The impact of weather extremes on urban resilience to hydro-climate hazards: a Singapore case study

4 November, 2019

How resilient is Singapore to weather extremes?
 
Surrounded by Peninsular Malaysia to the North and Indonesia to the South, Singapore is fortunate to be shielded from a number of natural disasters such as tsunamis and cyclones. However, a favourable geographical location cannot insulate it against global climate change.
 
Recent research has indicated that Singapore is experiencing a warmer environment, coupled with more intense surface dryness. Additionally, there is also an increased likelihood of extreme weather events such as droughts and floods. For instance, between 31 October and 1 November 2012 intense heavy rainfall flooded Orchard Road and major roads in Bukit Timah, disrupting traffic and causing extensive financial damage. Hence, it is critical to know how resilient Singapore to extreme hydro-climatic events.
 
SMU Associate Professor Winston Chow (formerly with NUS Geography) addressed this issue in ‘The impact of weather extremes on urban resilience to hydro-climate hazards: a Singapore case study’ (International Journal of Water Resources Development, 2018). In brief, extreme hydro-climatic events that occur in greater intensely and frequency would likely diminish urban resilience. Dr Chow also suggested that with technological advancement and an expansion in extreme weather research, specific climatic information that identifies the possible factors that led to a weather extremity can be more easily obtained. This is vital to municipal stakeholders who are involved in urban resilience policy. In anticipation of future weather extremities, they can formulate appropriate policies and design adaptive urban infrastructure to maximize urban resilience.

Read the article here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07900627.2017.1335186