dws-wibo-singapore-healthy-city-marina-bay2-770pxThree Dutch firms, Okra landscape architects, engineering firm Witteveen+Bos and ZJA Zwarts & Jansma Architects, recently presented their Healthy City concept to the Singapore authorities during a two-day training on creating new spaces in complex urban environments.

The Healthy City concept seeks opportunities to utilise underground space for the benefit of a healthy above ground urban environment.

The concept was received with great enthusiasm by the Urban Development Authority, The Land Transport Authority, The Centre for Liveable Cities and the Building and Construction Authority.

dws-wibo-singapore-healthy-city-booklet-salet-350px  Theo Salet (right) of Witteveen+Bos hands out the booklet Healthy Cities to the Singapore authorities.

Healthy environment for citizens
In times of population growth, providing healthy environments for citizens is one of the challenges that Singapore and other metropolitan cities face. The Healthy City concept focuses on enhancing factors that determine health.

Examples of these factors are air quality, noise pollution, safety, inspiration, happiness, and active lifestyle.

The concept, developed by Okra landscape architects, engineering firm Witteveen+Bos and ZJA Zwarts & Jansma Architects, was received with great enthusiasm by Singaporean authorities.

The concept can be applied worldwide, with Singapore as the world’s leading example.

Relocation of urban functions
The opportunities lie in relocating urban functions and sources that have a negative impact on urban health to underground spaces, and to redevelop above ground spaces to improve the healthy living environment.

For example, underground highways - instead of above ground - improve air quality, decrease noise pollution, create new space above ground for recreational and living purposes, and re-connect parts of cities that were previously separated by these highways.

dws-wibo-singapore-healthy-city-e-nodes-350pxUnderground or floating stacked corridors can be connected to excisting infrastructure. 

Surgical interventions
Above ground, attractive and pleasurable public space is created encouraging citizens to spend free time, exercise, cycle and breathe fresh air.

Underground, a somewhat hidden network of transport veins will be the necessary interconnecting infrastructure in The Healthy City by conveying people, goods and energy/ utilities, node modules, information and waste.

This requires surgical interventions in the dense urban environment as well as an integrated approach for (re)development, as stated in the Healthy City concept.

E-nodes and floating nodes
Such interventions, for example stacked corridors E-nodes, floating nodes and interactive coastal areas, can be interconnected and linked to the existing infrastructure by a system of stacked corridors.

The E-node is a menu from which elements of the programme can be chosen according to the specific needs and location in Singapore. It is also a modular system, which can be expanded in phases to meet the requirements of that time.

Building new parts completely offshore on floating islands will release pressure from a scarcely available resource, land.

This creates new possibilities for port expansion and transshipment facilities.

More training courses
The two-day training on creating new spaces was recently conducted in Singapore. More related training courses and projects are planned for 2016.

The Dutch organisations are also investigating the psychological aspects of living, working, commuting and wayfinding in underground spaces, as well as solutions for utilising natural daylight for underground spaces.

About Okra
Okra is a landscape architecture and water sensitive urban design practice, focusing on assignments within transforming urban landscapes influenced by urban programme combined with sustainable, green and water sensitive aspirations.

An essential theme for its designers is the dynamic society, accommodating constant shifts of the physical environment. In their opinion, newly created spaces should be truly sustainable, contributing to a healthy environment.

About Witteveen+Bos
Witteveen+Bos provides consulting and engineering services in the fields of water, infrastructure, the environment and construction.

With over 1,000 employees, the firm focuses primarily on complex projects requiring advanced knowledge and an integrated approach. Next to seven Dutch offices, it has foreign offices in Belgium, Dubai, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Russia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and Vietnam.

About ZJA Zwarts & Jansma Architects
ZJA Zwarts & Jansma Architects is speciaized in infrastructure, public transport and sport and leisure. It translates complex assignments into unexpected solutions in a distinct manner, based on many years of experience with large-scale building projects.

In recent years ZJA has expanded her activities to other countries such as Belgium, the UAE, Qatar, Oman and Scandinavia.

Download the booklet The Healthy City - Making Singapore a worldwide precedent for the healthy city.

This news item was originally published on the website of Zwarts & Jansma Architects and Witteveen+Bos.

More information
OKRA landschapsarchitecten
Utrecht, the Netherlands
+31 30 27 34 249

Deventer, the Netherlands
+31 570 69 79 11

Zwarts & Jansma Architects
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
+31 20 535 22 00