02/19/2011, 00.00
SINGAPORE
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Singapore, Asia’s “greenest” city

by Jeremy Lim
The city-state has "ambitious goals" in terms of environment and an "efficient" approach in pursuing them. It beat 21 other cities and is rated ‘well above average’ in management of waste and water resources. Every citizen has available 66 square meters of green area, against an average of 39 square meters.

Singapore (AsiaNews) - Singapore is the "greenest" city in Asia. This was revealed by a study commissioned by the electronics giant Siemens and conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU): The city-state prevails in particular for its "ambitious targets on the environment" and "effective approach in pursuing them."

Singapore beat 21 other cities to win first overall. It was rated ‘well above average’ in the categories of management of waste and water resources, with a high rate of waste collection and low rate of water system leakage. Jan Friederich, a researcher with EIU, told the Straits Times newspaper that the city "has long pursued the goal of sustainability" and launched "long-term projects”, pursuing policies that "are not found in other Asian countries. "

Despite being land-scarce, with a population of five million confined to the island nation, Singapore managed to conserve greenery and gardens within its urban areas. According to the study, Singapore has 66 square metres of green space per person, above the average of 39 square metres.

The government also has demonstrated forward planning, targeting 70% of human traffic to be on public transport in the morning by 2020. To achieve this, the metro network will be doubled, said the study.

The Economist Intelligence Unit aims to support efforts for the growth of sustainable infrastructure, linking urban development to eco-sustainability of projects. Finally, the study reveals a greater awareness of environmental issues in Asia. However, air pollution levels are above the thresholds set by the World Health Organization (WHO). Asian cities are also invited to make better use of renewable energy, the use of which currently stands at around 11 % of the total.
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