Led by Sasaki in 2020, bioSEA was the ecological consultant on the team providing ecological inputs with detailed biodiversity and stormwater management strategies for the urban design of an Innovation District in Singapore (details to be announced soon) which ended up as one of the shortlisted entries.
As part of the overall approach for the Innovation District to be part of the Industry 5.0 movement, the vision for its Landscape & Ecological Identity was to Revitalise & Realise a resilient support ecosystem and meaningful landscapes.
This began with restoring a generative water network to improve ecological connectivity across the River Basin. Restoration of native marshland flora will in turn entice diverse wildlife to return to the site, creating a distinctive new identity and a cherished destination for leisure and learning. Linking both sides of the site along the waterfront is the ‘e-Corridor’, a progression of landscape typologies moving from forest to wetland and urban plaza. The corridor forms the fabric of spaces for active and passive recreation, leisure and social gathering, and the serendipitous encounters that fuel innovation while performing crucial ecological functions.
The innovation district is understood as important ecological stepping stones – the two parks connect the Lower Pierce Reservoir Park, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park in the north, with the world-renowned Marina Bay and Gardens by the Bay Park, by tapping into the regional greenway network. Reclaiming the overall 2km long waterfront as re-interpreted tropical marshes, wetlands, and forests is meant to accommodate PUB’s ABC-Water initiative, connect more residents with access to local open spaces in walking distance, and improve the district’s energy and environmental performance.
16% of Singapore used to be a freshwater swamp & marsh forest. Only 1% of this native habitat remains in Singapore. To improve the natural habitat and create a more interesting intersection for locals with the natural environment, the low biodiversity lawns or the small patches need to be re-naturalized. The greening, softening of the water’s edge, and consolidation of open spaces to active landscape systems like tropical marshes and forests improve the natural habitat and provide a number of environmental benefits.
A key part in creating a bold new identity for the two manufacturing districts includes the revitalization of lawn fields into dynamic and environmentally high yielding landscape typologies. This provides an opportunity to actively visualize and display the collection and movement of water in the public realm. For that three distinct zones, defined by a varying degree of water volume and flow, establish a gradient from dry to saturated plant communities moving from the hard plaza with green islands to a restored tropical wetland park. This transition becomes an iconic aspect of Kallang’s environmental expression and identity. While striking a balance between urban and ecological activity, the main objective can be tied to the historic water story of the wetland.
We performed 10-year stormwater management simulation models to represent the hydrological flow as well as the connection between various hydrological features. A total of 16 sub-catchments were delineated based on topographic profile, land use, and drainage and road network for 3 land-use scenarios – existing, URA and proposed design. We assessed the effectiveness of the proposed design which included various green infrastructure, green roof, rain gardens, rainwater harvesting system, and detention ponds and tanks. The hydrology assessment proved that the proposed design reduced a large amount of runoff from impervious surfaces by introducing various green infrastructures to retain stormwater, thus reducing total peak flow rate.
Lastly, we also conducted ecosystem services assessments to calculate the gains of the proposed design by Sasaki. Improved vegetation density and quality provides vital environmental services in the form of solar heat reduction, carbon storage, air particulate matter removal, temperature regulation, total suspended solids removal in water and noise reduction. These services will make the district more livable through a cooler, cleaner and quieter environment.
Jurong Town Corporation (JTC)
Ecological Placemaking, Ecosystem Service Assessment