flood conditions can arise.
The Coastal Engineering team is involved in a project awarded by Singapore’s national coastal protection agency PUB, which aims to protect the northwest coast of Singapore from sea level rise. The area covers 24km of the coastline from Tuas Checkpoint to Lim Chu Kang jetty and comprises mainly four coastal reservoirs, as well as military camps and training areas where mangrove habitats are present. The team is also involved in the first-of-its-kind polder project in Singapore at Pulau Tekong.
“Adaptations to the changing climate must be carried out urgently even as a sustainable way of living is being addressed,” he said. Other panellists include Lauren Sorkin, Executive Director, Resilient Cities Network, Esther An, Chief Sustainability Officer, City Developments Limited and Associate Professor Winston Chow, College of Integrative Studies, Singapore Management University and Lead Author for IPCC AR6. The moderator was Michael Koh, Executive Fellow, Centre for Liveable Cities. Watch a recap of James’ presentation here at 19:09 and the panel session from 4:23 onwards.

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