Sustainable infrastructure is the cornerstone of a resilient and environmentally conscious future. Around the world, various countries have embraced good governance practices in implementing sustainable infrastructure projects. Two outstanding examples come from Singapore and Germany, each demonstrating unique approaches in fostering sustainability.
Singapore's integrated urban planning
Photo credit: Bruno LEVEQUE Bruno Lévêque via Flickr
Singapore, a city-state known for its skyline punctuated by modern architecture, stands out for its well-integrated urban planning. The government's commitment to sustainable infrastructure is evident in its comprehensive approach to city development; employing meticulous land-use planning, emphasizing mixed-use developments that promote efficiency and reduce the need for extensive commuting.
Singapore's public transportation system is an efficiency model, seamlessly integrating buses, trains, and other modes for public transportation. The emphasis on connectivity reduces reliance on private vehicles, curbing emissions, and easing traffic congestion. Furthermore, the city embraces green building practices, promoting sustainable construction methods and energy-efficient designs.
Germany's renewable energy revolution
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Germany has earned acclaim for its commitment to renewable energy and the Energiewende (energy turnaround) — the national transition to a more sustainable energy system. The governance model in Germany emphasizes community involvement, fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility among citizens. Local communities actively participate in renewable energy projects, such as wind and solar farms, promoting a decentralized approach to energy production.
The feed-in tariff (FiT) system in Germany incentivizes the adoption of renewable energy by guaranteeing fixed, above-market prices for electricity generated from sustainable sources. This policy has not only accelerated the shift to green energy but has also empowered individuals and communities to contribute to the country's broader sustainability goals.
Key takeaways from Singapore and Germany
Singapore showcases the importance of integrated urban planning, where land-use, transportation, and infrastructure development are harmonized to create sustainable and efficient cities.
Public transportation and connectivity:
Singapore's emphasis on a well-connected public transportation system reduces reliance on individual vehicles, contributing to lower emissions and a more sustainable urban environment.
Community-centric renewable energy:
Germany's community involvement in renewable energy projects demonstrates the power of local engagement. Empowering communities to participate in the transition to renewable energy fosters a sense of responsibility and ownership.
Germany's FiT system serves as a global example of incentivizing sustainable practices. Guaranteeing fair prices for renewable energy encourages widespread adoption and helps create a more sustainable energy landscape.
The success stories in sustainable infrastructure governance from Singapore and Germany offer a combination of valuable insights for countries like Sri Lanka striving to build a more sustainable future. By embracing integrated planning, efficient public transportation, and community-centric approaches, these models demonstrate that sustainable infrastructure is not just an environmental imperative but also a testament to effective governance and progressive policies.
By Shanika Gamage
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article reflect the author’s views, and not the wider views of the Alliance for Sustainable Infrastructure.