A future powered by high foot traffic

A future powered by high foot traffic

In the year 2065, cars on Singapore's roads would be able to communicate with one another to prevent accidents and reduce traffic jams.

Areas with high foot traffic, such as shopping malls and MRT stations, could have smart floor mats that can convert kinetic energy from walking into electricity.

Renewable energy would have a greater role in the country, and there may even be fans placed between towering residential blocks, designed to accelerate wind speed to generate power.

These were among the visions submitted by Singaporeans to BuildSG2065 - a contest being held by The Straits Times and CapitaLand, one of Asia's largest real estate companies, to mark the country's 50th anniversary.

It requires contestants to submit their visions of what the Republic would be like in the next 50 years. The best entries stand to win prizes and could also be featured in an exhibition on the past, present and future of Singapore in the pages of The Straits Times, which will commemorate its own 170th anniversary this year.

Submissions can be made online in four categories: go green, space-age kampungs, smart spaces and weatherproof world.

Among the ideas is one by Mr Cyril Ng, 51, who said HDB blocks and carpark rooftops would have high-efficiency solar panels to provide lighting in neighbourhoods.

"Rain run-off from the solar panels will also be collected and used for block-washing and plant-watering," he said.

"Some carpark rooftops could also be used for community gardens where residents can share the fruits and produce of their labour and build closer community ties," he added.

Mr Sim Beng Tiong, 57, imagined schools having simple filtration systems to purify and re-use rainwater, a process that could teach children the importance of conserving water.

"The purified water can be used for ponds, watering plants, washing floors and even washing hands," he said.

Others like Mr Norman Ho, 38, and Ms Alisa, 24, who goes by one name, predicted a smarter transport system in Singapore.

Mr Ho said: "I envision a Singapore where we can take the majority of cars off our roads."

He suggested an above-ground personal rail transportation system using magnetic levitation technology that would enable Singaporeans, including children, the elderly and people with visual disabilities, to travel anywhere in Singapore "within 10 minutes, and safely without supervision".

He said this system would complement the MRT network, and free up roads to be green spaces, thereby allowing residents to enjoy cleaner air and a quieter environment.

Ms Alisa said with more advanced Wi-Fi technology and satellite digital mapping, cars would be able to sense and communicate with one another.

"This technology will warn drivers of oncoming cars, and cars will auto-brake when there is a danger of a collision," she said.

Dilon Ng, 13, hoped Singapore would be greener, with people planting many more trees, including on buildings and in homes.

"There will be more trees and plants here, and more reserves and parks, so people will have fresh air to breathe and can really enjoy nature," he said.

To submit your idea, go to buildsg2065.straitstimes.com from now until April 30.


This article was first published on April 7, 2015.
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