Youth Dialogue: Challenges and opportunities of Singapore's sustainable development
On 30 August 2018, Temasek organised a youth dialogue on sustainable development, the first youth-targeted session in the Ecosperity Conversations series. Guest speaker Mr. Tan Chuan-Jin, Speaker of the Parliament of Singapore, shared about what sustainability means for Singapore in the context of its economic, demographic and social trajectories. He also touched on Singapore’s unique constraints to sustainable development as a city-state, and the many trade-offs that policymakers face when tackling these sustainability challenges.
This summary report covers the key sustainability topics discussed during the session attended by tertiary students in Singapore, and includes additional insights to complement the discussion.
As many cities grapple with sustainability issues linked to rapid urbanisation, Singapore faces its own unique set of challenges. Some of these challenges are not new, particularly those associated with Singapore’s natural resource constraints; and while the country has tackled them admirably since independence, these challenges remain pertinent.
In addition, economic prosperity and demographic changes have created a fresh set of sustainability challenges for Singapore. As population ageing continues and the pursuit of non-economic needs (i.e. social and culture) intensifies, these new challenges will become increasingly evident.
At the same time, many of Singapore’s achievements are a result of effective responses towards these constraints by turning them into opportunities. The report also highlights some examples of how scarcity has bred innovative action in Singapore.